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Why Atticus From Lovecraft Country Looks So Familiar

HBO's Sunday night lineup has delivered some of the strongest TV series in recent years. It was the home of Game of Thrones and most recently brought Perry Mason into our lives. And beginning on August 16, it will introduce us to Lovecraft Country.

The horror series follows Atticus and Leti, two Black friends road-tripping across America in the 1950s along with Atticus' uncle George (Courtney B. Vance). As the title implies, in addition to the horrifying forces of racism, Atticus and Leti will also be contending with cosmic beings of darkness beyond what they could ever imagine.

Our main characters are played by Jonathan Majors and Jurnee Smollett. You'll surely recognize Smollett, who has been working as an actor since she was a youngster (and took the spotlight in one of the few blockbusters to actually hit theaters in 2020, Birds of Prey). Majors, on the other hand, is relatively new to the industry. However, that doesn't mean you haven't seen him before. In a few short years, he's built an impressive resume of lauded performances for himself. Here are some of the most notable appearances that should help you figure out why Atticus from Lovecraft Country looks so familiar.

Majors dug deep to play a pioneering LGBTQ+ rights activist on When We Rise

Majors was cast in his first major screen acting role before he'd even graduated from the Yale School of Drama (via W Magazine). Dustin Lance Black and Gus Van Sant tapped the actor to co-star in their epic miniseries about the LGBTQ+ rights movement titled When We Rise. On the series, Majors portrays activist Ken Jones in his younger years.

The miniseries tracks the movement from the 1970s to the present day, and Majors' portion sees him playing Jones near the beginning of the modern LGBTQ+ rights era. To make sure his portrayal was accurate, Jones told Bustle that he went down a deep Google rabbit hole: "I had the benefit of researching... Stonewall, and Googling Vietnam War, homosexuals in war, sailors specifically in war... I got to use all that."

However, one resource proved to be more valuable than any amount of digging online: speaking to Jones himself. As Majors put it, "Then I got to speak directly to Ken... which was better than Google." He described to W Magazine how Jones' humor set them off on the right foot: "I got an email from him saying, 'So, I was hoping for Meryl Streep, but I guess I'll settle for you...' After that, it was all love."

The Last Black Man in San Francisco garnered Majors awards attention

TV isn't the only medium Majors has been taking over. The actor has appeared in a handful of movies since his film debut in 2017's Hostiles, notably his co-starring part in The Last Black Man in SanĀ Francisco.

The movie tells an intimate story of friendship, family, and race through the relationship between two Black men and their interest in a historic home in a gentrifying neighborhood in San Francisco. Majors plays Mont, a playwright and artist known for his warmth, generosity, and fighting spirit.

Majors spoke to Indiewire about calibrating his performance for the role, saying, "He's quite gentle, and has an ability to show you the truth without hostility or picking a side... I turned prejudice and judgment all the way down... But he's also courageous. And what I like about courage is that there's a little rage in it, which makes him even more interesting."

His work didn't go unnoticed. In addition to positive reviews from critics, Majors was nominated for Gotham, Indie Spirit, and Black Reel Awards for his performance.

Majors collaborated with Spike Lee in Da 5 Bloods

Just a few short years into his career, Majors got an opportunity that most actors wait their entire lives for. He was cast in Spike Lee's Vietnam War drama Da Five Bloods as David, the son of Delroy Lindo's character, Paul. In a film full of wild plot developments and lots of rich characters, the fraught relationship between Paul and David is one of the more complex and rewarding parts of the movie.

As Majors recalled during an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the chemistry between himself and Lindo was developed during some extensive pre-production training the actors did together. Majors said, "I studied [Lindo] deeply... His mannerisms, how he moved, how he talked, what made him go off, how he ignored things, how he got happy, how he got angry. I watched that because I know from my life that I do that the same way my father did, and if I don't, I've made a deliberate choice not to."

Majors went on to say that by the start of filming, the actors had been working on the film for around eight weeks. "But the intimacy, it becomes so deep," he recalled. "And then the next day, or that same week, we shot [our] first scene in the film [together]... So that chemistry had activated offscreen."

Co-starring in a Spike Lee joint could be the pinnacle for some actor's careers, but we suspect it's just the beginning for Jonathan Majors.