Jason Momoa, best known as the heavily eye-shadowed Khal Drogo on Game of Thrones, is breaking into film with the new Conan the Barbarian (or CO-nin the Barbarian, as he seems to be known these days). But should you feel compelled to compare him to Arnold Schwarzenegger, know this: Momoa is better with a sword, and his sex scenes are sexier (sorry, Arnold). With that established, find out what we learned when we spoke with the six-foot-four actor about seducing, sparring, and writing for George R.R. Martin.
It’s hard to resist pointing out the similarities between Drogo and Conan. And yet they are distinctly different.
I’m so glad you say that, because everyone else only sees the obvious overlaps: They’re both shirtless, they don’t speak a lot, they’re both extremely aggressive. They’re both considered barbarians, even though they’re more civilized than the supposed “civilized” people who are manipulative and conniving and killing thousands of people. But Conan is nothing like Drogo. It was a lot of fun to play Drogo. There’s a possibility you’ll see me do him again.
Even though he’s dead?
It’s a fantasy world, sweetheart. I wrote some scenes and they might try to use them. George [R.R. Martin] can only write so much. Something could happen. Drogo could have a twin. You never know! [Laughs.]
Okay. But so far in the books — I’ve just finished A Dance With Dragons — there’s no twin.
I’ve only read the first book. My wife [Lisa Bonet] let me spend four days straight reading it. And I loved him. He was the best guy. And I loved watching him fall in love. Of all the characters, he was the least backstabbing. He didn’t say a lot, but his shit got handled.
How do you think your Game of Thrones sex scenes compare with the 3-D sex in Conan?
Well, you never quite know how a barbarian will do it, huh? [Laughs.] With Conan, my whole idea is that it doesn’t have to be barbaric sex. We have enough crazy violence, so he doesn’t need to do a Drogo rape. So one is more raw [Game of Thrones], at least at first, and one is more loving [Conan], which I think makes Conan a strong man, because he has love and compassion. It’s a good choice. I mean, she’s a nun. What’s he going to do, start raping her and pounding her?
Weren’t there sex scenes in the books to base it on? Don’t you derive it from the original source material versus the Arnold Schwarzenegger movies?
Yeah, I didn’t even watch the Arnold films prior to this, because it’s not about them. It’s about the Robert E. Howard stories. I’d read about three of those books prior to doing the film, and I’m a big comic-book fan. We took the wardrobe from the Dark Horse comics, so there are no Speedos. I like to think of it as an origin story, that we’re rebooting Conan the way they rebooted Batman or Bond. You get to see how Conan was born on the battlefield, how he tasted his mother’s blood instead of his mother’s milk, how his father was murdered before his eyes, and you understand why he’d want to avenge his father’s death. He’s not just out to slay people randomly.
I’ve heard that you’ve already written a sequel to Conan?
I have. I’ve taken a stab at it. It’s something special, because I’m a true fan. I know the source material, I know the world. It’s a homage to the sorcery and magical elements, which we have a little of, with Rose McGowan’s sorceress, but the sequel would have more, and it would get some mythological creatures. I don’t want to say too much, because I don’t want to ruin anything, but if it doesn’t work out as the official script, I’ll put it on the Internet.