35 Pacific Islander Celebrities Who Are Killing It In Hollywood


1. Auli’i Cravalho

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Auli’i, who was born in Hawaii, has Portuguese, Chinese, Irish, Native Hawaiian, and Puerto Rican ancestry. I’m excited to watch her reprise her part as Moana in the upcoming sequel, which she made her acting debut in! — and will be involved in the live-action remake as an executive producer. Earlier this year, she played Janis in the Mean Girls musical movie.

2. Drew Afualo

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It’s a loss if you don’t know Drew! The Samoan TikTok celebrity originally rose to prominence by criticizing misogynists on social media while maintaining her trademark laugh and hilarious sense of humor. She has presented red carpet events like the Black Adam premiere and the Oscars. She is the host of the podcast The Comment Section with Drew Afualo. This summer marks the release of her first book, Loud, which I have already preordered!

3. Kamalei Kawa’a

The Native Hawaiian singer advanced to The Voice playoffs this year, where he dazzled the panel of judges and spectators with performances that infused his culture with every note. Judge Chance the Rapper praised Kamalei for representing Pacific Islanders during the audition, stating that it was “really important to have on the show.”

4. Cliff Curtis

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In addition to his extensive Hollywood career, the Māori actor is well-known for his powerful roles in New Zealand films such as Once Were Warriors and The Dark Horse. Numerous hits have included him, such as Hobbs & Shaw, Fear the Walking Dead, and Live Free or Die Hard. In Avatar: The Way of Water, Cliff portrayed Tonowari, the leader of the Metkayina clan. He will return in Avatar 3.

5. Eliana Su’a

Eliana has Argentine, Mexican, and Samoan ancestry. In addition to starring in Pretty Freekin Scary on the Disney Channel, she has made appearances in Hobbs & Shaw and 9-1-1.

6. Keanu Reeves

Famous in Hollywood, the actor is of Native Hawaiian, Chinese, English, Irish, and Portuguese origin. Along with well-known movies like Speed and The Lake House, he has starred in major franchises like The Matrix and John Wick. The internet adores Keanu as well—I don’t know a single person who doesn’t like him!

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7. Simone Kessell

The actor is of Māori and European origin, having been born in New Zealand. She has starred in several television series, such as The Crossing, Terra Nova, and Of Kings and Prophets. Currently, she is playing Adult Lottie in Yellowjackets, where she is killing it.

8. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

On his mother’s side, Dwayne is Samoan, and on his father’s, he is Black. He rose to stardom as a WWE wrestler before turning into the beloved Hollywood celebrity of today. He has starred in numerous films, including Moana (in which he will reprise his role as Maui) and the Fast and Furious franchise. Additionally, he played Black Adam last year, making history as the first Samoan superhero.

9. Iam Tongi

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The singer was born and reared in Hawaii and is of Tongan, Samoan, and Irish ancestry. He made history last year as the first person from Pacific Islands to win American Idol, winning over fans’ hearts all throughout the nation with his moving tale and amazing voice.

10. Jason Momoa

Jason was born in Hawaii and is of German, Irish, and Pawnee descent from his mother’s side and Native Hawaiian on his father’s. Following his success in Game of Thrones, he starred in films such as Frontier, See, and Aquaman. In the most recent Fast and Furious movie, he was a crowd favorite, and I’m excited for his next series, Chief of War.

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11. Frankie Adams

The well-known New Zealand soap series Shortland Street gave the Samoan actress her break in the industry. She has since starred in films including The Panthers, The Expanse, and The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart.

12. Kaimana

The actor calls herself Polynesian, but her ancestry is actually Māori, Samoan, Native Hawaiian, Tongan, Tahitian, Japanese, Irish, Scottish, and English. Kaimana debuted as an actress in Taika Waititi’s Next Goal Wins last year, and she stole the stage! I’m eager to follow her progress.

A group of people dancing in traditional attire at an outdoor gathering with festive lights and green hills in the background

13. Courtney Eaton

The actor was born in Australia and has Māori, Cook Islander, Chinese, and English ancestry. She may be seen in Mad Max: Fury Road and Gods of Egypt, but my favorite role to date is hers as Teen Lottie in Yellowjackets.

Woman in casual sportswear with a backpack looking concerned in a forest setting

14. Parris Goebel

Person with dramatic eye makeup and a high-collared trench coat styled with unique hairdo

The dancer and model was born in New Zealand. Her father is white, while her mother is Samoan. She has choreographed music videos for Justin Bieber, Sam Smith, and Ciara in addition to working with musicians including Jennifer Lopez, SZA, and Shakira. She was the choreographer for Rihanna’s legendary Super Bowl performance last year and was awarded an Emmy for her efforts on “Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3”!

15. Dinah Jane

The vocalist is mostly of Tongan descent, but she also has Samoan, Fijian, and Danish ancestry. She formed a girl group, Fifth Harmony, with four other contestants while competing on The X Factor in 2012. The group went on to become extremely popular. Dinah served as the model for the first contemporary Polynesian Barbie when the group teamed up with Barbie and a doll was manufactured of each member. She is now concentrating on her solo career, and on Friday she will release new music that is influenced by her Polynesian background. I will definitely be streaming it at midnight.

16. KJ Apa

Man in a black blazer over a yellow sweater, smiling against a pink background

The actor was born in New Zealand and has European and Samoan ancestry. A few years ago, he was awarded the title of matai (chief). In addition to playing Archie Andrews on Riverdale, which made him a household name, he also starred in I Still Believe and The Hate U Give. Did you also know that KJ plays a great musical instrument? He put out the indie folk-rock CD Clocks in 2021.

17. Alex Tarrant

Close-up of Alex

The actress, who was born in New Zealand, has Māori, Samoan, and Niuean ancestry. Prior to starring in NCIS: Hawaii, Alex enjoyed leading parts in television series such as When We Go to War, Shortland Street, and Night Raiders. He is now starring in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power as Valandil. The second season’s trailer was just released, and it looks fantastic!

18. Sasha Colby

Sasha is Native Hawaiian and Irish, having grown up in Hawaii. She was the first Pacific Islander to win the title on RuPaul’s Drag Race, having won the Miss Continental competition in 2012 and Season 15 last year!

sasha on rupaul

19. Jemaine Clement

The actor was born in New Zealand and has European and Māori ancestry. In the movie Flight of the Conchords, he was hilarious! For What We Do in the Shadows, Jemaine collaborated with Taika Waititi as an actor, writer, and director. Jemaine has provided voices for numerous animated films, including as The Lego Batman Movie, Rio, Despicable Me, and Moana. He also starred in successful films such as Avatar: The Way of Water and Men in Black 3.

Actor in period costume with a white vest and fur coat at a masquerade party scene

20. Rose Matafeo

Rose was born in New Zealand and has Samoan ancestry from her father and Scottish and Croatian ancestry from her mother. Actress, writer, comedian, director, and podcast host—this woman has it all. Her comedy series Starstruck and stand-up special Horndog are available on Max.

21. Keisha Castle-Hughes

The actor is Māori on her mother’s side and white on her father’s; she was born in Australia and raised in New Zealand. In Whale Rider, one of my all-time favorite films, I adored her to no end. She has since starred in Game of Thrones, The Nativity Story, and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. She is now starring in FBI: Most Wanted as Hana.

22. Oscar Kightley

The actor, who was reared in New Zealand but was born in Samoa, portrayed Albert in the classic Sione’s Wedding, which is my all-time favorite comedy featuring Pacific Islanders. He played the leader of American Samoan soccer in Next Goal Wins last year.

23. Nicole Scherzinger

The actor, who was reared in New Zealand but was born in Samoa, portrayed Albert in the classic Sione’s Wedding, which is my all-time favorite comedy featuring Pacific Islanders. He played the leader of American Samoan soccer in Next Goal Wins last year.

24. Alex Aiono

The actor, who was reared in New Zealand after being born in Samoa, portrayed Albert in the widely recognized Sione’s Wedding, which is my all-time favorite comedy featuring Pacific Islanders. In Next Goal Wins, he played the leader of American Samoan soccer last year.

25. Uli Latukefu

Australia is where the Tongan actor was born and reared. He starred in Marco Polo, Doctor Doctor, Black Adam, and Young Rock, but is most renowned for playing Dwayne Johnson. He most recently portrayed Nicky Salapu in the film Next Goal Wins. Later this year, he will be seen in MaXXXine.

26. Kaliko Kauahi

The actor was born in Hawaii and has Native Hawaiian and Japanese ancestry. She’s most known for Superstore, where you can find her, but she’s also been in Raven’s Home, Parks and Recreation, and The Big Bang Theory.

27. Temuera Morrison

The actor is of Māori, Scottish, and Irish descent and was born in New Zealand. He has starred in numerous films, including the Aquaman, Once Were Warriors, and Star Wars films. In The Mandalorian, he made a renowned comeback to the Star Wars universe as the recognizable Boba Fett, the son of Jango Fett from the prequels. He also has his own spin-off, The Book of Boba Fett.

28. Rachel House

The actor was born in New Zealand and has European and Māori ancestry. She frequently works with Taika Waititi and has been in both Hollywood and New Zealand motion pictures, including Thor: Ragnarok and Whale Rider. Among the animated characters Rachel has voiced are Terry in Disney/Pixar’s Soul and Gramma Tala in Moana. And later this year, her first film as a filmmaker, The Mountain, will release!

29. Kelly Hu

The actor was born in Hawaii and has English, Chinese, and Native Hawaiian ancestry. Her credits include The Scorpion King and the X-Men film X2, which she landed after winning Miss Teen USA 1985 and Miss Hawaii USA 1993. Kelly voiced Stacy in Phineas and Ferb, starred in teen dramas including The 100 and The Vampire Diaries, and is most renowned for her role as Admiral Ozawa in The Orville. She’ll be playing Lady Deathstrike again in the next Deadpool & Wolverine movie, according to IMDb.

30. Mainei Kinimaka

The Native Hawaiian actor was born in Hawaii and rose to fame as a surfer before pursuing acting. Mainei has acted in films such as Kapō, The Last Manhunt, and See. She is now working on Chief of War, Jason Momoa’s next television series.

31. Cooper Andrews

The actor is Samoan on his father’s side and Hungarian-Jewish on his mother’s. Cooper is most recognized for his role as Jerry on The Walking Dead. He also starred in the Shazam! and Halt and Catch Fire films.

32. Manu Bennett

The actor is of Māori, Irish, and Scottish ancestry, having been reared in Australia after being born in New Zealand. Not only did I adore his performance as Crixus in Spartacus, but he also excelled in the Hobbit and Arrow films.

33. Stacey Leilua

The actor was born in New Zealand and has European, Māori, and Samoan ancestry. She developed a musical about a Pacific Islander before embarking on a career in theater and performing in New York City. She portrayed Dwayne Johnson’s mother Ata Johnson in Young Rock from 2021 to 2023.

34. John Tui

It was in New Zealand that the Tongan actor was born. He next starred in Hobbs & Shaw and Solo: A Star Wars Story, the last Hobbit film, following a role in Sione’s Wedding. He was in Young Rock as well as Afa Anoa’i.

35. And finally, Taika Waititi

Taika was born in New Zealand and his mother’s family is Russian Jewish, while his father’s side is Māori. Can this man do anything at all? In Jojo Rabbit, he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, being the first Māori filmmaker to do so, and in What We Do in the Shadows, he wrote, directed, and starred. He directed an episode of The Mandalorian, multiple Thor films for Marvel, and the endearing movie Next Goal Wins, which is based on the real-life story of an American Samoan soccer club. I’m really thrilled about the dystopian sci-fi movie that he’s now filming, Klara and the Sun. It’s also a masterpiece, Hunt for the Wilderpeople! If you ever need a good laugh, do yourself a favor and watch it.

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Aria Skylark


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