Of Tongan, Samoan, and Irish descent, the 18-year-old was born and raised in Hawai’i. He recently became the first Pacific Islander to win American Idol after capturing the hearts of viewers across the country with his touching story and incredible voice.
If you don’t know Drew, you’re missing out! The Samoan TikTok star first gained fame by calling out misogynists on social media, all with her iconic laugh and great sense of humor. She’s the host of The Comment Section with Drew Afualo podcast, and she’s also hosted red-carpet events like the Oscars and the Black Adam premiere.
Born in Hawai’i, Jason is Native Hawaiian on his father’s side and German, Irish, and Pawnee on his mother’s. After the world fell in love with him in Game of Thrones, he went on to star in Frontier, See, and the Aquaman movies. I’m super excited to see him in the new Fast and Furious movie and his upcoming show, Chief of War.
Born in New Zealand, the actor is of Māori and European descent. She’s been in a bunch of shows including Terra Nova, Of Kings and Prophets, and The Crossing, and she’s absolutely killing it right now as Adult Lottie in Yellowjackets.
Born in Australia, the actor is of Māori, Cook Island, Chinese, and English heritage. You can find her in Mad Max: Fury Road and Gods of Egypt, but her portrayal of Teen Lottie in Yellowjackets is definitely my favorite performance so far.
Born in New Zealand, Taika is Māori on his father’s side and Russian Jewish on his mother’s. Is there anything this man can’t do? He wrote, directed, and starred in both What We Do in the Shadows and Jojo Rabbit, for which he became the first Māori filmmaker to win an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. He directed several of Marvel’s Thor movies and an episode of The Mandalorian. He writes for the show he co-created, Reservation Dogs, and his new comedy, Next Goal Wins, comes out this year. Plus, his film Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a masterpiece! Do yourself a favor and watch it if you’re ever in need of a laugh.
Born and raised in Hawai’i, Sasha is Native Hawaiian and Irish. In 2012, she won the Miss Continental competition, and this year, she won Season 15 of RuPaul’s Drag Race — the first Pacific Islander to take the crown!
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Dwayne is Samoan on his mother’s side and Black on his father’s. After gaining fame as a WWE wrestler, he became the Hollywood star we know and love today. He’s been in everything from the Fast and Furious franchise to the Jumanji movies to Moana (he’ll be reprising his role as Maui in the live-action remake!). And last year, he became the first Samoan to play a superhero with Black Adam.
Born in New Zealand, the dance powerhouse and model is Samoan on her mother’s side and white on her father’s. She’s worked with a ton of artists like Jennifer Lopez, SZA, and Shakira, and she choreographed music videos for Justin Bieber, Sam Smith, and Ciara. She won an Emmy for her work on “Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3,” and she choreographed Rihanna’s iconic Super Bowl performance this year!
Born in Hawai’i, Auli’i is of Native Hawaiian, Puerto Rican, Portuguese, Chinese, and Irish heritage. After making her acting debut as the voice of Moana, Auli’i returned to Disney as Ariel in ABC’s live-action concert rendition of The Little Mermaid. Since then, she’s starred in the drama film All Together Now and the teen comedy show Darby and the Dead. She’ll be portraying Janis in the upcoming Mean Girls movie musical and serving as an executive producer on the live-action remake of Moana.
The New Zealand-born actor is of Samoan and European heritage, and he received his matai (chief) title last year. He became a household name by playing Archie Andrews on Riverdale, but you can also find him in The Hate U Give and I Still Believe. And did you know that KJ is a talented musician? In 2021, he released an indie folk-rock album called Clocks.
The singer is mainly Tongan, with some Samoan, Fijian, and Danish heritage. While competing on The X Factor in 2012, she joined four other contestants to form a girl group that would go on to become the wildly popular Fifth Harmony. When the group partnered with Barbie and a doll was made of each member, Dinah inspired the first Polynesian Barbie. Now focused on her solo career, she will release new music this year and is working on creating her own record label.
Born in Australia and raised in New Zealand, the actor is Māori on her mother’s side and white on her father’s. I absolutely LOVED her in Whale Rider (one of my all-time favorite movies). Since then, she’s been in The Nativity Story, Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith, and Game of Thrones. Currently, she’s playing Hana in FBI: Most Wanted.
The New Zealand-born actor is of Māori and European descent. He was sooo funny in Flight of the Conchords! Jemaine joined Taika Waititi as an actor, writer, and director in What We Do in the Shadows. He’s done tons of voice work for animated movies, including Despicable Me, Rio, Moana, and The Lego Batman Movie. He’s also been in hits like Men in Black 3 and Avatar: The Way of Water.
Born in New Zealand, Rose is Samoan on her father’s side and Croatian and Scottish on her mother’s. This woman can do it all — she’s an actor, writer, comedian, director, and podcast host. You can find her stand-up special, Horndog, and comedy series, Starstruck, on HBO Max.
Born in Samoa and raised in New Zealand, the actor played Albert in the iconic Sione’s Wedding (my favorite Pacific Islander comedy of all time!). Next, he’ll be portraying the head of American Samoa soccer in Taika Waititi’s upcoming film, Next Goal Wins. If the trailer is anything to go by, Oscar will be just as hilarious in this movie!
Born in Hawaiʻi, the actor is of Native Hawaiian and Japanese heritage. You probably know her as Sandra in Superstore, but she’s also appeared in Parks and Recreation, The Big Bang Theory, and Raven’s Home.
On his father’s side, the actor is Samoan, and on his mother’s he’s Hungarian-Jewish. Best known for playing Jerry on The Walking Dead, Cooper was also in Halt and Catch Fire and the Shazam movies.
Alex is Samoan and Māori on his father’s side and white on his mother’s. After gaining a massive following on YouTube for his music, he landed a starring role in Finding Ohana. He plays Walter in Doogie Kameāloha, M.D. and Alex in Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin.
Born in Hawai’i, Kelly is of Native Hawaiian, Chinese, and English heritage. After winning Miss Teen USA 1985 and Miss Hawaii USA 1993, she landed roles in The Scorpion King and the X-Men movie X-2. She’s been in teen shows like The Vampire Diaries and The 100, and she voiced Stacy in Phineas and Ferb. Currently, she plays Admiral Ozawa in The Orville.
The New Zealand-born actor is of Māori, Samoan, and Niuean heritage. Alex had leading roles in When We Go to War, Shortland Street, and Night Raiders. Currently, he plays Kai in NCIS: Hawaiʻi and Valandil in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.
Born in Hawai’i, Nicole is of Native Hawaiian, Filipino, and Ukrainian descent. You probably know her from the Pussycat Dolls/her solo music career, but she’s also been on Dancing with the Stars and served as a judge/panelist on The X Factor, Australia’s Got Talent, and The Masked Singer. And she voiced Sina, Moana’s mother, in the Disney movie.
Born in Australia, the actor is Tongan. He gained fame by playing Dwayne Johnson in Young Rock, but he was also great in Marco Polo and Black Adam.
Born in New Zealand, the actor is of Māori, Scottish, and Irish heritage. He’s been in tons of stuff, like Star Wars films, Once Were Warriors, and the Aquaman movies. He famously returned to the Star Wars franchise as the iconic Boba Fett (the son of his character Jango Fett from the prequels) in The Mandalorian and even got his own spin-off, The Book of Boba Fett.
The New Zealand-born actor is of Māori and European descent. She’s a frequent collaborator of Taika Waititi and has been in plenty of NZ films like Whale Rider and Boy, as well as Hollywood films like Thor: Ragnarok. Plus, she’s voiced multiple animated characters including Terry in Disney/Pixar’s Soul and Gramma Tala in Moana.
Born in Hawai’i, the Native Hawaiian actor was a famous surfer before turning to acting. This year, she was in See, The Last Manhunt, and Kapō. Mainei recently announced that she joined the cast of Jason Momoa’s upcoming show, Chief of War.
Born in New Zealand and raised in Australia, the actor is of Māori, Irish, and Scottish descent. I loved his portrayal of Crixus in Spartacus, but he was also great in Arrow and the Hobbit movies.
Born in New Zealand, the actor is of Samoan, Māori, and European descent. She started out in theater and produced a Pacific Islander musical before doing shows in New York City. For the last several years, she’s played Ata Johnson (Dwayne Johnson’s mom) in Young Rock.
The Tongan actor was born in New Zealand. After a role in Sione’s Wedding, he appeared in the final Hobbit movie, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and Hobbs & Shaw. Currently, he plays Afa Anoa’i in Young Rock.
And finally, Cliff Curtis
The Māori actor is known for powerful New Zealand films like Once Were Warriors and The Dark Horse, as well as his long Hollywood career. He’s been in tons of hits, including Live Free or Die Hard, Fear the Walking Dead, and Hobbs & Shaw. Most recently, he played Tonowari, the chief of the Metkayina clan, in Avatar: The Way of Water.
Who’s your favorite Polynesian celeb? LMK in the comments below!