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The Stars of Easter Sunday Share Why They Are Grateful To Be Raised by Strong Filipino Women

While this weekend is providing blockbuster entertainment in the form of Brad Pitt’s action movie Bullet Train, on the comedy side of things, a trailblazing movie has opened called Easter Sunday. This is the first big studio movie to spotlight a Filipino ensemble cast, with its lineup of talent including Jo Koy, Tia Carrere and Lydia Gaston. CinemaBlend’s own Law Sharma had the opportunity to speak with these three actors about their work on Easter Sunday, and among the things they chatted about (while enjoying some foo was why they’re grateful to be raised by strong Filipino women.

Starting off, there’s Easter Sunday’s lead actor Jo Koy, who you might recognize from his appearances on Chelsea Lately and various comedy specials. Easter Sunday marks Koy’s biggest film project yet, with him having previously played Vladimir Lenin in 2019’s Anastasia: Once Upon a Time. Along with speaking about how growing up mixed race impacted his life and Easter Sunday, Koy highlighted his admiration for his mother, particularly her determination, with the following words:

My mom showed me indirectly, right?… Like when you say no to me, I gotta show you why you should have said yes. And that came from me indirectly seeing my mom being told no all the time and, and her finding her own community and finding her own Filipino friends and building her own talent shows with all these Filipino parents and their kids. That's all for my mom, and I see her do that. You're not gonna tell her, ‘Oh no, you're not gonna have a talent show.’ She's like, okay, then we'll make a talent show. You know what I mean? We'll do it for us. So seeing her do that hustle helped me be the hustler that I am.

Next, we have Tia Carrere, the voice of Nana in Lilo & Stitch (she’s also game to be looped in on the live-action remake) whose other credits include Wayne’s World, Curb Your Enthusiasm and AJ and the Queen. Carrere went over her grandmother’s many accomplishments, and how she learned from her not to be overcome by fear. As the actress explained: 

It taught me to fear nothing, and really like my grandmother, my mom's mom, was the go-to guy in our family. If you ever need anything, if you're in trouble, whatever, my grandma was the backbone of the family. she worked at Pearl Harbor for 50 years. She lived well below Her means like if she ever got a bill from Sears, we were on the bus to go and pay the bill at the payment window at Sears. It was just, you know, you never saw a pile of, she was a pile of bills at her house. She was always responsible and salt of the earth. And I feel like that has served me well, in a crazy flamboyant over-the-top world, such as Hollywood. So I'm glad that she grounded me with that strength.

Finally, Lydia Gaston, who’s popped up on TV shows like The Sopranos, The Path and The Blacklist, went over how her mother pushed her to go the extra mile when it came to her early years dancing. In Gaston’s words:

Yeah. My mother also pushed me [laughs]. And also, when I first auditioned for ballet companies in the late ‘70s, it was pretty not diverse, but she believed in my talent because she trained me and she would say, ‘Just get better. You have to be better than everybody, and they will hire you.’ And I did end up dancing for some companies, and then I went into Broadway, and it was my dancing that got me into Broadway.

Considering where these three ended up in their lives, it’s safe to say the women that raised them did a pretty good job. Easter Sunday’s cast also includes Jimmy O. Yang, Brandon Wardell, Eva Noblezada, Asif Ali, Rodney To, Elena Juatco, Eugene Cordero, Tiffany Haddish and Jay Chandrasekhar, who directed the feature off a screenplay written by Ken Cheng and Kate Angelo. This is Chandrasekhar’s first feature directorial outing since 2018’s critically-underwhelming Super Troopers 2 (the filmmaker admitted he was perplexed by the bad reviews).

Check out Universal PicturesEaster Sunday at a theater near you, and keep checking back with CinemaBlend for all the latest and greatest in movie news. Learn what cinematic entertainment is coming in the near future by looking through the 2022 release schedule and 2023 release schedule.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.