Hollywood hero Jason Momoa has come a long way from playing the wordless Dothraki khalasar Khal Drogo on Game of Thrones. But even as he continues to progress in his career with lead roles in big projects, the actor has just one gripe to make about the current state of the industry: Hollywood doesn't respect action films enough.
Since the dawn of Hollywood, certain genres have been more respected by the gatekeepers of the industry while others have been looked down upon, and unfortunately, much of Momoa's filmography falls into the category of genres that tend not to be taken seriously within the industry. His big break, Game of Thrones, is widely considered one of the best TV works of all time (that horrid final season notwithstanding), but other big budget projects like Justice League and Aquaman haven't been held in such high regard by an institution that doesn't really respect most superhero movies and other action flicks.
"For a long time, my career was just doing action, and that was the way that I could express my characters," he shared in the interview. "There’s a lot of physicality to my acting, and it’s different for each character. One thing which I kind of am bummed about is the respect action gets. People absolutely love it, and it’s not respected at the Oscars."
"It’s all subjective," Momoa said the reasoning behind selecting his past projects. "I try not to pick on anything. So, yeah, superhero movies are bubble gum, but they’re like Greek mythology: They have good and evil and heartbreaking moments. And, gosh, you’re taking away other art forms if you stop making them. You’re taking away visual effects, you’re taking away what you can do with makeup. I’m not someone who gets hired to play in a lot of cinema, but by being able to do a superhero movie, I can make a movie about something I really care about."
While it's true that many action films don't make the cut around award season, the fact is that the genre is typically beloved by fans no matter the plot — just ask the minds behind the increasingly impractical Fast & Furious franchise or the ever-expanding, universe-bending Marvel Cinematic Universe. Action, like sex, sells, and it always will. At the same time, however, Momoa's next gig could very well be his step away from the class of films that put him on the map.
Momoa is one of the many A-list celebrities starring in the upcoming science fiction epic Dune. The film, a massive adaptation of Frank Hebert's 1965 masterpiece, follows an intergalactic war that forces a young prince (played by Timothée Chalamet) to step into his calling as the savior of his planet. Equal parts sci-fi, action, and drama, Dune will see Momoa playing a powerful but thoughtful character alongside some of the most famous actors in Hollywood, including Oscar Isaac, Javier Bardem, and Josh Brolin — an experience he called a "master class in acting."
With Dune on the horizon and more DC Comics projects as Arthur Curry/Aquaman down the pipeline, Momoa will be able to prove his ability to switch lanes and genres. And if there's anything that Hollywood respects at the end of the day, it's versatility.