Jason Momoa can do it all: act, marry an incredible woman, look sexy AF with no shirt, publicly fight for the environment, and, uhh, teach the New York Times about what an actor’s job is on the set of a show?!
Yes! That’s what happened this week, at least, after the paper of record featured the hunky Hawaiian in a new interview, and the topic quickly turned dark.
At issue was a disturbing scene more than a decade old, which Momoa had filmed as the since-killed-off character of Khal Drogo on HBO‘s Game of Thrones. Fans of the show will remember the barbarian’s infamous wedding night scene, where Momoa’s character raped Daenerys Targaryen, played by Emilia Clarke. (It’s doubly interesting that the rape scene even made it into the pilot, considering it was not part of the original work written by author George R.R. Martin!)
Anyways, as it turned out, the NYT really wanted to know if Momoa — in 2021 — felt bad about something a make-believe character had done to another make-believe character more than 10 years prior.
The 42-year-old Hawaiian wasn’t up for pondering whether he “felt differently today about those scenes,” or whether he has any regrets now about filming such a horrific scene way back when. In fact, he was just doing his job! While admitting that filming the scene was “a really, really, really hard thing to do,” Momoa nevertheless balked at having anything regrets:
“Well, it was important to depict Drogo and his style. You’re playing someone that’s like Genghis Khan. My job was to play something like that, and it’s not a nice thing, and it’s what that character was. It’s not my job to go, ‘Would I not do it?’ I’ve never really been questioned about ‘Do you regret playing a role?’ We’ll put it this way: I already did it. Not doing it again.”
He’s an actor, he’s paid to do a job, he’s talented at his job so he’s able to explore all kinds of emotions — happy, sad, terrifying, etc. — while knowing that what he’s doing obviously isn’t real, etc., etc. Oh, and did we mention, he’s just an actor! He didn’t direct or produce GoT, and as such, he’s got very little room to fight for scenes being cut out, lines changed, and so forth. Especially relatively early in his career, like in this HBO run.
Interestingly enough, all that must have weighed heavily on Momoa’s mind, because after the interview, he went back and confronted the reporter!
Admitting the question and setup itself “left a bad feeling” in his stomach, Jason explained exactly what it’s like to be on set like that, and why asking about regretful scenes ain’t it:
“When you brought up Game of Thrones, you brought up stuff about what’s happening with my character and would I do it again. I was bummed when you asked me that. It just feels icky, putting it upon me to remove something, as if an actor even had the choice to do that. We’re not really allowed to do anything. There are producers, there are writers, there are directors, and you don’t get to come in and be like, ‘I’m not going do that because this isn’t kosher right now and not right in the political climate.’ That never happens. So it’s a question that feels icky. I just wanted you to know that.”
Look, we are all for calling out terrible real-world behavior — even stuff from long ago that wasn’t dealt with properly at the time and has to be revisited now. That’s fine, and in many cases, that’s very badly needed! Make amends all day long!
But trying to goad an actor into feeling regret for an old (not real!) scene he was hired to film and had no control over?! Come on, New York Times. That’s super s**tty! What are your thoughts on this, Perezcious readers?? Do U agree with us on this one?! Or not?? Sound OFF down (below) with your comments…
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