Movies

Aquaman star Jason Momoa excited to be first mixed-race superhero

Aquaman star is excited to be the first mixed-race superhero on the big screen this year

From director James Wan comes an action-packed adventure that spans the vast and visually breathtaking underwater world of the seven seas.

Opening here tomorrow, Aquaman stars US actor Jason Momoa in the title role. The 39- year-old made his first appearance as the aquatic superhero in last year's Justice League.

The DC film reveals the origin story of half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry and takes him on the journey of his lifetime - one that will not only force the reluctant hero to face who he really is but to discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be - a king.

Here, Momoa - who has two children aged 11 and 10 with former actress Lisa Bonet - talks about scoring the high-profile role, getting into the suit and mixed-race representation.

How cool was it to see yourself in the costume?

I actually never told James (Wan) this, but my first experience (of wearing the suit) was really beautiful.

I FaceTimed my kids and took a picture of it and their eyes were just huge, they were blown away. Aquaman actor Jason Momoa on being in costume

I didn't have a mirror, so I put it on, came out of wardrobe, and I got to see his face. James is always extremely passionate, he lets you know right away. But, like, the absolute joy... he looked like a kid when he beamed.

He was super proud. He didn't say anything - I could just see it on his face. It was a really beautiful moment.

And then the second moment was when I FaceTimed my kids and took a picture of it and their eyes were just huge, they were blown away.

Having been born in Hawaii and growing up in Iowa, did you relate to Arthur Curry's connection to these two different worlds - Atlantis and the surface world?

We are actors, so it is not always necessarily a personal connection. I didn't need to go through what (my Game Of Thrones character) Khal Drogo did to become him.

But it is cool being able to relate as someone who is truly of two different cultures, when each of those cultures doesn't know of the other.

I mean, Hawaii definitely doesn't know what it is like in Iowa, and Iowans don't know much about Hawaiians, so that was something I could draw upon.

The other thing that helped was just being raised by a single parent, which I think a lot of kids are now. I just had me and my mother my whole life, so I could relate to Arthur being that close to his father and then running far away and then coming back to my roots.

When was the first moment you really felt like Aquaman?

Well, I definitely felt it during Justice League. I was sitting on the Batmobile, staring at Batman and Wonder Woman. I was like, 'I am surfing the Batmobile. This is the coolest thing ever.' And my kids looked at me in that same way.

When you first learnt that you were going to play Aquaman, how did it make you feel?

When (Justice League director) Zack (Snyder) first told me I would be cast, I mean, I wish I had a picture of my face because, you know, I can see (Aquaman co-star) Patrick (Wilson) being hired for Aquaman.

I am the last person you should be hiring for Aquaman! I thought I would be playing a villain. But when he explained it to me, it was just such an honour.

Zack's perspective is so radical, and what it offered to the team in Justice League was something we hadn't seen.

Do you think (the movie) has something specific to say for people who are half-Asian or half-native Hawaiian?

There is no doubt about it. I mean, coming from the Polynesian islands, there are so many water gods that we have and so much folklore and mythology about how the islands came about - from Kanaloa to Maui. I just think it is the Poseidon story, and I get to play that.

And honestly, to be the first mixed-race superhero in 2018 (Momoa's father is native Hawaiian while his mother is of German, Irish and Native American descent)... that is a huge honour.

And also just to play it so close to who I am, with all of Arthur's imperfections.

I don't have to be Superman - I am not. But I got to play it as someone who really is split between two worlds, and I am excited for the world to see it.

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