Jonathan Majors (‘Da 5 Bloods’) on the film’s emotional father-son story and the ‘immortal’ legacy of Chadwick Boseman [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

For Jonathan Majors, his understanding of his character in the Netflix film “Da 5 Bloods” began with family. “That was my way into David … The big attachment for him is his father,” the actor explains. “And if I get honest with myself, my big attachment for myself personally is my father and as complex, nuanced, fucked up, hard, and lovely as that is. You don’t copy and paste, but you do use those raw materials.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Majors above.

Directed by Spike Lee, the film follows a group of Black veterans of the Vietnam War who return to the country decades later to retrieve lost gold, as well as the body of their fallen squad leader Stormin’ Norman (Chadwick Boseman). Majors plays David, whose father Paul (Delroy Lindo) is one of those surviving soldiers. David insists on joining their mission, much to Paul’s dismay.

Their relationship is strained from the very beginning of the film, suggesting a lifetime of conflict between father and son, but Majors and Lindo didn’t collaborate a lot in advance of shooting the film: “Delroy was very clear that he wanted me to have my own process in it. And what we brought to work that day is what it would be,” which in a way reflects the relationship between David and Paul, crossing a wide gulf to understand each other during this shared mission.

The film resonates for another reason as well. The characters are mourning the death of their fellow soldier played by Boseman, who himself died of colon cancer in August, less than three months after the film was released. “There’s something about art that makes things immortal,” says Majors. “I am doing the work I am doing because of what Chadwick Boseman has given to not just cinema, but to culture — Black culture, American culture, world culture at large. So when you watch the film and see that there’s this presence that is constantly around, constantly pulling and pushing people towards something greater, that is the legacy of Chadwick Boseman as well as Stormin’ Norman … I feel very fortunate to have met him and to have worked with him in that way, and to be a brief contemporary of his.”

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