Audience member: “Conan, what is best in life?”
Jason Momoa: “Not my movie, motherf---er!”
Keep the new Conan away from mead or mead-like substances (in this case, beer). It’s typical for guests and patrons at Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse to drink until they’re nice and comfortable, and Jason Momoa, star of the new Conan the Barbarian, was really, really comfortable. This probably didn’t make the suits from Lionsgate very comfortable, especially when he glibly described the Marcus Nispel 3-D movie as, “ten pounds of sh-t in a five pound bag.”
The special screening started with a barbarian pose-off, lead by Alamo host and programmer Henri Mazza (sporting drawn-on ab muscles and a barbaric fright wig). After picking five people from the crowd and handing them prop swords, Mazza named Momoa as the judge for the contest and inspired a couple of the competitors to pose with their shirts off (for better or worse). Momoa picked the man he affectionately dubbed “Sword Dick.” You can probably guess the winning pose from that nickname.
Alamo executive chef John Bullington prepared a Hyborian-inspired menu for the night. Guests could choose from a giant Ren Faire-style turkey leg, a trio of grilled meats called the “Plate of Bones” (smoked chicken legs, a lamb chop, and pork spare ribs), and bakhlava. All attendees received a themed dessert courtesy of Lionsgate -- the Conana banana, a flash-fried banana rolled in chocolate and ginger and wrapped in rice paper.
After the film, Jason Momoa unleashed one of the funniest, off-the-rails question and answer sessions the Alamo has ever hosted. Charming and comically aggressive, Momoa flexed, flirted, and f-worded his way through a gamut of groaners, including two identical questions on his political aspirations (based solely on Schwarzenegger’s post-Conan legacy). Not many facts about the film were shared (“Every time you see me on a horse, I’m sh-tting my pants.”), but we did learn that he’s a big fan of Robert E. Howard and beer, and that the sunflower fields of Bulgaria, close to where they shot the film, are apparently infested with nude prostitutes.
For the most part, the questions from the crowd were just plain awful, which made the star all the funnier, responding to the worst of the worst questioners with hilariously profane threats. There’s so much Conan the Barbarian in Jason Momoa that one more beer in his belly might have had us all believing he’d actually follow through on those poor souls.
[Photos by Jack Plunkett]