Jonathan Majors Ate Over 6000 Calories A Day For His Bodybuilder Role In Magazine Dreams

"Magazine Dreams" is the title on everyone's lips so far at this year's Sundance film festival, thanks in large part to an apparently stellar performance by star Jonathan Majors. In /Film's own review of the film, Chris Evangelista calls Majors "so good here it's scary, and scary is the point." 

The actor's powerhouse turn as a bodybuilder named Killian Maddox isn't the only scary thing, though: the techniques he used to transform his body for the role also sound pretty intense. Majors tells Variety that he prepared for this role and his turn as Damian in "Creed III" by physically training three times a day and eating six times a day. In total, the actor says he ate 6100 calories a day for four months, with a diet that included chicken and, oddly, "lots of elk." (Apparently he just really likes elk.) 

Protein-packed big game meats aside, it sounds like Majors even went above the expectations for real-life body-builders. ""The normal bodybuilder works out two times a day," Majors tells Variety. "I'm playing Killian Maddox ... playing him you don't f*** around. What ended up happening is I would train two hours, two times a day for the movie and a third time after wrap."

'It's the hardest thing I've ever done in my life'

"Magazine Dreams" follows a bodybuilder whose quest for stardom turns toxic as his workout obsession threatens to damage his body. It's ironic that a film about this topic would require its star to employ such drastic measures for the sake of his own transformation, and in an interview with Deadline, Majors said that the diet and exercise regimen wasn't exactly easy for him: "The bodybuilding, changing the body, it's the hardest thing I've ever done in my life."

He recalled the isolation of days filled with workouts and meals, saying, "You are pacing up and down your apartment, force-feeding yourself the food you need to grow. That isolation and physical commitment does breed a certain amount of emotionality, and distance." Yet he also described what sounds like an emotional breakthrough that came when bench pressing, saying, "That weight is no longer 310 or whatever. It's not that anymore. It's abandonment, my own stuff, my dad issues, my insecurities."

Hollywood's crash diets have resulted in some notoriously intense results, with actors like Tom Hardy and Tom Holland speaking openly about the adverse effects of taking on drastic eating and exercise regimens for roles. But it sounds like Majors may have found a happy medium for himself after the shoot ended. The actor tells Variety he's cut back, but still stays active playing football, hiking, and getting outside with his dogs. "I don't work out three times a day anymore. Just once a day," he says.

"Magazine Dreams" is currently screening at the Sundance Film Festival.