Jason Momoa’s uproarious laughter is hard to resist, even from across the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately, in this case, I’m the source of his mirth, having just enquired how he feels about closing in on 40. He’s only 39, he bellows down the line from LA. “You did your research, didn’t you?” he says between guffaws. While I want to point out that I’d said “closing in”, the truth is, the way Momoa lives, works and perhaps most importantly plays, the question is kind of ridiculous.
This is a man who doesn’t measure life in units of time but depth of experience. One who appears to live beyond limits, more recently the terrestrial kind, diving into everything – from scale-plated spandex to a pint of his favoured Guinness – with the gusto of, well, an amphibious superhuman.
“I’m all about just having the best goddamn day I can have,” says Momoa of his full throttle approach to life. “If my wife tells me we’re having spaghetti bolognese for dinner I will work so much harder because I know we’re going to have a great night. I can train hard as long as I know there’s a reward.
Born in Hawaii and raised in Iowa, as much as Momoa might pepper his speech with “bros” and “dudes”, there is something of the Aussie larrikin about him. Perhaps that’s because the six months he spent on the Gold Coast in 2017 shooting Aquaman wasn’this first time here. Momoa lived in Adelaide for a stint back in his early twenties, proudly declaring, “Port Power is my team,” before proceeding to praise the rough and tumble nature of Aussie sports and our way of life more broadly. “I love the Australian spirit and I feel like Aussies love me,” he says. “They have such a great attitude to life. They work hard, they play hard.”
Just how much Momoa embodies that same maxim was evident in the diet he followed during Aquaman’s six-month production: meat, vegies and Guinness. While certainly not an optimal carb source, the so-called ‘ebony nectar’ was crucial to sustaining Momoa’s equilibrium and motivation after long days on set.
“It comes down to overall calorie intake so when we’re looking to lean down we just cut the Guinness down to a certain number per day,” says Abdelhamid of ensuring Momoa’s love of the black stuff never hampered his weight-loss goals. “If I’d made him cut it out completely he wouldn’t have performed as well.”
If the Aquaman set is starting to sound like a testosterone-fuelled frat house that’s because Momoa doesn’t really do downtime in the traditional sense. Alongside the state of the art gym equipment was a drum kit, Fender base guitar and a 1959 Gibson Les Paul played by Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page. And, of course, looming over it all was the climbing wall.
Read more about Momoa’s journey, from Baywatch to Aquaman, and steal his training regime in the latest issue of Men’s Health, on sale November 5, 2018.