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Jonathan Majors’ Inspiration For Creed III’s Damian Anderson

Jonathan Majors discusses the inspiration he used for his Creed III character, Damian Anderson, during the global press conference.

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Actor Jonathan Majors and director Michael B. Jordan on the set of their film
CREED III
A Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film
Photo credit: Eli Ade
© 2023 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved
CREED is a trademark of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Jonathan Majors Inspiration For Creed III’s Damian Anderson

Jonathan Majors plays Damian Anderson in Creed III, a man who has spent the last 18 years in prison watching Adonis Creed live the life he wanted, and he was close to getting. Adonis and he were like brothers growing up, so when he offers to help Dame out, he is thankful. 

When Jonathan Majors was asked about the inspiration he used for his character, he says he pulled from two people. First and foremost, his stepfather, Joe. “My stepdad was locked up 15 years before he got with my mom and then raised me up. The ankle monitor situation, the [Parole Officer]… I was the kid that was trying to make sure Dad got home on time before the parole officer got to the crib. And I watched it happen.”

Not only that, but his stepdad had also tried out for the Dallas Cowboys, and got really close to making the team. He made it to the second round and Jonathan watched that aspiration and hustle. “I watched that dream that he had. That young boy that had the aspirations to be more, to be free.”

As for the other fifty percent of the inspiration for Dame, it came from Ryan Coogler’s best friend, DeLo. Jonathan explains that he was essentially his touchstone for the character. “He actually experienced very much the life that Dame had experienced. There’s a certain decorum to the lifestyle that he had.”

Jonathan Majors adds that he, of course, watched all the Rocky films. “But it was very clear to me that the only thing that was really important was who Adonis was in this third installment. And how to antagonize this character. How to help this character continue his hero’s journey. And so I studied Adonis, and I studied [Michael B. Jordan]. And I saw everything. I saw his values. And us being brothers. Being close friends.”

He goes on to explain that he had to think about how Dame and Adonis would have similar values, but how they went after it had to be different. “Dame lives and dies on his relationship with Adonis Creed. Everything else is set decoration. It’s all about him. And so that was the most inspiration.”

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Jonathan Majors stars as Damian Anderson and Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed in
CREED III
A Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film
Photo credit: Eli Ade
© 2023 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved
CREED is a trademark of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Something that not many people will know, is that Damian Anderson was not the original name for Jonathan Majors’ character. His name was Brandon, and then his last name was very generic. Something that the writing team couldn’t even remember.

Eventually they settled on Damian for his first name, but Anderson was a suggestion from Jonathan Majors himself. You see, that is his mother’s maiden name. Jonathan says that “one of the highlights of the experience was when Mike said yes to that.” 

Jonathan explains that a lot of what he put into Dame was the aspiration for freedom. “And not just physical freedom, but mental freedom. And that never changed. That never shifted. That was the thing that I went, ‘Okay, that makes sense to me.’ They baked it in. Mike saw it. We went after it. It’s the most universal quality in the piece. Second to that was brotherhood.”

See Jonathan Majors become Damian Anderson when Creed III hits theaters on March 3rd.

NEXT: Creed III Delivers Knockout Performances From Entire Cast

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About Creed III

Adonis has been thriving in both his career and family life, but when a childhood friend and former boxing prodigy resurfaces, the face-off is more than just a fight.

Creed III comes to theaters everywhere March 3rd.