February 2023 Digital Cover Experience
“Nothing is a monolith—not Blackness, not maleness, not comic book villains.”
EBONY is heating things up this February with one of today’s brightest stars, Jonathan Majors. In just a few short years, the brilliant, charismatic actor has captured our hearts and made an indelible mark on Hollywood with a stellar run of standout roles that bring to life the untold epics of Black America. On the heels of premiering the acclaimed ‘Magazine Dreams’ at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, Majors is gearing up for the release of two blockbuster films: ‘Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ and ‘Creed III.’ In his EBONY cover story, we give the rising star his flowers as he ushers in a new generation of Black excellence in cinema. The heartthrob gets personal about his love for the craft, what he’s learned from the legends of film, and how he’s challenging antiquated notions around Black masculinity.
For actor Jonathan Majors, no matter how repetitive, mundane or grand life’s tasks are, he completes each gesture with divine reverence. “[With] a sense of occasion is kind of how I move through the world,” Majors says. He’s referring to the small but intentional acts he undertakes, whether he’s walking into a photo studio, sitting down for an interview, or starring as the big, bad villain Kang the Conqueror in the next Avengers film—actually, the next three Avengers movies; Marvel Studios will be keeping Majors very busy through 2026.
“Nothing’s more diverse than the fact that the ‘Big Bad’ of the MCU is a young Black boy from Texas.”
Walking around the set of his EBONY cover shoot, Jonathan Majors is clearly in it for the long game. Meeting Majors in real life makes you stand up straighter so that you mirror his commanding, 6-foot presence. But there’s romance radiating from his spirit, which is evident in the smooth R&B playlist he’s curated for the studio. “Love Again” by Daniel Caesar and Brandy, and “Lady” by D’Angelo float through the air, but when “Bam” by Jay-Z featuring Damian Marley hits the speakers, Majors screams, “Turn it up!” He’s in the zone, very cozy with who he is. In this exclusive video, the heartthrob provides a first-hand look at all of the behind-the-scenes action at his EBONY cover shoot.
As we celebrate the beauty of love throughout the month of February, actor and Hollywood heartthrob Jonathan Majors shared his favorite Black love stories with EBONY. From Martin and Gina of the comedy legend’s eponymous sitcom–to Monica and Quincy of cult favorite Love and Basketball–take a walk down memory lane with some of the most iconic Black relationships shown on screen.
“Entertainment is a means of catharsis, and that leads to change.”
As one of the most prolific actors of all time, Sidney Poitier was a standard bearer of excellence not only in the field of acting but also in how he moved within the world. His passing in 2022 led many to reflect on the legend’s impact–including Jonathan Majors–who penned a heartfelt open letter for The Hollywood Reporter that spoke to Poitier’s impact. As one of the youngest board members of the Gotham Film and Media Institute, Majors would spearhead the creation of the Sidney Poitier Initiative in partnership with the actor’s daughters. The initiative provides mentorship, career development, scholarship and project-based funding for artists from disenfranchised backgrounds.
When Magazine Dreams writer and director Elijah Bynum began to conceptualize Killian Maddox (the film’s protagonist expertly played by Jonathan Majors)—a socially inept, lonely Black man whose primary focus in life is to become a professional bodybuilder, and therefore one day, appear on the cover of a magazine—he was taking on a character he thought of as rare. “I wanted to paint a portrait of a life, specifically, a Black life that’s not often depicted on-screen,” he says.
EBONY’s February cover shoot explores the idea of personal expression as it relates to Black masculinity. A true artist, Jonathan Majors represents a new guard of talented actors who have helped broaden the landscape of Black manhood in visual culture through bold roles that challenge traditional archetypes. Inspired by Sports Illustrated’s iconic 2001 Allen Iverson cover story photographed by Gerard Rancinen, Majors appears leaned back in our cover image, with a sea of dried rose petals at his feet. Wearing a beaded necklace, distressed high-tops and basketball shorts, the actor is Black swag personified.
Marvel’s much-anticipated film Ant Man & The Wasp: Quantumania officially hits theaters on February 17th, but the stars turned out in full force for the movie’s world premiere at the Regency Village Theater on February 6th in Los Angeles. EBONY correspondent Tyra Prude hit the red carpet with Jonathan Majors for a first-hand look at all of the action. Watch as he discussed his role as ‘Kang the Conqueror” and shared his reaction to the news that his steamy EBONY cover shoot–which dropped earlier that morning–had gone viral. Plus, actor Kendrick Sampson, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever star Dominique Thorne, and more discuss the much anticipated debut.
In the latest episode of ‘Worthy @ 30,’ we sit down with our February cover star Jonathan Majors to talk about life, love and motivation. From his daughter being his biggest inspiration to describing the perfect date night, Jonathan’s evolution is MAJOR.
The dynamic duo Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly), are back stronger than ever in Marvel’s new film Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. The film starring Jonathan Majors, as the ultimate villain, Kang the Conqueror—takes us back to the quantum realm for a fight to save the Multiverse. As you gear up to watch the much-anticipated film, here is a cheat sheet on what to expect.
As EBONY editor Savannah Taylor writes, “As we continue to fight for a more equitable world that sees Black people in their fullness, we should never pick and choose when to be open-minded. If in 2023, we’re still debating what colors a man should wear in order to be a true man instead of judging him by the content of his character and the validity of his actions that contribute to society, then we have a much greater problem to solve.”