‘Art imitating life’: Jo Koy’s first box office movie is a love letter to immigrant families

Jo Koy is focused on getting more diversity in Hollywood with his first box office movie.
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 5:33 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 5, 2022 at 4:44 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Comedian Jo Koy has high hopes for his first box office movie “Easter Sunday” and not just in ticket sales.

He says the film opens the door to diversity in Hollywood.

”It’s important, not only for me, and not only for Filipinos, but for AAPI and in any immigrant that moves to this country, that for some reason is invisible,” said Jo Koy.

Jo Koy is part Filipino and has a loyal following of fans in Hawaii which is home to a large population of Filipinos.

“Whenever they turn on the TV, they’re not seen. When you go in for an audition, the roles that we go for are never a great representation of us,” he said.

“So, that’s what this movie is, it was a chance to tell our story about a family that happens to be Filipino. When people go see this movie, they’re gonna realize that we’re all relatable. And we’re all the same.”

“Easter Sunday” mirrors some of Jo Koy’s real life relationships with his mom, son and his wacky Filipino family.

”So, it’s basically art imitating life,” said Jo Koy.

The film by Universal Pictures stars well-known Filipino-American actors including Lou Diamond Phillips and Hawaii-born actress Tia Carrere.

”She’s the reason why I’m able to do what I’m doing in Hollywood. She knocked down the door first and, you know, one thing that we cried about behind the scenes is in all of her 40 years in Hollywood, this was the first time ever she played a Filipino in a movie.”

Jo Koy’s focused on getting more diversity on the big screen and is open to future projects including a movie in Hawaii. He considers the “Aloha State” his second home.

”The love that Hawaii is, the ohana that my fans put me in, is just incredible.“

”Easter Sunday” premiered in theaters August 5. 

You can listen to the rest of our conversation with Jo Koy on our ‘Muthaship’ podcast right now on our website or search for ‘Muthaship’ wherever you download podcasts.

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