Aquaman’s Jason Momoa shares acting tips and reveals how he got discovered after his Game of Thrones breakout role.
Aquaman is a classic DC Comics character, but the character was reimagined with the actor Jason Momoa. Momoa has already portrayed the superhero in the 2017 film Justice League, and now appears as Aquaman in the upcoming solo spinoff movie.
Recently, Momoa spoke to Entertainment Weekly about portraying the character, how his past allowed him to get into character, and gives advice on how actors can act if they are underwater.
Momoa grew up in Iowa. He said he felt like an “outsider” growing up because he looked and acted so differently than the other kids he grew up with. He recalls, “I grew up in the Bridges of Madison County area, like one county over. I graduated with maybe 100 kids, all very much the same. I stood out. I didn’t kind of do the same stuff. I was a bit of a skateboarder, and I started rock climbing. I love Iowa, but I just didn’t fit in. If you’re a Hawaiian kid in Iowa, you’re kind of a fish out of water. Then I went back to Hawaii and I got ostracized there too. I loved both, but just made my own path. So I think it’s easy to relate with Arthur Curry, not really being accepted here and not really being accepted there.”
While Momoa’s intimidating physical presence no doubtedly helped land the lead role, he discovered that some actors were intimidated about appearing in scenes with him. Momoa explains, “I’m sure some shorter actors didn’t want to be standing next to me when I was coming up. I was on a show called Stargate Atlantis with Joe Flanigan. He was the sweetest guy, I was his Chewbacca to his Han Solo. He was shorter and he wasn’t scared of that. He embraced it. He’s still one of my best friends.”
Of course, Momoa’s look has limited him from other roles. He explains that he never really wanted to become an actor and instead wanted to work behind the camera. He says, “Everyone thought I was crazy, but I wanted to write, direct, and produce movies. I didn’t want to act. That was the first thing I told my agent, and he kind of looked at me and was like, ‘All right…’ Now I do that a lot, and I love it. I love telling stories. I might not be right for the story — I have a particular look, and sometimes I fit and sometimes I don’t. I like being a part of being the whole process, not just doing my acting job and leaving. I like being passionate about it, dreaming it up, seeing it through, selling it. So that’s coming true. A far as playing roles, I think after Game of Thrones it was challenging to get some work. Then we wrote and directed [Road to Paloma] that ended up getting me on The Red Road and that got me noticed. People actually realized I spoke English.”
At the end of the interview, Momoa is asked about his acting technique for acting as if he is underwater. Momoa says, “Pretend like you’re underwater. That’s the secret. Pretend like you’re underwater. Act, mother—, act.”