Generally, an actor’s first job is a small part, often without a single line of dialogue. Some are lucky enough to be cast in a commercial.
Few have the kind of success that Auli’i Cravalho found with her very first acting job. The Hawaii native is the voice of the title character in the new Disney animated film, “Moana.”
Not only is voice work a major way to launch a career, the 16-year-old couldn’t be more excited about the nature of the job. She’s the voice of a young princess who defies her parents to save her island. She gets help from demigod Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson).
“I’ve grown up in Hawaii all my life. I am deeply rooted to my culture. I actually go to an all-Hawaiian school where the mythology and the folklore of Maui is in our curriculum, and I’ve listened to his stories at bedtime,” Cravalho says.
Cravalho’s happiness in regard to being part of the Disney Studios animation legacy didn’t happen until she started working on the movie. She was wary of the project when she first heard about it.
Her concern was that the production would not properly represent her culture. Her feelings changed after she saw the script and realized her culture is treated with great respect and reverence.
Cravalho calls being part of that presentation an incredible journey.
“I’m working with the best people in the entire world who are making a film inspired by my culture, the culture that I have lived every day of my life, and that is something so incredibly special for the rest of the world to see,” Cravalho says. “For me, as someone who is hoping to continue in show business, I was wondering, how would I continue in this and still be Polynesian? It was an interesting concept for me to even think up,” she says.
“Am I still grounded and rooted in the way that I want to be? I can honestly say yes because being surrounded by my family and by the Hawaiian culture every day, it seems as though I would never lose it.”
Not only does the young actress like that her culture is being presented to the world in such a strong way, but she also likes the idea that the film will inspire people to become rooted in who they truly are.
Oh, the ‘Horror’
The Fox presentation of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again” is scheduled to be released on DVD Tuesday. The TV production features Victoria Justice as Janet Weiss.
This is a very different role for the actress, who has starred in several programs aimed at young TV viewers: “Zoey 101,” “Victorious” and “Fun Size.” Justice’s plan before the new “Rocky Horror” aired was to bring a lot of her young fans to the film.
“The fact that it’s going to be airing on Fox on TV to the masses is something that is so cool because now a new generation is going to be able to sing along to ‘The Time Warp,’ and they’re going to be familiar with these characters,” Justice says. “And I think it can inspire them in a lot of different ways.
“Also having a transgender amazingly talented woman (Laverne Cox) playing Dr. Frank N Furter I think is such a reflection of where we are today as a society.”
Justice was in the fifth grade the first time she saw the film version starring Tim Curry. She attended a midnight showing with her mother and a few friends.
She fell in love with the music, the characters and the craziness of the production.
“It’s kind of just captivated me ever since then. I’ve been a fan for a long time,” Justice says.
Casting news: Freeform has announced the cast of a scripted comedy pilot “Brown Girls,” from writers Shilpi Roy and Nastaran Dibai. The pilot will go into production in early 2017.
Hina Abdullah (“The Last Ship”) portrays Rimmi, a fashion-forward young woman who is trying hard to ignore her heritage and become a beauty vlogger. Punam Patel (“Kevin From Work”) stars as Devi, a confident young woman who is new to Los Angeles and is content with her traditional values.
The pilot centers on the relationship between Rimmi and Devi.
Salute: AXS TV will pay tribute to Motörhead legend Lemmy Kilmister in the Merry Metal-thon block, featuring the concert premiere of “Motörhead – Clean Your Clock” at 9:30 p.m. Dec. 18.