Best known for her long-running stint on The Cosby Show, Lisa Bonet is regarded by some as one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. And in 2005 the actress entered into a relationship with one of Tinseltown’s hunkiest men: Jason Momoa. But it wasn’t just the Aquaman star’s bulging muscles and rugged good looks that attracted Bonet. No, she has actually revealed that their bond runs much deeper than that and what he did to make her walls come crashing down.
In a 2018 interview with lifestyle magazine Porter, you see, the actress formerly known on screen as Denise Huxtable divulged that her now-husband has many strengths. And she’s not talking about just the physical ones either. So here’s a look at how the glamorous couple met – and how Momoa literally swept Bonet off her feet.
Born in San Francisco in 1967, Lisa Bonet began her path to stardom when she studied at North Hollywood’s Celluloid Actor’s Studio. Bonet then got her big break in 1984 after being cast as Bill Cosby’s eldest daughter, Denise, in The Cosby Show. The star in fact appeared in 119 episodes of the hugely popular sitcom.
And that’s not including the 23 episodes in which Bonet starred as Denise in a spin-off show. Yes, Bonet’s seven-year stint on The Cosby Show was briefly interrupted in 1987 when she appeared in A Different World. Focusing on Denise’s college life, the sitcom saw the actress take center stage for the first time in her career. But after Bonet fell pregnant with her first child during its opening season, her character was written out.
Bonet then made her big-screen debut opposite Mickey Rourke in Angel Heart before returning to The Cosby Show in 1988. Yet just three years later, People reported that the actress was let go from the production over supposed creative differences. In any case, Bonet took a break from the acting world for several years before joining Will Smith in 1998 thriller Enemy of the State.
Bonet later appeared alongside John Cusack in the adaptation of the Nick Hornby novel High Fidelity too. She also went on to team up with A Different World co-star Kadeem Hardison in Biker Boyz, and she appeared in Whitepaddy and Road to Paloma. But it was on the small screen where Bonet largely focused her attention.
For instance, Bonet played Maya Daniels in time travel drama Life on Mars and Sky Van Der Veen in Sundance TV series The Red Road. In 2016 she was also cast as Marisol in Liev Schriber vehicle Ray Donovan. And the star also got the chance to showcase her comic timing again when she guested on episodes of Drunk History, New Girl and Girls.
But of course, Bonet has become just as renowned for her personal life as her professional. In 1987, in fact, the actor became a tabloid favorite when she married retro rock icon Lenny Kravitz on her 20th birthday at a ceremony in Las Vegas. And a year later the pair welcomed daughter Zoë into the world.
The showbiz couple then decided to mix business with pleasure in 1989. You see, Bonet co-wrote tracks “Fear” and “Rosemary” for Kravitz’s acclaimed first studio effort, Let Love Rule. But sadly love’s young dream didn’t last the course. Because in 1993 the pair announced they were going their separate ways.
Bonet later admitted that she may have rushed into things with her first husband. As she reportedly told Essence in 1990, “When I first told him my mom was Jewish, and he said ‘So’s my dad,’ I thought that was both unusual and enchanting. I felt like, ‘Okay, here’s someone who really knows how it is.’ And I think I trusted him a little more with my feelings and let him inside a little more than I ordinarily would have.”
Kravitz also spoke about Bonet during a 2013 Master Class interview with Oprah Winfrey. He said, “She really helped to bring out the best in me and inspired me. We were very young, and it was wonderful, and we had Zoë. I see now what it was all about. It was really all about bringing this beautiful child to the planet and also sharing the love that we had.”
And Bonet told Porter in 2018 that she went through a “very accelerated time, spiritually and intellectually,” following the split to protect her young daughter. “I didn’t want to pass on those heirlooms, and this fresh wound of a divorce,” she revealed. “I think there are probably times when these thresholds can either sink you – or you can see who you are and rise and dust yourself off.”
Things went from bad to worse shortly after Bonet and Kravitz went their separate ways. In 1994 the actress and her daughter Lisa were made temporarily homeless when an earthquake devastated their home. Bonet told Porter that the pair were forced to camp out until they managed to buy the ranch where she and her family continue to live.
Following the split from Kravitz, then, Bonet seemingly struggled to find the right man. And looking back, the star told Porter why she believes her love life at the time was so unstable. She said, “When your primary male figure couldn’t care less to show up, that can become a theme in your life where you’re trying to fill this gap with these different men.”
The primary male figure to whom Bonet was referring was her opera singer father, Allen. It seems that the actress has barely seen him since her parents’ divorce – which came shortly after her birth. Instead, Bonet grew up in Los Angeles with her single mother, Arlene, who sadly passed away in the late 1990s.
Bonet told Porter magazine that she found it difficult growing up as a child of divorce and of color in the Los Angeles community of San Fernando Valley. Speaking about her mixed-race heritage, she said, “The world wasn’t ready for what I represented, the merging of these two races. I didn’t always feel welcome – in my mom’s family, in my school.”
“So I sheltered myself by always withholding a bit, because I didn’t always feel safe,” continued Bonet. The actress then revealed that she would do things differently if she had the chance to go back to her childhood. She told the magazine that she would “try not to internalize the disdain and hate that was projected onto me.”
But Bonet believes that her background has worked against her when it comes to her Hollywood career. When asked why she isn’t a bigger star by Porter magazine, she replied, “I don’t know! I always had one foot in and one foot out of the business, so that’s part of it. But also, it’s slim pickings out there! There aren’t endless opportunities for women of color, you’ve probably noticed.”
Interestingly, in 1995 the actress decided to officially modify her name from Lisa Bonet to Lilakoi Moon. And it was also around this time that reports started to surface that she’d given birth to a second child with her then-partner Bryan Kest. However, these rumors were later confirmed to have been bogus.
Then Bonet’s life changed forever when she met a budding action star in 2005. Born in Hawaii in 1979, Jason Momoa studied wildlife biology at college before entering the modeling world. And after landing the part of Jason Iaone in Baywatch: Hawaii in 1999, Momoa seemingly switched his focus solely to acting. In 2004 he made his big screen debut in Johnson Family Vacation.
Momoa also landed recurring roles in North Shore, Stargate: Atlantis and The Game. But his career reached new heights in 2011. First off, the actor took on a role once played by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Yes, Momoa cemented himself as a bona fide action star when he played the titular role in the remake of Conan the Barbarian.
That same year, too, Momoa landed the part of Khal Drago on one of the decade’s biggest TV shows: Game of Thrones. The actor famously impressed producers in his audition by performing the traditional Maori dance known as the Haka. Then in 2014 he showed he had the brains to go with his brawn when he co-wrote and directed the thriller Road to Paloma.
But Momoa only truly moved onto the A-list after he joined the DC Extended Universe. He first played Aquaman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, in fact, before reprising the role in Justice League. Momoa then got the chance to fully take the limelight when his superhero was given his own feature in 2018.
Striking while the iron is hot, Momoa then signed up to take the leading role in one of Apple TV’s first original scripted series: See. And in 2019 Denis Villeneuve cast him in his adaptation of the Frank Herbert novel Dune. Momoa is set to play the House Atreides’ swordsman, Duncan Idaho.
But Momoa’s personal life has made headlines too. In 2007, for instance, various tabloids began reporting that Bonet and Momoa had walked down the aisle together. However, the pair only actually became husband and wife a full ten years later. Yes, the two actors finally said ‘I do’ at an intimate ceremony at their home in the Californian area of Topanga.
Of course, by this point the duo had also welcomed two children into the world. Their first-born, Lola, arrived in 2007, while son Nakoa-Wolf arrived a year later. And following their marriage ceremony, Momoa also became stepfather to Zoë Kravitz, Bonet’s daughter with first husband Lenny Kravitz.
And Bonet prides herself on being the kind of mother that’s at one with nature. In fact, she doesn’t allow her children to access any television at all. The family home contains just a single computer and Bonet makes sure that she doesn’t spend any time on her mobile phone while in her kids’ presence.
Bonet told Porter magazine that all her efforts paid off when her son posed one particular question. She said, “One of my proudest moments as a mom was when someone asked Nakoa-Wolf, ‘Well, what is life for?’ and he said, without missing a beat, ‘To protect Mother Earth, of course. But God also wants to play with Mother Earth.’ I just thought: my work is done!”
In a 2017 interview on The Late Late Show, Momoa revealed that he’d actually set his sights on Bonet at a young age. “Ever since I was eight years old and I saw her on TV, I was like, ‘Mommy, I want that one!’” he told James Corden. He then added, “I’m like, ‘I’m going to stalk you for the rest of my life, and I’m going to get you.’”
Perhaps wisely, though, Momoa decided not to inform Bonet about his childhood celebrity crush until there was no going back. He told host Corden, “I didn’t tell her that until we had two babies. Otherwise, I’d be creepy and weird. I’ve always wanted to meet her. She was a queen, always.”
Momoa also spoke about the time that he first met Bonet in person at a jazz venue in Los Angeles. He said, “We just happened to be at the right place, right time, mutual friends. I actually had dreaded my hair almost for her. I had huge dreadlocks, she had dreadlocks.”
Momoa then described the emotion he felt when the object of his affections first spoke to him. He told Corden, “She goes, you know, ‘I’m Lisa.’ I was like, I turned around to my friend and was like, [teen girl shriek of excitement]. I had f***ing fireworks going off inside me, man!”
So after hitting it off, Momoa asked Bonet to drop him off at his hotel room. But the pair first decided to get to know each other better at a nearby coffee shop. And when Bonet asked for Momoa’s most treasured order – Guinness and grits – the future superhero knew that she was the one for him.
Bonet also discussed the same momentous night while speaking to Porter magazine in 2018. She said, “I can’t say it was full-on from the moment we saw each other. But we have been together from the day that we met.” Bonet further mentioned the choice of Guinness and grits that appeared to prove that the couple were meant to be.
“In that moment, love came and it came big, and he did not run as I think a lot of men do,” Bonet added. The actress then revealed that Momoa literally swept her off her feet at the time. She told Porter, “He basically picked me up and threw me over his shoulder, caveman style!”
Bonet also revealed that she’s enjoying the emotional connection that she missed out on when she was growing up. The actress said, “What’s cool about Jason is that he’s an alpha male who stands for love and family. And to circle back to my own wounds, having an absent father, then to be fully met by a man of that stature is really incredible.”
In fact, Bonet couldn’t stop gushing about her husband’s qualities during the interview. She said, “Jason embodies a rare form of masculinity in this day and age. He’s a leader. He’s generous. Just in terms of charisma, physique, the right use of power, responsibility, work ethic, you can go down the line.”
So how does Momoa get on with Bonet’s ex-husband Lenny Kravitz? Well, according to the actress herself, the pair get on swimmingly. In fact, she told Porter magazine that the men and their respective families even enjoy Thanksgiving celebrations together. “It’s fantastic,” she beamed to the publication. “It’s full-on family love.”
It’s a claim that was backed up by Kravitz during his Oprah Winfrey Master Class interview. “Zoë’s mom and I now are best friends,” he said. “It’s interesting because that’s how the relationship started. But it makes you feel really good when you can do that. When we’re all together now – her man, her kids, Zoë, me – we’re all together, and we’re one big, happy family. It’s beautiful, and it just shows you what can be done.”
Kravitz was also happy to discuss his unusual family dynamics in a 2019 interview with The Times. He said, “You go through a marriage with somebody, you break up and it’s very difficult. But [Lisa and I] put the work in and we took the time so that we could become best friends again. Our families are blended. I love her husband – he’s like a brother to me – and I love the kids. It’s beautiful, but it takes work.”
Zoë Kravitz – who has followed in her mother’s acting footsteps – informed Ocean Drive that there’s no animosity between her two father figures, either. As she claimed to the publication, “My dad and my stepdad get along really well, and my dad loves and is close with my [step]brother and sister. It’s really beautiful.”
Bonet had also previously discussed her love for Momoa in a 2008 interview with People magazine. She said, “I’m a shy person. I don’t know if it’s in my DNA to share with the world. Having a mate has given me that feeling of safety. Jason is the love of my life. He’s everything I hoped would come.”
And Momoa himself has revealed how happy he is to be Bonet’s husband. Indeed, at the premiere of Justice League shortly after their wedding, the star spoke to E! News about his wife. “I never thought I would,” he said, “but I plan on being with her for the rest of my life.”
Bonet and Momoa have also made their relationship a professional one several times. In 2014, in fact, the pair played love interests in Road to Paloma – the revenge thriller that Momoa also directed and co-wrote. But the star told Collider that he found one particular aspect of making the film particularly difficult: the love scene.
“It was a very hard scene to shoot,” Momoa said. “She didn’t think so, but it was. It was effortless, and we got it in 15 minutes, but it was like trying to capture the first time we met, and yet have it be three times that. It was all the things we weren’t saying, and we had to capture it in the perfect light. I didn’t want to reshoot it. It’s hard to get those real, true, beautiful moments.”
“[The role] required me to be very shy. She makes me shy and… she’s the only one that can really do that,” Momoa revealed in a different interview with E! News. “I just don’t want to suck in front of my wife… I want her to like me and love me and continue to do that.” The pair also appeared together in Sundance TV drama The Red Road.
And finally, Momoa and Bonet went viral in 2019 when the former was asked to perform a Maori dance at the Oscars red carpet by Ashley Graham. And it’s fair to say that the duo weren’t impressed with such a demand. Indeed, both Momoa and Bonet stared blankly back at the model before the latter tried to cut the interview short. But her husband, ever the showman, eventually relented.
Later that same year, both Momoa and Bonet made it onto Vanity Fair’s prestigious Best Dressed List. The former named Geronimo and Toshiro Mifune as style icons for the feature, while the latter cited Marchesa Casati and Frida Kahlo. However, when asked about Bonet’s favorite look on a man, her answer was surprisingly simple.
Bonet appears to prefer Momoa in little more than a white t-shirt and a pair of old ripped jeans. Of course, the pair weren’t the only members of their family to make the list. Bonet’s daughter Zoe Kravitz was also recognized for her fashion sense and answered “No fear” when asked about her style motto.
Bonet and Momoa soon justified their place on the list once more when they attended the premiere of Joker together just a few weeks later. The latter attracted much of the attention for his nod to the Joker’s preferred outfit: the purple suit. But Bonet brought the sense of glamor with her chic white silk gown.
And this wasn’t the only time that Momoa and Bonet enjoyed a trip to the movies together in September 2019. Just a week before the Joker premiere, the couple attended a screening of Abominable with their children Nakoa-Wolf and Lola. And the Dreamworks animation sure got the family’s seal of approval.
Taking to his official Instagram account, Momoa posted a sweet picture of the family just outside the cinema screening accompanied by a glowing review. He wrote, “Amazing day at home. It’s so rare to be able to enjoy a movie in a theatre with my Ohana. It was so much fun wifey wouldn’t stop laughing… Sing your way home.”
Of course, Momoa had other more pressing matters to attend to that same week. That’s because the star became the latest Hollywood name to address the United Nations with a speech on the issue of global warming. And the Aquaman actor made sure he gave a shout out to Bonet and his two children after the event, too.
Momoa later posted on a photo of his visit to the UN on Instagram. He captioned it, “That was a life changing moment, a true honour to represent island nations at the UN. It takes an amazing team and support system to pull off something like this. I am deeply grateful to my wife and children.”
In fact, September 2019 was a busy month for Bonet and Momoa when it came to making headlines. As well as gracing film premieres and attending UN meetings, there was also the star-studded tribute from Beyoncé. Indeed, to celebrate her 37th birthday, the former Destiny’s Child singer uploaded an Instagram photo in which she cosplayed as Bonet.
And Beyoncé’s affectionate tribute went down well with the Twitter brigade. One user posted, “Lisa Bonet is a beautiful, environmental queen. From her, to previous years of Toni Braxton and Flo-Jo, I love how Beyoncé often pays tribute to black women legends and puts them on the radar of new generations.”
So where can we expect to see Bonet over the next few years? Well, chances are it won’t be in front of the screen. Speaking to Porter magazine, the star admitted that she no longer has an appetite for the profession she made her name with. She said, “Acting is how I’ve forged my way, but I don’t think it’s my passion.”
When pressed about what exactly she wants to do with her career instead, Bonet replied, “Maybe directing. I write also. I have ideas. There’s a movie, a children’s TV show, and a documentary short. I feel that I have the soul of an artist, but I don’t know yet which medium.”
But one thing seems for sure; Bonet has little interest in leaving her current home in for pastures new. The actress revealed to Porter that her action star husband has talked about the possibility of relocating to New Zealand or Hawaii. However, Bonet says she’s “not quite ready to disappear completely.”
However, there somewhere that Bonet has set her sights on should she and her family ever decide to move in the future: the Central American state of Costa Rica. She told Porter, “I don’t think they have an army there. They took that money and put it into education – can you imagine?”