I awoke to a beautiful day in Los Angeles and was excited for the full lineup of interviews with the cast and filmmakers of Disney’s 56th Animated feature film Moana including Dwayne Johnson.
We traveled to Santa Monica to a beautiful hotel by the beach and the Santa Monica Pier. It was the perfect setting for the Moana interviews.
Dwayne Johnson entered the room full of 25 bloggers and was excited to start the interview with us.
Had the distinct honor to sit and chop up multiple topics with 25 Mommy Bloggers. These insightful lovely ladies had me BLUSHING & SWEATING. Literally had to stop the interview for a min to get napkins to wipe the sweat off my head and neck. We all laughed like crazy and I luv’d every minute. Great time and great chat! 👍🏾🙏🏾 #MOANA #GlobalPressJunket #25MommyBloggers #1SweatyRock
Working with Disney
Dwayne is thrilled to be working with Disney again. He has already acted in two live action movies with Disney, The Game Plan and Race to Witch Mountain. Now he had the opportunity to voice an animated character.
Multiple cameras were placed around the room when he was recording his lines. This allowed the animators to incorporate Dwayne’s mannerisms and expressions into Maui, such as Dwayne’s raised eyebrow. The biggest challenge for him on playing Maui was that he had to work in a whole new way. However, he had a great support system to guide him on using the correct temperament, tone and intonation where necessary. He said that “It was a real fascinating experience.”
Playing Maui gave him the opportunity to push himself and try something new. Most notably when singing and rapping in the song “You’re Welcome.” We all know that Disney sets the bar very high with the element of music in movies. Dwayne knew he was lucky to be surrounded by masterful musical people such as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa’i, and Mark Mancina. They helped guide him through the musical process. He credits Lin-Manuel for finding a comfortable range that he could sing in, Lin-Manuel also pushed him a little bit, but they still had a good time.
Dwayne wanted to be a part of Moana because he felt is was a great way to showcase the Polynesian culture to the world. He is half Samoan and half black, and he wasn’t sure that he was ever going to get the opportunity to showcase his rich culture in this way again.
What he wants people to take away from the Moana is to listen to their inner voice. He said “We have this little voice inside of us, and to always make sure that we follow that voice, listen to the voice, it’s a gut intuition, and have that kind of faith, not necessarily a religious faith, but faith that there is more and you can be more.”
Dwayne saw the movie with an audience, and unbeknownst to them that he was there. He said that it was really special when all the kids were leaving, and there was just an energetic thing that happened in the theater where they left the theaters like they were floating. Dwayne said that “to have created magic like that for kids and adults is awesome.” For kids, the the takeaway he wants for them is to have the confidence in yourself, you are good enough, and you can do this.
Celebrities are Just Like Us
Dwayne is trying to find the balance between work and family. He has an 11 month old daughter and a 15 year old daughter, he wants to make sure that he is doing what is best for his family. This certainly an aspect of life that we can all identify with. It’s nice to know that celebrities also struggle with work-life balance. He also makes sure that he is doing the right things at the right time, and checking his ego at the door and asking for help when he needs it.
Best part of the interview was when it was hot in the room and he said “You’ve got me sweating, I was trying to keep it cool but I can’t” and superstar blogger Leanette Fernandez said “Now you know how we feel” then the entire room erupted with laughter. I love moments like these because it shows us that Celebrities are just like us. They are trying to find the balance in their crazy lives and even a room of 25 bloggers can make them sweat.
The interview was very entertaining with lots of laughs and insight from Dwayne Johnson about Maui and his personal life. I also was excited to learn that his favorite Disney movie is “Beauty and the Beast.” It’s mine too!
Dwayne Johnson named the Sexiest Man Alive
The day after our interview it was revealed by People Magazine that Dwayne Johnson was name 2016’s Sexiest Man Alive. 😉
Check out these other Moana posts from the press junket.
- The Spirit of Polynesia Sails into Hollywood for the Moana Premiere
- Go on an Adventure with Moana – Film review of MOANA
- Interview with Auli’i Carvalho (Moana)
- Interview with Lin-Manuel Miranda (Music by)
Moana is about an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana (voice of Auli’i Cravalho) meets the once-mighty demigod Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), who guides her in her quest to become a master wayfinder.
Maui is voiced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, he is a demigod—half god, half mortal that wields a magical fishhook that allows him to shapeshift into all kinds of animals and pull up islands from the sea.
Together, they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds, and along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity.
MOANA reaches the shores on November 23rd!
Visit the official MOANA website
Disclaimer: Disney invited 5 Minutes for Mom (and me) to Los Angeles to attend the Moana Press Junket. All expenses have been paid by Disney, but all opinions are always 100% my own.
All Photo credit to Louise Bishop.