As celebrity relationships go, the marriage of Aquaman star Jason Momoa and The Cosby Show alum Lisa Bonet is one of the sweetest. But a recent gesture from Momoa to his wife left her completely dumbstruck. And he captured the whole thing on video, too – a risky move considering the surprise involved one of Bonet’s prized possessions…
Way before Momoa ever decided to tinker with his spouse’s stuff, though, he and Bonet had met at a bar in New York. That was back in 2004, and the couple have practically been an item ever since. Incredibly, though, Momoa had already decided years prior that the woman playing Denise Huxtable would be his future wife. In fact, he’d had his heart set on the sitcom star since childhood.
According to a story that Momoa told James Corden on The Late Late Show in 2017, he had been but a boy when he had first laid eyes on Bonet. While watching The Cosby Show with his mom, the eight-year-old Momoa exclaimed, “Mommy, I want that one!” when Bonet’s character appeared on screen. Is that super-cute or a bit weird? You decide.
But Momoa’s obsession with Bonet didn’t end after that. During the same chat with Corden, the actor confessed his thoughts at the time towards the actress, saying, “I’m like, ‘I’m going to stalk you for the rest of your life, and I’m going to get you.’” And in 2004 his dream came true.
The romance began when a friend introduced Momoa and Bonet to each other at a jazz club. And it seems that the pair hit it off straight away, as they moved on to a cafe to chat over beer and grits before leaving together. “I had fireworks going off inside. I convinced her to take me home, because I was living in a hotel,” Momoa said to Corden of his first date with the actress. The rest, as they say, is celebrity history.
But that history is a tad murky. You see, even though Momoa is very active on social media, he and Bonet are intensely private about their relationship. For instance, no one is really sure whether the couple tied the knot in 2007, 2017, or both. They’ve both remained famously tight-lipped about the whole thing, too.
It’s perhaps thanks to this privacy that Momoa and Bonet’s relationship has stood the test of time. The pair have been together for more than a decade and a half now and share two children: daughter Lola and son Nakoa-Wolf. And while they’re not big on talking about their romance, they’re certainly not shy when it comes to showing affection in public. Plus, Momoa himself seemingly never misses an opportunity to be chivalrous towards his spouse. Women all over the world swooned when, at the 2020 Golden Globe Awards ceremony, he gave Bonet his jacket because she was cold.
Clearly, Momoa wins at sweet gestures where Bonet is concerned. But his track record when it comes to personal decision-making has a much lower hit rate. After he was cast as the eponymous warrior in Conan the Barbarian, for example, the actor made a painful choice.
Somehow, Momoa came to the conclusion that he was simply too pretty to be an authentic-looking barbarian. No argument here, but his solution was pretty radical. To redress the clear imbalance, he decided that a broken nose was just the thing to make him look more convincing as a savage, and so he asked a friend to help him out. Which they immediately did… with a punch to the face. Mission accomplished.
The actor also enjoys extreme sports, although he likes to take them one step further. During a 2018 interview with Men’s Journal, Momoa chugged cans of Guinness between rounds of a bouldering course. He also persuaded a heavily pregnant woman to throw tomahawks that he himself had designed. What we’re saying is that impulse control can sometimes be an issue.
So the star’s decision to completely dismantle one of Bonet’s most-beloved possessions shouldn’t really come as a surprise. The item in question? An old car. But it’s not just any old motor; this vehicle was special even before the Cosby Show star got her hands on it. At more than 50 years old, though, it was – until recently – in a very sad state indeed.
You see, Bonet’s car is – drum roll, please – a first-generation Ford Mustang. Now, even if you know next to nothing about cars, we’ll bet that you’ve heard of this iconic model. First introduced to the world in 1964, the sporty little number quickly became an illustrious part of the marque’s history.
A whopping 22,000 models of the Mustang were snapped up within just 24 hours of it going on sale, in fact, while the car’s powerful V8 engine, sleek lines and low price led to one million proud owners in just 18 months. Well, we say “low price,” but back then a first-generation vehicle would have set you back around $2,400 – which equates to a slightly less reasonable $19,500 these days. Even so, that’s not bad for a piece of motoring legend!
And it’s not just drivers who have fallen in love with the classic car. The Mustang’s effortlessly cool looks, superb speed and the heart-racing roar of its engine have also made it a hit on the big screen. Versions of the beloved vehicle have featured in many a blockbuster, including Bullitt, The Thomas Crown Affair and, more recently, John Wick.
Nowadays, though, Ford doesn’t make Mustangs like it used to, and so those early models are considered design classics. In fact, a 1965 model could leave a serious dent in your wallet, as they can sell for up to a cool $1 million. That is, provided the car is in pristine condition. And, more importantly, driveable. So, Bonet’s car as it was probably wouldn’t have fetched anywhere near that price tag.
Having said that, rarity also plays a part in a Mustang’s value. And Bonet’s model apparently happens to be among just three of its kind ever produced, meaning it could be worth a pretty penny after all. But to the star, the classic car is so much more than just a windfall in waiting.
And it all harks back to the actress’ days on The Cosby Show. When her screen career began, Bonet was still pretty young. Debuting in dramedy St. Elsewhere while just a teen, she then went on to land the role of Denise Huxtable in 1984. The success of the show made her a global superstar, too, and as a result she had her first taste of financial freedom.
But that freedom came at a cost. It seems, you see, that Bonet’s experience on The Cosby Show was not a happy one. Apparently, the teenager’s behavior caused friction with her on-screen dad. Then, when she became pregnant with her eldest daughter, Zoë, the star was reportedly cut loose from the series owing to “creative differences.” In among all this, however, Bonet got her hands on something very special.
Having presumably passed her driver’s test not long after landing the part of Denise Huxtable, Bonet was now able to buy a car of her own. That’s right. Not only is the star’s Ford Mustang incredibly rare, but it also happens to be the very first vehicle she ever purchased!
To say that this Mustang holds sentimental value for Bonet would be the understatement of the century, then. But over the intervening years, life took its toll. The car became dilapidated and, as the star’s needs changed, it was relegated to the past and put into storage. That is, until a knight in shining armor – or, rather, a king in shining scales – stepped forward.
In 2020, as a surprise for Bonet, Momoa decided that it would be a great idea to completely dismantle his wife’s beloved Mustang. But before you curse the actor for destroying a piece of American motoring history, we should tell you that he wasn’t just taking it apart for fun. Instead, the star had a far greater goal in mind.
It’s possible that when Bonet originally stowed the car, she had always intended to spruce it up and start using it again. More than a decade later, however, the classic vehicle was still gathering dust. And this was when Momoa hit upon the idea for an epic project. Simply put, he would return the Mustang to its former glory.
But restoring the car in secret would be no mean feat. By 2020, the Mustang was in a sorry state – covered in dust and rust and generally succumbing to the ravages of time. So, Momoa would need a crack team to take on the job, and for this he chose the guys at Divine 1 Customs.
The Nevada-based team have plenty of experience, too, when it comes to custom restorations of classic vehicles. Their website is littered with pictures of gleaming vintage cars and trucks in glorious technicolor. Among them is a 1947 Dodge Power Wagon belonging to Pawn Stars’ own Rick Harrison. And according to the reality star’s Instagram, just getting the truck to the point where it could be painted took three years.
So, with all that know-how – and seemingly unfazed by the Mustang’s obvious sentimental value – the guys at Divine 1 Customs accepted the job. That just left Momoa with one big problem: how do you smuggle a car to Nevada? Hmm… Well, that bit he chose to keep to himself. But luckily for us, the actor filmed the entire restoration journey.
Produced by Momoa’s production company On The Roam, the short film My Wife’s First Car depicts the painstaking process that began after the Mustang’s arrival at the Divine 1 Customs workshop. And to begin with, the footage shows the complete stripping-down of the classic – right to the bare frame. Would the team be able to restore Bonet’s beloved vehicle to its former glory?
Well, thanks to the movie, we got to find out. Not only does it document the Mustang’s journey, but it also preserves for posterity Bonet’s speechless reaction at the big reveal. And the film itself is actually closer to a professionally shot promo than a Momoa video blog. It’s an emotional watch, too.
Opening with awe-inspiring coastal views, the short includes some rather poetic narration courtesy of Momoa. And as the actor waxes lyrical, it is clear that the film is a love letter to both his wife and the Mustang. Speaking on top of the footage, Momoa says, “It’s the first car, bought with love and a smile. A car that gave you a life of incredible destinations, where boundaries and limitations fade in the rearview.”
Momoa continues, “I know we can’t relive the memory, but maybe we can rebuild one.” The film then goes on to show the incredible transformation of the Mustang. When we first encounter the car, it’s looking very sorry for itself. After the actor delivers the classic to Divine 1 Customs, however, the serious business of restoration begins.
Still, it’s far from an easy watch. The Mustang is completely dismantled, piece by piece. Every single part of the vehicle is removed, and at one point all that’s left is a rather sad-looking shell. But that’s when the magic starts to happen, and that bare frame slowly transforms into something utterly breathtaking.
Momoa also explained on Instagram that while the renovation process was relatively brief, the journey to the workshop took a whopping 14 years. And that may have had something to do with how special the Mustang really is. Not only is it one of just a handful of cars of its kind, but it’s also full of bespoke parts and features.
As the film shows, though, the guys at Divine 1 Customs were more than sympathetic in their restoration. They renewed the car’s leather seats, its special gear knob and one-off interiors but retained the look of a box-fresh ’65 model. The exterior, now gleaming black, is covered in chrome detailing. And, of course, there’s also a shiny mustang horse in the center of the grille. It is, quite simply, perfection.
Then, once the car’s revamp was complete, Momoa arrived to inspect the finished product. And he clearly was massively impressed with what he saw. Unleashing a loud expletive when setting eyes on the pristine Mustang, he decides, adorably, to hug the car. As the actor puts it in the video, “To be in this passenger seat with my wife here and surprise her… I’m excited to see her face.”
Yet the biggest test was still to come. What would Bonet think of the newly restored and fully functional – but undeniably very different – Mustang? Would she love it? Or would she grieve the loss of the original vehicle? Well, thankfully, the cameras were there to capture her incredible reaction. And it’s a true fairy-tale moment.
Having been piggy-backed to an unnamed location by Momoa, Bonet is told to close her eyes. Then, when she opens them again, her husband and son are grinning goofily next to the gleaming Mustang. And as she slowly realizes what’s in front of her, the star is utterly dumbstruck. She rushes over to inspect the car, finally mustering a faint “Holy cow!”
That reaction – at least in this case – was a good one. Bonet goes on to say, “That is gorgeous! Not too flashy, but just enough.” The star then spends some time in the driver’s seat before checking out the most important part of the car: the engine. And clearly satisfied with the Mustang’s transformation, she goes on to plant a kiss on her husband. What she doesn’t do, though, is drive it.
Perhaps overwhelmed by the emotion of the occasion, when the happy clan eventually speed off in the Mustang, it’s Momoa rather than Bonet in the driver’s seat. In his defense, he had definitely earned the privilege. And maybe now the Cosby Show alum can start a new chapter as a passenger in her classic car. But whatever the reason for this unusual move, one thing is for sure: the internet couldn’t get enough of the incredibly sweet video.
When the stunningly shot mini-movie first appeared in August 2020, it quickly racked up millions of views and thousands of likes. The film also made global headlines, with Momoa’s gesture seen on news websites all over the world. And, of course, the social media community had its own opinions about the entire event.
The film actually premiered on Momoa’s own YouTube channel, and the many thousands of comments in response all point to a wholehearted approval of the man and his strong gift game. One user wrote, “So beautiful! And so good to see Lisa smiling with joy! Awesome work!” Another was touched by the reveal, explaining, “This brings tears to my eyes.”
A fellow commenter saw the funny side of Momoa’s commandeering of the vehicle, writing, “‘My wife’s gonna love this car!’ Gets in the driver’s seat and goes into the sunset. LMAO.” But most were simply impressed, with one YouTube user seemingly speaking for others by commenting, “Dang, this is wholesome on another level.” So it seems that, where Bonet is concerned, Momoa’s decision-making is spot-on. Well done, that man!