‘Stargate Atlantis’: Jason Momoa Had to Sew His Dreads In for Season 5

Stargate Atlantis boasted a memorable cast of characters, including the intimidating but lovable Ronon Dex. The Satedan soldier, played by Jason Momoa, was one of the few remaining members of his planet after a massive Wraith culling. He was one of the show’s standout characters after he joined during Season 2, easily recognizable for his stature, signature gun, and his impressively cultivated dreadlocks. However, when Jason Momoa decided to cut his dreads off between Season 4 and 5, it posed a problem for the costuming team — they had to sew them all back on. And it wasn’t easy for anyone involved.

Torri Higginson loved working with Jason Momoa 

By all accounts, Stargate Atlantis was a fun workplace environment — which may come as no surprise given the actors working on the show. According to Torri Higginson, Jason Momoa brought a “breath of fresh air” to the set when he arrived. 

“McKay always makes everybody laugh, David Hewlett is very funny, he makes everybody laugh. Jason, I used to — he was a breath of fresh air when he showed up on set. A breath of fresh air because he was completely oblivious,” Torri Higginson explained during a panel filmed by Watika Lemon News.

Higginson added that there were some people on set who were wowed by Jason Momoa’s physical appearance.

“And I think all the powers that be were terrified of him because he was twice their height and you know, these sort of, somewhat lower in stature little white guys looking at this guy,” said Torri Higginson, making an awed face.

“And Jason loved that. And so he was fearless and he was hilarious to work with,” Higginson added.

Jason Momoa is no stranger to folks being intimidated or awed by his height and physique — he once told Access Hollywood that this is a common issue with casting directors. 

“When you have a big 6’5″ Hawaiian screaming at the top of his lungs … casting directors were kind of very scared,” he explained.

Jason Momoa sewed in dreads for ‘Stargate Atlantis’ Season 5

‘Stargate Atlantis’ star Jason Momoa as Ronan Dex, posing on the stairs of the gate room
‘Stargate Atlantis’ star Jason Momoa as Ronan Dex | F. Scott Schafer/Syfy/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

When Jason Momoa arrived on Stargate Atlantis as Ronon Dex, his tank top and chaps, unique pistol, and impressive set of dreads quickly became his signature look. However, between Seasons 4 and 5 of Stargate Atlantis, Jason Momoa wanted to cut his hair. 

According to an interview with GateWorld, Momoa had to ask permission from the producers before making the change. They figured they could keep his dreads after he cut them off and then sew them back into his hair as needed. However, both Jason Momoa and costuming soon discovered that this was a daunting task.  

“It took a little over nine hours. It was painful, and I didn’t sleep for four days. I grew my hair out when I cut them, and they braided it and sewed my old dreads back in. It looked great — it just took a long time,” Momoa explained to GateWorld.

Ronon Dex had a custom-made wig

Jason Momoa explained that it wound up being so bad that his scalp was breaking out in sores. Luckily, the Stargate Atlantis executive producer, John Smith, understood that the situation was untenable.

After the first day of shooting they cut Ronon Dex’s dreads back out of Jason Momoa’s hair, and used his stunt double’s wig, per GateWorld. They then ordered a custom-made wig for $10,000.

“The beginning of ‘Broken Ties’ is all this [master] wig. There is some of my hair in there, which they sewed in to make it look more like my hair. When it came to us it was really clean and kind of dark. By the end of the season it will be perfect, because it has to get dirty and used,” Momoa told GateWorld.

RELATED: ‘Stargate SG-1’: How Did Ba’al Actor Cliff Simon Die?