Jason Momoa had some choice words for a reporter who asked how the star felt about acting in scenes containing sexual violence in “Game of Thrones.”
The “Aquaman” star was recently interviewed by The New York Times about his career as an action star, and naturally some of his previous roles came up. One of his earliest and most prominent turns was as Khal Drogo, the captor-turned-lover to Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys Targaryen in the HBO fantasy series.
Drogo rapes Targaryen on their wedding night in the show’s pilot in a scene so violent that author George R.R. Martin ― who wrote the books the series was based on ― even spoke out against it. Martin noted that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss included that scene without running it by him.
Times interviewer David Marchese asked Momoa if he now thinks “differently” about having acted in scenes depicting sexual assault, which “seem as if they belong to an older cultural moment.”
The 42-year-old actor said that “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,” he responded.
While the conversation moved forward, Momoa pivoted back to the subject later in the interview, saying it “left a bad feeling in my stomach.”
He told the Times:
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.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.