One of the biggest action film stars in both this universe and the DC Universe is actor and star of Aquaman, Jason Momoa. Prior to Momoa’s breakthrough role, the 41-year old star had played in television shows such as Baywatch: Hawaii, Stargate Atlantis, and as a guest star in four episodes of The Game.
It wouldn’t be until 2011 when the Hawaiian-born actor would happen to land on one of the biggest shows on television, Game Of Thrones. Momoa was cast in the role of Khal Drogho, a leader of the Dothraki tribe, for the show’s first season. “When I read that Khal Drogo role, I was blown away,” Momoa said to EW. “I couldn’t believe it was happening, I had to have that role. I was like, ‘Nobody is going to take that role from me.’”
Securing the role, the actor went ahead and read the George R. R. Martin novel that the show is based on, and found out the character’s fate. “I was reading it and I was like: ‘Holy s–t! F–k, I’m dead!’” Momoa exclaimed. He continued to reflect on his role as the toughest character of the show’s first season. “It’s amazing what [George R.R. Martin] sets up,” he says of the novels. “Here’s your lead characters, you’re supposed to think about them one way, and you hate them, then you love them, and then they’re killed and it’s a whirlwind of emotion. All the little kids and even the smallest of characters just grow and grow and grow. He built a beautiful world. I’m bummed I’m not going back. To play Khal Drogo was phenomenal and I wished there was more stuff he could have done, I’m going to miss that character.”
Since leaving the show, Momoa would consistently post memories of his experience to his social media account. One of the posts included a revelation that shocked many, as Momoa shared that he was suffering from financial struggles while filming. “So homesick,” he began under a picture showing him in the back of a van. “Looking through my phone I found this. Off the road some quiet parking lot in Donegal. It was an amazing simple moment with my best friend @captainriff While filming GOT we had a lil break We were to(o) broke to fly home so we rented a panel van aka UHAUL in Belfast and drove around beautiful amazing IRELAND searching for the greatest pint of Guinness.”
He added, “So many wonderful people and stories I treasure those times It was the simplest moments I remember the most.” Most recently, the film star had an interview with InStyle, where he revealed more about his financial struggles since his final episode was filmed. Although Game of Thrones is one of the most watched shows on television, the show didn’t become the phenomenon it was until later on, and his quick stint on the show didn’t allow him to receive the fame and fortune that his co-stars experienced.
Because of this, the actor spent several years struggling to make ends meet and provide for his wife, Lisa Bonet, their two children. There were also the bills that had to be paid in their Topanga Canyon home. “I mean, we were starving after Game of Thrones,” he says. “I couldn’t get work. It’s very challenging when you have babies and you’re completely in debt.”
Things began to change when Momoa was cast as Aquaman in the Justice League film series, as well as the character’s standalone film in 2018 which grossed $1.1 billion worldwide. The Hawaiian native’s schedule is also stocked with work until 2024 at least, including an upcoming film Dune, scheduled to be released next year.