Marvel's Kang the Conqueror Actor Gets Candid on 'High Stakes' Role

By Savannah Sanders Posted:
Kang, Jonathan Majors, Ant-Man 3

Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania's Jonathan Majors commented on criticisms of his Kang

The actor's response comes on the heels of Ant-Man 3 receiving the worst Rotten Tomatoes score in MCU movie history. 

While Quantumania was Majors' second Marvel Studios role and his first as comic book baddie Kang, Ant-Man 3 is only the beginning of the actor's MCU journey. 

But despite audiences' mixed views on his debut film, Majors remains focused on his vision for the time-related tyrant. 

Ant-Man Star Responds to Kang Critics

Jonathan Majors, Kang, Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania logo
Marvel Studios

In talking with TheWrap, Jonathan Majors reacted to online criticism about his Ant-Man 3 portrayal of Kang, saying, "Haters gonna come."

Given Kang's long history in the comics, coupled with fan expectations for Marvel Studios' next big bad, the fact that playing the villain comes with pressure is an understatement. 

While Jonathan Majors is well aware of this reality, he also acknowledges that “there’s a difference between getting it right, and getting it truthful.” 

The Creed 3 star went on to explain that he's "changing the lens" of the high-stakes situation in order to see it not "as pressure but support:"

“I very much respect the MCU fans and the comic book fans. I respect Stan Lee and his vision, I thank him, I’m honored to be a part of it. I also honor Kevin Feige and everything they’ve done, the art that they’ve made. So it’s about support, you know, it’s about changing that lens and not seeing it as pressure, but support.”

Despite how prominent both the actor and his Marvel villain have become, Majors says he's "not in the interwebs" or where he can "feel that opposition." 

Instead, he's focused on keeping a balance of the "comic books in mind," while also serving the audience, saying "there is a good deal of it, that is from them and for them:"

“Haters gonna come. If you’re doing anything right, you know, you will have opposition, and that’s OK. But I’m not in the interwebs or on the streets where I can feel that opposition. So my job is to create with an open heart, as boldly and as bravely as I can. And I’m keeping the comic books in mind, I’m also keeping the audience’s in mind as I create it. And there is a good deal of it, that is from them and for them. There’s a great deal that’s for and from me, and for and from the MCU team and family."

According to Majors, he hopes that this approach to Kang "hits a tone of universality," while also giving him the "template for Kang:"

"And hopefully all of that hits a tone of universality. And that gives us you know, the template for Kang and how I move forward in it.”

The Ant-Man 3 star went on to admit that playing Kang the Conqueror is "an actor's dream or an actor's nightmare" because "there's no hiding."

However, the very fact that the role is intimidating motivates Majors:

"Listen, it’s probably an actor’s dream or an actor’s nightmare, you know what I mean? The level of the level of difficulty is high, and the character is quite high profile. So, you know, there’s no hiding. That just happens to gas up my engine, which I quite like. I like the high stakes.”

As to where Kang goes from here, that's not just a question for the MCU heading towards The Kang Dynasty, but for Majors himself, saying, "there's no limit. The only limit on the character is my instrument:"

“Kang has a chip on his shoulder, I can get with that. I understand what that is. And so for me, it is indeed a dream. Not just the role, but where the role is being put up, where we’re doing it. You know, this happens in cinemas, this happens with the largest franchise in the history of franchises — enterprises, rather — with the MCU. And there’s no limit. The only limit on the character is my instrument. And so every time I get after it, I get to challenge myself to grow and get better. And so that is great. That is great.”

Jonathan Majors' Kang Philosophy 

Even though some fans are critical of Marvel Studios' first Phase 5 film, Jonathan Majors' performance has largely been perceived as one of the threequel's highlights

But regardless of whether audiences connected with this Kang or how the film handled his debut, learning how Majors views the role is illuminating. 

Much like the villain himself, the actor sounds laser-focused on his objective. But much like a Marvel hero, he's embracing the responsibility of this character and turning the pressure into an opportunity. 

In regard to those who were dissatisfied with Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man 3, they should rest assured knowing that Majors has plenty of performances to come and is "keeping the comic books in mind" while also "keeping the audience's in mind" moving forward."

Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania is playing in theaters worldwide. 

Release Date
February 17, 2023
- About The Author: Savannah Sanders
Savannah Sanders joined The Direct as a writer in 2020. In addition to writing for The Direct's Star Wars, Marvel, and DC teams, Savannah specializes in the relationship between Disney's blockbuster franchises and the Disney Parks.