How Jason Momoa’s Outrageous ‘Fast X’ Character Became Equal Parts Python and Peacock

Fans of the “Fast and the Furious” movies learned long ago that they could rely on the franchise to keep raising the stakes and increasing the scale with each new entry, and “Fast X” is no exception. Yet even in a movie filled with awe-inspiring set pieces involving nuclear bombs dragged through the streets of Rome and cars driving down the surface of massive dams, perhaps the most exciting development is the addition of Dante, the flamboyant villain played by Jason Momoa. As demonstrative and hilarious as his adversary Dom (Vin Diesel) is restrained and taciturn, Dante exponentially increases the already high energy of every scene he’s in and brings a welcome sense of style to the proceedings.

A huge part of Dante’s appeal is his look, which Momoa crafted carefully with his longtime hair and makeup artist Jennifer Stanfield. “Jason has very clear ideas of what he likes,” Stanfield told IndieWire. “He wanted Dante to be very showy, so he referenced peacocks quite a bit. His hair had to be as big as we could possibly make it.” A starting point for Momoa was the costumes created by “Fast and the Furious” veteran Sanja Milkovic Hays, who dressed the actor in a python jacket that gave the impression of Dante slipping in and out of an animal’s skin — something that underlined Momoa’s concept of the character as a man with a seductive outer layer concealing danger.

“Fast X”©Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

To accentuate this duality, Momoa wore contact lenses to create a specific effect as the audience got a closer look at his “Fast X” character. “He wanted to have a sort of sharklike look,” Stanfield said. “The contact lenses cut all of the warmth from his natural eye color, just to give that extra sense of evil as you get close to him. Jason wanted the bright colors of the costumes and makeup to draw people in, but then when you get close you see that he’s got these dark, soulless eyes.” To that end, Hays dressed Momoa largely in whites and pastels, which Stanfield in turn had to match in keeping with Dante’s fashion-forward sensibility. “We matched his fingernail polish to his costumes,” Stanfield said. “And it wasn’t just one color, sometimes each nail had a different color or even two colors on the same nail. I don’t know how many bottles of nail polish I went through!”

“Fast X”©Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

The attention to detail in the color palette went beyond the connection between costumes and hair and makeup — at one point Momoa’s fingernail polish matches the color of his motorcycle, and even the color of Dante’s car was dictated by the character’s fondness for pastels. “I don’t think the car was planned to be lavender at first,” Stanfield said. “It all stemmed from his lavender outfit. He loved that so much that he said, ‘I have to have a lavender car.’”

It takes a lot to stand out in a film filled with souped-up vehicles, wall-to-wall action sequences and as many massive movie stars as a typical red carpet, but a peacocking Jason Momoa behind the wheel of a lavender car is tough to beat as one of the most memorable images in “Fast X.”

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