When word emerged that actor Jason Momoa was filming in their backyard, a B.C. First Nation took the opportunity to welcome him in style.
The Chehalis First Nation held an honouring ceremony for the Aquaman star Thursday night, inviting Momoa to participate in a traditional fish feast and to sing and dance with the local youth.
Despite a long day of filming upcoming TV series See, those who were there said Momoa was a gracious guest.
“He was really nice, really respectful,” Lisa Tereposky said on the phone from Squamish on Friday. “He made everyone feel special just by being there.”
Tereposky said Momoa attended the event alongside other cast and crew from the production, which was filming on traditional territory and reserve lands in Harrison Mills, Kilby and along the Chehalis River.
Momoa was escorted into the ceremony with drumming and singing. Children there later performed a Sasquatch dance for him.
He also received a ceremonial hat made of cedar.
Momoa partook in some traditional drumming and dancing with the children and their parents, but it was what he did after that made the night so special for the community.
“He sat down with every elder one by one, and met with every single person, signing autographs and taking pictures,” Tereposky said. “He really didn’t have to stay as long as he did, but he really took the time to talk to as many people as he could.”
WATCH: (Aired Dec. 22, 2018) Jason Momoa performs traditional Maori war dance
Honouring ceremonies are typically held for members of the First Nation who return from long journeys or do something special for the community, Tereposky said.
In this case, though, they just wanted to show their appreciation to Momoa for visiting the area.
This isn’t the first brush with Hollywood for the Chehalis First Nation, which is the band government for the Sts’Ailes people: in 2005, Robin Williams was honoured at a ceremony while he was filming the film RV on the banks of the Chehalis River.
Momoa is also no stranger to B.C., having been spotted on the ski slopes and at least one Irish pub in Whistler earlier this year.