New Delhi, Oct 14 (PTI) Hollywood actor and stand-up comic Margaret Cho says animated film 'Over the Moon' beautifully blends science and mythology to tell the story of a young girl coming to terms with the loss of a loved one.
Directed by Oscar winner Glen Keane, the movie follows Fei Fei, who is passionate about science and builds a rocket ship to the moon to prove the existence of Chang'e, the legendary moon goddess in the Chinese mythology.
Cho is best known for Hollywood films like 'Face/Off', '17 Again', and her Emmy-nominated turn as former North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il on the popular sitcom '30 Rock'.
'The film is the marriage of those two elements of science and mythology. It is like this ancient culture and modern culture (coming together),' she told PTI in a Zoom roundtable interview.
The American-Chinese fantasy musical adventure also has an all Asian American voice cast, including Cathy Ang, Phillipa Soo, Ken Jeong, John Cho, Ruthie Ann Miles, and Sandra Oh.
Cho said Jeong's character of Gobi, a green glowworm who becomes a part of Fei Fei's adventure on the moon, represents the film perfectly.
'Gobi is kind of like a green alien that's kind of like a glowing ectomorphic creature that is futuristic but is also like the late American comic Buster Keaton. 'He's also like a 1930s silent movie star, a Charlie Chaplin kind of creation too. So there's two sides of it which I love. The film is very Chinese - it's sweet and sour.' 'Over the Moon' has a girl protagonist who is a science nerd and the 51-year-old actor said such narratives need to be promoted in cinema.
'We need to push that narrative that there are a lot of women and girls who are science nerds, math nerds. We need to promote that. I don't know for some reason it's not well known.' Describing the film as the Asian American version of 'The Lion King', Cho said it was exciting to be part of the project.
'I loved the script. It's an all-Asian American cast. It's like a really big deal. Everybody in it is so incredible. The songs are beautiful, the animation is just awesome. This is the first time this has happened that a major Asian or Asian American animated production has been made,' she added.
The actor plays Ling, one of Fei Fei's aunties in the Netflix film, and said it is a role she been preparing 'since childhood'.
'I have so many aunts like that. I am the same kind of auntie myself. It's all about food, pushing food onto people, holding onto the emotions, and giving love through food. To me, it was a really emotional role and also a very appropriate one,' Cho, who was born into a Korean family in San Francisco, California, added.
Another highlight of the film, the actor said, is how while being a modern take on the Chinese legend, the movie is a comedy with depth.
'Ours shows the flawed nature of all characters. One of the beautiful things about the movie is everybody has something that they are showing but they have something else to give as well. I think there's a lot of depth there which is so relatable.' 'Over the Moon' also talks about making the impossible possible and Cho said what really felt impossible earlier was that there could be Asian Americans in the entertainment industry.
The actor, who started her career in the late 1980s and 1990s, recalled American Vietnamese actor Dustin Nguyen who played Sergeant Harry Truman, one of the leads on the police drama '21 Jump Street', as an exception.
'Every once in a while would be a 'Trouble in Chinatown', you would see that episode of a crime show. There was Dustin Nguyen on '21 Jump Street'. He is a great example of one of those lone faces out there that you would go 'Oh yeah. Here's somebody'.
'The fact that now we have so many more Asian American faces out there, a whole Asian American movie in Singapore - 'Crazy Rich Asians' which is so great with Ken. It's so exciting,' she said.
Penned by the late Audrey Wells, 'Over the Moon' will start streaming on Netflix from October 23. PTI RDS RDS BK BK