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Jonathan Majors on Kang and the MCU

Image: Marvel Studios

With the release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumaniaaudiences are about to really get a glimpse of the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. His name is Kang and he’s played by Jonathan Majors. Majors made his Marvel debut last year in Loki as He Who Remains, a version of a supervillain who is going to have such an impact on the MCU moving forward, his name is in the title of the next Avengers movie: The Kang Dynasty.

But who is Kang? What role does he play in the MCU? You can go to the comics to find out—or ask the actor behind the character. Majors gave a very interesting and tease-filled answer when speaking at this week’s press conference for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

“Who is Kang? I think that is a question that we will all be answering for a very long time,” Majors said. “I think the quick answer to that is Kang is a time-traveling supervillain who is also a Nexus being, which leads to this idea of ​​variants. There are multiple versions of Kang. ‘versions’ being’variants.’ They occupy different universes, multiverses, they have different intentions. They are all different beings. And yet something that we’re still—and I’m still—working on and continue to refine and refine and refine, is something that’s a through line between them. And that, to me, is the Kang gene in a nutshell.”

Majors talked about preparing to play this “time-traveling supervillain” by studying something you may not expect: the people he’s terrorizing.

Image for article titled Jonathan Majors Breaks Down the Essence of Kang in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Image: Marvel Studios

“The prep really comes down to who my director is and who my hero is,” Majors said. “Because as an antagonist, we’re following our heroes… I look at them and I figure out, okay. You can’t antagonize somebody if you don’t know who they are. If you don’t know the opposite of them. If you don’t know what their hopes and dreams are. My objective is to do that. Antagonize in order to get what I need to fulfill my life, my dream.”

“And so in LokiI’m dealing with Tom [Hiddleston],” Majors continued. “It was great. He Who Remains and Tom. I got to watch him the whole time. You know, this opportunity came to me in lockdown. And so I studied Tom Hiddleston for hours a day. And then when that was done, I went,Okay, Paul Rudd, you’re up!’ And I studied him. I studied all his hero colleagues and compatriots. And then you speak to your director and even your producer because there’s a culture to it. You lean into the culture.”

Majors likened that Marvel culture to what he believes it must have been like for a troupe of actors to work with Shakespeare centuries ago.

“This really feels like joining the Shakespearean troupes back in the day,” he said. “When you have Shakespeare in a room… and Shakespeare has a very clear idea of ​​what it is they want to do. Yyou have your lead actor and they kind of set the tempo and the tone, and you get in and you get busy, you know? And the culture of the play and the story is all there, but it’s really changing. For that, you really have to be very clear about what it is you’re doing, who your character is, the spine of the character, [and] what he’s about—which is about what they’re going after. So you build that, and the rest of it, you just play hard, At least that was my take, you know? Until something changes, play hard.”

And Kang, for sure, plays hard. See what we mean Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which hits theaters on February 17.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Warsand Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TVand everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

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