Jason Momoa has been acting since he appeared on Baywatch: Hawaii back in 1999. From there, he starred in the series Stargate Atlantis and snagged one of his most notable roles to date as Khal Drogo in the first two seasons of Game of Thrones.
The towering, Honolulu-born actor has been in the spotlight of late with a variety of film and TV roles, including some voice and narration work. He’s a bona fide superhero as part of the DC universe. With upcoming projects like Aquaman and the Lost Kingdomand Fast X: Part 2, his career shows no signs of slowing down. It’s a good time to look back at some of Momoa’s best roles to date.
10 ‘Aqua Man’ (2018)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 65%
Despite being one of his most high-profile roles, the superhero film Aquaman, based on the DC character of the same name, ranks as Momoa’s 10th best role, according to Rotten Tomatoes. He plays the title character, also known as Arthur Curry, the leader of the underwater kingdom of Atlantis.
Momoa shows off his buff body in the movie, shirtless for much of it given that his role involves a lot of work in the water. The follow-up movie, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdomis scheduled for release at the end of 2023.
9 ‘The Red Road’ (2014-2015)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 67%
This little-known, underrated drama series only aired for a single season and was SundanceTV’s second fully owned scripted original series following Rectify. Momoa starred as Phillip Kopus, a member of the Ramapough Mountain people who comes into conflict with the main character Harold, a police officer dealing with a mentally unstable and recovering alcoholic wife.
As is typical for many of Momoa’s roles, his character is the leader of a tribe. He’s a dangerous man who, after just being released from prison, decides to set up an illegal prescription drug ring. Momoa is convincing in the role, one of his lower-profile ones.
8 ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ (2021)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%
Another DC Comics role, Zack Snyder’s Justice League is based around the popular league of superheros from the comic book franchise. In the film, Momoa reprises his role as Atlantis leader Aquaman, who joins forces with other members of the league, including Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, The Flash, and Superman, to take down the New God Steppenwolf and his army.
Momoa got the chance to once again, show off his tremendous star action and fighting skills. The film was released via HBO Max versus theaters, and many consider it to be better than the 2017 theatrical release of the film.
7 ‘Frontier’ (2016-2018)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%
This is not the 2019 film that starred Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlundand Pedro Pascals, but rather a historical drama hailing from Canada about the North American fur trade. Set in the late 1700s or early 1800s, Momoa stars as Declan Harp, a half-Irish, half-Cree outlaw trying to stop the Hudson’s Bay Company’s monopoly on the fur trade.
Despite the fact that this film isn’t a typical action flick, Momoa still sticks to his typecast of being a vicious, or at least skilled, fighter. His character is a ruthless and brutal trapper, who is on the run from the Hudson’s Bay Company that wants to stop him at any cost.
6 ‘Brave’ (2018)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 77%
Another starring role, brave is right up Momoa’s alley as an action thriller. He stars as the title character, Joe Braven, a logging company owner and family man. After his father was brutally beaten in a bar fight, Joe’s wife Stephanie encouraged him to take his father to the family’s secluded mountain cabin to spend time away from everything.
But the peaceful getaway turns dangerous and deadly when Joe gets caught up in his co-workers exploits in the drug trade and other criminal activities. Interestingly, while it’s an action movie, Momoa’s character is more of a soft-spoken man than the brute he’s used to playing, helping the actor show his range.
5 ‘Deep Rising’ (2023)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%
Rather than acting on screen, Momoa lends his vocal talents to Deep Rising, an environmental docuseries about the geopolitical, scientific, and corporate issues around the future of the seabed. It’s a role that makes sense given Momoa’s Hawaiian roots, love of nature and the water, and the role of Aquaman.
Through the narrative, Momoa discusses how the deep ocean is being threatened by a secretive organization planning to extract seabed metals to curb the world’s energy crisis. The role gives Momoa a chance to step back from the screen and show that he can engage an audience with his voice alone, discussing intelligent and thought-provoking topics.
4 ‘Dune’ (2021)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%
Momoa has a smaller role in this epic science fiction film set in the future about a man and his family fighting a war for a deadly and inhospitable desert planet called Arrakis. Momoa plays Duncan Idaho in Dunes, the swordsmaster of House Atreides. He’s one of the mentors of the main character Paul Atreides, who is played by Timothee Chalamet.
Not surprisingly, Momoa handles this role as another skilled fighter with ease, thanks to his intense training and physical strength and stature.
3 The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%
Sequel to the popular The Lego Movie animated film, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is an adventure comedy that continues the journey of Emmett, who finds himself in the midst of another battle on Bricksburg. Momoa plays a Lego version of Aquaman in this movie, providing only his voice for the character.
In this movie, Aquaman is not only the king of Atlantis, he is also a Master Builder. His distinctive voice and presence are felt through the screen, even though his towering stature is only seen in adorably fishing Lego form.
2 Game of Thrones (2011-2019)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%
Appearing in the first two seasons of the massively popular HBO series, Momoa is Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones, the brutal chieftain of a Dothraki khalar, and the namesake of the last living dragon. He is set to marry Daenerys Targaryen. While he is considered to be one of the best warriors alive, wearing a long braid he has never had to cut because he has never been defeated, he proves kind and loving towards Daenerys.
However, his menacing look and their presence terrifies anyone who comes in contact with him. It’s the type of role Momoa knows well. Despite not having much dialogue, and only speaking the fictional language of Dothraki when he did, Momoa played the character perfectly, leaving fans feeling upset when he died.
1 Waterman (2021)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%
Not surprisingly, Momoa is involved in another project surrounding water in Watermana documentary about the five-time Olympic medalist and native Hawaiian Duke Paoa Kahanamoku. He broke records and took the surfing world by storm, all while dealing with his own personal challenges. Kahanamoku, an important figure in Hawaii, is considered the father of modern-day surfing.
Momoa serves as the narrator of the film, which also features popular athletes like Kelly Slater and singer-songwriter Jack Johnson. Through his narration, Momoa’s connection to both his homeland and the subject shines through.
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