Jonathan Majors was inspired by Heath Ledger’s Joker: ‘First of all, he’s gorgeous’

A man with short black hair posing in a gray suit and tie
Jonathan Majors attends the 2023 premiere of “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” in Los Angeles.
(Richard Shotwell / Invision / Associated Press)

Fifteen years after his death, Heath Ledger‘s legacy continues to live on in a new generation of actors, including Jonathan Majors.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly published Tuesday, the “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” star credited Ledger’s Oscar-winning performance as Joker with igniting his passion for acting at a young age. Ledger famously portrayed the chaotic Batman villain in 2008’s “The Dark Knight” shortly before he died of a drug overdose at age 28.

“OK, first of all, he’s gorgeous,” Majors said of his experience watching Ledger onscreen.


“He’s got that f— jawline, and he didn’t give a f—. 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.”

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Majors added that he recognized and appreciated the nuance with which Ledger embodied one of pop culture’s most infamous antagonists of all time.

“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 said. “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.”

This isn’t the first time Majors, who recently wowed audiences at Sundance with his performance in the film “Magazine Dreams,” has geeked out over “The Dark Knight.” In December, the 33-year-old actor penned an essay for Variety about seeing the film for the first time at a midnight screening in Texas with his “high school sweetheart and her very, very cool father.”

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“Did you notice how the eyes of both Christian Bale’s Batman and Ledger’s Joker are painted similarly, blackened by what looks like the love child of oil and charcoal, as if these two men, as dissimilar as they may appear, have seen the same things and perhaps see them the same way?” he wrote for Variety.

“This moral theme and argument prevail throughout the picture. What is right and what is wrong? My 18-year-old self sat in the cinema long after the credits rolled, gobsmacked by a beauty and complexity of humanity hitherto unwitnessed in cinema and dare I say in my own existence.”


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When the popular Marvel series “Loki” premiered in June 2021, Majors followed in Ledger’s footsteps by debuting his very own supervillain, Kang the Conqueror. Majors is set to reprise the nefarious role in “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” which hits theaters Feb. 17.

“There’s pressure and there’s all the support,” he told EW of his introduction to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“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.”