Jason Momoa may be a big-name action star, but before landing roles in Justice League and Aquaman, his career wasn't always flourishing. In a new interview with InStyle, the actor got candid about his personal and professional life, revealing that after his exit from Game of Thrones, his family was struggling financially.
On the fan-favorite HBO series, Momoa portrayed Dothraki warlord Khal Drogo, who married Emilia Clarke's Daenerys Targaryen. As was the case with many characters, the Khal didn’t last very long, and his character was killed off after just 10 episodes of Season 1 in 2011. Although Khal Drogo easily caught attention, and remains a fan-favorite character to this day, Momoa revealed that the role didn't immediately open up other opportunities. Instead, Momoa was left "completely in debt," struggling to pay the bills at the Topanga Canyon house he shares with his wife, Lisa Bonet, and their two children, daughter Lola Iolani, 13, and son Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha, 11.
"I mean, we were starving after Game of Thrones," he recalled. "I couldn't get work. It's very challenging when you have babies and you're completely in debt."
Momoa had briefly opened up about his struggles following his time on GoT in an Instagram post back in May of 2019. In the post, the actor said that he was "too broke to fly home" during a break in filming for the series. Feeling homesick, he and a friend "rented a panel van aka UHAUL in Belfast and drove around beautiful amazing IRELAND searching for the greatest pint of Guinness." Momoa, at the time, reflected on how it had "been a long road and I feel like I’m just getting started."
In a July 2020 interview with Entertainment Weekly, the actor said that after his role on the HBO series, some people assumed he "didn't speak English" and couldn't read dialogue. He said that "they didn't know I was playing a role," adding that while some thought he could only portray strong, silent warrior roles, he is "nothing like Drogo. I'm like Drogo when I'm being lovey and close to the woman I love and being nice, but his other half is not me."
Thankfully, Momoa's luck soon shifted. In 2014, he was cast as Aquaman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which was followed by his role in 2016's Justice League. He went on to front his own superhero blockbuster in 2018's Aquaman, also providing the voice for the superhero in 2019's The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. He is set to star in Denis Villeneuve's upcoming film Dune.