“Mama’s Boy” Jason Momoa Talks ‘Conan’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated March 10th, 2010 at 8:38 am,

jason mamoa cast conan the barbarian remake Mamas Boy Jason Momoa Talks Conan

You heard it here first folks, Conan the Barbarian used to get stuffed into lockers. Okay, okay, I’m joking, but Jason Momoa, the actor who will be playing the legendary warrior in Marcus Nispel’s 2011 film, did get his fair share of bullying when he was younger.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Des Moines Register, Momoa talks about his experiences growing up as a “little hippy kid from Iowa,”  his introduction to Hollywood as a cast member of Baywatch, and his thoughts on taking up the legendary mantle of Arnold Schwarzenegger to play the mighty Conan.

While the article is chock full of interesting details about Momoa’s life (enough to make even the most ardent Momoa-haters sort of like the guy), we here at Screen Rant are most interested in details on Conan‘s progress. To this end, the article featured a number of interesting new nuggets to pore over.

When Momoa was first cast in the role, one of the big criticisms from fanboys was that he didn’t have the right build to play the “almost inhumanly strong” Conan. Of course, Hollywood generally has no problem in beefing up actors quickly, which is exactly what is happening with Momoa.

Quoting from the article:

He [Momoa] expects to add 10 more pounds of muscle to his frame with help of David Leitch, a stunt performer seen in “The Bourne Ultimatum” and Chad Stahelski, the martial arts stunt coordinator for “The Matrix Reloaded” and “The Matrix Revolutions.”

Additionally, Momoa is enrolled in an “intense six-week training program at a stunt and martial arts academy” where he is learning the fine art of smashing skulls with a 10 lb sword. Beyond the character’s physicality, Momoa also talked about how he sought to get into the mind of Conan by re-reading the source material, namely the original books by author Robert E. Howard.

While these new details may not be enough to convince Conan fans that Momoa is the right man for the role, I happen to think that he’ll do a pretty good job. At the very least, with Mickey Rourke in the running to play Conan’s father, and Avatar bad guy Stephen Lang cast as Conan’s main adversary Khalar Singh, we know that Momoa will have a good supporting cast to work with on what is shaping up to be one of 2011′s more exciting films.

What do you think? As Conan comes together, are you comfortable with Momoa in the lead role?

Currently, there is no release date for Conan, though the film is expected to hit theaters next summer.

Source: Des Moines Register

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  1. he could pull it off, martial arts really tones the body up, and the 6 week program will drive him.
    think of it this way:
    rain the pop start korean went from skinny little boy to built mother f***er in a few months of intense training, so its safe to say this guy can pull it off.

  2. No.

  3. yes

  4. As a long-time Conan fanboy, I call fail. As a boy, I read the Conan the Barbarian comics drawn by the immortal Steve Buscemi. I read the original books by Robert E. Howard. I know Conan. This pretty boy is not Conan. Conan is a savage, a thief, a muscular monster- lest we forget, a barbarian. He's not an athletic underwear model. He is a mountain of savage, simian, bulging muscle.

    Martial arts? Puhleez. Conan doesn't do spin kicks or fancy swordplay. He carries a sword so heavy most men can't lift it. He raises it up and brings it down on your head, cleaving you in two. He smashes, he doesn't pirouette. Jason Momoa is too skinny, too pretty, too almost efeminate to play Conan. They should have got a Mr Universe with the right rugged features.

    Fail, sirs, fail.

  5. They're maybe going for a younger audience by making the character more mainstreamed. That aside, I don't know if Momoa has the acting capability to make the movie big. I liked his character (most times) in Atlantis, but more and more the horrible acting just shines through. Now that being said, I don't know if “Ah-nuld” had any more during that time.

  6. I think he's going to be terrific! He has just the right combination of raw sexuality and power that will make Conan come alive for both the female and male audiences.
    He is a very cool guy who will go to whatever lenghts it takes to do right by the role, so I wouldn't worry. If you only think he is a model and won't watch because of that you will be missing out on something great.

  7. Jason will do a great job, if people had seen him fighting in the scenes in Atlantis with a sword and also other weapons then then wouldnt cast nasturtiums at him. He's a great actor, and i cant wait to see the finished article!!

  8. Dunno. The author apparently described Conan as looking like this (from Wikipedia, as one might guess):

    “Although Conan is muscular, Howard frequently compares his agility and way of moving to that of a panther (see for instance “Jewels of Gwahlur,” “Beyond the Black River” or “Rogues in the House”) . . . During his reign as king of Aquilonia, Conan was “… a tall man, mightily shouldered and deep of chest, with a massive corded neck and heavily muscled limbs . . . His dark, scarred, almost sinister face was that of a fighting-man, and his velvet garments could not conceal the hard, dangerous lines of his limbs.”

    Apart from the scars that are described towards the end (doable with make-up), Momoa could pass for that. I'm not sure how weighty acting chops are as an argument since he's following up Arnold, and, let's be honest, if he can do better than grunting and looking big then that'll be an improvement.

  9. too efeminate? Oh gosh you really don't know what you're talking about and for sure you've never met him
    Too pretty? Not in the way you meant it… not at all…
    Too skinny? I can give you credit for this but he's for sure not so skinny as he was few months ago…

  10. Well technically we *didn't* hear it here first, we heard it at De Moines Register on February 19th. Which you link to. A bit late to the table, dude. ^_^

    Anyway, with enough bulk and the right director/script, I'd be willing to give Momo a chance. Unfortunately, we don't have the right director, and a horrible script.

    The filmmakers talk a lot about being “more faithful to the books”, but a mere look at the casting sheet over at moviehole shows how much of a crock that is. Khalar Singh, Tamara, Fariq, Ilira, Ukafa, Remo, Fassir, Lucius, Artus, Cheren – none of these people appear in any REH story, nor even in any stories or comics by other authors. The story is not just made up, it's incompatible with what we do know about Conan's childhood and the Hyborian Age as a whole. The only people that are remotely linked are Corin and Islene, and it's really difficult to not have Conan's mum and dad, even if you have to make up their names since REH never gave them.

    I'm looking forward to seeing Stephen Lang hamming it up, I think Momo will be at least passable, and I'm enthusiastic to see Rachel Nichols prancing about in cheesecake attire, but apart from that, this was a failure long before Momoa or even Nispel came on the scene.

  11. Jason Momoa too efeminate?? oh gosh you really don’t know what you’re talking about… You’ve never met him for sure
    too pretty? Not in the way you meant it….
    Too skinny? I can give you credit for it but he is now not so skinny as he was few months ago.. so…

  12. arnold also worked out with a martial arts master in so cal. mostly to show him how to move with a sword

  13. you do know that martial arts is not Kung Fu right?
    Its a form of fighting. You know, like sword fighting. Isn't Conan described as having the agility of a panther? That's something a big dude like Arnold couldn't pull off. Only big guy with that kind of agility I can think of is Brock Lesnar.
    Maybe Brock should be Conan

  14. @ playa
    exactly, peolpe assuming he's going to 'spin kick' is stupid. martial arts is the term given to all forms of self defense that includes weapons, hand to hand etc.
    arnolds conan was ok, but i didnt feel that he was a 'savage beast' to me he was just a big guy playing a brutal killer, i didnt feel any emotion towards the character.

  15. Oh Yeah!!! I think Jason is perfect for the part. I think he will do a good job even better then Arnold. I use to read my older brothers material on Conan and Arnold wasn't right for the part. Jason will be a better or at least more realistic Conan. Not to mention the man is beautiful. I wasn't even interested in seeing the movie until I heard they cast Jason for the lead part. Now I'm going to be front and center when this movie opens.

  16. I was comfortable with his casting and things seem to be panning our exactly as I expected, Momoa will do great job in this role.

  17. With that hair of his and all…not sure ! My feeling tells me he is the wrong guy for the movie !

  18. Jason Momoa 6 ft 4 210lbs.
    Arnold 6ft 2, 235lbs to 260lbs, depending on season.

    The thing that makes Arnold look so massive is Shoulder to Chest to Waist ratio. He had a inhumanly massive 57″ Chest. (not to diminish his arms or legs, he was considered one of the most proportioned body builders of all time.)

    That said, I dont see this new guy looking the part, unless he adds another 40 lbs of muscle, which is impossible to do.

    Hell, Im 5ft 10 at 205 lbs and look like a toothpick compared to Arnold, even in his older decaying state. So believing that Momoa could pull of the look (using Arnold or the original story character as a basis), is unreasonable.

    On a fair note, neither can act, and Arnold's accent was so bad it was cringe inducing. (I'll give Arnold a pass on his lighthearted comedies with Devito – he wasnt bad in those).

    Anyway. I agree with the other poster here. Epic fail. (But then again, Arnold's version sucked too – but at least Arnold was a manly man.)

  19. Well, the “heard it here first” remark was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. To your other points, I think Momoa will bulk up enough to look the part and I'm also excited to see Stephen Lang doing some damage.

  20. Well, the “heard it here first” remark was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. To your other points, I think Momoa will bulk up enough to look the part and I'm also excited to see Stephen Lang doing some damage.

  21. Jason Momoa 6 ft 4 210lbs.
    Arnold 6ft 2, 235lbs to 260lbs, depending on season.

    The thing that makes Arnold look so massive is Shoulder to Chest to Waist ratio. He had a inhumanly massive 57″ Chest. (not to diminish his arms or legs, he was considered one of the most proportioned body builders of all time.)

    That said, I dont see this new guy looking the part, unless he adds another 40 lbs of muscle, which is impossible to do.

    Hell, Im 5ft 10 at 205 lbs and look like a toothpick compared to Arnold, even in his older decaying state. So believing that Momoa could pull of the look (using Arnold or the original story character as a basis), is unreasonable.

    On a fair note, neither can act, and Arnold's accent was so bad it was cringe inducing. (I'll give Arnold a pass on his lighthearted comedies with Devito – he wasnt bad in those).

    Anyway. I agree with the other poster here. Epic fail. (But then again, Arnold's version sucked too – but at least Arnold was a manly man.)

  22. Im 100% with Etrigan on this. Total, epic fail. And it pisses me off to no end. No matter how much he bulks up, this dude is NOT the one to take Conan's mantle.

  23. Might be 6'6″, but doesn't weigh enough. Arnold was 6'2 inches but weighed 235-240, and could move really well for all that muscle. This other guy doesn't even come close.

  24. Let's see ! Give him a chance ! By the way he is the choosen one

  25. I just love the man anything he does is fine with me. He is also very, very hot, and will melt the screen. He will do just fine I should know at my age 58 I have watched lot of actors become super stars.

  26. he is going to ruin the movie…remakes always turn out bad…he could never play the role arnold did lol

  27. Jason Momoa, is no Conan, and not because of Arnold ,LOL. Jason Momoa, does not seem to fit the mold for an epic character as, Conan. Too girly/wanna be manly thing. I am sure gay men will like it aswell as women you think they might be able to borrow his panties.

  28. I’m 37 and I collected the Savage Sword of Conan, Conan the Barbarian, and King Conan series. I own all of the King Conans and own most of the other series. I also read about half of the Novels. I know Conan.

    Yes, the Conan of the novels was a brute, but Conan was also extremely fast, agile. He was the greatest warrior of his age. He was a freakish combination of strength, speed, and agility. He was also extremely intelligent and was a natural leader. Not always in the best mood, and a little too direct, sometimes. He was also capable of beeing funny from time to time.

    Arnold had the build, but he was actually a little short, he was *not* very athletic. The Conan of the novels was supposed to have panther-like quickness. Arnold looked like a pumped up and slow. Definitely not the Conan from the novels. Arnold also didn’t have the facial features. Conan was not Germanic. He was a Cimmerian. They were the survivors of the lost city of Atlantis. Jason Mamoa’s facial features are perfect as a Cimmerian. He facial features are perfect for this role. Conan was a stud. He was a ladies man and had women eating out of his hands everywhere he went.

    Also, Arnold sounded like a fool in the Conan movies. The Conan of novels spoke several languages and would never be confused with a fool.

    While I agree that Jason Mamoa is a little thin, he is just about perfect as a young Conan. He is 6’5″ and is pretty muscular. If they do more Conan movies, Jason Mamoa will need to put on at least 25 pounds to be convincing as a physically mature conan. He is also extremely fast. Anyone that has seen his work as Ronan will know that he is a very convincing fighter. He is smart, capable of humor, and charm, but also capable of being a bad-ass.

    I think people need to calm down. He is perfect for the first film. If he is still the same size for the second film, then I’ll agree with the haters. Jason needs to beef up if they do more films. He’ll be a convincing young Conan, but not so much as a mature Conan.

  29. ‘hafta agree with the last comment. I was disappointed when Arnold (my childhood idol) took the role of Conan. He didn’t fit the comic book character I used to read, physically or personality wise.

    Jason Momoa fits the physical discription of the Robert E Howard type.

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