Nicole Scherzinger is a beauty inside and out. I mean we are talking about one of the original Pussycat Dolls after all. Now here is a fun fact. She voices “Sina” Moana’s mother in the newest Disney Animation hit film: MOANA.She sat down with us bloggers for an interview over at Disney Studios and I can finally share it with you guys:
Q: Tell us why you wanted to be a part of this project and how it came to be.
NICOLE: Well I didn’t want to be a part of the project. I felt I had to be a part of the project, and that’s because I’m from Hawaiian descent, so I knew that the movie was gonna be about the Polynesian people. I don’t think Disney ever really did a film like that. I know they touched upon it in Lilo and Stitch, but I know like people from my family were like, no, that’s like the fake kind. You know. Plus I didn’t wanna go back home and hear from family and hear, how come you’re not in Moana? [LAUGHTER] It’s the story of our people. Where we come from. I’m just so proud that Disney did right by us. By the Polynesian people and stayed true to our culture, where we come from,our mono, our power, our people, our lifeline and just told a beautiful story about a young girl.
It wasn’t a love story, it was a heroine story about a young girl’s journey, which we can all relate to about discovering who we really are and what we’re meant for. What our purpose and our destiny is. And that’s a beautiful story, and then I have the honor of playing Moana’s mother, Sina. With some of her lines they’re- it’s very simple but it’s very telling in the lines. And they’re trying to give me the back story.
I was like, please, I lived this, I lived with my mother and my tutu, which means grandmother in Hawaiian. In our culture, the men are the head of the household, but the women are the backbone. They are everything. They are the strength. They keep it together. And in my family, my tutu she had twenty-one births. Or twenty-two births, and then eighteen children that survived. So that’s just from my tutu. And then my mother, she had ten kids and then so on and so on. So my tutu already has like seventy-five grandchildren and great grandchildren combined. We have a really, really big family at home. Yeah, so I just felt like I have to be a part of this.
Q: You’ve done a lot of live performances between music and the theater. How is this in comparison?
NICOLE: I was born like just saying, I wanted to be Whitney Houston. It’s The Greatest Love of All that made me realize that I wanted to sing. And so from a little girl I always performed live, and I was fortunate enough to go to a performing arts school. I did a lot of theater, and a lot of musical theater. The stage is my favorite place to be,really musical theater is. I just finished doing Cats a year ago in the west and I was supposed to be doing it on Broadway. I wanna go back to the theater when the time is right. I do love being in the recording studio as well I love touring. Doing this movie was such a new experience for me because I’ve never been an animated character. And…when you’re acting, you’re acting to not the other actor or the character, you’re acting with another just person giving you the lines. So you have to just imagine everything. To be so creative in your head. They show you these like sketched out drawings of your character in the scene. And everything looks like penciled in, right? And you just have to kinda close your eyes and put yourself there and kind of be extra animated. I thought it was hilarious because they had cameras all throughout the whole recording studio because it makes sense, you know.
Q: In terms of your character, Sina, was there a certain thing that you brought more into the character from your person self?
NICOLE: It was interesting because in the script they had a couple different readings, like different ways they wanted to get the story across. Especially the part where she’s trying to explain to her daughter that you can’t go be on the reef. Trying to explain because, you know, your father’s been there and he’s had a great loss and he’s just trying to protect you. I think I brought some- first of all, I wish I had the script in front of me – but I definitely- anything that I think artists do, you draw from personal connection. I think she says a line. She says, Moana, sometimes who you are or who you want to be it just doesn’t- it’s not meant to be. I drew from that experience and I drew from my mother. I know that, oh my gosh, I can’t cry. I’m sorry. A moment here. I’m very emotional. I haven’t slept. Just flew in from London and I’m like thinking about my family. But I know that my mom and my tutu and all the women in my family have sacrificed everything for their children.
They’re just, selfless. And it’s not to be like, hey, I’m selfless. That’s just who the women in my family are. And when I listened- when I thought of that line I really thought of my mother and my tutu and how, sometimes who you are or who you wish you could be. I’m sure they had their own dreams. And their own aspirations. And I know my mother didn’t mean to have me at such a young age. And fell in love and the guy actually left her. You know. I mean, if you think about it, it’s pretty much Auli’i’s age. Almost- you know, she’s turning sixteen, and you want these things. ‘Cause I was a little bit- I was like how do I turn this into a positive? ‘Cause she was saying it’s not meant to be. And I felt that it was a bit negative, you know, ‘cause we’re always like, no, you can do it. You can achieve it. Which is why she actually lets her go in the end. So it was like how can I make this make sense to me? And it was just kinda like speaking from experience. Sometimes you have to, um, look past yourself.
Like we have made sacrifices for the better. Or what we think is for the better. Right? But then I think in the end she does know that she trusts Moana and allows her to go and find her destiny.
Q: Aspirit animal, who would you be? What would you be?
NICOLE: Oh, I don’t know!!! The spirit animal thing. I used to call myself a fish. But now I wanna be called a lesh maybe. Or lurd. Trying to make it up. I think of myself as like a lioness, too. Like I love a lion, right. A lion and either a bird or a fish.
In Theaters Now
For centuries, the greatest sailors in the world masterfully navigated the vast Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, 3,000 years ago, their voyages stopped for a millennium – and no one knows exactly why.
From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes “Moana,” a sweeping, CG-animated feature film about an adventurous teenager who is inspired to leave the safety and security of her island on a daring journey to save her people. Inexplicably drawn to the ocean, Moana (voice of Auliʻi Cravalho) convinces the mighty demigod Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson) to join her mission, and he reluctantly helps her become a wayfinder like her ancestors who sailed before her. Together, they voyage across the open ocean on an action-packed adventure, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds, and along the way, Moana fulfills her quest and discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity. Directed by the renowned filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker (“The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “The Princess & the Frog”), produced by Osnat Shurer (“Lifted,” “One Man Band”), and featuring music by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina and Opetaia Foa‘i, “Moana” sails into U.S. theaters on Nov. 23, 2016.
***Disclosure: I attended the #MOANAEvent My flight, lodgings, and expenses were covered by Disney All opinions are 100% mine. ***