Jonathan Majors says shooting Devotion aerial scenes was 'a dream come true and a complete mindf---'

Jonathan Majors has a ready answer when EW asks the actor why he wanted to portray pioneering Black fighter pilot Jesse L. Brown in the just-released Korean War movie Devotion.

"All the men in my family have served in the U.S. armed forces — Navy, Army, Air Force," says Edwards, whose credits include The Harder They Fall and the TV show Loki. "I myself haven't. I never really had the impulse to, but was always very close to it. There's something about the soldier archetype that's always kind of been with me, and this idea of meritocracy, that in and of itself, is a dream. That's just not how the world works. And yet, I've found myself drawn to that idea and in my own personal life [of] striving to be undeniable in some ways. You know, if I made the right grade, if my body was strong enough, if my brain was capable enough, if I was talented enough. That's the insecurity that drives us. Reading the script, I saw that in Jesse, and I felt that that drive, the thing that kind of makes you push yourself beyond what even those who achieve are expecting from you."


Eli Ade/Columbia Jonathan Majors in 'Devotion'

Directed by J.D. Dillard, Devotion hinges around the friendship between Brown and a white airman, Tom Hudner, portrayed by Top Gun: Maverick actor Glen Powell. The film considers what it meant, and means, to be an ally.

"What is it to actually partner with somebody? What is actual ally-ship?" says Majors, talking about the still-relevant questions raised by the film. "It's not writing something on a piece of paper, it's not doing a YouTube chat or a TikTok or whatever the f--- you want to put out in the world to show it. It is an experience. [It is] I'm with you, bro, come hell or high water. I don't want someone who's just with me when things are easy or fun. I want someone that's going to get in the mud with me as I intend to get get in the mud with them."

Jesse Brown (Jonathan Majors) in Columbia Pictures' DEVOTION
Jesse Brown (Jonathan Majors) in Columbia Pictures' DEVOTION

Eli Adé/Columbia Pictures Jonathan Majors in 'Devotion'

Majors actually took to the skies for sequences which found his character flying a plane.

"That was great," he says. "Some of the most intense sequences were in a plane. When we're going down [in the plane] you could throw a football at it, if you tried, a baseball certainly. It was a mixture of a dream come true and a complete mindf---. The most exciting, or the most applicable, part was what happens when you get out of the plane. The amount of swagger you have after being up in the air that long, that is what you see [onscreen]. One of our instructors called pilots 'gods with zippers.' I didn't understand what that meant until I got comfortable in those planes. I came out the plane, it was like: Oh, yeah."

Majors will next be seen reprising his Loki role of Kang in director Peyton Reed's MCU film Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which will be released on Feb. 17, 2023.

"I look at my entire career as the long throw," he says. "The long-throw theory is that it just continues, you're not looking at job-to-job. The MCU, that's another arc of the long throw. I've done Loki in that world and now doing Ant-Man with a different captain in [director] Peyton Reed and a different quarterback in Paul Rudd. The energy you took from Loki we now are taking in to Ant-Man, as far as the culture of telling the story and creating the character. It feels like everything we did in the work, in the scenes, it feels like the spirit of everything we were trying to capture. Peyton Reed really allowed to show up [on screen]. I had a great time doing it and I look forward to sharing it with everybody."

Devotion is now in theaters.

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