Jonathan Majors Turns Heads at Sundance with Bodybuilding Drama

Monday January 23, 2023

Jonathan Majors in "Magazine Dreams"
Jonathan Majors in "Magazine Dreams"  

There was considerable buzz before the Friday premiere of Jonathan Majors' Sundance drama "Magazine Dreams." The film, written and directed by Elijah Bynum, tells the narrative about Killian Maddox (played by Majors), a steroid-guzzling, socially inept loner who can't find success at his dream job.

Variety reports "as a deeply troubled — yet still sympathetic — aspiring bodybuilder, Majors dazzled Park City's Eccles Theater on Friday night, earning a standing ovation."

Majors' character also struggles with personal relationships, Variety writes, "be it with his roommate and ailing grandfather, a perky store clerk (Haley Bennett) who seems open for more than friendship, or even a redemption-offering sex worker (Taylour Paige) who sees past his afflictions."

And there's the homoerotic content. Variety adds: "There's a lot of homoeroticism in Killian's obsession with his body and those of other bodybuilders — Majors is frequently seen naked or wearing little more than skimpy underwear.

"The star power of Majors could attract buyers, but the film, with shades of 'Joker' and 'Taxi Driver,' is a challenging watch. There were a smattering of walkouts and many audiences members appeared to be looking away at intense moments."

Jonathan Majors in "Magazine Dreams"
Jonathan Majors in "Magazine Dreams"  

Majors performance in "Magazine Dreams" earned acclaim from Variety film critic Owen Gleiberman, who wrote in his review: "Majors looks and sounds like the hulk cousin of Dennis Haysbert, and his inner silent pensive quality is transfixing. What a performance!"

For Majors to transform himself into a bodybuilder, he consumed 6,100 calories a day for four months, he explained at the Variety Studio presented by Audible at Sundance, reported

"I'm 6 feet tall. I'm 202 pounds," Majors said. "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. That included the pre-work and the post-work of 'Creed III.' "

"The normal bodybuilder works out two times a day," Majors continued."What ended up happening is I would train two hours, two times a day for the movie and a third time after wrap. Meanwhile, you eat six times a day. Lots of chicken. Lots of elk. That's just for me. I like it."

And while he may be cutting back on his workout regimen, he shows no sign of slowing down. "I played football in Texas. I got an appetite," Majors said. "I really like being physical. I like hiking and running. I've got dogs. I'm only 33 — I got to do something to stay with it. I don't work out three times a day anymore. Just once a day."