“Hey Emma,” you might ask, “is that your brother?” Wrong guess. It’s 23-year-old up-and-coming Hollywood movie star, Jonny Weston. Jonny costars in the film Chasing Mavericks with Gerard Butler (remember Leonidas in 300, The Phantom in Phantom of the Opera–that guy). In Chasing Mavericks, Butler plays surf mentor/father figure Frosty to Jonny, who plays the late Santa Cruz surfing legend Jay Moriarty. As most locals know, Jay Moriarty was an accomplished big wave surfer from Santa Cruz who made it big internationally when a photo of his wipeout at Mavericks landed the cover of Surfer Magazine in 1995 (Jay was 16). He died while free-diving in the Indian Ocean just before his 23rd birthday. Of course the weight of Jay’s history put Jonny under a magnifying glass.When asked what it was like playing Jay Moriarty, Jonny replied, “It was awesome at first. I was like, ‘hell yeah, I’m paying a real live character. When it started catching up with me, I realized how affected people were by this guy. I started freaking out–I mean freaking out. God bless Kim (Jay’s wife) for taking phone calls from me at 2 in the morning.” Jonny admitted, “I began to be terrified by the responsibility of it.” The approval of his performance from Kim Moriarty and the rest of Jay’s family was only the “second best thing” that he could have heard. “He’s the only person in the world that I would be satisfied to hear the opinion of” Jonny said. The entire interview with Jonny Weston will be aired on KZSC’s show, The Cruz Report on Tuesday, November 6 at 8 pm.
Photography by Kohar Minassian.