Aquaman actor is ignoring naysayers, loves the film, and explains why his character's backstory was cut
Jason Momoa has some words for Justice League critics: He’s not reading their negativity and, as far as he’s concerned, the film is awesome.
“I try to stay the f— away from what people say,” the Aquaman actor tells EW. “Some of my friends said, ‘Justice League isn’t doing well’ and it kind of bummed me out. But I didn’t want to look it up. I don’t want to look up the bad and the negativity. I don’t think that’s useful; it doesn’t help.”
For decades Aquaman was considered a superhero that would be nearly impossible to pull off in a feature film. And yet, for all its flack from critics, even naysayers agreed that Justice League successfully introduced a credible and compelling Arthur Curry — thanks in no small part to the hulking performance the former Game of Thrones fan favorite.
“I’ve seen [Justice League] twice,” Momoa says. “I loved it the second time even more. I’m actually going to watch it again with my kids and my godchild. I’m going to see it with the perfect crowd of people — a regular crowd instead of at a premiere. So I’m excited. You can’t get into the whole ‘why this, why that.’ I went to [Wizard World Austin fan convention] this weekend and got great praise. Now obviously, that’s a positive place, and I’m not only interested in the positive. But if people love what we did with Aquaman, it’s all [director Zack Snyder] — it’s his brainchild. He came in with, ‘I’m going to make Aquaman a badass and I’m going to change stuff, and change the myths about this guy.’ And I busted my ass.”
Some fans were upset that scenes detailing Aquaman’s backstory were cut from the film, including a key supporting Atlantean character, Nuidis Vulko (who was played by Willem Dafoe, though was not shown). But Momoa had a counter for that too.
“The challenging part is [the Justice League story] is only about a weekend in Author Curry’s life,” he says. “[Fans] might be like, ‘Why is he that grumpy? Why’s he hiding up there?’ We had it all planned out. A lot of things got cut. But it’s not my movie. It’s a huge movie introducing three new characters, and for myself and The Flash and Cyborg, there was a lot that was there we just couldn’t get in. It could have been two movies. We had some stuff with William Dafoe. The whole Atlantean part, about me being this reluctant king. There was no need for it because you’re going to see it in Aquaman. It’s not an Aquaman movie, it’s a Justice League movie.”
Momoa will next be seen in the second season of Netflix’s Frontier, which debuts Nov. 24. He’ll also play Aquaman again in that aforementioned 2018 standalone film focused on the character from Furious 7 filmmaker James Wan. Dafoe, Amber Heard (who appeared in Justice League as Mera), Nicole Kidman, Patrick Wilson, and Dolph Lundgren all costar.