Jason Momoa on his road to film financing
New York Post: January 2014
Actor Jason Momoa’s upcoming film, “Road to Paloma,” a road-trip revenge thriller, traveled an interesting road to get financed, he told The Post in an exclusive interview at the Sundance Film Festival.
Momoa, best known for his roles as “Conan the Barbarian” and Khal Drogo in HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” said a chance connection with deep-pocketed leveraged-buyout titan Alec Gores sealed the deal that got his film the money he needed.
“No one really believed we could do it for between $500,000 and $600,000,” said Momoa of the budget.
The actor took a low interest loan of $100,000 that he had to pay back in a year with the proviso that if the underwriters liked the movie they’d buy it and help finish it.
If they didn’t like it, he’d have to pay them back.
Momoa bought cameras and sound equipment, begged friends for editing help and hounded artists to let him use their music in the film, whose script finds two men traveling to the Teton mountains on motorbikes and sharing their troubled histories.
Momoa managed to scrounge music from top American folk duo Shovels and Rope, and has the Rolling Stones on the soundtrack.
The 34-year-old actor says that despite his tested Hollywood name, it was tough to get a commitment of even $2 million to make a movie — but he persisted and passed on a host of big acting projects to focus on completing his own.
The actress who plays his sister, Sarah Shahi, was key in making the contacts. She talked to her manager, who was friendly with the head of talent at Los Angeles’ Paradigm agency, which is run by Sam Gores, brother of Alec Gores.
Production funding came via Boss Media’s Frank Mancuso Jr., and distribution cash came from WWE Studios, run by former Miramax executive Michael Luisi, and Anchor Bay.
WWE Studios acquired rights for North America, the UK and Australia.
Mamoa is married to “The Cosby Show” actress Lisa Bonet, who also stars in the movie.
Momoa wrote, directed and appears in the film — which is due out mid-2014.
The hunky, 6-foot-4-inch Hawaii native is a busy man. He also stars in a TV series, “The Red Road,” for Sundance Channel. It debuts Feb. 27 at 9 p.m. ET.
In the series, Momoa follows a tribe of native Americans who live a solitary existence in New Jersey and clash with the local community. It also features Julianne Nicholson, a star of “August: Osage County.”