Who’s the real Jonathan Majors behind Marvel’s new big baddie Kang The Conqueror?

“I have no moment in my life where I go: That’s what I pull from all the time. I was afraid of that in drama school. My dad just vanished when I was nine years old,” Majors said. “Yeah, you’re working through that stuff. But I remember saying very clearly: What’s going to happen when I no longer have that pain? When that thought of my dad doesn’t break my heart? Because we grow up. At some point it won’t mist you. What are you going to do then?”

That doesn’t mean he doesn’t still sometimes sound haunted. “How could the best father in the world leave me? How could that happen?” said Majors. “My dad was a great guy. I have no bad memories of that man. I actually have no bad memories of my father, just his absence.”

But Majors’ focus is more outward.

“When you open up your life — any of us — to the suffering of what’s really happening, it gets deep,” he said, rattling off a list of everything from the history of slavery to the George Floyd movement to the heartache of raising a child. “All those things break your heart if you care. And I care a great deal. I don’t know the level to which other people care because I’m not in their skin. But I know the stakes are always extremely high for me. It’s always life or death.”

That, too, was Bynum’s experience working with Majors on Magazine Dreams. Their long talks, he said, weren’t therapy sessions. To Bynum, Majors is “a conduit for human empathy.”

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“The intelligence that he has and the instincts he has an actor are one thing, and those are wonderful,” said Bynum. “But his understanding and feeling for people is really what separates him.”

“He’s a pretty singular individual and incredibly cerebral and has been that way before any sort of attention has come his way for being that way,” Bynum added. He’s not concerned about what fame might do to Majors, but he is worried about his schedule. “Making another movie is going to be tough,” says Bynum, “because he’s locked up in Marvel Land for God knows how long.”

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