Jonathan Majors Explains What It Was Like When Glen Powell Pitched Him Devotion While Naked In A Russian Turkish Bathhouse

Jonathan Majors and Glen Powell in Devotion
(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

Jonathan Majors has made a strong impression in Hollywood in only a few years, tackling a variety of roles on the big and small screen (and leaving the internet feeling thirsty). He’s checking on the biopic genre box with his latest film, Devotion, which tells the story of history-making Naval fighter pilot Jesse Brown. It took some persuasion from co-star and executive producer Glen Powell for him to join, but compared to usual Hollywood deals, Powell’s pitch meeting happened in the hottest place possible. Majors finally explained what it was like when the Top Gun: Maverick star pitched him the film while naked in a Russian Turkish bathhouse.

Majors and Powell’s unique negotiating place came up while Majors was promoting the military biopic on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Host Jimmy Kimmel was thrown off after hearing about where Majors agreed to star in the film. The Kang actor was unbothered by Kimmel’s question as he broke down how Powell’s pitch meeting ended up in a New York bathhouse.

Pretty standard procedure: you have a meeting, you know, say, 'Hey, you want to be in the movie?' I'm like, 'Yeah, we could. Love to try it.' After the director, the next thing is to meet with Glen Powell who's also our executive producer. I go, 'Yeah, man, let's go to the Russian Turkish bathhouse.'

Powell was taken aback by Majors’ suggested meeting place, with the MCU star recalling his co-star saying “What?” This confusion extended to Kimmel, as he couldn’t believe the unique meeting spot. Majors understood the host’s confusion as he ran down the usual Hollywood spots where most deals go down, including the Beverly Hills Hotel and The Bungalow. The stage and film actor realized meeting in a public sauna was quite unusual, as he called the bathhouse “the hottest place in New York.” Meeting in the high-temperature location might’ve been his idea, but that didn’t stop him from referring to it as “hell.”

Making a Hollywood deal in a hot location would spell disaster for some actors, but that wasn’t the case for the MCU star. Glen Powell was more than willing to speak with Jonathan Majors in a New York bathhouse. Things worked out for The Harder They Fall star, as he recalled his friendly meeting with the Maverick breakout actor while naked.

It was a bit of an audition of friendship and camaraderie. He showed up looking like a million bucks, like Hangman, with those piercing blue eyes and that brilliant smile. And I walked him into the ninth circle of hell. And we sat there completely naked.

It appeared Jonathan Majors wanted to know Glen Powell that they were equals in this project, though things didn’t start that way, as Powell showed up in his full Hangman wardrobe. Of course, Hangman didn’t stay around for long as the men disrobed before going into the sauna. Once in the steam room, the 34-year-old actor pitched the biopic to the Loki star.

Majors recalled the duo discussing Jesse Brown’s story, including his historic Naval career and his relationship with fellow pilot Tom Hudner. Upon hearing Powell’s pitch, they shook hands on the deal and stayed in the steam room for an additional period time. After striking the deal, the actors went to the New York restaurant London House, where they grabbed celebratory drinks.

Powell told his account of the bathhouse meeting when the Devotion cast was being interviewed by Variety. Much like Majors' story, the rising star recalled pitching to his co-star in an incredibly hot sauna. He remembered his brain felt like it was cooking while trying to convince Majors to join his passion project.

When I first sat down with Jonathan, he insisted I meet him in a Russian bathhouse in New York. And I pitched him the entire movie in the hottest sauna in this bathhouse as my brain was cooking and failing, I got him to sign.

Glen Powell was relieved when Jonathan Majors agreed to be in the movie despite not being on his A-game during his pitch. But who could blame him for fumbling a bit? Being in an extremely hot or cold setting would cause anyone to miss the mark a bit, but Powell did a decent job pitching the biopic as Majors is promoting it.

The Naval biopic follows the journey of Jesse Brown and Tom Hudner as they became the most decorated wingmen during the Korean War. Majors plays the history-making Brown while Powell takes on the role of Hudner. They lead a supporting cast that includes Joe Jonas, Serinda Swan and Christina Jackson.

Devotion will hit cinemas on November 23. Before seeing the aviation biopic, you can check out our 2022 movie schedule to see what new movies are coming out this fall and winter. Both actors have big projects lined up for the next few years. Jonathan Majors will star in two of 2023’s most buzzed-about upcoming filmsAnt-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and Creed 3 (and he's looking particularly massive in the latter). Glen Powell is no slouch either, as he is currently filming Hitman with the buddy comedy Foreign Relations with Nick Jonas, as also has an untitled Russo Brothers Amazon series with Regé-Jean Page in the works.

Adreon Patterson
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A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).