Moana star: 'My mum still makes me do chores'
Producer Osnat Shurer highlights actress-singer Auli'i Cravalho's uncanny likeness to her character in Moana
Even after she snapped up the titular role in Disney's latest flick Moana, life hasn't changed much for Hawaiian singer and actress Auli'i Cravalho.
"My mum still makes me do chores, and I have to do my homework - even in the car or in the hotel room, it had to get done," the 16-year-old high school student said with a laugh.
"It's very interesting, balancing this huge blessing of Moana and school, chores and everyday stuff."
Despite her newfound stardom, her peers in school don't look at her differently.
"My friends still treat me the same, they still make me get my own drinks and stuff," she said.
"But they do call me Moana from time to time."
Cravalho beat hundreds of other hopefuls from all over the Pacific Islands to voice Moana, a Polynesian teen who feels a deep connection to the ocean and eventually sails out on a daring mission to save her people.
Moana opens here tomorrow.
M met with Cravalho in Singapore earlier this month when she made an appearance with the movie's producer Osnat Shurer, lighting artist Roger Lee and visual development artist Griselda Sastrawinata at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre to promote the movie.
Shurer said from the moment she heard Cravalho, it was the "quality of Moana about her" that caught her eye.
"The bonus is that she can really act and she has a beautiful singing voice," she told M.
"She even looks like the character and even though you don't see it in the movie, it's amazing.
"The truth is, there is the spirit of Moana about her, the warmth, the compassion and how grounded she is in her culture along with the connection she has with her family."
"It is also her courage. She's a high school student who has never done anything like this before... Auli'i is just a natural," added Shurer.
"I think we're the lucky ones."
The crew spent a few days in Singapore promoting Moana, which took five years to complete, before they headed to Los Angeles where Cravalho met co-star Dwayne Johnson (who plays demigod Maui) for the world premiere of the animated production.
Watch: Moana star Auli'i learns Malay phrases
When asked what she thought of Singapore, Cravalho said: "I love it here. The weather here is similar to what we get back home (O'ahu, Hawaii)."
She said that while she appreciates the heat here, her tresses tend to play up when humidity levels soar.
"I know how my hair can react to humidity," she said, adding that her hair was surprisingly well-behaved during her short trip here.
Before arriving in Singapore, Cravalho had said she didn't know what kind of weather to expect.
"I was afraid that it was going to be cold only because I've never been to Singapore before," she said.
"I get a little grouchy when it's cold, so I'm glad it's not."
She even looks like the character and even though you don't see it in the movie, it's amazing.
- Producer Osnat Shurer on Auli'i Cravalho