Jonathan Majors is having fun playing the antagonist these days. In his latest role as “Diamond” Damian Anderson, the formerly-incarcerated childhood friend of Adonis Creed who comes barrelling back into his life with a burning desire to get back in the ring and an old memory to hold over his head, the actor is bringing a new flavor to the Creed franchise.
In the film, Majors is in the unique position of showing different layers to the same character in a short period of time, effortlessly expressing through body language and verbal cues the character’s current desires clashing with his ties to the past that still pull at him to this day.
“I loved it,” Majors tells ESSENCE of the two sides to his role. “I think what we’re describing is the arc of him. So you get so much information; you get who he is and how he wants to be seen, and then you get what’s really going on.”
“As we do when it gets turned up, all of a sudden we’re 17 years old again. No matter how old, we’re 17 years old, outside our mama’s house, talking crazy. That’s a sound, when you go to that very primal place, you sound like the streets – you sound like where you come from, wherever that is.”
As for his boxing scenes, which are sure to be some of the most memorable parts of Creed III, Majors says he was absolutely put to the test while shooting.
“I’ve been fighting all my life, but boxing is a different thing,” the actor says. “It was intense. I did all my fights in a row. I shot all Dame’s fights consecutively. Every day I was coming to work and fighting – 12 hours, 16 hour days, fighting.”
While the back-to-back fighting scenes were undoubtedly rough on Majors, the actor faced it head-on in the interest of getting out the best possible performance.
“When it’s all over, you’ve done it. I would say that’s a small accomplishment. I felt it stacked up against me. Even [Michael B. Jordan] said it – ‘bro, this is going to be hard.’ But that’s all I needed to hear, really. It’s going to be hard? Okay. I’ma smack it.”
Creed III opens in theaters nationwide on March 3, 2023.