When Jason Momoa applied for college, he chose marine biology as his major, before switching to wildlife biology. Although Momoa never finished his degree – he moved from Iowa where he was living with his mum to Hawaii to reconnect with his dad – he has somewhat gone back to that first career choice.
The 38-year-old is portraying DC superhero Aquaman, the ruler of the seas, in the upcoming feature Justice League.
In the film, Aquaman aka Arthur Curry is still finding his place in the world. When Batman recruits him into Justice League, Arthur comes off as a gruff and surly rebel – unlike the warrior and king that he’s known in the comics.
In an interview transcript provided by Warner Bros, Momoa shared the Justice League audition process: “When (director) Zack Snyder first approached me, it was a bit of a mystery because when I went in for the audition, he wanted me to read for Batman – and Ben (Affleck) had already been cast in the role by that point.
“So, I knew something fishy was going on and just read the lines with a lot of attitude, like I didn’t care what was on the page (laughs)! And then Zack said to me, ‘Do you know who I want you to play?’ I said, ‘Oh, yeah, I’ll be a villain or some bad dude who comes in and fights Batman – sounds like fun.’ He said, ‘I want you to play Aquaman.’
“So, I was just standing there, kind of in shock. All I could think of was the traditional Aquaman from the comics – who is white and blond and wears the orange and green costume. I thought he had to be joking.
“He told me that he wanted the Aquaman in this film to be an outsider. I was born in Hawaii and raised in Iowa, and basically grew up an outsider, so I could definitely identify with that.” After Justice League, fans of Aquaman can look forward to the origin film, Aquaman (directed by James Wan), which is scheduled for next year.
Justice League opens at cinemas nationwide on Nov 16.