Jason Momoa Admits He’s Been In Movies That Really ‘Sucked,’ But Doesn’t Seem To Have Regrets About Game Of Thrones

Jason Momoa as Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones
(Image credit: HBO)

Jason Momoa’s towering height and muscular build have led him towards movies as big as him. He made his acting debut at the age of 19 in Baywatch Hawaii for two seasons, and in the film realm, he later scored the title role in Conan the Barbarian. While examining his acting career, the Hawaiian native has admitted that he’s been in movies that have really “sucked,” but his iconic role in Game of Thrones was not one of them.

It can be a real disappointment to optimistically sign onto a project, only to be unhappy with the final result later. In an interview with GQ Magazine, Jason Momoa spoke about the projects he admitted “sucked” and the project he still feels proud of today. In the former category, here's what Momoa had to say, with Conan the Barbarian being specifically mentioned:

I’ve been a part of a lot of things that really sucked, and movies where it’s out of your hands. Conan [the Barbarian] was one of them. It’s one of the best experiences I had and it [was] taken over and turned into a big pile of shit.

It’s hard to know what Momoa meant when he said Conan the Barbarian was “taken over.” It did go through various messes during its development, including Rush Hour director Brett Ratner initially attached to the project, only for German filmmaker Marcus Nispel to take over in June 2009. Momoa wasn’t even cast until January 2010. The Conan the Barbarian remake ended up massively flopping at the box office with the failure to surpass its $90 million budget. Critics were also not happy with the film, as it currently has a 25% Rotten Tomatoes rating. The Stargate Atlantis actor even wrote a script for a potential Conan sequel of what he would have wanted in the next movie. However, the film’s critical and box office letdown led to the sequel plans falling through. 

Fortunately, Jason Momoa is still showing love for a different kind of barbarian he played: the fan-favorite brute Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones. If it was up to the Hawaiian actor, he would have stayed on even through the series’ mixed reviewed finale. As he said:

It would have been great to stay on it across the seasons, but it’s just the way Drogo had to go.

It appears that the Aquaman actor accepts his character’s fate of nearly dying from a battle wound and being brought back to consciousness, only to return in a catatonic state and finally be mercifully killed by Daenerys Targaryen by the time the first season was over. That tends to be the tragedy of staying faithful to an adapted book series when your character’s fate is already sealed. 

After Momoa’s time on Game of Thrones was over, he had a hard time booking jobs. Since most of his lines in the hit HBO series were Dothrakian, Hollywood producers thought he didn’t speak English. Since he was known for playing a brutish warrior, people didn’t know what kind of films to place him in. Luckily, Game of Thrones helped this Polynesian actor snag the title role of Aquaman, as director Zack Snyder was a big fan of the HBO series. This gave Momoa the opportunity to play a hero instead of a villain as he originally thought he would be cast as.

Though Jason Momoa has the skills to play these macho characters, he expressed to GQ about wanting to transition to something new. For example, he’s said he’s having the time of his life joining the “family” in the tenth Fast and Furious film, where he’s “a peacock at the highest level” with purple-painted toenails. He plans to star in the upcoming AppleTV+ series Chief of War about the unification and the colonization of Hawaii with a “Braveheart style.” Another upcoming movie of Jason Momoa’s will be Slumberland, based on the comic book strip Little Nemo in Slumberland

While the 43-year-old actor continues to search for a more diverse choice of roles, his strong performance in Game of Thrones will always stay true in many fans' hearts.

Carly Levy
Entertainment Writer

Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.