Category: Article

Press: Jason Momoa Isn’t a Regular Bro. He’s a Spiritual Bro.

The most modern movie star on the planet shares his feelings on ‘Dune,’ his famous family, and social justice.


 

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[Photoshoots & Portraits] > 2020 Shoots > Set 004

 

MEN’S HEALTH – ONE MORNING IN LATE JULY, in the Year of Whatever Can Go Wrong Will Go Wrong And/Or Might Actually Kill You otherwise known as 2020, Los Angeles drivers westbound on the 118 were treated to a surreal sight even by California standards. There, in the slow lane of the freeway, a giant man was sputtering along in a 1929 Ford Model A hot rod with no roof and no windshield. His long, sandy-blond hair whipped across his face in the wind, and the red blanket he had placed over the busted car seat to cushion it was now flying like a cape behind his neck. Those who pulled up close to get a better look at a potential real-life Superman weren’t too far off the mark. It was Jason Momoa—Aquaman himself—behind the wheel, drumming on his knees to the Tom Waits song playing in his head while his car slowly broke down beneath him. Then, just as he neared his exit in the San Fernando Valley, radiator fluid began spraying all over his face. He was due at a photo shoot for this magazine in ten minutes.

“My wife makes fun of me all the time because everything I have breaks down,” he tells me when he arrives at the shoot only a few minutes behind schedule, freshly delivered to the set with a huge smile after hitching a ride with a buddy. He needs all of two minutes to peel off his stained shirt for a clean one and splash some water on his beard before he’s ready for the first shot, and one quickly surmises that Momoa is the type of guy to whom this kind of shit happens all the time. “I like old, beautiful things,” he says, shrugging off the roadside havoc. “It feels like you’re in a time capsule when you’re riding an old bike.”

But for all the old-man affection for classic racers and vintage Harleys, and for all the brick-house physicality that would’ve made him an outstanding ’80s action hero, Momoa has spent the past few years slowly revealing himself to be the most singular and surprising—the most modern, really—male movie star we’ve got. “I don’t do incognito,” he explains. “Here’s this flamboyant Cadillac I’ve had since I was 22, because I love Elvis. Here’s my top-hat collection, because I love top hats. Here’s my ridiculous pink fur coat. I have a lot of weird things.” Perhaps it’s because he used to go antiquing “all the time” with his mom that he appreciates well-made items and durable designs. “I can look at a rusty spoon,” he tells me, “and it defines who I am.”
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Press: Jason Momoa Will Save Us All

With his artistic spirit, brawny physicality, and a pink scrunchie or two, the actor is the leading man we need.

INSTYLE – On the morning of my interview with Jason Momoa in Los Angeles, I’m jolted awake in the predawn hours by one of the strongest earthquakes to hit the city in years. Later in the day a nasty brush fire breaks out near the house in Laurel Canyon where Momoa and I are set to meet, so on my way there I’m rerouted because a trio of fire trucks is blocking the main road.

If the apocalypse is slated for this very day, as it very well may be, then it’s hard to think of anyone handier to have around than Jason Momoa. Onscreen, the hulking 6-foot-4 actor has been all kinds of hard-core warriors and superheroes, and in the upcoming sci-fi epic Dune, he helps secure a hostile planet for his master, Timothée Chalamet. Surely I can count on him to protect me from any natural disasters that might occur in the Hollywood Hills.

 

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[Photoshoots & Portraits] > 2020 Shoots > Set 003


Yet it’s not entirely surprising when Momoa greets me in a pair of flowy pink-and-red-striped pants that he had custom-made from a set of French linens. Or when he tells me he recently started seeing a therapist and is exploring issues of male vulnerability. Momoa, you see, is many dudes in one. Part soulful surfer, part brawny he-man, part committed activist, and part class clown, he spent the quarantine painting and writing and teaching his 13-year-old daughter how to throw a tomahawk. Certainly he’s the only guy I’ve met who can build his own motorcycle and ride it to a film première dressed in head-to-toe pink. When I ask him why he’s so fond of pink scrunchies (today he’s wearing two — one in his hair and one on his wrist), he smiles and shrugs.

“Pink is just a beautiful color,” he says. “And I’m pretty secure in my masculinity. I don’t really give a shit what anyone thinks.”

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Press: Game of Thrones Cast Speaks Out on Early Sex Scenes ‘It Was Supposed To Be a Closed Set’

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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Press: One of the Most Memorable Fights in Game of Thrones Was Dreamed Up By Jason Momoa

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.

Press: The Best Part of SNL’s “Enough Is Enough” Skit Was Jason Momoa’s Hilarious Cameo

POP SUGAR – Saturday Night Live included a very special guest star this week: Jason Momoa. During the Oct. 10 episode, the Aquaman actor made a quick cameo in the “Enough Is Enough” skit. In the video, Beck Bennett plays an actor who posts an Instagram video criticizing President Donald Trump, which quickly goes viral for the wrong reasons. We then see Bennett have multiple conversations with his friends who promptly tell him to take down the video. Of course, the funniest moment is at the end of the skit, when he receives a FaceTime from Momoa himself, who also tells him to take down the video and untag him from the post. Watch the full skit above for Momoa’s brief but funny cameo.

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