To land the part of Dothraki warlord Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones, Momoa made a major impression by performing the Haka, a traditional South Pacific war dance. "I'm half Hawaiian, and the Haka is a very sacred thing, something your family teaches you," he said. "My father taught me."
Momoa isn't afraid to get a little physical if it means imbuing the role with the right character. To play the title role in Conan, the actor enlisted a friend to help, well, rough him up. "I wanted to make it look like he was more barbaric, so I had a buddy punch me in the nose," he told the Huffington Post. "He should always have a broken nose, I think — a constant flow of blood coming out of his body somewhere."
Not only does Momoa make up half of one of Hollywood's (and, you know, the planet's) hottest couples, but the hulking six-foot, four-inch star is a total softie when it comes to his wife, Lisa Bonet. "She's so amazing," he told HuffPost Live. "She's an angel. She's amazing. God bless her." He also said he wrote her part in Road to Paloma specifically with her in mind, because she is his dream girl. "I always wanted to work with her. It's funny [though] — she made me shy." Be still, our hearts!
Sure, many of Momoa's roles have been tall, dark and silently brooding types. The actor is far from one-dimensional, though... on-screen and off. To maintain his manly physique, Momoa likes to take it outside of the gym: He enjoys rock and ice climbing, snowboarding, hiking, skateboarding, roller hockey and mountain biking. In his down time, he devours books, devotes himself to Buddhist studies and composing Japanese haikus. He also plays guitar and — swoon — considers spending time with his kids to be one of his favorite pastimes.
"I think a man needs to be a man. To hold a woman the way she wants to be held. Just do whatever your woman wants, and you'll be fine." We die.
For Momoa, one of the coolest things about getting to play Aquaman is representing his culture. "There's not too many brown superheroes, so I'm really looking forward to representing the Polynesians, the natives," he said at Walker Stalker Con Panel recently in Atlanta. "My family are some of the greatest water men on earth. I'm not, but I'm going to train with them. But it's really an honor just being a Polynesian."
As Khal Drogo, Momoa had to forcefully bed costar Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys. "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 explained. "You have to kind of separate [yourself from] it." But, he added, he made sure to give Clarke "lots of kisses and 'I'm sorry' afterwards."
If you haven't tuned in to this Sundance TV drama starring Momoa, do yourself a favor and catch up on it now before the second season premieres next year. The actor is haunting as Phillip Kopus, a gritty member of the Ramapough Mountain Indians who recently wrapped up a six-year prison stint. "I love this show. It's so goddamn good. I have a great f***ing character and there's some really rad shit that gets to happen," Momoa said. "I'm really blessed right now."
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