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Welcome to Jason Momoa Online, a fansite dedicated to the amazing actor know for his larger than life personality and his fun antics both on set and off. He's played everything from a Baywatch lifeguard to a a Satedan warrior to a Dothraki warlord to Aquaman, King of the Atlantis. A lot of his roles become iconic and further secure his place as a top, much-loved star. Please visit our gallery!
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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?
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SYFY – HBO’s Game of Thrones wasn’t your average fantasy epic. It was grim, dirty, violent, and sexual. In fact, it had such frequent and graphic nudity that it helped coin the phrase “sexposition” when referring to plot exposition being doled out by a nude character. But according to a new book, the experiences of the cast in these intimate scenes left plenty to be desired — especially in the hit show’s early, scrappy days.

James Hibberd’s new oral history Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon: Game of Thrones and the Official Untold Story of the Epic Series digs into this plenty, including interviews with everyone from Khal Drogo’s Jason Momoa to Cersei’s body double, Rebecca Van Cleave. Few were complementary to the series’ handling of its sex scenes, most of which took place long before HBO mandated hiring intimacy coordinators for all its shows in 2018.

Momoa took first-time showrunners D. B. Weiss and David Benioff’s unprofessional handling of the situations in stride, though he needed to sometimes refuse their requests. Momoa recalled a time while shooting a Season 1 sex scene when he placed the intimacy pouch (which covers an actor’s genitals in nude scenes) in Benioff’s hand: “That was because David had been like, ‘Momoa, just take it off!’ You know, giving me s***. ‘Sacrifice! Do it for your art!’ I’m just like, ‘F*** you, bro. My wife would be pissed. That’s for one lady only, man.'”

Momoa added: “So afterward I ripped the thing off and kept it in my hand and gave him a big hug and a handshake and was like, ‘Hey, now you have a little bit of me on you, buddy.'”

His scene partner, Daenerys Targaryen actress Emilia Clarke, has spoken at length about her uncomfortable experiences doing nudity on the show. “Because Jason had experience — he was an experienced actor who had done a bunch of stuff before coming on to this — he was like, ‘Sweetie, this is how it’s meant to be, this is how it’s not meant to be, and I’m going to make sure that that’s the f***ing gaze,’ Clarke said on the podcast Armchair Expert. “He was always like, ‘Can we get her a f***ing robe? She’s shivering!’ … He was so kind and considerate and cared about me as a human being.”

“I was so desperate to be the most professional actor I could be that I’d be like, ‘Yeah, sure,’ for anything they threw at me,” Clarke said in Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon. “I’ll just cry about it in the bathroom later, whatever, you won’t know.”

The actress, who appeared fully nude in sex scenes and when Daenerys is “reborn” in fire alongside her dragons, spoke about the pressures of being an actress fresh from drama school on that set. “Those were tough days,” she said of the first season, adding, “I’ve had fights on set before where I’m like, ‘No, the sheet stays up.’”

Misleading promises from production reportedly ranged from people sneaking onto a closed set to a supposedly closed set being thrown wide open. Hodor actor Kristian Nairn remembered during his Season 1 nude scene (“probably the most traumatic day of my life,” he previously said), when a prosthetic was worn because there was a child in the scene. Alas, things did not go as planned.

“I was s*** scared, but I did it because of the whole body-positive thing — Game of Thrones has a lot of people of different shapes and sizes, probably more than any other show ever,” Nairn said. “It was a very busy day on set, which was the opposite of what they told me. I’ve never seen a busier set!”

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SYFY – Jason Momoa’s intimidating Khal Drogo helped make Game of Thrones’ first season stick, and was a breakout character for the actor. But his role opposite Daenerys would’ve lacked a character-solidifying fight scene if Momoa hadn’t spoken up to showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss.

Revealed in James Hibberd’s new oral history, Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon: Game of Thrones and the Official Untold Story of the Epic Series, the killer, messy, gory, showdown between Drogo and fellow Dothraki rider Mago wasn’t just missing from George R.R. Martin’s original novel, it wasn’t even in the HBO script for “The Pointy End.”

If you’ll recall the Season 1 episode, after Mago disrespects the khaleesi, Drogo’s ready to throw down. And apparently it was all Momoa’s idea. “I told David and Dan one thing missing in the book for me was to see Drogo fight,” Momoa said. The whole buildup and the myth of him is amazing, and George is phenomenal. But I want to see him f**k s**t up. That’s why I did the haka in the audition, so you could just see what it would be like if he went into battle. I said, ‘I can make this simple. I can just bob and weave and then we see his quickness.'”

“Jason had a high batting average of ideas he’d come to us [with] that we liked and ended up using,” said Benioff. “And one thing he said fairly early on was, ‘I’m supposed to be the baddest man on the planet, I got this long braid because I’ve never lost a fight, and everybody is afraid of me. But nobody sees me fight, and isn’t that kind of lame?’ We told him, ‘No, it’s good, you’re so badass you don’t have to prove yourself. You’re the victor of a thousand battles, Jason, go back to your trailer.’ But there was something kind of strange with not getting to see this guy do what he does best.”

So came the quick-and-dirty fight, ending with Mago getting his tongue ripped out. This too came from Momoa: “Then I had a dream where somebody dumped on my wife and I ripped his tongue out through his throat.”

“Jason said, ‘I don’t think I should chop his head off; we’ve chopped off so many people’s heads. I think I should cut his throat open and pull his tongue out through his throat,'” said episode director Daniel Minahan. “I’m like, ‘Okay, let me get a tongue made.'”

The result was a quintessential Game of Thrones fight where the violence was inventive and gross, and the aftereffects (a scratch becomes infected and ultimately leads to the death of Drogo) were unanticipated. And it could’ve not happened at all.

Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon is out in bookstores now.


 

 

 

Gallery Links:

Television Series > Game of Thrones > Behind The Scenes

Television Series > Game of Thrones > Episode Stills > 1.08 The Pointy End

Television Series > Game of Thrones > Episode Stills > 1.09 Baelor

Television Series > Game of Thrones > Episode Stills > 1.10 Fire and Blood

Television Series > Game of Thrones > Episode Stills > 2.10 Valar Morghulis

Television Series > Game of Thrones > Episode Screencaptures > 1.07 You Win or Die

Television Series > Game of Thrones > Episode Screencaptures > 1.08 The Pointy End

Television Series > Game of Thrones > Episode Screencaptures > 1.09 Baelor

Television Series > Game of Thrones > Episode Screencaptures > 1.10 Fire and Blood

Television Series > Game of Thrones > Episode Screencaptures > 2.10 Valar Morghulis

 


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Welcome to Jason Momoa Online, a fansite dedicated to the amazing actor know for his larger than life personality and his fun antics both on set and off. He's played everything from a Baywatch lifeguard to a a Satedan warrior to a Dothraki warlord to Aquaman, King of the Atlantis. A lot of his roles become iconic and further secure his place as a top, much-loved star. Please visit our gallery!