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29 Polynesian Celebrities Who Are Taking Over Hollywood

Watch these Pacific Islanders run the show.

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

1. Jason Momoa

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Momoa was born in Hawaii and is Hawaiian on his father's side. He is known as Khal Drogo on Game of Thrones and will play Aquaman in next year's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. He's also going to star in a 2018 Aquaman film.

2. Nicole Scherzinger

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Scherzinger was born in Hawaii and is Hawaiian, Russian, and Filipino. She first rose to international fame as the lead singer for the Pussycat Dolls. After the girl group disbanded, she won the 2010 season of Dancing With the Stars.

3. Dwayne Johnson

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Johnson was born in California and his mother's side is Samoan. Johnson, also known by his wrestling name The Rock, earned superstar status after appearing in The Mummy Returns, The Scorpion King, and the Fast & Furious franchise.

4. Russell Crowe

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Crowe is New Zealand-born with Maori, Scottish, Welsh, English, Norwegian, and Italian heritage. L.A. Confidential in 1997 was Crowe's first huge success.

5. Kelly Hu

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Hu was born in Honolulu and is of Chinese, English, and Hawaiian descent. Her first big break was as Kirk Cameron's love interest on the hit Growing Pains. She's had numerous roles since then, including in The Scorpion King and in X-Men 2.

6. Jemaine Clement

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Clement was born in New Zealand and his mother is Maori. He co-created the musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords, played Boris the Animal in Men in Black 3, and voiced Nigel the Cockatoo in the Rio series.

7. Keanu Reeves

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Reeves was born in Lebanon to a father from Hawaii, who has Hawaiian and Chinese ancestry. Reeves will forever be remembered for playing Ted Logan in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure as well as Neo in the Matrix series.

8. Keisha Castle-Hughes

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An Australian-born actress, Castle-Hughes' mother is Maori. She starred in Whale Rider, which earned her a Best Actress Academy Awards nomination. She now plays Obara Sand on HBO's Game of Thrones.

9. Uli Latukefu

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Latukefu was born in Australia and is of Tongan descent. He is known for his role as Byamba in Netflix's Marco Polo.

10. Manu Bennett

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Of Maori descent and born in New Zealand, Bennett played the powerful gladiator Crixus on Spartacus. He also plays Azog, king of the Orcs, in The Hobbit trilogy.

11. Shannyn Sossamon

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Born in Honolulu, Sossamon is Hawaiian, Filipino, English, German, French, and Irish. In 2001, she played Lady Jocelyn opposite Heath Ledger in A Knight's Tale. More recently, she appeared in ABC's Mistresses and HBO's How to Make It in America.

12. Taylor Wily

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Born in Honolulu, Wily is of Samoan descent. Wily aka Teila Tuli was originally a sumo wrestler, but showed off his acting skills as Kemo in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. He's now known for his role as shrimp truck owner Kamekona on Hawaii Five-0.

13. David Strathairn

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Born in San Francisco, Strathairn is part Hawaiian and Scottish. He starred as Edward R. Murrow in Good Night, and Good Luck and was nominated for an Academy Award.

14. Dinah Jane Hansen

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Hansen was born in California and is of Tongan heritage. She's a member of the girl group Fifth Harmony, which formed on The X Factor USA.

15. Temuera Morrison

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Born in New Zealand, Morrison is part Maori. He's known for his role in the 1994 drama Once Were Warriors. He also played Jango Fett in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and is set to play Boba Fett in the Star Wars anthology film.

16. Cliff Curtis

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Born in New Zealand to Maori parents, Curtis is known for his role in Whale Rider. He is set to star in Fear the Walking Dead, the spin-off of the AMC hit.

17. Vaitiaré Hirshon

Hirshon (aka Bandera) was born in French Polynesia, and is of Tahitian, Cook Island, German, English, and French descent. Vaitiaré is a Tahitian name meaning "Water Flower." She is best known for her role as Sha're in Stargate SG-1.

18. Al Harrington


This 79-year-old actor was born in Samoa and is of Samoan descent. Harrington is one of the few members of the classic version of Hawaii Five-O who has a recurring role in the reboot, playing Mamo Kahike.

19. Jay Laga'aia

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Laga'aia was born in New Zealand and is of Samoan descent. He is known internationally for his role as Captain Typho in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

20. Kala Alexander

Alexander, who is Hawaiian, Filipino, Irish, German, and Scottish, is a pro waterman and appeared in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Blue Crush. He currently plays the role of Kawika on Hawaii 5-0.

21. Rena Owen

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Born in New Zealand, Owen is of Maori, Welsh, and European descent. Owen is best known for her leading role in Once Were Warriors. She also portrayed Nee Alavar in Star Wars: Episode III and voiced Taun We in Star Wars: Episode II.

22. Jason Scott Lee

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Lee has Hawaiian and Chinese ancestry and grew up in Hawaii. He starred in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, played Mowgli in The Jungle Book, and Caine 607 in Soldier. He also voiced David Kawena in Disney's Lilo & Stitch movies.

23. Tuki Brando

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Tuki is a Tahitian name meaning "heartbeat." He is the grandson of Marlon Brando and Tarita Teriipaia, who met while filming Mutiny on the Bounty on Bora Bora, French Polynesia. Brando has modeled for Versace, TechnoMarine, and Mr. Porter.

24. Sanoe Lake

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Lake is Japanese, Hawaiian, and English and was born on Kauai. She was allowed to do her own surfing in Blue Crush, unlike her co-stars Michelle Rodriguez and Kate Bosworth, who only had two weeks of surf lessons before filming started.

25. Dennis Chun

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Chun is known for playing Sgt. Duke Lukela on Hawaii Five-0. He is the son of actor Kam Fong, who portrayed Chin Ho on the original version and is of Hawaiian and Chinese ancestry.

26. Hoku Ho

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Hoku means "star" in Hawaiian. The singer had her greatest success with two hits in the early 2000s, "Another Dumb Blonde" and "Perfect Day." She is the daughter of Don Ho, the iconic Hawaiian pop musician, who has Hawaiian and Chinese heritage.

27. John Tui

Tui is Tongan and grew up in New Zealand. He played Chief Petty Officer Walter "The Beast" Lynch in Battleship.

28. Teilor Grubbs

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This young actress plays Danno's daughter, Gracie Williams, on Hawaii 5-0. Although her character on the show is not Hawaiian, Grubbs is part Hawaiian.

29. Taika Waititi

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Waititi, who is Maori and Jewish, is a New Zealand director and actor. His short film Two Cars, One Night was nominated for an Academy Award. He also co-directed and acted in the vampire comedy What We Do in the Shadows with Clement.

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