Today an unstoppable force of manliness will once again be released on the movie going populous. Surprisingly I’m not talking about Christopher Mintz-Plasse in Fright Night, but rather Lionsgate’s remake of Conan the Barbarian.
This cinematic barbarian has already enjoyed two previous films and was formerly played by now California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. For the reboot, up-and-coming actor Jason Momoa is stepping into the armor and getting his chance to swing the iconic blade. But who is this guy? Where did he come from? Here’s a list of things you may not have known about Jason and how they will inform his performance as the mighty Conan.
He is Khal Drogo on Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones was a smash hit for HBO, and its fans are a legion. But the casual observer may have trouble recognizing Momoa outside of the long beard and copious amounts of eyeliner he wore to portray Khal Drogo.
Whether you count yourself a fan of this series or not, the fact that Momoa made such a splash on the show proves that he knows how to navigate his way through epic fantasy and therefore has more than paid his dues on the way to playing Conan.
He was a Hawaiian Model
Jason Momoa was born in Honolulu, but spent most of his childhood in Iowa. After high school, he moved back to Hawaii and landed a role on the popular television series Baywatch (alias Baywatch Hawaii by that point).
In 1999, Jason Momoa was voted Hawaii’s Model of the Year. Sound trivial? Well as it turns out, Momoa’s island heritage was vital to his landing the role of Conan. Apparently, to prove his worthiness for the role of Khal Drogo on Game of Thrones, Momoa preformed a Haka (a traditional war dance). This greatly impressed the Game of Thrones casting director who served in that same capacity for…anyone? That’s right, Conan the Barbarian.
He’s a Bit of a Metalhead
As part of his preparation for Conan, Momoa sought to instill in himself as much testosterone as humanly possible. This regimen included listening to an unhealthy amount of heavy metal in order to adopt the appropriate, violent mindset.
Momoa also studied the movements of panthers and lions in an effort to create the right gait for Conan to make him appear as fierce as a prowling animal. It definitely shows, as Conan stalks his enemies in the film. In addition to the heavy metal and the animalistic research, Momoa is a die-hard fan of the Conan the Barbarian comics written by Robert E. Howard, and can, at the drop of a hat, list his favorite story arcs. Getting the brute nature of Conan is one thing; intimately understanding the character’s origins is even more impressive.
The Origin of His Scar
If you watched Game of Thrones, particularly if you watched on an HD channel, you may have noticed a distinctive scar above Khal Drogo’s right eye. This was not merely a character choice as Jason Momoa himself does indeed have such a scar.
In 2008, he was attacked with a broken bottle while living in California, which left him with that memorable beauty mark. Apparently, there was also an incident in which Momoa suggested to a friend that his Conan would look more authentic with a broken nose. Barely after the sentence had left his lips, Momoa’s friend punched him in the face; breaking his nose. Apparently, much like Conan himself, Momoa runs with a very rowdy crowd—something that will serve him well as he tackles the brutal world of this character.
He’s Married to Lisa Bonet
Jason Momoa is currently married to actress Lisa Bonet (formerly of The Cosby Show). Here again we have a fact that sounds like little more than Hollywood gossip, but apparently has much to do with Momoa’s portrayal of Conan.
At a recent screening of the film, Momoa was asked if he was afraid of being typecast as badasses after Game of Thrones and now Conan. Momoa candidly stated, “you don’t land a fox like Lisa just by being a badass, you also have to be a charming [melon farmer].” True to his word, Conan does manage moments of heretofore unseen debonair for the character.
Head over to our Conan the Barbarian page for even more bloody action!