I am so grateful when I get the chance to participate in press junkets/interviews for soon to be released movies and shows. Being able to do so is always exciting and a dream come true. Recently I had the pleasure of getting to interview Finding ‘Ohana talent Kea Peahu (Pili), Owen Vaccaro (Casper), Alex Aiono (E), Lindsay Watson (Hana). As well as it’s Screenwriter Christina Strain and Director Jude Weng. I learned so much about the film. Below are my interviews from the Finding ‘Ohana Press Junket and interesting facts about the film. Finding ‘Ohana hit’s Netflix on January 29, 2021.
Interview with Screenwriter Christina Strain and Director Jude Weng
I absolutely love learning about behind the scenes of movies and Screenwriter Christina Strain and Direct Jude Weng were such a delight to interview and learn from. Here are some interesting facts we learned about Finding ‘Ohana.
- Jude was asked what she hoped people would take away from the film about Hawaiian culture, and she said she hoped they would take away the spirit of Aloha, appreciation of family and culture, and that it is never too late to connect to your heritage.
- There are a lot of pop culture movie references throughout the movie related to The Goonies and Indiana Jones. (Jonathan Ke Quan who played Data in The Goonies and Short Round in the Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom also stars in Finding ‘Ohana.) How many can you find!?
- Christina Strain stated there were Cultural consultants who were used to make sure that Hawaiin culture was accuratley represented. Also, a Big Kahuna blessed every site before filming.
- Christina Strain established a Creative Writing Scholarship at the U. of Hawaii for local kids in Hawaii.
- I had asked screenwriter Christina Strain and Director Jude Weng about why they chose geocaching for the movie. You can watch my interview with them below, and read all about what geocaching is HERE.
Interview with Kea Peahu and Owen Vaccaro
In Finding ‘Ohana Kea Peahu plays the main character Pili, and Owen Vaccaro plays her friend Casper. Both Kea and Owen are so talented and funny. Here are some interesting facts from the interview.
- During the interview, Owen was asked about what attracted him to play the character of Casper. He told us how he felt he was personally very similar to Casper, and he was excited to have the chance to dye his hair red.
- When asked what their favorite takeaways from behind the scenes were. Owen stated his favorite takeaway was malasadas from Leonard’s bakery. Kea’s stated it was the whole experience.
- Kea was asked about the choreography in the movie. Kea is a dancer with a dance team called The Lab, and it turns out Kea helped to choreograph the dance at the end of the movie but said it was a team effort. Owen, Lindsey, and Alex helped put it together as well.
- I had a chance to ask Kea and Owen about geocaching. You watch my interview below!
Interview with Alex Aiono and Lindsay Watson
In Finding ‘Ohana Alex Aiono plays Ioane (E), Pili’s brother, and Lindsay Watson plays Hana, Casper’s friends. Even in the trailer, you can tell Ioane and Hana don’t necessarily get along, and it is too funny. Here are some interesting facts from our interview with them!
- When asked if they encountered any obstacles getting into their roles Lindsey stated she had no trouble getting into her role as Hana because Hana is her to a T.
- Alex was asked if he got a chance to adlib any lines with Lindsay and he said many of Ioane’s and Hana’s lines are in fact ad-libbed!
- Alex is a singer and along with Owen, Kea, and Lindsey got to show off his talents during one of the songs in the movie. The song wasn’t dubbed and they used the audio they recorded while in a cave!
- Hana is my daughter’s favorite character in Finding ‘Ohana. So, she asked me if I could ask Lindsey about the hair flip scene and how many takes it took to get just the right one. You can watch Lindsey’s response below. (I love her answer because it is full of girl power!)
You can find the full-length interviews on my youtube channel HERE. I really hope you will check out the film when it becomes available on Netflix on January 29, 2021!
A summer in rural O‘ahu takes an exciting turn for two Brooklyn-raised siblings when a journal pointing to long-lost treasure sets them on an epic adventure with new friends, and leads them to reconnect with their Hawaiian heritage.