Actress Tia Carrere didn’t have to look far to prepare for her role as Tita Teresa in Jo Koy’s comedy “Easter Sunday.”
“It’s a composite character, but I did call my Auntie Belle to consult with her on the accent and, you know, the Filipino mannerisms,” the “Wayne’s World” star explained. “It’s all different people I grew up with, you know, extended family members, just a celebration of all these spicy women in my upbringing.”
When it came to filming the movie, it was just one big happy family bringing all the laughs during a time of uncertainty.
“We had a blast. We were deep in the pandemic, borders were closed, our first hugs were with each other,” she said. “Our first meal outside our bubble was with each other, and these are the funniest people I know. It was one laugh after another. We just hung out all the time.”
While the film is centered around a Filipino-American family, there are aspects that many other cultures can relate to.
“I think all brown families with crazy aunts that try to one up each other, I think it’s a universal theme,” she explained. “There’s this ‘Taglish,’ half Tagalog half English thrown in, our food is very specific and delicious. It was a love letter to my fellow Filipinos, but also contains universal themes to every dysfunctional family that I know.”
The “General Hospital” alum gave comedian Jo Koy major kudos for the film as a whole, especially since she’s watched his rise to the top.
“He brought the heart and soul as well as the funny, which is a hard thing to do,” she explained. “You can see the real emotion underneath, particularly in his exchanges with his mom.”
“The fact that I knew him when he was working at a hotel in Vegas, and now he’s a huge movie star and filling arenas with his comedy and giving me a job,” she said excitedly. “I just love seeing these success stories. This is the American way, man.”
“Easter Sunday” is in theaters now.