Where Did Jason Momoa Grow Up?

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For a celebrity as widely admired (and crushed on) as Jason Momoa, the actor is exceptionally private. He’s active on Instagram, but Jason rarely steps into the spotlight unless he’s attending a premiere or promoting an upcoming film. So if you’ve ever wondered about the actor, father, and husband’s background, it might be hard to find answers to your questions.

Luckily for us all, Jason has revealed snippets about his upbringing through interviews over the years — and the big picture of his life reveals a lot about the actor’s career choices. Born in Hawaii to a native Hawaiian father and a mixed-European mother, Jason was actually raised far from his island origins in Norwalk, Iowa. Jason’s mom raised him as a single parent, and his Iowan childhood resulted in a love of the outdoors, culminating in many adulthood fitness hobbies like rock climbing and hatchet throwing.

While he returned to Hawaii in early adulthood to star in Baywatch: Hawaii, Jason remains close with his mother and brings his own children to explore the countryside where he was raised. And many themes from his unique upbringing continue to inspire the actor’s film work; many of Jason’s projects, like The Red Road and Frontier, grapple with issues like single parenthood or the complex racial identity of being part native.

Many of Jason’s own directorial projects feature expansive nature scenes and open plains, much like those near his home in Iowa. And he’s not afraid to recall his own childhood to access emotional depths for his roles, either. As Jason once told CNN, “I was raised by a single mother. I was raised by a woman. I’m a strong alpha male but sensitive. I can access my f*cking feelings.” And his Iowan roots even affect his personal style — Jason is a noted fan of cold weather, which explains his propensity for thick coats, cloaks, and hats when making red carpet appearances with his wife, Lisa Bonet.

So there you have it! Now that you know Jason’s background, it’s easy to see how his childhood continues to shape him as an artist and a father. We can’t wait to see how it inspires his future work!