Jason Momoa Discusses Conan: The Barbarian and Arnold Schwarzenegger
08.12.11 by BJSprecher
It's hard to compete against Arnold Schwarzenegger. Just ask Lou "the Hulk" Ferrigno or any of the other body builders that posed off against the "Austrian Oak" before he got into acting. Or, ask Sylvester Stallone and the other '80s action stars whose movies had to battle at the box office against the likes of The Terminator, Commando and Predator. Heck, you can even ask the politicians who ran against Arnold for the governorship of California just how difficult it can be to compete against Arnold.
It's no wonder then that Jason Momoa would rather not attempt to draw comparisons between his portrayal of Robert E. Howard's iconic barbarian in Conan: the Barbarian and Arnold's portrayal of the Cimmerian in the 1982 Conan the Barbarian. In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Momoa discussed what he loves about the character of Conan, what brings out his own "barbarian" side, and why it's okay for him to play a "different" Conan than the one Arnold played.
Momoa said that he loves the character of Conan because he is "truly a man's man" and that, like Conan, he would "get primal" if anyone threatened his family.
I love soldiers. I love a good sense of humor. I love a man that drinks and knows how to party and knows how to handle a woman. I love those kind of guys and I love the fact that he's a man, he's not a superhero. He's an anti-hero. That resides in everyone. He's a family man. Someone messes with my family, you're going to see the barbarian side of me. I'm going to get primal on your ass.
Momoa went on to say that he's not trying to compete against Arnold or to try to emulate Arnold's performance of Conan because, like other iconic characters, the portrayal is open to interpretation.
[Arnold's] fantastic. He's made an amazing career for himself. I can't take anything away from it. It's like James Bond: you've got Sean Connery — amazing — you've got Daniel Craig — amazing. We're not even in the same ballpark. It's Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger for the Joker. I'm not Arnold and I can't be Arnold and he can't be me, [so] we're going to have two different types of Conan.
Conan the Barbarian was directed by Marcus Nispel (Pathfinder, Friday the 13th). The screenplay was written by Joshua Oppenheimer and Thomas Dean Donnelly, with rewrites by Sean Hood. Stephen Lang, Rose McGowan, Rachel Nichols, Saïd Taghmaoui, Ron Perlman, Bob Sapp and Leo Howard also star.