- Title: USA: "Conan the Barbarian" premieres to a new generation
- Date: 12th August 2011
- Summary: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (AUGUST 11, 2011) (REUTERS) ( ** BEWARE FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY **) VARIOUS OF RED CARPET AND SIGNAGE FOR THE PREMIERE OF "CONAN THE BARBARIAN" VARIOUS OF ACTOR JASON MOMOA POSING FOR PICTURES
- Embargoed: 27th August 2011 13:00
- Location: Usa, Usa
- Country: USA
- Reuters ID: LVA4NMLBTV6V7YSH3383O0L9R5VE
- Story Text: "Conan the Barbarian," a character which has existed in some form since the 1930s, is getting a fresh start in Hollywood, with the arrival of the latest film version in the hero fantasy series. The film, which premiered Thursday night (August 11) in downtown Los Angeles, stars newcomer Jason Momoa, Rose McGowan, Rachel Nichols, and Ron Perlman, all of whom were in attendance at the red carpet event.
For Momoa, who has had roles in various science fiction TV programs, the role of Conan the Barbarian means that he has big shoes to fill - "the Governator's" to be exact. The "Conan" story was made into a series of blockbuster films in the 1980s that helped to launch the Hollywood career of then-bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger, who went on to become the last governor of California. Schwarzenegger made headlines earlier this year when it was revealed, during separation proceedings from wife Maria Shriver, that he had fathered a child with another woman.
Jason Momoa says the similarities between him and Schwarzenegger stop at "Conan," and that he won't be following his predecessor into politics.
"No, you know, I want to stay on my own two feet, it's like, I wouldn't want to follow in anyone's footsteps, you kind of want to stand on your own as a man, we all have different tastes and choices, and you know, it'll end up the way I want it to end up," says Jason Momoa, who attended the premiere with his partner, actress Lisa Bonet, and her daughter Zoe Kravitz. the 30-year-old Momoa and Bonet have two children together.
The Schwarzenegger films were extremely popular among young and adolescent boys during the 1980s, and created a huge cult following for the character of Conan the Barbarian, a heavily-muscled warrior with equally strong morals who defeats an evil emperor. But Momoa, whose unconventional childhood prevented him from watching those violent films, was introduced to the character by reading the comic books featuring him.
"I actually didn't see it, I grew up with a single mother who, I was raised with like 'Gone With the Wind' and 'Rear Window,' I grew up with painters and artists and, I didn't see it, I wasn't allowed to see it, unfortunately, but I used to read the comics, I loved the books, I loved Frank Frazetta, and that's what I wanted to do," says Momoa.
Director Marcus Nispell believes that Momoa could be the next "it" actor in Hollywood, and a big part of that is his willingness to work harder than other actors, especially when it comes to stuntwork.
"When I had my screen-test with Jason, he showed up, and we had like, you know, some armor, and we brought some swords, and he said 'I brought my own,' which doesn't happen a lot," says Nispell.
Rose McGowan, who plays a powerful witch in the film, had to endure hours of hair and makeup during filming, but she credits the process with allowing her to transform completely into her character.
"I didn't have to color inside the lines as an actor, I just got to play, and you never really get to do that," says McGowan. "Complete escapism," she adds.
Actress Rachel Nichols, who plays Momoa's love interest in "Conan," says that although the original films were made relatively recently -- 30 years ago -- it's time to bring the classic tale to a new generation of fans.
"You know, 30 years is a long time," says Nichols, "so anytime you have a generation, a new generation that's not familiar with the past form, I think it's time to reintroduce it."
Although Momoa won't be using "Conan" as a start for his political career, there was one actor on the red carpet who was honest and open about his ambitions.
"No, I actually, I'm actually interested in running for governor, so I thought this would be a great first shot. I thought maybe, you know, this could be my springboard," says actor Ron Perlman.
"Conan the Barbarian" will open in 3-D and 2-D on August 19.
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