Jason Momoa certainly had a career before viewers became enamored with Dothraki’s Khal Drogo on the popular “Game of Thrones.”
However, that memorable portrayal in the HBO series skyrocketed his profile. It led to a wealth of opportunities, branching off and pursuing passion projects.
The latest release is “Road to Paloma,” a film he directed, co-wrote and stars. The native Hawaiian plays Robert Wolf, a Native American biker on the run after avenging his mother’s murder. He is joined on his travels by Cash Guirgis (Robert Mollohan), a down-and-out musician, to the Teton mountain range to spread his mom’s ashes. Momoa’s wife, Lisa Bonet, is also in the movie as Magdalena.
WWE Studios and Anchor Bay Films jointly picked up distribution rights for “Road to Paloma” in North America.
“It’s great,” Momoa said in between appearances during Florida Supercon July 3-6 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. “I’m really excited for fans to see it. It’s a really heartfelt story that’s also action and adventure. It deals with some of the injustices out there on the reservation, so hopefully it sheds some light on things people may not know is happening or know about. I’m really happy about it.”
He describes it more as an art house film and a little different than other WWE Studios productions. Momoa says the studio has enjoyed it. With WWE being known as the juggernaut of sports entertainment, the physically imposing star recalls growing up watching the product.
“I am a fan, but I have a 5-year-old and 6-year-old,” he said.“I can’t even watch TV or read a book right now. That was fun when I was younger. I met Hacksaw [Jim Duggan] at one of these conventions. I was pretty excited about it. I liked him, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka. There were a lot of wrestlers I liked.”
Momoa, whose credits also include movies like “Conan the Barbarian” and shows such as “ Stargate: Atlantis” is inspired by combat.
“I like watching the real warriors out there,” he said. “I like watching UFC. I like watching boxing. I like watching those old samurai and martial arts movies. [Director] Akira Kurosawa , guys like him to me are awesome. I like watching those types of things.”
Momoa drew a big crowd at Supercon with many fans creating long lines to meet him and attend his panels. His take as a powerful warlord who had an almost “Beauty and the Beast” relationship with Daenerys Targaryen was a hit on “Game of Thrones.” His character may be dead, but the impact Drogo left behind remains strong. He can even talk a little Dothraki when asked.
“It’s fantastic,” Momoa said. “It’s an honor to be a part of that show and play a role like that. It’s great to see so many people here. It’s always like, ‘We want you to be back.’ It’s pretty simple. If I was alive, I would go across the water and kill everyone and put my wife on the throne. Then that wouldn’t be a series. But you never know; you have to keep watching.”
His fans can also catch him on the next season of “The Red Road” on SundanceTV. His profile will no doubt get even bigger, if the hints of him playing Aquaman in the upcoming “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” are true.
Despite all the success, Momoa says life hasn’t changed as much as you’d think.
“Everyone is real respectful,” he said.“It’s not like people have been stalking me down or things like that. People really are respectful. They don’t really mess with me because they realize I’m a down-to-earth kind of guy.”
• “Road to Paloma” is in select theaters on July 11 and available on DVD, Blu-ray and On-Demand on July 15.
If you can’t wait, the film can be purchased on iTunes.
Visit www.roadtopaloma.com for details.
• Follow Jason Momoa on Twitter @PrideofGypsies.
• For information on the Magic City Comic Con in January in Miami, visit http://www.magiccitycomiccon.com/.
• Follow me on Twitter @smFISHMAN