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Jason Momoa’s Takeover

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English Matters - epaper ⋅ Ausgabe 5/2019 vom 26.07.2019

Last year’sAquaman was a crowd-pleasing blockbuster, and the film’s leading man proved to be quite the scene-stealer. Just who is this Jason Momoa, and why is everyone going gaga for him?English Matters dives deep to get the scoop.

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Jason Momoa

Even though Jason Momoa is in the limelight now, he’s already been acting for two decades. And don’t think he’s some one-trick pony. When it comes to Jason, there’s more to him than meets the eye.

Jason’s Journey

Jason Momoa was born on 1 August, 1979 in Honolulu, Hawaii. His father is a painter of Native Hawaiian ancestry, while his mother is a photographer ...

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... with European and Native American roots. At an early age, Jason moved to Iowa. There, he was raised by his mother and her family. Despite his time away from Hawaii, Jason never forgot about the Aloha State. His native state’s rich flora and fauna inspired him to study marine biology and wildlife biology. Family obligations, though, prevented him from completing his university education.

Jason’s rise to fame wasn’t exactly meteoric. It was slow and steady. Jason moved back to Hawaii in his twenties and tried his hand at modelling. He was named Hawaii’s Model of the Year in 1999 and became a local celebrity of sorts. While working at a surf shop, Jason was cast in the television seriesBaywatch Hawaii . He would go on to appear in 38 episodes until the show was cancelled in 2001.

0 takeover | Übernahme, Machtübernahmecrowd-pleasing | das Publikum begeisterndblockbuster | Kassenschlagerscene-stealer | jd., der anderen die Show stiehltto go gaga for sb | nach jdm. verrückt werdento get the scoop | exklusiver Bericht, Exklusivnachrichten
1 to be in the limelight | im Rampenlicht stehenone-trick pony | Person mit nur einer bestimmten Fähigkeitthere’s more to sb than meets the eye | hinter jdm. steckt mehr (als man sehen kann)ancestry | Herkunft, Abstammungraised | aufgezogen, erzogendespite sth | trotz etw.marine | Meeresto prevent sb from sth | jdn. daran hindern, etw. zu tunto complete sth | etw. abschließento try one’s hand at sth | sich an etw. ausprobierenof sorts | eine Art …cancelled | gestrichen, widerrufen, gekündigt

Vo cab Builder

To celebrate Jason Momoa’s Hawaiian heritage, let’s take a look at some English words that have Hawaiian roots too:

• Aloha-hello/goodbye
• Ukulele-a musical instrument that resembles a guitar
• Kahuna-Hawaiian priest or shaman, used today in the expression “Big Kahuna”
• Lei-a garland of flowers that is worn around the neck
• Mahi-mahi-dolphin fish
• Muumuu-a loose gown or dress
• Taboo-a prohibition on something due to it being culturally unacceptable
• Wiki-a website that users can modify together; from the Hawaiian “wiki, wiki,” meaning “very fast”

heritage | Erbe
to resemble sth | an etw. erinnern
gown ɡaʊn| Kleid, Robe
prohibition | Verbot
due to sth | wegen etw.

Before making a name for himself, Jason stuck to the small screen. He became a regular on a short-lived soap opera calledNorth Shore . He played a laid-back Hawaiian bartender, which wasn’t exactly a stretch for him. Jason really tested his acting chops in his next role, a starring part in the Sci-fi Channel’sStargate Atlantis . Jason stayed with the show for all five seasons from 2005 to 2009.Stargate built up a sizeable cult following in its own right, but Jason had yet to find mainstream success.

Momoa on the Mountaintop

Jason’s big break came in 2011 when he signed on to HBO’s pioneeringGame of Thrones as the imposing Khal Drogo. Jason nabbed the role by performing a Māori dance known as the Haka at his audition. The ceremonial dance involves vigorous shouting and stomping of one’s feet. Needless to say, Jason blew everyone away. No one knew just how huge the series would become, but it didn’t take long for anyone associated with it to become a hot-ticket item in Hollywood. Jason’s role onGame of Thrones only lasted for a single season, but he had definitely left his mark.

After acting in a number of films in a supporting capacity, Jason finally took centre stage when he played the titular character in 2011’sConan the Barbarian . This was also Jason’s biggest movie at the time, boasting a budget of $90 bln. Jason’s charisma and magnetism were easy to spot. Unfortunately, Jason’s appeal couldn’t save the movie from becoming a box office bomb and a critical flop. He got his name out there, though, and the public certainly took notice.

After a string of smaller films, Jason struck gold in 2014 when it was announced that he would portray the character Aquaman in a series of movies from the DC comic book universe. It started out as a cameo in 2016’sBatman v Superman that led to a much larger role inJustice League a year later. Jason shone in both productions, but standing out in such crowded casts proved difficult. The fact that the films weren’t exactly crowdpleasers didn’t make matters much better. That being said, the hype surrounding the standaloneAquaman film from 2018 was immense. Nobody knew what to expect, but starring in his own superhero flick was undeniably a big step for Jason. Once it became clear that the film was a veritable hit, it was obvious that Jason had ascended to an entirely new echelon.Aquaman earned over $1.1 bln in ticket sales worldwide, making it DC’s highestgrossing film ever. It received widespread acclaim from critics, and much of it was geared specifically towards Jason’s performance.

Jason Off-Screen

Jason’s life away from the camera is just as compelling as his roles on-screen. Acting aside, Jason has had more than his fair share of adventure. For starters, he is quite the martial arts buff. To prepare for his roles inStargate andConan , Jason took up martial arts training to make his fight scenes as convincing as possible. With his bulking physique, it’s no wonder that physical hobbies play a major part in his life. Jason is also an avid surfer and rock climber.

Jason’s imposing figure is one thing. A quick glance at Jason will reveal other peculiarities about his appearance. First of all, it’s impossible to miss his numerous tattoos. His most prominent piece of ink is a tribal half-sleeve tattoo that encircles his left forearm. It depicts his Hawaiian family’s crest and is meant to symbolise a shark. Jason has commented that “it’s supposed to take the darkness out of your heart and bring the light in.” Most of his other tattoos feature text. He has a rough French translation of “Always be drunk” on his right forearm. Another tattoo reads “Pride of Gypsies,” which is the name of the film production company that Jason himself set up. Finally, a tattoo reading “Diablo” can be spotted on his right middle finger as a tribute to his grandfather who passed away in 2013.

The second physical feature that is bound to draw anyone’s attention is a facial scar present over his left eye. Jason sustained the scar in a Hollywood bar fight in 2008. A man provoked an altercation with Jason and slashed his face with a broken beer glass. The scar doesn’t look serious today, but Jason needed 140 stitches and reconstructive surgery in the aftermath of the attack. Today, the scar is just another element that makes Jason so iconic.

Nevertheless, the most noteworthy thing about Jason might be his family life. Jason has been in a relationship with actress Lisa Bonet since 2005, and the couple finally got hitched in October 2017. Apart from her acting career, Lisa is also known for being the ex-wife of musician Lenny Kravitz. She and Lenny are the parents of actress Zoë Kravitz, making Jason Zoë’s stepfather. Jason and Lisa have two children of their own, a daughter born in 2007 and a son born in 2008.

Momoa’s Momentum

Patrick Wilson, Nicole Kidman, Jason Momoa, Amber Heard at theAquaman Premiere at the TCL Chinese Theater IMAX.

Sure, Jason Momoa has a string of on-screen successes under his belt. But where will he go from here? Jason is currently filming an updated version of the science fiction epicDune, which is slated for release in 2020. A 2022 sequel forAquaman is in the works as well. It clearly looks like Jason’s 15 minutes of fame are far from over. The brawny Hawaiian with the big smile could be Hollywood’s next action star. His likeable and electric persona has taken him far already, and the world will have its eyes glued to the screen to see how high Jason Momoa can soar.

0takeover | Übernahme, Machtübernahme
crowd-pleasing | das Publikum begeisternd
blockbuster | Kassenschlager
scene-stealer | jd., der anderen die Show stiehlt
to go gaga for sb | nach jdm. verrückt werden
to get the scoop | exklusiver Bericht,
1to be in the limelight | im Rampenlicht stehen
one-trick pony | Person mit nur einer
bestimmten Fähigkeit
there’s more to sb than meets the eye | hinter
jdm. steckt mehr (als man sehen kann)
ancestry | Herkunft, Abstammung
raised | aufgezogen, erzogen
despite sth | trotz etw.
marine | Meeresto
prevent sb from sth | jdn. daran hindern,
etw. zu tun
to complete sth | etw. abschließen
to try one’s hand at sth | sich an etw.
of sorts | eine Art …
cancelled | gestrichen, widerrufen,
2to make a name for oneself | sich einen
Namen machen
small screen | Fernsehen
laid-back | lässig, entspannt, gelassen
bartender | Barkeeper
stretch | Anstrengung, Schwierigkeit
acting chops | Schauspielfähigkeiten
sizeable | beträchtlich, ansehnlich
break | Durchbruch
imposing | beeindruckend, imposant
to nab sth | (sich) etw. schnappen
to perform sth | etw. aufführen, vorführen
audition | Vorsprechen
to involve sth | etw. beinhalten, einschließen
vigorous ˈvɪɡərəs| energisch, kraftvoll
to stomp of one’s feet | mit seinen Füßen
needless to say | unnötig zu erwähnen
to blow sb away | jdn. stark beeindrucken
hot-ticket | Favorit, hoch gehandelt,
| definitiv
in a supporting capacity | in einer
to boast sth | etw. aufweisen können
charisma kəˈrɪzmə| Charisma
unfortunately | leider
appeal | Reiz, Attraktivität
flop | Flop, Misserfolg, Pleite
to strike gold | auf eine Goldgrube stoßen,
ins Schwarze treffen
cameo | Kurzauftritt
to shine | glänzen
to stand out | herausragen, auffallen
crowded | überfüllt
cast | Besetzung
to prove difficult | sich als schwer erweisen
hype | Wirbel, Hype, Rummel
3standalone | eigenständig, unabhängig,
flick | Film, Streifen
undeniably ˌʌndɪˈnaɪəbli| zweifellos,
veritable ˈverɪtəbl| echt, wahr
echelon ˈeʃəlɒn / ˈeʃəlɑːn| Rang
to earn sth | etw. verdienen, erwirtschaften
highest-grossing | kommerziell
widespread | umfassend, allgemein
acclaim from sb | Lob/Zustimmung von jdm.
geared towards sth | abgezielt/ausgerichtet
auf etw.
4compelling | fesselnd
martial arts | Kampfsport, Kampfkünste
buff | Fan
to take up sth | mit etw. beginnen
bulking | durchtrainiert, muskulös
avid | begeistert, passioniert
glance at sb | Blick auf jdn.
to reveal sth | etw. zum Vorschein
bringen, aufdecken
peculiarity | Besonderheit, Eigenart
to miss sth | etw. übersehen
numerous | zahllos
to depict sth | etw. darstellen
crest | Wappen, Emblem
5to feature sth | etw. zeigen, aufweisen
gypsy | Zigeuner
to set up sth | etw. gründen
to pass away | sterben, verscheiden
to draw attention | Aufmerksamkeit
scar | Narbe
to sustain sth | sich etw. zuziehen, etw.
altercation | Auseinandersetzung, Streit
to slash sth | etw. zerschlitzen,
6stitch | Stich, Nadelstich
reconstructive surgery | plastische
in the aftermath of sth | nach etw.,
in der Folge von etw.
noteworthy | bemerkenswert
to get hitched | in den Hafen der Ehe
apart from sth | abgesehen von etw.
stepfather | Stiefvater
to have sth under one’s belt | etw. auf
seinem Konto haben
dune djuːn / duːn| Düne
slated for X | vorgesehen für etw.
release | Veröffentlichung
brawny | muskulös, bullig
likeable ˈlaɪkəbl| liebenswert
to soar | aufsteigen