Yes! There is never a shortage of Pinoy talents in the global circuit. This time, it is brought to us by Hollywood newcomer Cathy Ang who bagged the role of FeiFei in the Netflix hit Over The Moon. Cathy, whose very first credit was on the Emmy-winning Age of Sail, a short directed by John Kahrs and produced by Gennie Rim, said that getting to be the voice behind Fei Fei was pure kismet, “This is the dream. I grew up listening to Lea Salonga, my parents would always be playing Lea Salonga every day, and she inspired me to make art. And now I get to tell this beautiful story that shares a part of my Asian heritage and is also a movie musical, so this is the dream.” She tells us during our Zoom chat with her. Ang had been originally hired as a day player to record a temp demo of “Rocket to the Moon,” one of the film’s biggest musical numbers, for an early screening. Her very first rendition of the song was so powerful and perfect that it not only earned her the part but ended up being the final version that’s heard in the film. That was a very nerve-wracking day,” Ang recalls. “I remember we were in the studio trying to record the whole movie that day, and we were running a little bit behind—my song was the last to record. And so all day, I was just getting more nervous waiting to get in there. When it came time to go in, I couldn’t look at anyone. I was sweating and shaking. But they liked it! They still liked it! It was wonderful to be able to look up after that and see everyone so excited. It was a dream.”
Over The Moon is the first animated film backed by a major Hollywood studio to feature an entirely Asian cast. After losing her mother at a tender age, the film will show Fei Fei’s journey on moving forward, embracing the unexpected, and the power of imagination by showing her journey to the moon to prove the existence of a legendary Moon Goddess Chang’e.
We also had a chat with Phillipa Soo, who is the voice of Chang’e.
Phillipa, as we all know, is a Tony® Award-nominated Hamilton star. Soo credits her Chinese American father for introducing her to the legend as a young girl. “I knew about Chang’e growing up from this beautifully illustrated children’s book by Amy Tan called The Moon Lady.” As an Asian woman, playing the Moon Goddess is extra special for her, “It’s my first time to play a specifically written in Chinese character and to be a cast of all Asian actors And to work with the creative team that had a sole purpose of telling the story authentically.”
We also spoke to the director, Oscar® winner, and Disney legend Glen Keane (Dear Basketball, Beauty and The Beast, Aladdin), who gave us a copy of his artwork! Anyway, he shared his concept behind the film, and he shared how he immersed himself in Asia for weeks just so he could give a raw and accurate representation of the culture to the audience. He also pointed out the core of the film which is about grieving, acceptance, and moving on, “We don’t go backward, we always go forward and we grow because of how we move forward and this movie allows kids to relate to Fei Fei to go through step-by-step the process of grieving and loss.”
Since the success of Over The Moon in the Philippines, Netflix has taken the magic and imagination of Over The Moon to Manila. From November 2 to 15, Filipino fans can fly their imagination to the moon like Fei Fei with a Pinoy version of the Bunny Rocket from the movie.
Netflix has transformed jeepneys into Bunny Jeepneys, complete with bunny ears on the outside and Fei Fei’s rocketship controls in the interiors. The Bunny Jeepneys will be making routes around Manila, landing in key locations and thoroughfares across Metro Manila, including Makati, Novaliches, Quezon City, and extending south to Alabang.
Over The Moon also stars Ken Jeong, Sandra Oh, and John Cho and is now streaming on Netflix.
Entertainment journalist and pre-pandemic globetrotter who would go to earth's ends to get the story done, may it be local or international showbiz news. Also into anything about motherhood and parenting (newbie mommy).
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