The Real Life Diet of Jason Momoa, Who Says Jack Black Is His Go-To Dinner Companion

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Whether you know him from Game of Thrones or as the star of the Aquaman franchise, Jason Momoa has pretty much been a major frontman in pop culture for the past decade.

The 44-year-old is known for his jocular attitude, and in talking to him, it’s easy to see that it’s entirely genuine. Momoa is truly happy to be here—whether “here” is riding a motorcycle or throwing tridents on The Tonight Show. His typical on-screen personas may be portrayals of the toughest guys around, but in real life, it seems Momoa’s got that golden retriever boyfriend energy.

While you may have to really squint to see the connection between certain brands and their celebrity spokesperson, Guinness and Momoa just make sense. That’s partially because the star has been incredibly open about loving the beer for years—and he was super excited when he got the opportunity to co-direct, co-write, and star in the latest Guinness ad. Momoa even found a part in the video for his mom, who he says is also a huge fan of the beer.

Below, he told us about long days on set, his favorite Hawaiian food, and more.

For Real-Life Diet, GQ talks to athletes, celebrities, and other high performers about their diet, exercise routines, and pursuit of wellness. Keep in mind that what works for them might not necessarily be healthy for you.

GQ: Well, good morning!

Jason Momoa: The problem with doing Guinness interviews for breakfast is you want to have a Guinness. But I’ve got to wait ‘til the end of the day cause I’ve got to go to work.

So tell me what you’re having for breakfast instead of a Guinness.

Okay, so I just had a breakfast burrito. I love them. I put pork sausage in there with Cholula—I have it shipped down here because I love it. If I don't have that, I love my poi. And I'll have an omelet. Poi is taro root; it’s Hawaiian.

Are you working out in the morning?

When it comes to lifting, it just depends on the role that I'm working on. For example, right now, my guy is a bit of a—I don’t want to give too much away—but he’s definitely not in shape, so there’s not a lot of lifting going on.

But, I am maintaining my legs, which I never used to do because I love climbing, and I’m already 230 to 240 pounds without adding weight onto my legs. When I lift for my legs, I go up to 250 to 260 pounds, so I'm kind of fucked, and am not able to climb anymore, but I feel great. When I’m doing my legs, my whole body feels better, and it just kind of maintains everything.

What do the maintenance workouts look like?

I use a couple of different kettlebells—I swing ‘em and do some squats and some deadlifts.

How much weight are we talking about with the kettlebells?

I keep an 88-pound and a 106-pound kettlebell around, and they’re easy to use.

And you usually do that in the morning?

I try to, but I am not doing much right now. I'm a bit of a shit. I'm not doing what I should be doing, but I usually do it in the mornings. I only do mornings because, for me, afternoons are Guinness time. Like, when I’m done working, there’s no way my ass is going to the gym. I am a morning person. I wake up every morning, and it's Christmas. It's Christmas morning.

So, are you getting up early?

Generally, 5 to 6 a.m. I generally get six hours of sleep and am good with six. I don’t get more than that.

So you’re going to bed every night at midnight?

I would say 11 to midnight, yeah. But I went to bed the other night at nine, and my body woke me up at 3:30 a.m., and I was like, “Get fucked!” And my body’s like, “That’s six hours, bro!”

Okay, what are we doing for lunch?

I love sandwiches, and for lunch, I keep it simple and have a sandwich.

I have a chef who travels with me for dinner, but I consistently love the same stuff. I love Hawaiian food, so I’ll have nice chicken and rice, mac salad, poi, and salad. I love a simple salad. I like radishes and tomatoes; then there’s just the greens and olive oil. I’ll do protein; I’ll always have chicken.

I ate red meat for a very long time, and I loved it to the point where it hurt me. So, I don't eat as much red meat as I used to. I love seafood, like uni and stuff like that. I should eat way more vegetables than I do, but we're working on that. Baby steps!

What's the craziest training and diet schedule you've had to go on for any movie?

I mean, the first couple of Justice Leagues and Aquaman were the most crazy. I was at a peak on Batman vs. Superman, and we didn't know what Aquaman was going to be like, so we just gave our all to the workout, and then the further I got into it, it became less and less.

It was more about surviving, really, because you do so many stunts, and even your stuntman's hurt. On Aquaman, we needed two stuntmen because one person needed to be rehearsing and setting up the stuff we would do, and one person needed to be on set with me. We were constantly getting beat up. I mean, that character just got his ass kicked all the time.

So, are you working out during those shoots when you’re not on set?

When you do big movies like that, it's like you can't just—like some people will work out and bodybuild, and it’s just a beautiful art form—but when you're doing stunts nonstop and doing your fights, [it gets to the point where] it hurts more not to hit someone. Does that make sense? When you're throwing punches full force, and you're not actually hitting someone, you realize how much that connection actually helps—like think of punching a punching bag.

Like if I fully go out and try to punch you, but I have to miss, your elbows, your body… everything's thrown off. Then you add like a 60-pound or 40-pound suit to yourself, and you’re not actually making a connection that’s going to keep you on balance, so a certain part of your body has to stabilize, and you end up throwing out all types of parts of your body. You’re doing that all day, and it’s always stop-go, stop-go with constant ups and downs, and you have to stay warmed up all day.

It feels like you’d just be constantly getting injured.

You’re just trying to keep injury at bay. It's really like consistently trying to do things to keep your body protected from fights. For example, when someone goes and works out, they do their two to three hours, and they're done. We have to do that, fight, and work through it on days that are a minimum of 13 hours. So, you’re trying to keep weight on.

Do you try to maintain a certain weight when you’re not working on these films?

I'm not gonna lie to you, Brittany. I'm a big fan of not doing that stuff. Right now, I’m having the time of my life. Jack Black and I eat and party and have a good time. I’m with Jared Hess every night, having dinner together, and we just enjoy ourselves.

From what I can say, my character is stuck in 1988. He's a bit of a burnout, a bit of a loser. He was once something great, and now he’s a shell of that man. So I’m not supposed to be super fit. I mean, listen, I’m still a big guy, but there’s not a big workout regimen right now.

Okay, before we go, hit me with your favorite memory with Guinness.

I have one that’s just a little too personal, so I’m going with the latest one.

I was raised by a single mother—it was just me and her. We ate shitty pizza—she’d send me coupons, so the pizza we ate was like 88-cent pizza. She worked three or four jobs, and she busted her ass, but she would drink a beer, and she taught me how to drink Guinness. When we were looking for this woman to play this role in the commercial, I was like: Oh my God, let’s just get my mom. Most people aren't gonna know that's my mother.

I told my mom, and my mom's obviously so giddy—she's never been in anything before. It's one of the coolest moments I've ever had with my mom, and to share it over something that she taught me. We went to the Guinness factory, wrote this story with my friends, directed it, and starred in it with my mother. That’s about as good as it gets.

Originally Appeared on GQ