Jason Momoa schools journalist after 'icky' question

Published By Alexandra Heilbron on Aug 04, 2021

Jason Momoa still from Dune courtesy Warner Bros.Jason Momoa was doing a Zoom interview with The New York Times about his upcoming theatrical release Dune and the Netflix thriller Sweet Girl when he was asked a question that he later told the journalist, felt "icky" and "left a bad feeling in my stomach."

Up until then, Momoa answered questions thoroughly and at length, but when it came to a question about a scene that aired 10 years ago on Game of Thrones, in which his character, Khal Drogo, rapes Daenerys Targaryen (played by Emilia Clarke) on their wedding night, he began to withdraw.

Interviewer David Marchese asked, "I don’t know how much you followed any of this, but 'Game of Thrones' inspired a lot of discussion about its depiction of scenes of sexual assault and its treatment of women generally. Do you think differently today about those scenes? Would you do one now? Do you have any regrets? Those types of scenes can seem as if they belong to an older cultural moment."

Momoa responded, "Well, it was important to depict Drogo and his style. You’re playing someone that’s like Genghis Khan. It was a really, really, really hard thing to do. But my job was to play something like that, and it’s not a nice thing, and it’s what that character was. It’s not my job to go, ‘Would I not do it?’ I’ve never really been questioned about ‘Do you regret playing a role?’ We’ll put it this way: I already did it. Not doing it again."

Following the question, Momoa seemed to clam up, responding with a curt "No" when asked whether he would share his vision of Aquaman, then when asked whether he had a memory that came to mind of a time when he took a break from acting, he replied, "Not really for you."

Undaunted, Marchese asked about Momoa's research for Sweet Girl, saying, "What research stood out for you?" Momoa responded, "I don’t really want to talk about big pharma right now."

Taking the hint, Marchese ended the interview, saying, "OK, I guess we’re done. Thanks for taking the time to talk with me."

However, Momoa wanted to get something off his chest. “Yeah, and I wanted to bring something up that left a bad feeling in my stomach. When you brought up 'Game of Thrones,' you brought up stuff about what’s happening with my character and would I do it again. I was bummed when you asked me that. It just feels icky — putting it upon me to remove something. As if an actor even had the choice to do that. We’re not really allowed to do anything. There are producers, there are writers, there are directors, and you don’t get to come in and be like, “I’m not going do that because this isn’t kosher right now and not right in the political climate.” That never happens. So it’s a question that feels icky. I just wanted you to know that.”

Sweet Girl debuts on Netflix August 20, 2021 and Dune opens in theaters October 22, 2021. ~Alexandra Heilbron

Comments & Discussion

  1. Pat • 8/4/2021 8:11:15 PM

    Good for Momo. Marchese is a lousy journalist who was just trying to bait Momo and s*** disturb. The Times should fire him.

  2. Angie • 8/5/2021 9:55:39 AM

    Good for you Mamoa! That's why I love this actor!

  3. Tom • 8/5/2021 10:03:23 AM

    What a joke! If an actor auditions for a LGBT role and gets it they will act LGBT whether they are or not, If they audition for a role as a serial killer and get it that's what they will do their best to portray; that doesn't mean that they are one or identify with serial killers. "Hey Sir Anthony Hopkins, you played the role of Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs. In that role you killed and ate body parts of your victims. How do you feel about that role knowing murdering and eating people is bad? In hind-sight would you have taken that role knowing how people feel about serial killings? Do you have any regrets?" David Marchese should not even be termed a journalist.

  4. R • 8/5/2021 10:23:33 AM

    I liked Momoa before, I love him now. I cannot wait for this stupid woke era/trend to be over so people can stop trying to find ways to be offended. When those idiots don't understand what the word "fiction" means, they should relinquish their jobs as journalists to someone who does.

  5. LInda • 8/5/2021 10:58:30 AM

    Love Jason momma He is a kind loving person and shows all the time how he is a gentleman and respects others. This was a terrible question and obviously reporter was out of line and no one should agree to be interviewed by him anymore. He just wants to embarrass people and is not respectful.

  6. Donna • 8/5/2021 11:04:41 AM

    Ditto what Tom said above. Jason is right, Marchese is not. Cheap shot at Jason.

  7. Mike • 8/5/2021 11:47:31 AM

    Ambushing actors over fictional roles they've played in the past. This is how far the news media has fallen. Instead of merely reporting facts the press is now stirring discord and division. Must people be shamed for everything? I think the New York Times should be ashamed.

  8. Chris • 8/5/2021 1:06:58 PM

    I also agree with Tom’s comment above. Actors are hired to play a role and that’s what Jason Momoa did. Every interview or encounter with Jason has always resulted with people saying Jason is just an awesome human being. Always taking the time to answer questions, take a pic, etc. David Marchese - what kind of an idiotic “journalist” are you? It’s like a whole lot of people saying to you that you suck at the job. Knowing that would end up being a fool would you still have become a journalist? Or NYT you hired a classless buffoon knowing that would you still hire him?

  9. Samantha Lauzon • 8/5/2021 1:10:42 PM

    Good for him!

  10. D. W. • 8/5/2021 1:43:54 PM

    Glad you stood up for yourself Jason. The guy is not a "journalist," as he is not actually seeking out the "truth" about a person, but rather ripping them to shreds via the media for some personal gain and perpetuating this disturbing trend of hating on everyone that does not think a certain way. Head up high Jason!

  11. Reign • 8/5/2021 2:38:53 PM

    I will never understand these people that believe they can ask a celebrity any question they want with no repercussions . I also do not understand why they believe that they can take pics of a celebrity even when asked not to. I think their job is as an actor is just that , a job . I listen to some of the reporters and ask myself what kind of stupid question is that . Do they really expect an answer ?

  12. Don Peerenboom • 8/5/2021 4:13:41 PM

    Jason Momoa is now and has always has been an exceptional human being. He has obviously never actually been a character he is portraying. Off screen he is real, off screen fictional. Not hard to figure out!

  13. bushwah • 8/6/2021 11:18:01 PM

    “I’m not going do that because this isn’t kosher right now and not right in the political climate.” Oh, ooookay, you creep. Obviously, in every other time and place and political climate, rape is cool. It's just obnoxious mouthy women who say otherwise. Right. Got it. And you know what? You do have power. You have the power to JUST SAY NO. You ask for change, and if you don't get it, you quit. Yeah. YOU be the one sacrificed to the gods of the patriarchy, instead of profiting from it, for a change. Obviously, there will always be roles in which actors are required to play unsavoury characters. Where would drama be otherwise? The thing is, you see, it's how those characters are treated. When they do not get what's coming for their filthy actions -- when raping women is actually normalized and the victim's humanity is completely denied ... because, you know, she's a woman -- and you just play along that you are complicit. Tough for you if you don't like being asked about your own choices and actions. And to all the morons applauding him here: that all goes for you too.

  14. Sam • 8/7/2021 6:45:35 PM

    Looks like the bus from Crazytown has arrived!

  15. bushwah • 8/7/2021 11:34:04 PM

    Unskilled and unaware of it: you have my condolences, Sam.

  16. Jackson • 8/8/2021 4:26:56 PM

    Momoa should have just said that to the interviewer off the hop and not turned into a child. Reporter has a job to do. If you don't like the question, tell them why and move on. Grow up.

  17. Jade • 8/10/2021 11:42:19 AM

    Nothing wrong with asking a question. Momoa is just a sensitive baby. He should just tell the guy right away that he wasn't in charge of it, etc., and not pout about it through the entire interview. Being on a show like that, as an actor you know you're pimping yourself out. Actors were asked to do the most ridiculous things on that show. Take a stance. Only do work that you know you'll admire later. Look at Joaquin Phoenix. He's a vegan. You won't see him wearing a leather jacket, eating meat or doing anything that goes against his morals in a movie and he tells filmmakers that up front. Betty White didn't accept a role because she didn't like the way a dog was going to be treated in it, after she read the script. There are actors with standards. Be one. And if you're not, be prepared to answer "tough" questions (this was hardly a tough question, if he had any charm, he would have been able to come up with something).

  18. Pat • 8/11/2021 12:26:44 AM

    Hey bushwah: try reading the article carefully you crazy person.

  19. bushwah • 8/13/2021 10:22:05 AM

    "Pat", attempting to condescend to someone with several times more IQ points, degrees, lifetime books read, and any other measure that one might want to apply in order to grasp the height and breadth of one's own stupidity and the inadvisability of making a public exhibition of one's self by publishing moronic allegations about one's superiors.

  20. Donna • 8/13/2021 1:33:47 PM

    Wow...reading the comments here. Bushwah: no offense or anything, but you are not well. I deal with this kind of thing everyday. You need help from a doctor. Please seek aid at once.

  21. Donna • 8/13/2021 1:44:54 PM

    I am not trying to taunt or bait you, bushwah. Others here are. Don't let them. When you allow others to bait you, you are ceding power. And right now, that's what you're doing. Therapy is needed, and quality therapy can be found for free. Good luck.

  22. Chris • 8/24/2021 11:23:44 PM

    This is what happens when insane asylums have their funding cut.

  23. Chris • 8/26/2021 1:40:09 AM

    Yep. Crazy.

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