Netflix’s upcoming animated musical film Over The Moon will launch you to an adventure of wonders and woes. It tells the story of Fei Fei, a 12-year-old girl who has always believed in her mother’s story of Chang’e– the Moon Goddess who still waits for her dead lover Hou Yi up on the moon.
When Fei Fei realizes that her widowed father is ready to fall in love again, she builds a rocket to the moon to prove that Chang’e and undying love truly exist. Over The Moon tells of a wondrous tale about family, love, grief, and moving on.
How Cathy Ang got the role of Fei Fei.
Bringing life to Fei Fei is the voice of Chinese-Filipina actress Cathy Ang. She was brought in to record a demo of the song Rocket to The Moon and despite the nervousness she had that day, her performance was just perfect.
“I closed my eyes and just imagined that I was Fei Fei, and I connected with the music in a way that I never had before,” shared Cathy in a virtual roundtable interview with the Philippine press.
“And afterwards, everyone was so happy and [director Glen Keane] came up and talked to me and basically he was like, so thankful. I was astounded you know, I didn’t know if they were gonna like it but he felt like he and I both found Fei Fei that day,” the actress added.
Cathy’s performance was so powerful that not only did she get the role of Fei Fei, but that first rendition of Rocket to The Moon also made it to the final cut of the film.
When Keane and the animators had done their magic, and Cathy finally sees the scene where Fei Fei performs that emotional song, the actress says that the animation just took her breath away.
“I remember when I saw [Fei Fei] by the canal, just sitting there and then seeing the crane come by, I immediately started crying,” said Cathy.
“It was so meaningful. It’s kind of strange to hear yourself as a protagonist like this but it’s what I wanted as an artist– to be able to tell a story like this and play a character like her, so I was also very proud of it.”
Talking about the film’s representation of Asian culture
The Chinese culture shines throughout the film, but with a touch of modernity. The legend of Chang’e is well-known and respected in China that there is a holiday centered around it– the Mid-Autumn Festival.
“My parents usually spoke Tagalog at home but my dad also spoke Mandarin so he put me into Chinese school where we learned about Chang’e. So I knew the tale well growing up,” said Cathy.
In Over The Moon, we are given a modern-day Moon Goddess who shines like a superstar. For Cathy, this Chang’e is really exciting and she hopes that when the kids see her, they’ll also share that excitement.
“If you’re an Asian-American kid, when you see in America or anywhere around the world that this culture is being celebrated, then they’ll be more proud of themselves for being Asian. That was my journey and I’m sure it will happen for a lot of other people too,” the actress said.
Cathy also reveals that the film encouraged her to talk to her parents more about the heritage, culture, and traditions of their upbringing as Chinese-Filipinos who both grew up in the Philippines.
“I’m so thankful to them, way more than I was growing up. I’m so thankful that they tried to share their culture with me and make sure that I could be a proud Filipina.”
Do not miss Cathy Ang’s awe-inspiring performance as Fei Fei in the film Over The Moon, coming to Netflix this October 23. She is joined by Hamilton star Philippa Soo, Ken Jeong, Sandra Oh, and John Cho.
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