Between the Sundance premiere of "Magazine Dreams" in January, and the theatrical release of "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" and "Creed III" in February and March, Jonathan Majors has really come out swinging as one to watch in 2023. The trailers for "Quantumania" and "Creed III" alternatively paint Majors as a supervillain with the ability to "shatter timelines" and a more grounded ex-convict-turned-boxer, ready for a grudge match against his old pal, Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan).

Majors' role as troubled bodybuilder Killian Maddox in "Magazine Dreams" is a little more complicated. In his /Film review of "Magazine Dreams," Chris Evangelista likened the character to "God's Lonely Man," Travis Bickle, in "Taxi Driver," adding that the movie "will alienate some viewers, but even those who aren't able to get on board with what [writer-director Elijah] Bynum is doing will be unable to deny how incredible Jonathan Majors is."

Visually, all we have to go on so far for "Magazine Dreams" is one promo image of Majors in silhouette, his ripped bodybuilder's physique spilling out of a thong (see below). However, in conjunction with the film's festival premiere, Majors has been doing some press — as opposed to bench presses — and it sounds like the role of Killian was both physically and mentally demanding.

We heard previously that Majors had to consume over 6,000 calories a day for "Magazine Dreams," but that doesn't mean he was shoveling french fries into his mouth. In an interview with Deadline, Majors indicated that he had to give those up. He also acknowledged the "parallels to 'Taxi Driver' […]in that we're talking about an isolated individual, and the extremes they will go though, to feel present." But he said "Magazine Dreams" goes its own way, and the isolation pushed him to the very limits psychologically.

'The Hardest Thing I've Ever Done In My Life'

Unlike boxing, which gives his "Creed III" character a sparring partner to dismantle, bodybuilding was a more solitary pursuit for Jonathan Majors. He told Deadline:

"You don't have anybody around you when you're working out, three times a day. And you've got to eat seven meals a day. You are pacing up and down your apartment, force feeding yourself the food you need to grow. That isolation and physical commitment does breed a certain amount of emotionality, and distance. The gift of adversity is, you get to learn from the role. I learned things about my body, my spirit and my emotionality, and how I connect to people."

While exploring Killian's mentality for "Magazine Dreams," Majors also said he had to go to some "extremely dark and extremely lonely" places. "For the character," Majors explained, "the frustration is I can do something most men cannot do, and yet, there's no real value there."

Like Travis Bickle, Killian is socially maladjusted, and even when he gets the woman he likes to go out on a date with him, it isn't necessarily going to end well. This returns us to the "Taxi Driver" idea of "God's Lonely Man."

"I looked up Killian," Majors added, "and it means 'little church,' and there's something religious about all of that. There is something extremely spiritual about the bodybuilding."

In the end, Major called bodybuilding for "Magazine Dreams" "the hardest thing I've ever done in my life," noting:

"There's a point where you really meet yourself and it becomes true emotional lifting. That weight is no longer, 310 or whatever. It's not that anymore. It's abandonment, my own stuff, my dad issues, my insecurities. I had to come up against all of that in the gym."

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The post Jonathan Majors' Bodybuilder Transformation for Magazine Dreams Took a Hard Psychological Toll appeared first on /Film.