Jason Momoa

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Jason Momoa
Jason Momoa by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Momoa at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con, promoting Aquaman
Born Joseph Jason Namakaeha Momoa
(1979-08-01) August 1, 1979 (age 38)
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
Occupation Actor, model, producer
Years active 1999–present
Spouse(s) Lisa Bonet (m. 2017)
Children 2

Joseph Jason Namakaeha Momoa (born August 1, 1979) is a Kānaka-American actor, model, and producer. He is known for his television roles as Ronon Dex on the military science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis (2004–2009), Khal Drogo in the HBO fantasy television series Game of Thrones (2011–2012), and as Declan Harp in the Netflix series Frontier (2016–present).

Momoa portrayed the title character in the sword and sorcery film Conan the Barbarian (2011). He plays Aquaman in the DC Extended Universe, beginning with the 2016 superhero film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and then in the 2017 ensemble Justice League and the 2018 solo film Aquaman.[1][2]

Road to Paloma was Momoa's first film as director, writer, and producer. He also starred in the lead role in the film, released on July 11, 2014.[3]

Early life[edit]

An only child, Momoa was born in 1979 in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Coni, a photographer, and Joseph Momoa, a painter.[4] He was raised in Norwalk, Iowa, by his mother.[5] His father is of Native Hawaiian descent, while his mother is of German, Irish, and Native American ancestry.[6] After high school, Momoa began college in Iowa as a marine biology major, studying for a period in the Florida Keys. He transferred his major to wildlife biology at Colorado State University. Before completing his degree, he moved back to the Hawaiian Islands to reconnect with his father.[7]

As a young man, Momoa traveled extensively, took up pastel painting in Paris, and studied Buddhist teachings in Tibet.[8][9]


Momoa sporting the dreadlocks he wore during the filming of Stargate Atlantis in 2006.

In 1998, Momoa was discovered by international designer Takeo Kobayashi, who encouraged his modeling career. Momoa won Hawaii's Model of the Year 1999 and hosted the Miss Teen Hawaii contest. At 19 years old, he also worked part-time in a surf shop before being cast in the action drama series Baywatch Hawaii,[7] where he appeared as Jason Ioane (1999–2001).[10]

In addition to his appearances in North Shore (2004–2005), Johnson Family Vacation (2004), and Stargate: Atlantis (2005–2009), Momoa was cast as Roman in four episodes of the comedy-drama television series The Game (2009). He portrayed the title protagonist in Conan the Barbarian (2011), a reimagining of the 1982 film of the same name and a role made famous by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Momoa gained his role of Khal Drogo on HBO's Game Of Thrones through his audition, in which he performed the Haka,[11] an intimidating Māori war dance traditionally used on the battlefield.[12]

After the shooting of Stargate Atlantis Season 4 was over, Momoa had his dreadlocks cut off. Their weight had been giving him headaches. The program agreed with the decision and had planned to film a scene where Ronon cuts off his hair for Season 5's "Broken Ties", but that change was ultimately overruled by the Sci Fi network. On the first day of filming for Season 5, his dreadlocks were reattached, but the process was too taxing. Momoa switched to using his stunt double's wig until a custom wig could be made and delivered two weeks later.[13][14] When Momoa was first cast for the role, the producers had asked him to cut off the dreadlocks, but they became a trademark of his character, so he was allowed to keep them.[citation needed]

Momoa directed and co-wrote Road to Paloma (2014), an American drama thriller film, together with writers Jonathan Hirschbein and Robert Homer Mollohan. The film stars Momoa, Sarah Shahi, Lisa Bonet, Michael Raymond-James and Wes Studi.[15] It premiéred at the 2014 Sarasota Film Festival in April 2014.[16] The film had a limited theatrical release on July 15, 2014, in New York City and Los Angeles and a VOD release.[17]

Momoa at the 2014 Florida Supercon

In March 2014, Momoa joined the dark comedy/thriller indie Sugar Mountain alongside Cary Elwes and Haley Webb; its principal photography was done in Alaska.[18][19] He also starred as Phillip Kopus, a Ramapough Mountain Indian, on the SundanceTV drama series The Red Road (2014–2015).[20]

In June 2014, Momoa was reported to have been cast in the role of Aquaman in the superhero film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.[21][22][23] Momoa's role as Aquaman was confirmed in October 2014. This marked Aquaman's live action theatrical debut. He is also to star in an Aquaman solo film to be released in 2018.[24][25][26] He also portrayed Connor in the Canadian horror action film Wolves.[27]

Momoa starred in the 2014 sci-fi horror movie, Debug; it was written and directed by Momoa's former Stargate Atlantis co-star, British-born Canadian actor David Hewlett. In February 2015, it was announced that he will portray a cannibal[28] in the drama thriller film The Bad Batch.[29] He will star in an action movie titled Braven.

He is currently in the Discovery Channel (Canada) / Netflix original series, Frontier, portraying Declan Harp, a half-Cree, half-Irish trapper waging his own war with the British during the days of the fur trade in Early Canada. In early 2017, he signed onto the official Just Cause movie series.[30][31]

Personal life[edit]

In 2005, Momoa met actress Lisa Bonet after common friends introduced them, and they developed a relationship.[32]

On July 23, 2007, Bonet gave birth to their first child, a daughter named Lola Iolani Momoa.[32]

Although it was widely believed[by whom?] that Momoa and Bonet married on November 15, 2007, the couple did not legally marry until October 2017.[33] From his marriage to Bonet, Momoa became the stepfather to Zoë Kravitz.[34]

On December 15, 2008, their second child, a son named Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha Momoa, was born. Momoa's mother announced the birth, saying that Nakoa means "the warriors" and Mana stands for "strength/spirit", while Kaua ("rain") and Po ("dark") pertain to the circumstances surrounding his birthday (he was born on a rare bad-weather night in Los Angeles). He shares his name, Namakaeha, with his father.[35]

In December 2017, Momoa was featured in the Men's Health magazine on the cover and with an article detailing his fitness routine for Aquaman.[36]

Martial arts[edit]

Momoa learned martial arts for his role as Ronon in Stargate Atlantis[37] and for Conan.[38]

In 2017, Momoa started practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu.[39][40]

Facial scar[edit]

On November 15, 2008, Momoa was slashed in the face with a broken beer glass by another customer at the Bird Cafe, a Hollywood, California, tavern.[41][42] He received approximately 140 stitches during reconstructive surgery and the scar is apparent in his later work.[41]



Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released
Title Year Role Director Notes Ref(s)
Johnson Family Vacation 2004 Navarro Christopher Erskin
Pipeline 2007 Kai Jordan Alan
Conan the Barbarian 2011 Conan Marcus Nispel CinemaCon Award for Male Rising Star (also for Game of Thrones)
Bullet to the Head 2012 Keegan Walter Hill
Road to Paloma 2014 Robert Wolf Jason Momoa Also producer and co-writer [15]
Debug 2014 Iam David Hewlett
Wolves 2014 Connor David Hayter
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 2016 Arthur Curry / Aquaman Zack Snyder Cameo [24]
The Bad Batch 2016 Miami Man Ana Lily Amirpour [29]
Sugar Mountain 2016 Joe Bright Richard Gray [18]
Once Upon a Time in Venice 2017 Spyder Mark Cullen
Robb Cullen
Justice League 2017 Arthur Curry / Aquaman Zack Snyder
Braven 2018 Joe Braven Lin Oeding Also producer
Aquaman Films that have not yet been released 2018 Arthur Curry / Aquaman James Wan Post-production


Title Year Role Notes Ref.
Baywatch: Hawaii 1999–2001 Jason Ioane 38 episodes
Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding 2003 Jason Ioane Television film
Tempted 2003 Kala Television film
North Shore 2004–2005 Frankie Seau 21 episodes
Stargate Atlantis 2005–2009 Ronon Dex 73 episodes
Game, TheThe Game 2009 Roman 4 episodes
Game of Thrones 2011–2012 Khal Drogo 10 episodes
CinemaCon Award for Male Rising Star (also for Conan the Barbarian) (2011)
Nominated – Scream Award for Best Ensemble (2011)
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2012)
The Red Road 2014–2015 Phillip Kopus 12 episodes [20]
Drunk History 2014–2015 Various roles 2 episodes
Frontier 2016–present Declan Harp 12 episodes; also executive producer
Nominated – Canadian Screen Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Dramatic Role (2017)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ McNary, David (January 21, 2010). "Momoa Set for 'Conan' – New Barbarian Set for Franchise Reboot". Variety. Retrieved August 18, 2011. 
  2. ^ McMillian, Graeme (October 20, 2014). "Jason Momoa Talks 'Aquaman' Plans, Confirms 'Justice League' Appearance". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 22, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Jason Momoa Talks CONAN; Reveals He's Writing and Directing Road To Paloma". Collider.com. Retrieved August 14, 2013. 
  4. ^ Sophia Ahmad (February 19, 2010). "Interview with Norwalk's 'Conan' star Jason Momoa | Des Moines Register Staff Blogs". Blogs.desmoinesregister.com. Archived from the original on April 8, 2013. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  5. ^ Jason Momoa Biography on TVguide
  6. ^ Staff (July 19, 2004). "Momoa Makes Hawaii Hot". Extra. Warner Bros.
  7. ^ a b ""Game of Thrones" Star Jason Momoa – Katie Couric". Katiecouric.com. Archived from the original on September 4, 2014. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Jason Momoa Biography - Yahoo Movies Canada". Ca.movies.yahoo.com. Archived from the original on March 4, 2014. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Jason Momoa Biography". Starpulse.com. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  10. ^ Kelly, Helen (May 5, 2016). "Game of Thrones: Jason Momoa is unrecognisable as young model before Khal Drogo role". express.co.uk. Retrieved September 16, 2016. 
  11. ^ "The Haka - Dance of War - Maori Haka". New Zealand. August 7, 2014. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  12. ^ "East Coasters lead Kapa Haka group in Timor Leste". infonews.co.nz. 
  13. ^ Sumner, Darren (May 26, 2008). "Momoa: The Dreads Stay Put". Gateworld. Archived from the original on July 11, 2008. Retrieved August 18, 2011. 
  14. ^ Sumner, Darren (February 23, 2008). "New Plot Details on 'Broken Ties'". Gateworld. Archived from the original on June 16, 2011. Retrieved August 18, 2011. 
  15. ^ a b "Jason Momoa Talks CONAN; Reveals He's Writing and Directing ROAD TO PALOMA". collider.com. Retrieved August 14, 2013. 
  16. ^ Gordon Cox Legit Editor @GCoxVariety (March 12, 2014). "Jason Momoa's 'Road to Paloma' to Premiere at Sarasota Film Festival". Variety. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  17. ^ Schwartz, Terri (February 26, 2014). "Jason Momoa landed 'The Red Road' thanks to his directorial debut 'Road to Paloma'". Blog.zap2it.com. Archived from the original on March 2, 2014. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  18. ^ a b "Cary Elwes and Jason Momoa to Climb Sugar Mountain". ComingSoon.net. March 12, 2014. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Cary Elwes, Jason Momoa Join Indie 'Sugar Mountain'". The Hollywood Reporter. March 12, 2014. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  20. ^ a b Roco (May 23, 2015). "The Red Road Cancelled By SundanceTV After Two Seasons". Seriable.com. Retrieved September 16, 2016. 
  21. ^ Sciretta, Peter (June 14, 2014). "Jason Momoa Is Aquaman in 'Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice'". /Film. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  22. ^ McWeeny, Drew (June 14, 2014). "JASON MOMOA WILL PLAY AQUAMAN IN 'DAWN OF JUSTICE,' AND WE KNOW HOW IT WILL HAPPEN". Hitfix. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  23. ^ Rebecca Ford and Borys Kit (June 16, 2014). "Jason Momoa to Play Aquaman in 'Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 16, 2014. 
  24. ^ a b "It's Official: Jason Momoa is 'Aquaman'; Solo Movie Coming 2018". Screen Rant. October 15, 2014. Retrieved October 15, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Warner Bros Massive DC Movie Slate Revealed - /Film". Slashfilm. Retrieved October 15, 2014. 
  26. ^ Kroll, Justin (June 3, 2015). "James Wan to Direct 'Aquaman' for Warner Bros". Variety. Retrieved July 6, 2016. 
  27. ^ Shawn S. Lealos (February 27, 2015). "Jason Mamoa Wolves". Renegade Cinema. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  28. ^ "Jason Momoa Eats a Bad Batch of Human Flesh - Dread Central". February 6, 2015. 
  29. ^ a b "Jason Momoa in Talks to Star in Cannibal Love Story 'The Bad Batch' for Annapurna, Vice (Exclusive)". February 6, 2015. 
  30. ^ McNary, Dave (March 7, 2017). "'Aquaman's' Jason Momoa to Star in 'Just Cause' Film Adaptation". 
  31. ^ staff, Newshub (August 3, 2017). "Jason Momoa lands Just Cause movie lead" – via www.newshub.co.nz. 
  32. ^ a b Jason Momoa of 'Conan the Barbarian' talks about his horse fears, August 20, 2011, Olivia Allin, OnTheRedCarpet.com
  33. ^ "Jason Momoa, Lisa Bonet Officially Marry in Secret Wedding". Us Weekly. 2017-11-02. Retrieved 2017-11-02. 
  34. ^ Live, Emily Tess Katz HuffPost (July 9, 2014). "Jason Momoa Gushing About Wife Lisa Bonet Couldn't Be More Adorable". The Huffington Post. Retrieved June 30, 2016. 
  35. ^ "Lisa Bonet's New Baby's Name Is a Mouthful – Newborn Boy's Name Is Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha Momoa". Access Hollywood (via MSNBC). January 9, 2009. Retrieved August 18, 2011. 
  36. ^ "This Is How Jason Momoa Got Ripped Enough to Play Aquaman". Men's Health. 2017-11-14. Retrieved 2018-02-05. 
  37. ^ "Jason Momoa on Martial Arts". August 14, 2009. 
  38. ^ "Jason Momoa Biography". 
  39. ^ "Jason Momoa Trains Jiu-Jitsu". BJJEE. Retrieved February 22, 2017. 
  40. ^ "Jason Momoa's instagram post". Retrieved February 22, 2017. 
  41. ^ a b "Man Pleads Not Guilty To Assaulting 'Stargate Atlantis' Actor". KNBC. January 26, 2009. Retrieved August 18, 2011. 
  42. ^ "Winton, Richard Los Angeles Times October 7, 2009". Retrieved October 15, 2014. 
  43. ^ Kit, Borys (June 16, 2015). "Jason Momoa, Thomas Middleditch and Famke Janssen Join Bruce Willis in Action Comedy (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 19, 2017. 
  44. ^ "Game of Thrones: Cast". HBO. Archived from the original on September 1, 2016. Retrieved August 31, 2016. 
  45. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth (November 16, 2015). "Jason Momoa to Star in Netflix Adventure Drama 'Frontier' from 'San Andreas' Director". Variety. Retrieved March 31, 2017. 

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