For the cast of Sundance Channel’s The Red Road, premiering February 27, there was a definite upside to using rural Georgia as a stand-in for New Jersey’s Ramapo Mountains, where the show takes place.
“We shot a good hour and forty minutes outside Atlanta,” Jason Momoa, who stars as an ex-con in the series, says. “My character spends a lot of time in the forest and out by these beautiful lakes, which was fantastic. My trailer was next to these beautiful open spaces in the forest surrounded by fresh air.”
The scenery wasn’t the only thing that appealed to the actor. “The biggest thing for me is finding a character that’s really strong and powerful,” he says. “It was really appealing to me being a native to play a native man who doesn’t like his tribe. There are a lot of things happening for his tribe, and he’s not a part of it. His own mother doesn’t like him, and his tribe doesn’t like him. Being an outcast is interesting and makes a good drama.”
Lucky for Momoa, his own family—who came to Georgia with him—is less dramatic. And Atlanta, where the cast was living, made for an enjoyable home away from home.
“This was my first time working in Atlanta, and it resonated very well; I loved the people, loved the food, loved the town,” Momoa says. “Also I was able to take my family with me, so we brought our kids down there and they got to see different zoos, experience different climates and see the world.”
Momoa, who’s previously starred in Game of Thrones as Khal Drogo, says that “one of the great things about being an actor is being on location. I’ve worked in Bulgaria, Malta, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand and Belfast. You’re paid to go live in a different place, you get to join the circus, meet new people and see things. For me, that’s definitely one of the biggest draws.”
Watch the trailer for The Red Road here: