We sat down with Alex Aiono (E) & Lindsay Watson (Hana) to chat about their new roles in Finding ‘Ohana, now streaming on Netflix.
Check out the full interview in the video and read some of the highlights below.
What does it mean to you to bring the Hawaiian culture to this film?
Lindsay Watson: Bringing the Hawaiian culture was my biggest inspiration in this whole movie. I was a Hawaiian girl, my whole life born and raised, and getting to move out to LA and having this full-circle moment to get to play this Hawaiian girl. I grew up in, never saw my culture on the screen. I never got to see girls like me and my culture has always been something so true to my heart and getting to go on camera on the big screen and be able to share it with the world. It’s going to be such an honor because it’s never really happened before. And the fact that it’s me, it’s my face that gets to bring it to the world. I’m so excited for everyone to learn about it. It’s such a beautiful culture and I don’t think people, even if you’ve visited or you’ve heard about it, you haven’t had a true chance to see the inside. And I feel like in our movie, we did a really good job to touch on that.
Alex Aiono: Yeah. I would reiterate everything Lindsay said. I think in general, for myself personally, the whole movie was an adventure. From the start of it, auditioning for the roles, getting to meet the cast before, in the chemistry reads and kind of getting to go on this whole adventure while we’re filming a movie that is a whole adventure. Uh, it was just, it was a, it was a whirlwind of, of learning about culture, admiring my own culture in that, getting to admire my family even more and grow closer to this new family. Uh, there was this duality of onscreen and offscreen adventure that just got to kind of run the two or three months that we were out in Hawaii and Thailand.
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Your grandmother lives like two minutes from the set, so I’m dying to hear what it was like traveling home and seeing your Ohana while filming.
Lindsay Watson: Yeah. That was just the, I mean, the cherry on top. We’re driving to set. And I’m like, ‘I know these roads,’ like this is very familiar to me. And I was like, ‘my grandma’s house is right over this hill!’ And so we went to set and I like called my grandma later. I was like, ‘I was next to you all day.’ And she was like, ‘what?’
My family actually lives on Maui, which is like a 30-minute flight away. So they were able to jump on a flight and come on over and they got to come on set actually kind of surprised me. We’re filming this really intense scene in the boat shed. We just cut. And then we walked out in my whole family was sitting there and they were all watching. I mean, I almost died. I was so happy. I didn’t know. Ian Bryce, the amazing producer. He was like, ‘I brought them all up. They were not going to wait down at the bottom.’ They all had their headsets. They were watching on the monitors. I mean, my heart, I almost died. They’re my world. So it was so wonderful to have them there.