To pull off being off a believable bodybuilder on the silver screen, an actor has to put in the requisite work. No questions asked. They’ve got to push themselves in the gym, leaving no dumbbell or loaded barbell unturned. Then, with their body at its absolute limit, they’ve got to stay impeccably disciplined in the kitchen — sculpting an incredible physique through a controlled and focused nutritional plan. That appears to be the road map Jonathan Majors followed for his latest feature film, “Magazine Dreams,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 20, 2023.
On Jan. 21, 2023, a short video interview with Majors and other “Magazine Dreams” cast members appeared on Variety’s website. Among some of the more notable tidbits, the superstar actor revealed that he ate 6,100 calories daily for four consecutive months to transform into fictional amateur bodybuilder Killian Maddox. It’s an illuminating insight into a professional who will seemingly pull out all the stops to pay proper homage to a challenging sport. A video interview with Deadline Hollywood below has Majors further discussing parts of his preparatory process.
The reason Majors ate this much and stayed this committed to his role appeared to be relatively simple: he wanted his playing Maddox to be believable in the context of bodybuilding’s notable rigors. Plus, after already training to transform into up-and-coming boxer Damian “Dame” Anderson in Creed III — which releases in the United States on Mar. 3, 2023 — Majors’ transition into another athletic on-screen role seemed to be seamless.
“I’m 6 feet tall. I’m 202 pounds,” Majors told Variety. “In order to sustain that and to grow that, you have to eat as much protein that you weigh. I ate 6,100 calories a day for about four months.”
As for how he actually trained, Majors stuck to his guns. As a performer known for diving head-on into his gigs, the man with a high-level athletic background noted that he once again went full steam ahead for “Magazine Dreams.”
“The normal bodybuilder works out two times a day,” Majors elaborated to Variety. “I’m playing Killian Maddox. … Playing him you don’t [expletive] around. What ended up happening is, I would train two hours, two times a day for the movie, and a third time after wrap [at the end of the filming day]. Meanwhile, you eat six times a day. Lots of chicken. Lots of elk, that’s just for me. I like it.”
In an era of CGI-filled film, it would be understandably easy if a performer simply went through the motions to portray an on-screen bodybuilder. For Majors, as a ripped fictional fitness titan and physically dominant boxer, staying dedicated seems to be the norm. At this pace, he may develop a reputation as an actor who uses his entire body to tell any given story.
Featured image: IMDb on YouTube
About Robert Zeglinski
Robert is a seasoned and adept editor and writer with a keen, passionate penchant for the writing craft. He’s been a leader in newsrooms such as SB Nation, USA TODAY, and WBBM Newsradio, with various other content and art production teams, and first made a name for himself in his hometown of Chicago. When not knee-deep in research or lost in a stream of consciousness for a thorough piece, you can find Robert inhaling yet another novel, journaling his heart out, or playing with his Shiba Inu, Maximus (Max, for short).