Jason Momoa Talks Aquaman and His Hawaiian Heritage

By January 30, 2015

Actor Jason Momoa is on the cusp of being the first performer to play the fabled DC Comics superhero Aquaman in a major motion picture when Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens in theaters next year. Momoa is in a very interesting position, since much of the prevailing (and untrue) perception about the character he’s about to play is less than stellar, while general opinion about Momoa himself is usually pretty positive. The actor has also been relatively tight-lipped about his forthcoming role, but recently opened up about it.

In an interview with The Daily Beast talking about his role on “The Red Road,” a TV miniseries, Momoa talked frankly about the Aquaman role, and about why he feels a kinship with the Sea King over his own heritage. He said,

Aquaman is especially cool because being a Kanaka Maoli—being Hawaiian—our Gods are Kanaloa and Maui, and the Earth is 71 percent water, so I get to represent that. And I’m someone who gets to represent all the islanders, not some blond-haired superhero. It’s cool that there’s a brown-skinned superhero.

He also talked a bit about what it means for him, as a parent, to be able to play a DC Comics superhero that will fight alongside other icons like the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight.

It’s awesome as an actor to know what your future is going to be because I have children and I’ve busted my ass to put food on the table. It’s awesome knowing that I’m going to be in Justice League because my son is the biggest Batman fan and my daughter loves Wonder Woman. It’ll be cool for them to see me in something because they’re not going to be watching Game of Thrones or Red Road anytime soon, but now they can see Daddy kicking ass in IMAX.

Momoa, who got his start as a model and was long-identified with a role on “Baywatch’s” Hawaiian spin-off, says that the irony of now landing a role like Aquaman is not lost on him, either.

It’s a trip. I spent 15 years trying to dig myself out of the Baywatch hole, and now I’m Aquaman. Life is very good.

Momoa will first play Aquaman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, before joining the likes of Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, and Ezra Miller in 2017’s Justice League: Part One. In 2018, he’ll star in his own Aquaman film, before finishing off with the second part of Justice League in 2019. For more on Aquaman, check out Tory Mell’s recent op-ed about the character’s hair color change for the films, as well as my own exploration of why Aquaman is the coolest DC Comics character you don’t know about.

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Chris Clow
As a former comics retailer at a store in the Pacific Northwest, Chris Clow is an enormous sci-fi, comics, and film geek. He is a freelance contributor, reviewer, podcaster, and overall geek to GeekNation, Batman-On-Film.com, The Huffington Post, and Movies.com. He also hosts the monthly Comics on Consoles broadcast and podcast. Check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.