Awkwafina Discusses What Drew Her to ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’

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We are a little over three months away from Walt Disney Animations’ newest original film Raya and the Last Dragon (unless things change Thursday), and the film is still shrouded in mystery. Well, Awkwafina, who voices Sisu “the last dragon,” shared some new details on the project.

While speaking with Style Caster, Awkwafina discussed what drew her to Disney’s animated feature:

“When I first heard about it, it was a concept that I never heard of and couldn’t even imagine. Two strong, female characters, one a warrior princess. When I first heard about the idea and was introduced to the team and the director and the animators, I knew that this is going to be very special, especially with Kelly Marie Tran involved. I’ve seen some footage of it and I sometimes question if it’s live-action or not because it’s so real. The beauty about Disney is there’s always this human element, something that’s very greatly relatable to all the characters. I definitely relate to both Raya and Sisu, my character, who is a water dragon.”

Raya and the Last Dragon was able to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the voice cast being able to work on the film from the comfort of their own. The Crazy Rich Asians star shared what that was like:

“Toward the end, we were still recording into COVID. That led to a lot of impromptu setting up the mic in my own house with horrible acoustics, recording for a Disney movie. That’s the cool thing with voiceovers. Unlike being on a set, you can kind of pick it up wherever you are. It was a process. You re-record scenes over and over again. Things would change. Characters would change. It’s a constantly evolving process, which is new for me to witness how Disney works. There’s so much hard work involved for the smallest details. It’s a constantly evolving vision.”

Lastly, she shared what happened the first time she met her co-star, Kelly Marie Tran (The Last Jedi), who boarded the project earlier this year, taking over the role that originally had Cassie Steele attached before dropping out for unknown reasons:

“I met Kelly maybe a year ago. We share sometimes the same hair guy, so we know each other through him. But we haven’t had a proper chance to sit down and talk, which I’m definitely looking forward to doing soon. I wasn’t able to be in the same studio as Kelly.”

Read: Disney Extends Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy’s Contract Through 2022

Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. But when an evil force threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, that same evil has returned and it’s up to a lone warrior, Raya, to track down the legendary last dragon to restore the fractured land and its divided people. However, along her journey, she’ll learn that it’ll take more than a dragon to save the world—it’s going to take trust and teamwork as well. 

From directors, Don Hall (Big Hero 6) and Carlos López Estrada (Blindspotting), co-directors Paul Briggs (The Princess and the Frog) and John Ripa (Frozen), producers Osnat Shurer (Moana) and Peter Del Vecho (Frozen 2), and featuring the voices of the aforementioned Kelly Marie Tran (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) as Raya and Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians) the last dragon Sisu.

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Raya and the Last Dragon opens in U.S. theaters on March 12, 2021.

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