Conan the Barbarian, the 3-D action movie about the mythical sword hero, arrives in theaters on Friday. But do most moviegoers know who the film's lead actor is? If the name Jason Momoa doesn't ring a bell, perhaps Stargate Atlantis will. Or Baywatch Hawaii. Or his latest television gig, Game of Thrones.
Momoa, 32, has been in the acting business since the late '90s. For two seasons, he played the lifeguard Jason Ione in the post-Pamela Anderson days of Baywatch, starring in the franchise's short-lived Hawaii series.
The Hawaiian-born actor also dipped his feet into the local modeling industry before starring in a handful of forgetful films, including 2004's Johnson Family Vacation with Cedric the Entertainer and Vanessa Williams.
In 2005, Momoa landed the role of Ronan Dex on the sci-fi televisions how Stargate Atlantis, playing the dreadlock wearing warrior for the entire length of the series before it wrapped in 2009.
Momoa has been in a long-term relationship with actress Lisa Bonet, who was previously married to rock star Lenny Kravitz. In 2007, Bonet gave birth to a daughter, Lola Momoa, followed by a son, Nakoa Wolf Momoa, one year later.
The actor's career has been taking off again in recent years. In January 2010, Lionsgate announced that Momoa had been hired to play the lead character in an upcoming production of Conan the Barbarian. The news arrived just months after Momoa was hired by HBO to play the warlord character Khal Drogo in the fantasy series, Game of Thrones. His character was killed in the show's first season.
Momoa recently talked about filling in the shoes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, who first played the hero in 1982.
I am an Arnold fan in the sense that I love his career . . . I am not going to be big, and bulky, and muscle. I'm going to be like a lion. I'm going to be like a cat. I'm going to be like a samurai, the actor told First Showing.
Conan the Barbarian, directed by Marcus Nispel and starring Momoa, Rose McGowan and Rachel Nichols, is showing in 3-D in theaters on Friday.