Jonathan Majors Feels Honored That' Lovecraft Country' 'Served as a Balm' for Protestors

Lovecraft Country premiered on HBO last summer amid nationwide protests against racial inequality and police brutality

Jonathan Majors is reflecting on the timing of Lovecraft Country last summer.

The HBO series, based on Matt Ruff's 2016 horror novel of the same name, premiered in August 2020, as people across the country were protesting racial injustice and police brutality in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.

It followed Atticus Freeman, played by Majors, as he traveled through the segregated 1950s United States in search of his father, confronting a series of dark secrets — as well as the racism of Jim Crow-era America — along the way. Lovecraft Country earned five nominations at the upcoming Emmy Awards, including an outstanding lead actor nod for Majors.

"It's an American folk story about a young boy, a young man dealing with his family, coming into his own, and learning who he is," the 31-year-old tells PEOPLE in this week's issue. "And in doing so, understanding his legacy and his place, not just in his world, but in his family and in his society at large. And in this case, it was a heroic effort to do that: battling witches, and warlocks, and Shoggoths."

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Lovercraft Country. Joshua Ade/HBO

Majors notes that because Lovecraft Country came out during a time of racial reckoning in the U.S., it was able to provide some "respite" for those who were fighting against inequality.

"It was a reminder to, I think, every other country and every other nation, that there are some really deep issues inside us as a species," he says. "It's not just this pandemic we're dealing with on the outside, we're dealing with an internal pandemic on the inside as well, that of racial inequality. And with the murder of our brother George Floyd, all of that came to a head."

"I'm sitting quarantined in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and I'm literally watching all this take place. One can shift from HBO every Sunday, to CNN, to MSNBC, Fox, whatever is your info of choice, and watch this all play out," he continues. "And the beautiful thing about it was, I felt and still feel that Lovecraft Country served as a balm to those who were protesting. It served as a respite, and unfortunately it gave you a good talking-to, in a good way."

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Zoe McConnell

The Loki star adds that it was an "honor" to be part of a show that could play that role for viewers.

"Because of the platform, because of the humanity of the characters, it added to the protest, and added to the conversation," Majors says. "So, it was a honor that I didn't think I was going to have ... I expected to reach people in their homes, but to reach capitals, and cities, and politicians in a different way, was a gift."

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As he looks ahead to next month's Emmys, Majors says that though he's not sure he'll be able to attend in person, he's still looking forward to reconnecting with his Lovecraft Country costars. In addition to Majors, the show featured Jurnee Smollett, Aunjanue Ellis, Courtney B. Vance, Abbey Lee, Jamie Chung and Michael K. Williams.

"What am I looking forward to on Emmy night? I think the fellowship amongst a lot of the Lovecraft Country family," he says. "Again, we came out in such a strange, important time, where we were all separate and we had made this thing together."

"It's going to be good for all of us, and all of them, to be together again," he adds.

The 73rd Emmy Awards will air live on Sep. 19 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS, and will be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.

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