"Game of Thrones" is arguably the most successful TV show of the past decade. It smashed an Emmys record by earning 32 nominations for its final run, the most ever for a single season. At the 2019 Emmys, "Game of Thrones" took home the prize for Outstanding Drama Series and 11 other trophies.
However, season one actor Jason Momoa didn't benefit much from the initial "Game of Thrones" boom.
This week, he revealed that his quick stint as Khal Drogo did not grant him the fame and fortune that his co-stars would go on to experience. The HBO fantasy series, hailed as one of the best book-to-TV adaptations, sky-rocketed the careers of its stars Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington.
Yet Momoa told InStyle on Tuesday, "I mean, we were starving after 'Game of Thrones.'"
"I couldn't get work. It's very challenging when you have babies and you're completely in debt."
Fans will recall that his character was killed off after marrying Daenerys (Clarke) in 2011. After the end of his reign on "Game of Thrones," Momoa struggled to meet payments on his house in Topanga Canyon, near Los Angeles, where he lived with his wife Lisa Bonet and their two kids, Lola, 13, and Nakoa-Wolf, 11.
His financial situation only improved about five years later, once he was cast as Aquaman in a string of films based on DC Comics. He took on that role in 2016's "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice", 2017's "Justice League" and 2018's "Aquaman" with actress Amber Heard.
Though he no longer struggles the same way financially, Momoa, 41, is still learning how to be a good dad. He said that since he grew up without a father at home, "I didn't know what it takes to be a dad."
"And I don't want to just tell my son, 'Because I said so.' I really want to connect, and I want him to be vulnerable and open."
He is open to embracing both his masculine and feminine sides and wants to continue to grow as a person.
"I'm also the first one to say, 'I have a lot of problems, and I want to be able to correct those problems.'"
Momoa further explained that after his hardships in Hollywood, he doesn't take for granted his newfound success, saying, "I feel like I'm still a kid, freaking out." He'll next appear in "Dune" alongside Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, though the film's release date has been pushed back to October 2021.