How Jonathan Majors boxed clever for Creed III

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Jonathan Majors stars as Damian Anderson in CREED III A Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film Photo credit: Eli Ade © 2023 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved CREED is a trademark of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Actor – director Michael B Jordan observes, “Jonathan Majors is incredible, a phenomenal actor and person. I kind of cold-called him for the film! He was on a set, and I told him how incredible I thought he was. We had met briefly previously, and we kind of talked it through. He started diving into the character right away and bought into everything. It’s a type of character we haven’t seen him play before.” Working with Majors merged the personal and the professional, real life and reel life: “I wanted to create a bond in front of the camera and off. Jonathan is someone that I would consider a good friend, especially after filming ‘Creed III.’ Once you go through a film like this together, you’re connected for life.”

“The conversations that Mike and I had on the set, and before and during filming—just like
the conversations Damian and Adonis were having—were life-changing for me as an actor, and healing for me as an actor and a person,” says Majors. The physicality of the role was one of many things Majors found interesting about playing Damian. “I’ve never played a character that was so communicative with their body in the way Dame is, the way you can learn about him solely from his body language and the way he moves,”

Michael B. Jordan stars as Adonis Creed and Jonathan Majors as Damian Anderson in CREED III
A Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film Photo credit: Eli Ade © 2022 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Majors says. “I had always been athletic, I used to play football, basketball, and run cross country. I had a best friend growing up in my neighborhood in Texas who was a boxer, and I’d watch him and kind of try to copy what he was doing. He was the real deal, a Golden Gloves competitor. I followed him to the gym and tried it. And I would think to myself, ‘You got it.’ It wasn’t until years later, where I was like, ‘Oh, you don’t got it!’ But when I started training for this film and learned the fight choreography and worked with the supervising stunt coordinator, Clayton Barber, I picked it up pretty quickly. I was a quick study. I just had a dogged mentality about getting it right.”

Barber affirms, “Jonathan’s a rare breed, a workhorse. He put in the time—he’d been
boxing probably for eight months nonstop before production, putting in the hours, putting in the work. For the role of Damian, we wanted a style that is unique, a very rough-and-tough style is what we created, one that sort of juxtaposes the fine Cadillac that is champ Felix Chavez—a very professional boxer. Damian comes from the hard knocks streets of L.A. and he’s been in prison, where he’s picked up a few tricks. Now that he’s returned, he’s really at the point of no return.”

Barber worked with Jordan to devise the fights. “For the choreography, Michael wanted to
do something inspired by an anime perspective, to try to capture this violent ballet that boxers do. It was really great, because working with the actors and with Kramer’s team, we would come close up to the glove, change speeds and set up a very melodramatic experience for the audience.”

Review ; Creed III

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