‘I do have a tendency of getting killed off’
Jason Momoa breaks into a big grin as he starts to talk about the series finale to See — his dystopian sci-fi series currently streaming on Apple TV+.
“I’m f—ing excited for the world to see it,” Momoa says enthusiastically, speaking over Zoom from Los Angeles. “Get ready, bro.”
But there’s a slight problem, I remind him: He does have a tendency to die on screen. Characters he’s played have been shot, blown to smithereens, and stabbed in a number of different ways.
“You’re right,” he laughs. “Gosh, I hope I don’t die. But yeah, I do have a tendency of getting killed off. They say, ‘Get Momoa! He’s good at getting killed.’ ”
Presumably, he’ll be subjected to a grisly end when he appears as an eccentric villain in next year’s Fast X.
“Those other movie stars don’t like to do that. Me? I’m like, ‘Burn me.’ ”
The Canadian-shot See is set in the future, hundreds of years after human beings have lost the ability to see due to a deadly virus.
In the eight-episode third season, almost a year has passed since Baba Voss (Momoa) defeated his nemesis brother Edo (Dave Bautista) and bid farewell to his family to live a life of solitude.
But when a scientist (David Hewlett) develops a new and devastating form of sighted weaponry that threatens the future of humanity, Baba returns to protect his tribe — and his endangered wife and children — one final time.
Along with Momoa, the cast includes Sylvia Hoeks, Hera Hilmar, Christian Camargo, Archie Madekwe, Nesta Cooper, Tom Mison, Olivia Cheng, Eden Epstein, Michael Raymond-James and Trieste Kelly Dunn.
Momoa, who played the bloodthirsty warrior Khal Drogo on Game of Thrones before being cast as DC Comics’ king of the ocean in Aquaman and the blade-wielding Duncan Idaho in last year’s Dune, says the role of Baba was a “dream come true.”
“It’s been the perfect show for me,” the Hawaiian-born actor says.
“To be able to have this arc across three seasons is beautiful for an actor. I’ve never had anything like this to date, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to play a character quite like this again. Emotionally, what I’ve gone through in my own personal life, mirrors what this character is going through.”
In real life, Momoa split earlier this year from actress Lisa Bonet. But he says the lengths Baba goes through to protect his family in the bloodstained drama is exactly how he’d behave in a post-apocalyptic world.
“Baba doesn’t know what to do. His children seem fine on their own and don’t need him, his wife is now a queen and he wants to be in nature. So he leaves only to learn that there’s a new weapon so horrific that it’s going to enslave and conquer and divide and it’s him coming back to try and stop it. He has to do what any father would do.”
You’re so passionate about the environment in your real life, but it trickles over to your work both in See and in Aquaman. What did you think of the depiction of humanity’s future in the series?
“I love that the environment wins and basically grows itself back. Look what happened in L.A. during COVID. That was the cleanest air I’ve seen in my life. You could see all the way to the Sierra Nevada.
“So I liked how it shows the Earth will heal itself and how everything came back to tribes and the idea of needing the basics — water, shelter, food, love. But as the show continued, you slowly got to see what man does:
“Conquer, rule and this toxicity that comes through. At the beginning it was just knives and weapons like Native Americans had, but (in this new season) we introduce guns and bombs, and it’s just a mirror of ourselves.”
The show does a really great job balancing these competing themes of hope and cynicism.
“It’s a wonderful balance, but it’s like life. It’s who and what you identify with: This is evil and that’s good. We just modelled it off what society is.”
See isn’t based off a comic or a novel. It’s an original series. I feel like not enough people have talked about that.
“That’s what I signed on for. Even the first time I read it, I remember thinking how cinematic it was. Just seeing that world was wonderful and extremely original. But I love how Baba was this man trying to outrun his past as a slaver to become a better man and a father to these children that aren’t even his kids. The amount of struggle and horrors this man goes through to keep his family together and I looked at that and thought, ‘You know, I’d do the same god—- thing.’ That’s a wonderful thing to play.”
People had a preconceived notion of Aquaman and I’m sure that was a challenge when you first appeared as that hero in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. What’s it like playing a character who is completely fresh and new?
“It’s wonderful. I’m finding things in myself and my own life that’s coming out in Baba. The moment I read the first script for this; I was so adamant that I become Baba Voss. I remember going in with some of the wardrobe and thinking to myself, ‘No one is taking this from me.’ It was the same thing with Drogo — no one was going to take this role from me. And with respect to Aquaman, yes there are preconceived ideas, but I was hired to bring my own thing to it. So I try not to worry about what other people expect and just bring what I think I should to that role.”
So speaking of Aquaman, you’ll be back next year in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. What can we expect from the sequel?
“It’s funny. It’s very, very funny. (Director) James (Wan) and I have found our rhythm and tapped into the things people really liked (about the first one). The technology itself has gone to another level since we shot the first one so, obviously, there’s amazing action. But the best thing, for me, is how funny it is. Patrick Wilson is amazing and we have a really good time. It was absolutely a fun journey.”
New episodes of See stream weekly on Apple TV+.
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