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Jonathan Majors on Finding Friendship and a Home in ‘The Last Black Man in San Francisco’

Star of one of the most acclaimed indie films of 2019 talks about building a relationship with co-star and writer Jimmie Fails

“The Last Black Man In San Francisco” tells the story of how a man comes to terms with living in a city he calls home and even though it no longer seems to have a place for him. It’s a feeling anyone could relate to, including one of the film’s stars, Jonathan Majors.

“What do you do when you’re a beast of no nation? That feeling of being lost can manifest itself in a breakup, in a mid-life crisis, or in losing a home,” Majors told TheWrap. “For me, that moment is when I became a father, and I realized that nothing was going to be the same going forward. But then you learn that everything moves forward, and that home has to come from within.”

Majors plays Montgomery, a friend of fellow Bay Area resident Jimmie Fails, who is played by himself in the film. Jimmie longs to return to the Victorian house in the Fillmore District that he called home as a child, but is now a lucrative neighborhood taken over by tech transplants. When the house’s owner suddenly leaves, Jimmie and Montgomery move in and turn it into their own private paradise, but find that it won’t last for long.

Majors, a graduate of Yale Drama School, got the chance to blend his classical training into Montgomery, whose one-man play gives the film its title. But in the process of creating Montgomery with Fails, he also built a real-life friendship that provided the basis for the one we see onscreen.

“Jimmie and I hadn’t met before. He hadn’t made a feature film before, and I hadn’t been in his world before. So he and I began to walk, talk, cry, play, fight, argue, sweat together,” Majors said. “He’d ask me questions about the craft of acting and I’d ask him about what it is about the house and this neighborhood that means to him. And the third protagonist of the film is San Francisco, so I just spent time wandering around streets, getting to know her.”

“The Last Black Man in San Francisco” is now available to rent on Redbox and all digital movie rental platforms. Majors will also appear in Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods,” which will be released on Netflix next spring. Watch more of his remarks in the clip above.