Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Reel People: Jonny Weston is Jay Moriarity

Gerard Butler & Jonny Weston
The film is Of Men and Mavericks. The film is directed by Curtis Hanson with a screenplay by Brandon Hooper and Kario Salem.

Jay Moriarity

Jay (James Michael Moriarity) was born June 16, 1978 in Georgia. His family moved to Santa Cruz, California when he was young.

His father, Doug Moriarity was an adventurer -- Green Beret, Airborne ranger, parachutist and surfer. He introduced Jay to surfing as a pre-teen, and by the age of twelve, Jay won a National Scholastic Surfing Association competition at Pleasure Point.

Young Moriarity encountered Rick "Frosty" Hesson, an older former collegiate swimmer and life-guard who was speaking about a new surf hot spot called Mavericks, a surf destination outside of Half Moon Bay at the village of Princeton-By-The-Sea, California. Jay requested that Hesson help train him mentally and physically to surf Maverick's.

Moriarity became very skilled at both longboard and short-board.

At the age of 16, in 1994 Moriarity was captured in a photo surfing Mavericks, and his photo graced the cover of Surfer magazine. Three days after the shot, internally acclaimed surfer Mark Foo died surfing Mavericks.

This moment propelled Moriarity onto the surf scene making him a regular contender and champion at various surf competitions. His primary sponsor became O'Neill. Moriarity also became an instructor for the O'Neill Surf Academy, along with Robert "Wingnut" Weaver and Richard Schmidt.

Richard Schmidt and Jay also worked together on a book published in 2001 called The Ultimate Guide to Surfing.

It was also during this time he eloped and got married to his wife Kim, whom he had met at the age of fifteen (Kim was 17).

On June 15, 2001, a day before Jay Moriarity's 23rd birthday, he was doing a photo shoot for O'Neill and drowned doing free-diving. He was holding his breathe in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Lohifushi in the Maldives. His wife Kim estimates that he was 80 feet below the surface.

Jay's memorial service was June 26th, and his wife scattered his ashes on Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz, California.

Of Men and Mavericks

In addition to Jonny Weston playing the part of Jay Moriarity, the high profile lead of the film belongs to Gerard Butler who plays the part of Frosty Henson, his early instructor and trainer who prepared him to surf Mavericks. Jay's mother, Christy Moriarity is played by Elizabeth Shue, Henson's first wife Brenda is played by Abigal Spencer, and his wife Kim is played by Leven Rambin.

(Cooper Timberline and Harley Graham also play younger versions of Jay and Kim).

Jonny Weston, as star, is relatively an unknown, but that hasn't stopped an unknown from becoming a known and receiving awards recognition.

Will Weston receive awards attention, maybe even an Oscar nomination for portraying this Real (Reel) Person?

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