Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania star Jonathan Majors has revealed that his villain Kang The Conqueror was heavily inspired by Heath Ledger‘s Joker.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, the actor explained how watching Ledger’s performance in The Dark Knight was a pivotal moment in his young life.
“Okay, first of all, he’s gorgeous,” said Majors. “He’s got that fucking jawline, and he didn’t give a fuck. He threw his body around. He was so full. And I went, ‘I’m coming for that. I’m inspired.’ It takes a lot, you feel me? To be inspired.”
But it wasn’t just Ledger’s physicality that inspired him. In December, Majors wrote an essay about The Dark Knight for Variety, drawing attention to its complex portrayal of good and evil.
“The Dark Knight etches so vividly the agnostic morality of survival and the discipline of goodness,” he wrote. “Each step of our lives is moving us towards being the hero or villain of our tale.”
The actor also discussed the difficulty of navigating between right and wrong, having been surrounded by crime during his childhood.
“The way I grew up, the people I grew up around, drug dealers, killers, murderers, everybody was just coming out of jail. Everybody had an ankle monitor on. So I knew the complexity of the guys I grew up with,” he explained. “Yeah, you did do that, but you also did this. And what I saw in Heath, and in everything he did, was: It’s this and that.”
Elsewhere in the EW interview, Majors spoke of the daunting task of becoming the MCU’s next big villain.
“I’m entering into something that is so massive, so mega,” he said. “I’m humbled, I’m excited. I’m full of energy for it. I have an undying passion for it, and I know I’m not doing it alone.”
He added: “There’s pressure and there’s all the support. From [president of Marvel Studios Kevin] Feige to [producer Stephen] Broussard to Tom Hiddleston, [who] texts me every now and then just saying, ‘What’s up?’ That’s been awesome.”
Early reactions to Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania have been largely positive, with most critics focusing their praise on Majors’ performance.