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Success in Hollywood is hard. Success in avoiding typecasting is even harder. If you aren’t the default tall, dark and handsome male, you get cast as whatever your body type may be: all it takes is one time playing "the fat guy" or "the squirmy thin nerd" and you are that person for the entirety of your career. And if you’ve got muscles to the sky, well, we’re got news for you: the age of Schwarzenegger is over, and you’re stuck playing "the muscle."
There’s one guy who isn’t gonna play that game, though, and it’s Jason Momoa. The Game Of Thrones actor has a brutish physicality that somehow blinds people to his other talents and smarts. And he’s fed up with that, enough to have turned down the part of Drax in Guardians Of The Galaxy. Speaking to Zap2It, Momoa elaborated on why he rejected that role. Essentially, it’s just another muscle part for a guy who believes he’s a little more than that.
Dave (Bautista) is perfect for that role, for Drax. It didn’t really fit in my time because I’ve done so many things where I don’t say much and I’m colored up and I have my shirt off again. I made a conscious choice to turn down some movies that were action-based to direct Road to Paloma so people could see that side…. It’s not that it’s not a good role, it just wasn’t the right thing. I was on Stargate: Atlantis for four years playing a similar character called Ronon, who was an alien who didn’t say much and grunted. I’ve been there and done that, whether people have seen it or not. You want to stretch.
Momoa towers over his co-stars, not just physically but otherwise: he was a standout on the decorated cast of Game Of Thrones and absolutely out-charisma’d Sylvester Stallone in Bullet To The Head. He’s impossibly handsome and has strong, captivating features: you can see how putting a shirt on him and placing him in a mundane environment, like the Sundance Channel’s Red Road apparently does, would make him a compelling screen presence even when he’s not being physical. No offense to Mr. Bautista, who himself is an amusing screen presence, but Drax probably isn’t a character with a whole lot of meat on the bones as far as an ensemble film, particularly considering his single-minded quest for revenge. Though, if Momoa actually takes a bruiser role in that Batman/Superman film, chances are somebody just pays better than somebody else, though this interview likely suggests he has already turned that offer down as well, if it was ever real in the first place.
As for Road To Paloma, that low budget project is described as a road-revenge story, where Momoa wrote, directed and starred alongside Wes Studi and Bullet To The Head co-star Sarah Shahi. The trailer’s below, and it certainly seems polished for a 34 year old first-timer only known by simpleminded executives for his muscles. Look for that one in mid-2015.