How ‘Aquaman’ Jason Momoa suffered through the dreaded hip harness for underwater scenes

Jason Momoa’s menacing scowl in “Aquaman” is finally explained.

It’s probably pain from the hip-hugging rig and harness required to shoot scenes replicating underwater movement. The results look stunning in the DC Comics deep-sea extravaganza, which dominated at the box office this weekend.

But director James Wan acknowledges that the hours of shooting were painful on Momoa’s nether region.

“(Jason) wasn’t the biggest fan of the swimming rig we had to put him in. It’s not the most comfortable rig for actors,” says Wan. “It puts a lot of pressure around the crotch. So for someone like Momoa, who is more than 200 pounds, it’s not the most pleasant experience.”

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Wan’s technical crew had to devise a system that would allow the characters to “float” in their underwater world.

They developed a tuning fork-type rig in which the actors were suspended from hip harnesses. Shot against blue screen (with the water added later through CGI), the rig allowed for realistic movement and dialogue.

“If they are floating around and talking to each other, they have to be harnessed into these rigs,” says Wan. “It was a necessity for the film.”


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