Star of Disney’s ‘Moana’ talks about movie, first acting job

You know, Lynn and Shireen have offices across the hall from each other, hang out in the make up room and it comes with being married to each other. And Shireen says she couldn’t be happier, FYI. But imagine starring in a big budget movie and never meeting your leading man!

Deco’s chief absentee correspondent Chris Van Vliet is here with how something like that can happen.

I remember my first job … working in the fish and reptile department at P.J.’s Pet Center. For 15-year-old Auli’i Cravalho, it’s starring in Disney’s newest animated film. Yeah, she wins.

She sat down with Deco in Miami earlier today.

Dwayne Johnson (as Maui): “I am not going on a mission with some little girl.”

That little girl is Moana, voiced by Hawaiian native Auli’i Cravalho. And this is her first movie ever as the starring role in a Disney movie. It’s not a bad way to start out!

Auli’i Cravalho: “I didn’t plan on actually auditioning for it.”

We chatted with her in miami today about the new animated flick.

Auli’i Cravalho: “Moana is a 16-year-old girl who goes on a journey across hundreds of miles of ocean to find herself, as well as to save her island and her people.”

Along that journey, Moana meets Maui, whose voice you might recognize as a certain wrestler turned movie star.

Dwayne Johnson (as Maui): “It’s actually Maui, shapeshifter, demi god of the wind and sea, hero of men.”

Even though she stars with the Rock, she never worked with him.

Chris Van Vliet: “Were you actually in the studio with the Rock?”

Auli’i Cravalho: “No! I thought I would be doing that too. This is my first movie, I was like, ‘This is gonna be great!’ We didn’t actually meet until a Miami content shoot, but he did bring me flowers, so I forgive him for being the busiest man in the world.”

Of course the Rock isn’t too busy to sing in the movie … and the music in “Moana” is written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creative genus behind the Tony award winning musical “Hamilton.”

Dwayne Johnson (as Maui): “There’s no need to play, it’s OK, you’re welcome. I guess it’s just my way of being me.”

In the time Auli’i spent with the Rock, she picked up on some of his signature traits.

Chris Van Vliet: “Were you able to, in the time you spent with the Rock, nail any of his catch phrases or trademark moves?”

Auli’i Cravalho: “Well, you obviously haven’t been following my social media because I beat the Rock in the eyebrow challenge.”

Chris Van Vliet: “Oh that’s pretty good. You can do them both!”

Auli’i Cravalho: “I can!”

Chris Van Vliet: “I can only do this one, if I try the other one…”

Auli’i Cravalho: “Eh.”

Chris Van Vliet: “Looks like there’s something wrong with my face.”

Auli’i Cravalho: “That’s why I win!”

“Moana” is in theaters in time for Thanksgiving. It’ll be released on Nov. 23.

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