“Can I grab a photo?”
It’s the common request for any actor who’s managed to play more than a Christmas panto at Birmingham’s Hippodrome. For Jason Momoa, it’s a demand that often comes wrapped in a wish for something more. “[Some fans] like it if I grab them by the throats or pretend I’m going to punch them in the face or act like they’re choking me out,” the man poised to bring Aquaman to land has said. That Momoa has an extreme, and, given his hulking size (6ft 4 and built like a Redwood on roids), brave, fan base, is thanks to Game of Thrones, specifically, fearsome warrior leader Khal Drago. Prior to this the Iowan-raised Hawaiian had surfed his looks to some dubious modelling work and an eventual role on the washedup Baywatch Hawaii (the small screen reboot that failed before this year’s failed cinematic rehash). Physicality’s been central to the 37-year-old’s rise – his is a rugged masculinity entwined with that of frontier woodsman. He keeps “tomahawks, throwing knives and old black-bear furs. There’s skulls, weapons everywhere” in his LA ‘man-cave’, and he holds a genuine embrace of the outdoors – a fondness for surfing and skateboarding alongside hiking and archery. It’s rock climbing, though, which gives him the most. “It’s made me face my fears and doubts… problem solve through movement… [With rock climbing] I found balance and I found my passion.” Etched on the other side of this equation is something more alluring – Momoa meditates, has studied Buddhist teachings in Tibet and is said to have a thing for painting with pastels. Check his Instagram account (@prideofgypsies) and you’ll also find a doting, domesticated dad to the two kids he has with wife (and perennially alluring actress) Lisa Bonet. “I always wanted to be a father, but never in my life did I ever think I would be an actor,” he’s claimed. “With [my kids], my dreams finally came true; I’m a father, I found my place, my home.” Nice.