“Eight years of steady acting training nonstop… three years in the profession. And I’m still in the apprentice mode and I’m still watching everybody and learning.” – Jonathan Majors
In The Last Black Man in San Francisco, actor Jonathan Majors portrays a character who with his friends serve as witnesses to the changing social world of the San Francisco Bay Area. It has been a breakthrough role for Majors, after roles in the 2017 series When We Rise and the films Hostiles and White Boy Rick. In an interview with Variety, Majors spoke about landing the role, how it is part of his education, and how he has always worked on projects he has been passionate about.
While Majors is happy to talk about his education, he points out that it’s far from complete. He explains, “I’ve done the math. Eight years of steady acting training nonstop [at the North Carolina School of the Arts and the Yale School of Drama] … three years in the profession. And I’m still in the apprentice mode and I’m still watching everybody and learning.”
Reflecting on how he auditioned for the part, Majors reveals that he made his way out to San Fransisco with little more than hope that things would work out. He says, “I was exhausted for one. I was so broke, I couldn’t pay for a hotel that I thought I could pay for. I’m like f*** it, I’ll just walk around San Francisco at night running lines. [But] my new manager called them and somehow convinces these guys to let me stay and give me a room, puts her credit card down. And so I go in [for the audition] and there’s nothing but love.”
While Majors is still very much a working actor, he doesn’t see any of the jobs he’s had as ones he only did to pay the bills. He says, “Up to this point, I’ve not taken a job or done a job, you know, to pay my rent or anything like that, or to feed my daughter. I’ve just been able to do things I really, really like and I’m really, really passionate about. So even when it does feel hard, or it feels like labor, when I get done with this labor, I know I’m going to have something beautiful.”