Although he’s been personally singled out, Jonathan Majors views his Independent Spirit and Gotham Award nominations for “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” as a testament to everyone involved in the film. “It’s a whole family that made it,” he explains. “I just felt so honored and moved to be a part of it, to be selected to play an integral part in the story we were telling.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Majors above.
SEE 2020 Independent Spirit Awards nominations: Full list of Indie Spirit nominees in all categories
The A24 release is a passion project for debut director Joe Talbot and star Jimmie Fails (both of whom co-wrote the script with Rob Richert). The San Francisco natives tell the story of a lonely young man (Fails essentially playing himself) desperate to reclaim the house built by his grandfather, a Victorian mansion in the Fillmore District now worth millions of dollars. Majors costars as Jimmie’s best friend, Montgomery, an eccentric playwright and artist who becomes his roommate when he moves into the vacant home.
Though he was familiar with gentrification, it wasn’t something that had affected Majors growing up. “I’m a nomad myself, so I’m always moving,” he reveals. Raised in Dallas, Texas, he bounced around from the suburbs to the projects, then to the country and back to the suburbs. While he certainly knew the state and town he called home, “I didn’t know what it was to live in a place where it’s completely changing.” So for him, “the radicalization of San Francisco was crazy.”
SEE ‘The Lighthouse’ and ‘Uncut Gems’ lead Independent Spirit nominations, ‘Marriage Story’ gets Robert Altman award
For both Montgomery and Jimmie, a search for home equals a search for acceptance in a world that pushes them away. “These were two marginalized individuals in a marginalized community,” says Majors. “They were the outsiders to the outsiders, and in that way came together and stayed together. They’re both extremely idiosyncratic, and there’s something quite natural about them.”
Majors competes at the Independent Spirit Awards for Best Supporting Actor and at the Gothams as Best Breakthrough Performer for the film. He’ll next be seen in on the big screen in Spike Lee‘s upcoming “Da 5 Bloods” and on the small screen in HBO’s “Lovecraft Country,” created by Jordan Peele and Misha Green.
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