Every once in a while, someone comes along who unites us all. Sometimes it's a musician. Sometimes it's hero of some kind. And sometimes, it's an incredibly hot and sexy actor who captures our hearts and moves immediately to the top of our laminated lists. For a lot of us (most of us?), that happened when Jason Momoa stepped on the scene. He's not new to Hollywood by any means. Momoa has been acting for years, on both the small and big screens. But it was his turn as Khal Drogo, and then his starring role as Aquaman in the DC Comics franchise, that really made us pay attention. And now we just can't get enough of him.
But you know what? Jason Momoa is more than just a pretty face and AMAZING physique. Although, let's be honest, he is very much both of those things. Momoa is a devoted husband, father, and talented performer. He's an activist who is passionate about the environment. Momoa is a jack of all trades, and wouldn't you know, he excels at all of them. He even helped a Girl Scout sell more cookies! The more we learn about Jason Momoa, the more we love him, and it was hard to love him more than we already did. But even die-hard Momoa fans might not have known some of these fascinating facts about him!
Jason fans are familiar with his love of the islands. And it definitely comes to him naturally! His father is Hawaiian, and his mother, Coni, is German, Irish, and Native American. But he didn't actually grow up in Hawaii. Jason was born there, but moved with his mom to Iowa when he was a kid. He spent the majority of his childhood in Iowa, before eventually returning to Hawaii to get in touch with his roots and bond with his dad. Hawaii is also where he got his big break and launched his career.
Before he became a household name in the entertainment industry, Jason Momoa was just another hot Hawaiian guy who happens to be super smart and dedicated to the planet. Before moving to Hawaii, Jason enrolled in college in Iowa and was studying to become a marine biologist. Academia took him to Florida for field research, then to Colorado where he studied wildlife biology. But we all know how this turned out. Maybe his role as Aquaman is a nod to his love of the sea?
Listen, we love a good love story, and this one is so stinking cute. Jason Momoa isn't the only one who fell head-over-heels in love with Lisa Bonet when she played Denise Huxtable on The Cosby Show. BUT, he is the only one who ended up marrying her. Jason has said that he developed a crush on Lisa when he first saw her on TV when he was 8 years old. He ended up meeting her at a jazz club in 2005, which turned into a date, which turned into two of the hottest people walking the earth getting married and having some babies.
You've heard the phrase Jack-of-all-trades, right? Well, let's just call this guy a Jason-of-all-trades, because he's dipped his fine-ass toes into a lot of pools in his life. He was almost a marine biologist. Then could have been a wildlife biologist. Settled (LOL) on acting. But in-between all of that, Jason Momoa did some pretty amazing stuff. He traveled to France to study pastel painting. He lived in Tibet while studying Buddhist teachings. And he's frequently pictured with his trusty guitar. Swooooooon.
We've seen a lot of Jason Momoa in ... very little clothing. Like, a lot. Which is fine, we're not mad about it AT ALL. But in the roles he's most famous for, he's got some pretty serious body ink happening. And while his own tattoos aren't anywhere near at extensive, they are pretty meaningful. His left forearm is covered by a sleeve and is a tribute to his family's god, or aumakua in Hawaiian mythology. It features rows of triangles that represent shark teeth, because a shark is his family's guardian. He also has his kids' initials tattooed on his chest. And on his right forearm the phrase, "etre toujours ivre", which means "to always be drunk" in French.
What would Jason Momoa be without that scar on his eyebrow? Well, he'd still be hot as hell, but the scar certainly adds to his rugged sexiness. Some celebs play coy with their scars, but not Jason. The scar was result of being smashed in the face with a bar glass during a fight in Los Angeles. It required a whopping 140 stitches! Jason was injured not long before he began filming one of his most iconic roles - that of Khal Drogo on Game of Thrones. But rather than freak out or try to have it fixed, he went with it. And we have to say, the scar definitely added to Khal's (and Jason's) appeal.
Listen, a lot of Hollywood stars got their big breaks not on the big screen, but in the pages of a magazine. Jason Momoa is no exception! Before he landed his first acting role, he wooed people with his good looks as a professional model. In fact, he actually won Hawaii's Model of the Year in 1999. That win gave him the opportunity to host the Miss Teen Hawaii competition. And he used it as a springboard to jump right into acting, landing his first gig a short time later.
Really, when you think about it, there is no more perfect role for a guy like Jason Momoa than playing a lifeguard on Baywatch Hawaii. He's got the physique, the look, the laid-back island vibe. Plus, he was living in Hawaii, working in Hawaii (at a board shop and then as a model), and pretty much embodies everything that island life is all about. After Jason made a splash as a model, he was cast as lifeguard Jason Ioane on the series. He played the character for three years, then went on to star in a few other shows before his BIG big break.
When producers were casting the role of Khal Drogo, they were looking for someone who could be believable as the leader of the Dothraki. You know, a bad-ass. Considering Jason's resume up until that point consisted of modeling and life-guarding, they weren't sure he fit the bill. To convince them, Jason performed an intimidating war Maori war dance called the Haka at his audition. He impressed them so much they asked him to perform it a second time on camera. And the rest is history.
You can't put all your eggs in one basket, you know? And should the acting/modeling/marine biologist/wildlife biologist/painter/Buddhist monk things not work out, Jason has a backup plan. He founded his own production company in 2010, called Pride of Gypsies. In 2014, he wrote, directed, produced, and starred in a film called Road to Paloma. His production company has also produced spots for clothing brand Carhartt.
When you want career longevity in Hollywood, you have two choices: join one of the two comic book universes. Jason Momoa landed a plum role as Aquaman, securing his place in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). But he almost went the other way! Jason could have ended up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). He auditioned for roles in Guardians of the Galaxy and another unnamed project headed by the Russo Brothers, who directed The Winter Soldier, Civil War, and Infinity War.
Sure, he eventually ended up in the DCEU as Aquaman, securing the bag on at least one feature and a sequel (and probably more). But before he landed that role, he auditioned for the role of another, much bigger name in the DCEU world - Batman! That's right, folks. Jason Momoa could have been Batman. But he didn't feel right about the audition, and felt his casting wouldn't stay true enough to the comics (remember, he's Native Hawaiian, and Batman is a white dude). He auditioned anyway, for Zack Snyder, who also directed The Justice League, so ... you see where we're going with this.
Jason and Lisa Bonet have been married since 2017, and have two kids together. If you've ever heard Jason speak about his family, then you know how incredibly devoted he is to them, and how much he enjoys being a father. Their daughter Lola Lolani was born in 2007, and son Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha joined the family a year later, in 2008. Their names are odes to Jason's Native Hawaiian heritage. Lola's name means royal hawk, and Nakoa-Wolf's name actually has several meanings. Nakoa means warrior, mana is strength or spirit, and kaua-po is a nod to the weather on the day he was born: rainy and dark.
They really are one big blended family! Which is so amazing. Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz were married from 1987 to 2003, and had one daughter, Zoe Kravitz. Zoe was 17 when her mom met Jason, but he still embraced her as his own and they have a very close relationship. Zoe was in attendance when her mom married Jason, and regularly shares pictures of the two of them together on her IG page with captions like, "love you, papabear". All together now: AWWWWWWWWW.
He's loved her pretty much since he was 8 years old. Sidebar: can you imagine how stoked he was to not just meet her, but have her fall in love with him too?! Anyway, the love Jason has for his beloved is deep and pure and we are swooning over here. They've been together for 11 years, married for 8 years, and have a beautiful family together. But he's still in awe of her, saying, "She’s an angel. She’s amazing.... She’s so amazing because I’m such a dipshit." He ever wrote the part of his love interest in Road to Paloma specifically for Lisa.
Fans of the show will remember that the sex scenes between Jason's character Khal Drogo and his onscreen partner Khaleesi (played by Emilia Clarke) were incredibly hard to watch. For Jason and Emilia, we imagine they were very hard to film, as well. Especially because Jason has such a fondness for Emilia. On filming the scenes Jason has said, "It's one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, because I love Emilia, she's someone that I love and adore to this day. You have to kind of separate [yourself from] it."
Let us explain. When actors film nude or sex scenes, they typically wear a nude or flesh-colored sock to cover their bits. The initial scenes between Khal and Daenerys were definitely not lighthearted or easy, so to lighten the mood on set, Jason decided to have a little fun with the heavy shoot. He switched out the usual nude sock and replaced it with a fluffy pink sock to wear over his ... equipment. Imagine getting into a serious scene and looking down to see a pink sock on Jason's junk.
In fact, before being cast in Conan (a role for which he had to bulk up considerably), Jason had never even lifted weights. To stay in shape, he relied on running, climbing, surfing, and boxing. Jason thinks that traditional gym workouts can get boring and monotonous, and much prefers working out doing things he enjoys. We're sure he's in the gym more now than he'd like, but it's clearly working. He also sticks to a pretty strict diet of lean meats and vegetables, but still leaves some wiggle room for beer.
Jason Momoa is a beer guy, OK? But if you follow him on Instagram, you know that he has very particular tastes when it comes to beer. Not that he won't drink any kind, but we all have our favs, you know? Jason happens to have a very deep love of and appreciation for Guinness beer, the dark Irish stout. He loves it so much, in fact, that Guinness took notice and even created a special beer in his honor. The company's first sour, Mano Brew, was created just for Jason back in 2016.
Studios don't like it when people spoil the end of their films, but once a movie comes out, there's nothing much they can do to stop them, you know? But they probably really don't like it when the stars of the movies accidentally spoil the ending. Before Aquaman came out, Jason blabbed about the last scene, which sets up the entire arc of the film. It wasn't exactly a stretch for people familiar with the story line, but still. Gotta know when to hold them and when to fold them, buddy.
They can't very well see what dad's been up to by watching Game of Thrones, after all. So that's why he was so stoked about being able to play Aquaman. He's said that his daughter is a big Wonder Woman fan, and his son is pretty into Batman, so being a part of a comic book franchise was a big win with them! Jason said, "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."
Jason Momoa is very proud of his Native Hawaiian heritage, and his love for the islands and their people is apparent in pretty much everything he does. So it should come as no surprise that he's been a vocal and present participant in the ongoing protests against construction of a telescope on indigenous lands atop the summit of Mauna Kea. He stands with the native people of Hawaii and against the destruction of their land and history, and has been supportive of the efforts of Native Hawaiians to put an end to the project.