Things you didn’t know about Jason Momoa | Sunday Observer

Things you didn’t know about Jason Momoa

Jason Momoa is one of Hollywood’s hottest action hunks. Standing 6 feet 4 inches and absolutely jacked, to put it mildly, this Hawaiian native has captivated audiences.

Beyond the battle scenes in the 2011 Conan the Barbarian reboot and Game of Thrones, there is so much more to learn about the Renaissance man who also paints, plays guitar and drums, and is a devoted dad.

For example, did you know that he’s married to one of the stars of The Cosby Show? How about the fact that he actually got his start in acting long before Game of Thrones with a starring role in everyone’s favourite lifeguard action drama? That’s right, from Baywatch to Aquaman, there are a lot of things you probably didn’t know about Momoa. Keep reading to learn more interesting and surprising facts about this motorcycle riding, beer guzzling, tomahawk tossing giant.

Momoa is not on the market. Sorry, ladies! The actor, perhaps best known as the fierce Dothraki warrior Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones, belongs to actress Lisa Bonet. The pair tied the knot in 2007 and shares two kids (Lola Iolani, born in 2007, and Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha, born in 2008).

The way this proud papa gushes about his family, he’s clearly smitten with his kids and their mama. Speaking in 2014 about meeting Bonet, Momoa said, “She didn’t know that I was a stalker, but I was.”

Momoa was referencing how he’d had eyes for Bonet since her days on The Cosby Show in the late ‘80s. “That was the first time when I was like, ‘I want that one, I want her. I’m going to get her,” he said. Momoa said he felt “fireworks” the first time he met her. “She was like, ‘Hi I’m Lisa’…Inside, I was like a little girl…and I tried to pull it together.” Years later, he said she still “definitely makes me shy.” Being her husband, he said, has “been an honour.”

Bonet has an older daughter, Zoë Kravitz from her previous marriage to rocker Lenny Kravitz, and Momoa seems just as warm with his step-daughter as he is with his biological kids. “My dad and my step-dad get along really well, and my dad loves and is close with my brother and sister,” said 26-year-old Zoë. “It’s really beautiful. As long as everyone can be in the same room together, and have love for each other, it’s totally healthy.”

Fresh-face

Before Jason Momoa was a weathered warrior on Frontier, he played fresh-faced lifeguard Jason Loane on Baywatch from 1999 to 2001. The gig caused a 19-year-old Momoa to fall hard for acting. “I love being out here,” he said. “…Right when I got on the set it was just: this is what my future’s going to be. I love it.”

But it wasn’t all fun in the sun. Momoa said the role haunted him for years. “I love that it gave me the opportunity to fall in love with acting, but it also really, really hurt me, being on it,” he said. “Just because it’s Baywatch, people don’t think you can act. I’m constantly fighting that stigma. When I got cast as Conan, people were like, ‘You’re hiring the Baywatch dude to play Conan?’” Momoa struggled to find representation after Baywatch, so he had to take matters into his own hands. “No one would take me seriously, so I went, screw them — I went to school, trained, I traveled the world and finally got in there.

Don’t judge a book by its muscles and cool scars. Momoa has brains and brawn. According to the University Herald, he studied marine biology and wildlife biology while in college in Iowa and Colorado — sensible majors for a TV lifeguard-turned mythical ruler of the sea. Above all, Momoa wants to be respected for his intelligence. “People are like, ‘Momoa’s got his shirt off again!’ It’s not funny,” he told the Post. “I grew up in the Midwest. I’m raised to actually think, to use my brain.”

He’s quite cultured and well-traveled, too. Momoa is an avid painter, who has trained in Paris. He’s closely studied Buddhism, which he learned on a trip to Tibet, and now music seems to be his focus. “I play the guitar and drums and I’m learning the piano with my daughter,” he said.

Though Momoa’s impressive physique has men and women fawning all over the internet, he admits that doing the nasty on screen is “hard.” The actor said filming sex scenes with actress Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) for Game of Thrones was particularly challenging. “It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, because I love Emilia, she’s someone that I love and adore to this day,” he told. “You have to kind of separate yourself from it,” he said adding that after the scenes were complete, he did his best to make up for it. “Lots of kisses and ‘I’m sorry’ afterwards,” said Momoa, who was on the series from 2011 to 2012.

Momoa is built like a linebacker, but according to ESPN, he’s drawn more toward extreme sports and his true passion is surfing.

As a youth, the actor reportedly had an opportunity to study in Colorado, but he turned down the books because the rugged environment was too alluring. “I knew I was going to climb mountains and expletive off and snowboard in Colorado,” he told ESPN. Instead of focusing on his studies, Momoa began waiting tables at a local restaurant and spent his free time on the slopes. “I was a snowboard bum and a climbing bum,” he said.

His vision of himself changed after watching the 1998 surfer film In God’s Hands, set in Hawaii. “I saw that and I was like, ‘I’m outta here,’” he said. From there he looked to his own family’s island roots for guidance on surfing 20-foot waves.

“Dropping in on that, you have to know what you’re doing. I’d never done that. Your legs are just shaking, it’s just so much adrenaline.”

Momoa may be willing to brave oceans and cinematic action sequences, but that doesn’t mean he’s open to trying any old sport. UFC happens to be something he’s not willing to put his body through. “Oh, no. Those guys, they’re amazing,” he told ESPN. “I act it. I’m not really tough. I’m definitely not to that level at all.”

Okay, so the guy is clearly big, and that’s not just the result of clever camera work. According to a 2016 Men’s Health UK profile, Momoa has a 50-inch chest and 19-inch biceps, but Momoa claims he never lifted weights until 2010, when he trained for his role in the 2011 reboot of Conan the Barbarian. “I get up at 5am and I train hard,” Momoa said, referencing his preference for running hills and “boxing, surfing, and climbing” as staples of his fitness recipe. “It’s very hard sometimes to just work out,” he said. “It’s monotonous and you can get stuck in a rut. … When I have to change my body type, then we just switch it up. Doing a lot more weights for size; a lot more cardio for definition.”

His diet is what you’d expect from a shredded action star. “I prefer to eat as much lean meat and green veg as possible and save the calories for Guinness,” he told, though he admits to the occasional cheat meal. “After finishing a one-month cleanse, I had a giant bowl of pasta and I swear to Christ it was like I was on heroin,” he joked.

Although plenty of fans are infatuated with the scar above Momoa’s left eye, there’s a dark story behind how it got there. No, it doesn’t involve a childhood incident or an injury while rock climbing in Colorado. As Momoa said, a guy in a Los Angeles bar maimed him in 2008 during what the actor believes was some sort of “gang initiation.” According to NBC, the 21-year-old man who delivered the crushing blow pleaded not guilty to assault with a deadly weapon.

Pride of Gypsies

He told the show, “A guy smashed a pint glass in my face. I got a little over 140 stitches in my face. It helped get those mean roles.” The scar tissue left a white line that cuts directly through his eyebrow. Hair “just doesn’t grow there anymore,” he said. “I got my wife before hand, so…if she doesn’t like it, too bad.”

When Momoa isn’t busy acting in front of the camera, you’ll find him working on his own production company, Pride of Gypsies. According to its website, the business was founded in 2010 and aims to provide support for artistes and filmmakers to tell their stories. “I have tons of amazing writers, friends, directors, actors … and we all go out and shoot movies. That’s what we want to do. We love to tell stories,” he said.

He’s got director skills, too, which he tested in 2014 when he helmed, wrote, and starred in the small indie flick, Road to Paloma. Speaking with the Des Moines Register of the “grassroots” production, Momoa said, “We lived in the dirt and edited it in my Airstream. My buddies lived on my property to do it and all the music was done through friends.” He even claimed he turned down a role in Guardians of the Galaxy to direct the film, which he sees as a stepping stone to bigger projects. Momoa also directed a piece for the Carhartt clothing line.

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