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Jason Momoa talks ‘For Honor,’ growing up without a TV, and making Aquaman cool

Ubisoft is celebrating this Valentine’s Day with the multiplayer action brawler For Honor, which ships across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC February 14.

The game publisher invited Jason Momoa, who knows a thing or two about brandishing real swords in projects like HBO’s Game of Thrones series and the Conan the Barbarian reboot, to sharpen his virtual skills in “the art of battle” in front of a live online Twitch audience. Momoa teamed up with Game of Thrones alum Alfie Allen to take down The Walking Dead’s Lauren Cohan and UFC fighter Demetrius Johnson in Burbank, CA in the virtual fight.

Momoa took a break from bulking up to play Aquaman in the stand-alone DC Extended Universe feature film, which will hit theaters Oct. 5, 2018, to catch up on what Ubisoft developers are bringing to life in this latest original game franchise. For Honor lets players choose from an assortment of powerful fighters, including Vikings, samurai and medieval knights, to battle to the death within fantasy backdrops.

Momoa, who’s currently featured in the Netflix fur trading series Frontier, will debut his turn as Aquaman in Justice League on Nov. 17, 2017. The actor talks about his upcoming films, and explains why he prefers real sex to the virtual kind, in this exclusive interview.

What’s a favorite video game memory you can share from playing games at any point in your life?

I’m kind of a virgin and I just popped my cherry today, if you will. I’m not the biggest gamer, and to tell you the truth we never really did have a TV at my house, so this is definitely my first time playing anything, but I loved it. I was a bit of an ass in the game today. I acted like a total asshole. I get a little too passionate. You should see me. I’m sitting here with Demetrious Johnson right now talking about the game. I’m on an adrenaline rush from this game. It’s like I’m a total spastic.

What are your thoughts about how far gaming has come today and what Ubisoft is doing with this For Honor game?

It’s just like watching a movie, man. I feel like I’m right there. As far as the visuals, it’s amazing … I kind of caught myself watching a little movie that they made and it’s better than the movies I’ve been in …”

What’s your take on the whole Twitch livestreaming phenomena that you were just part of and how it’s allowing anyone with a web cam today to become a celebrity?

I mean, it’s great for them. It’s bad for me because now the whole world sees me as a dumbass, but as far as being in your home and you can make a profession out of it, good for them. And it’s pretty cool that you can play it all around the world. I think it’s awesome.

What do you feel it adds to, especially you not being a gamer, to have that connection with people in real time that you don’t get starring in movies like Justice League or the Netflix series Frontier?

I mean it’s pretty impressive. I’ve played with everyone in the room, but as an actor it’s just pretty amazing to be communicating with someone around the world and to be playing that game. Also, it lets you know how small the world is. It’s kind of scary a little bit, but it’s cool that you can be playing someone in Australia or you can be playing with someone in Japan. It’s amazing.

Batman has had a lot of cool video games over the years. What would the Aquaman video game be if you were in charge?

“I read the Aquaman script and let me just put it this way, I’ve never seen a movie that’s anything like this.”

I read the (Aquaman) script and let me just put it this way, I’ve never seen a movie that’s anything like this. It’s going to be a world that you’ve never seen before, which is really cool. We went to space, we traveled all over different worlds, but we never went underwater. So it’s just a really cool spin on what’s below and it uses a lot of great movies that I already love — whether that be Raiders of the Lost Ark to Star Wars to Lord of the Rings to Romancing the Stone. It has a lot of really cool adventure, it’s funny and heroic, and there’s a lot of different characters and a lot of different worlds that we get to go to. So I’ve never really seen anything like it. I think it would be an absolutely amazing game and that would be the greatest character in the world.

How did staring in Game of Thrones help prepare you for stepping into the DC Extended Universe with Justice League?

Zack Snyder is a huge fan of Game of Thrones and I met him in the training stunt facility that I train at and I guess he really liked me because he later called me into his office and we talked about playing Aquaman. He had a really cool vision for what he wanted to do and how he wanted me to look. It’s kind of Zack’s baby.

Conan the Barbarian was always a bad ass. Aquaman, not so much. What do you feel your own background in playing heroes has done for making Arthur Curry cool for a new generation?

Well, I think that’s really fucking hard, John, because I’m getting made fun of a little bit. But the cool thing with Aquaman is how it taps into the native culture and that’s something that we’re only taught a little about, so there’s a lot of interesting things. I really think it’s the right time. It’s really cool. Zack is one of those perspectives on it and DC is really getting behind it. It was a ballsy step. They did it, and I’m extremely happy with the world they’ve created. It’s an honor to be part of this.

It wasn’t that long ago when ‘Entourage’ was creating the parody Aquaman movie with James Cameron directing it and now everyone’s looking forward to you making this movie.

Yeah, well I read the script and just started training for it and I can’t wait. I’ve spent a lot of time in this industry so I’m excited to put all my energy into it and completely fuck some shit up.

I’ve read that you’re a big outdoors guy and Ubisoft has made some cool virtual reality video games. What are your thoughts about virtual reality allowing anyone to scale Mt. Everest or fly through Paris by putting on a headset?

I do like doing things in life. That’s one of the reasons why I think it was really cool to be here and learn so many worlds and interests and things. I mean I’m an actor, so I get excited by learning those things and using little tidbits that I can … If you’re in a small town somewhere and you can go and visit Paris, you can go to the top of Everest that’s just cool. It’s worth it because you become more educated in something. Personally, if I have the option to go outside, then yeah. I mean virtually, I could probably have sex on the internet, but I don’t. I just enjoy the real thing. Some people that are just into the old-school shit — that’s me. But I’m down for new things.