“Aquaman” star Jason Momoa and fellow cast members stunned the audience with a surprise haka dance at their Hollywood premiere on Wednesday night.
The Hawaiian star, along with cast members such as New Zealand’s Temuera Morrison, kicked off the performance by striding before the press and fans with his trident.
For the next two minutes, the group danced to “Ka Mate,” a Māori haka dance, perhaps most popularized by New Zealand rugby team All Blacks.
Momoa had broken his “Aquaman” trident by the end of the dance.
Speaking to James Corden at the “Late Late Show,” Momoa said that the idea came from “a bunch of different people” including himself, who thought that it would honor Polynesian culture.
“Warner Bros. was pretty excited about it, [and] obviously I’m very close to it. I’ve made our own Haka for my family and my children were out there with me,” Momoa said. “We based the character around Polynesian culture and thought it would be honoring a lot of people by doing it.”
Haka is a ceremonial, posture dance performed by tribes in Māori culture. Traditionally used on the battlefield, it includes actions such as “violent foot-stamping, tongue protrusions and rhythmic body slapping to accompany a loud chant,” the official New Zealand tourism website notes.
Needless to say, Momoa and his co-stars’ performance was an instant hit on social media.
The “Aquaman” cast’s haka, however, is not the first to happen in Hollywood. Dwayne Johnson also did one in “The Fate of the Furious,” when his character leads his daughter’s soccer team before a match.
Interestingly, Momoa’s one-of-a-kind red carpet performance occurred just as the movie hit a pre-sales record with Atom Tickets, besting “Deadpool 2,” “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Black Panther,” Variety reported. Atom Tickets is the exclusive ticketing platform for Amazon Prime’s advance screening of “Aquaman” on Saturday.
“Clearly, ‘Aquaman’ has captured the attention of movie fans with its larger-than-life adventure that must be seen on the big screen,” said Matthew Bakal, chairman and co-founder of the platform.