The stars of ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ on adapting the bestselling book

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There’s a mystery within the marshes in the new film Where the Crawdads Sing.

The movie is based on the book of the same name and stars Normal People actress Daisy Edgar-Jones as Kya, a girl who raised herself alone in the marshland of North Carolina.

It’s the kind of role that comes with expectations, especially due to its popularity – the book has spent 168 weeks atop the New York Times best seller list and has sold over 12 million copies worldwide. So, did Edgar-Jones feel pressure taking that on?

“It is such a beloved book for so many reasons. You want to do your best to capture it in the film,” she told ABC Audio.

And while they did their best to capture the book, Edgar-Jones also hopes the film “can just offer a different angle into those characters, and that they can complement each other.”

Her co-star Taylor John Smith, who plays Kya’s love interest, Tate, agrees. “Getting the soul of the character, the way they make you feel, I think is very important. We all had great leadership and a team around us to make sure we got those specifics right,” he said.

That leadership included none other than Reese Witherspoon, who served as a producer and adapted the book to the screen through her media company, Hello Sunshine.

Edgar-Jones was complimentary of Witherspoon, primarily of “her company’s ethos and what she wants to do with putting complicated women at the forefront of stories.”

“On this job, most of our heads of department were women. And, for a story about female empowerment, to have women feel empowered behind the camera was really just so exciting,” Edgar-Jones said.

Where the Crawdads Sing is out now in theaters everywhere.

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‘Moana’ star Auli’i Cravalho on how the film “lives on in so many different ways”

Disney

There was just no telling how far Auli’i [owl-LEE-ee] Cravalho would go after her star-making role as the titular Disney heroine in 2016’s Moana, but now we all know the answer: far, indeed.

In honor of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Cravalho reflects on the legacy of the role that started her career.

Moana shaped me, first and foremost,” she tells ABC Audio. “I will always be grateful for her character traits of strength and resilience, and her adventurous nature. And I take them with me wherever I go.”

Cast in the role at age 14 and only 16 when the film was released, Cravalho has quite literally grown up as a Disney princess. Now 21, she understands how important it is for children to see “a young Polynesian heroine that doesn’t have a love interest.”

Cravalho was also given the opportunity to rerecord the film in Olelo Hawai’i, the official Hawaiian language. “Hawaiian is a dying language,” she said. “So, to have that representation, and to hear my cousins who are in Hawaiian immersion school – they [are able to] use that as a teaching aid for language.”

Nielsen consistently reports Moana at the top of its streaming charts. Although the film premiered three years before Disney+ was around, it was made available to stream on the service the day of its launch on November 12, 2019. When Nielsen released its Streaming Unwrapped 2021 data, Moana ranked #2 on the 2021 Top 10 Streaming Movies list.

That’s right – a film that was released in 2016 beat out movies that were released in 2021 – popular titles like Red Notice and Jungle Cruise.

Moana lives on in so many different ways,” Cravalho said. “And I can just only sit back and be just as grateful for it.”

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