This interviewer really ticked him off. I’ve never seen Jason get mad in a review.
NEW YORK TIMES: A decade ago, the action star Jason Momoa seemed to emerge fully formed into the public consciousness as the magnetically imposing chieftain Khal Drogo on “Game of Thrones.” The truth, of course, is that his breakthrough came only after a long, hard slog through the Hollywood hinterlands. Lately, Momoa, who is 42, has been taking on the perhaps even harder challenge of expanding that initial impression. To that end, Momoa, who played the lead in “Aquaman,” tested his acting chops alongside the likes of Oscar Isaac, Javier Bardem and Timothée Chalamet in the director Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of the classic sci-fi novel “Dune,” which is due out in October. Before then, in late August, Momoa will star in the Netflix thriller “Sweet Girl,” which nods to big-pharma corruption amid its hard-boiled milieu, as well as the second season of his Apple series, “See,” a family drama dressed in bloodstained, post-apocalyptic clothing. “I’m finally getting to play characters with depth and color,” Momoa says, speaking over Zoom from London, where he was shooting an “Aquaman” sequel. “It’s been a long road, bro.”
I’m curious to hear your perspective on superhero movies. People love them, obviously, but you also get things like Martin Scorsese saying they’re closer to amusement-park rides than cinema. These are films made with a focus on sales, but how much room do you feel you have to also make them artistically credible?
It’s like how people say that music is poppy and this music cool. But you know how hard it is just to get your music out there for people to hear? It’s all subjective. I try not to pick on anything. So, yeah, superhero movies are bubble gum, but they’re like Greek mythology: They have good and evil and heartbreaking moments. And, gosh, you’re taking away other art forms if you stop making them. You’re taking away visual effects, you’re taking away what you can do with makeup. I’m not someone who gets hired to play in a lot of cinema, but by being able to do a superhero movie, I can make a movie about something I really care about. I have a vision for the whole totality of “Aquaman.” There are environmental issues that I get to put into it. So while you’re going, “Oh yeah, it’s just this popcorn movie,” I’m like, “Well, I get to open people’s eyes to things that are important to me.”
In my reading of your career, it seems as if it wasn’t until you played Khal Drogo and had a clear persona that the starring roles started coming. Does that jibe with your experience?