For actors, some projects hit closer to home than others. When it comes to Jason Momoa, starring in Aquaman has been a deeply personal experience for him. CBR was in attendance for a press junket in New York City, where the actor explained exactly what made the film so special for him.
"We're actors, so it's not really necessary," Momoa said while discussing what made the movie so personal. "To play Drogo [on Game of Throne], I don't really need to go through what Drogo did to become him," but playing Arthur Curry was different. In many ways, the actor and character are one and the same.
Momoa admitted that Aquaman allowed him to "play it really close to who I am, in all of his imperfections." As Momoa's growing legions of fans know, the similarities extend beyond just personality; much like Aquaman is born of both the land and sea, the actor also comes from two different worlds.
"The cool thing is just being able to relate as someone who is half truly two different cultures, and each one of those cultures don't know about the other one." Momoa recognized that though he is of Hawaiian descent, he mostly grew up in Iowa, leaving him to feel like something of an outsider.
To that extent, the actor finds the film's themes of returning to your roots to be a deeply personal journey. "Coming from the Polynesian islands, there are so many water gods that we have, and so much folklore, and so much mythology." Being Aquaman, a character who comes from under the ocean, the actor exclaimed, "I get to play that."
When it was brought to his attention that Aquaman would be the first film to star a mixed race superhero, Momoa got serious. "It's 2018, and you're like, 'Really? Is there not one?'" He was also aware what this movie would mean in terms of representation. "If I was a kid, being able to see Aquaman, if you're in Fiji or Tahiti, it would be so cool."
More than anything else, though, this movie helped him connect with his family, something he was able to draw upon during filming was his upbringing. "What helped me a lot was just being raised by a single parent." According to Momoa, that experience living with his mother helped him create a similar relationship with Temuera Morrison, who plays his father in the film.
The actor also admitted that he has yet to watch the full movie because he's waiting to see it with his children. "It's the first time I'd be able to watch something with my kids for the first time," he said. "It's going to be a really cool moment to be a dad."
Directed by James Wan, Aquaman stars Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Amber Heard as Mera, Patrick Wilson as Ocean Master, Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta, Temuera Morrison as Thomas Curry, Dolph Lundgren as Nereus and Nicole Kidman as Queen Atlanna. The film opens on Dec. 21.