There’s a few things we already know about Jason Momoa: the man loves to wear pink everything, he’ll shave his beard for a good cause, and in the early aughts, his look went from clean-cut, to rugged barbarian. But while going through his epic style and grooming evolution, you might have noticed that large scar on his eyebrow that came out of nowhere in the ‘00s. Strangely, the scar appeared around the same time action star started to land some of his biggest roles. Where did it come from? Is there a connection here?
The story is way more interesting than some action-stunt-gone-wrong moment. No, it wasn’t a surfing accident or while performing the Haka in a wrong-place-wrong time scenario. It was way more dangerous than that, as Momoa explained to Access Hollywood back in 2011.
“It was crazy,” Momoa says of an incident that lead to the scar on his eyebrow. “A guy smashed a pint glass in my face. I got a little over 140 stitches in my face.”
In November 2008, before Conan the Barbarian or his role of Khal Drogo on Game of Thrones, the Stargate Atlantis actor got into an altercation with a man who he claims might have been part of a “gang initiation” named Dominic Bando at the Bird Cafe in Hollywood.
NBC Los Angeles reported, Bando was charged with assault with a deadly weapon (and plead not guilty) for the brawl that caused Momoa to need reconstructive surgery. But don’t feel bad for the Aquaman star. Bando suffered four injuries to his hand that required 15 stitches and eventually was sentenced to fives years in prison.
“It just doesn’t grow there anymore,” Jason said of the permanent scar in his Access Hollywood interview. “I got my wife beforehand, so… if she doesn’t like it, too bad. She likes it.” Lisa Bonet isn’t the only one who liked it, as Momoa credits the scar with helping him land his tough, action-packed roles with his new badass image.
“I got called ‘pretty boy’ my whole life,” Momoa told the New York Post in 2011. “If anything, it’s like,’Good’. It’s not my thing now.” Clearly macho Momoa had major beef with the effeminate title and we get it. Could you picture the same young buck in Baywatch as a Dothraki warrior? Even if the savage warriors were drowning, I don’t think they’d want to see a slender, hairless, teen idol running to save them in slow motion.
While the bar fight and subsequent scar wasn’t something Momoa saw coming or planned on, he admitted to the Chicago Sun Times in August 2011 that he had a friend sock him in the face for his Conan the Barbarian role. After Momoa came up with the idea, his friend without hesitation punched him right in the nose.
“My buddy just did it right away, damn it,” said Momoa. “After it was over, I said ‘Dude, didn’t you want to think about it for a minute?’ But we’re guys and he said, ‘You don’t have to ask me twice. Done deal.’”
If a broken nose and large eyebrow scar helped Momoa shake his pretty-boy past to land some of the biggest roles of his career, we can only imagine what he might do for future tough-guy roles to come. The man, like a true action hero, is basically indestructible.
This article originally appeared on Men’s Health