Becoming Conan

Local boy Jason Momoa made his big screen debut Aug. 19 as the legendary Conan the Barbarian, and like his major roles on TV (and to the appreciation of his female fans) is again shirtless and ripped with muscles.

Yu Shing Ting
Wednesday - August 31, 2011
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Jason Momoa in ‘Baywatch’. Baywatch press release photo

Local boy Jason Momoa made his big screen debut Aug. 19 as the legendary Conan the Barbarian, and like his major roles on TV (and to the appreciation of his female fans) is again shirtless and ripped with muscles.

The former Baywatch Hawaii star who more recently played the savage warrior king Khal Drogo in HBO’s King of Thrones, is no doubt the Hollywood heartthrob of the moment.

In its first weekend of release, Conan the Barbarian finished in the fourth spot at the box office (behind The Help, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Spy Kids: All the Time in the World) with $10 million. The movie has received mixed reviews, but for his first major movie role, Momoa has earned high praises.


Richard Corliss of Time Magazine wrote, “In this dank ultimate-fighting challenge, Jason Momoa as Conan provides the only visual vivacity; he has an eye-catchingly sensuous face atop the requisite statuesque beefcake. Much more than (Arnold) Schwarzenegger in his early Teutonic-slab phase, Momoa nicely fulfills the law of Hollywood Darwinism: survival of the dishiest. Such is his sex appeal that he almost brings plausibility to the movie’s silliest scene, when Conan tells Tamara, ‘I live, I love, I slay, and I am content,’ and the virgin instantly falls into his arms.”

Momoa with Lisa Bonet and Zoe Kravitz at the premiere of ‘Conan the Barbarian’ in Los Angeles. AP Photo / Matt Sayles

We spoke with Momoa while he was in New York the day before the film’s release. It was another hectic day on his endless press tour consisting of back-to-back interviews for TV, radio and print, and an appearance at Planet Hollywood. Earlier in the month, he was a guest on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and at the red carpet premieres in London and Los Angeles. All of this, while working on a new movie, Bullet to the Head, opposite Sylvester Stallone, which is filming in New Orleans and scheduled for release next year.

It’s no wonder, he just wants to lay low in the next couple of months “hide out in a cave” and spend time with his family -wife Lilakoi Moon (aka actress Lisa Bonet) and their two children Lola (4) and Nakoa-Wolf (2). He also has a step-daughter, Zoe Kravitz, from Bonet’s previous marriage to Lenny Kravitz.


Momoa also is planning to go to Kaua’i to train with Eric Laciste of AR7 (the workout program he used to get into his Conan shape). “If I go to Oahu, I gain weight,” explains Momoa. “No more Zippy’s on Kaua’i.

“I can’t wait, I just want to train and surf

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