Jo Koy and the Cast on Easter Sunday, Stand-Up Comedy Routine and Karaoke (Interview)

Easter Sunday Jo Koy

Easter Sunday is a film that stars Jo Koy in a lead role, and it is inspired by his stand-up comedy that features his relationship with his mom and son. Joining the comedian are actors Jay Chandrasekhar, Jimmy O. Yang, Tia Carrere, and Lydia Gaston.

There have been many comedians who have ventured into acting including Robin Williams, Chris Rock, Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, and many more. Jo Koy has ventured into that realm, and audiences will get to see him on the big screen in Easter Sunday.

“If you really see someone on stage, comedically, right, like doing stand-up comedy, it’s like getting into a character, like my mother,” Jo Koy tells Nerd Reactor. “That’s not easy. I really become her and it’s like, I wouldn’t do it any justice if I didn’t. Yeah, if I did a horrible impersonation of my mom, then I wouldn’t be happy with myself, nor would I do that. You know, I wouldn’t tell those stories.”

“It’s key because it’s always the timing, right?” he added. “It’s the timing, comedically, just being able to turn situations into comedy. And then not only that. Becoming a character on stage, that to me is the most fun. I enjoy watching that happen. I enjoy watching Eddie Murphy become his aunt Bonnie, or his uncle Gus or his mom. I love that.”

Jimmy O. Yang stars alongside Jo Koy, and he was adamant about making sure Jo was taken care of as the lead actor.

“And as an actor on set, but also a producer, it kind of took the stress off of me as an actor, because my job now is to make sure Jo shines,” Yang said of the lead actor. “So that was good, you know, and I was there on the first day. So my job was like, ‘Make sure Jo shines. Make sure Jo is comfortable in this.’ And we had so much fun on that.”

Not only is Jay Chandrasekhar an actor in the film, but he is also the director. There was one scene that was exciting for the director.

“There was a stand-up comedy routine at the church,” Chandrasekhar said. “And we just knew we needed a big funny scene there. And so we rewrote that thing 20 times. And finally, we got it to the point where like, ‘I think this is gonna work.’ And we showed it to Jo. And he goes, ‘Yeah, I can do this. And this and this.’ And all of us were like, ‘God, I hope it works.’ And then when he did it live. He hadn’t done stand up in a while because of the pandemic. Yeah, it was emotional and hilarious. And I remember weeping with laughter, and I’m like, ‘This is gonna work.'”

Karaoke plays a part in the film, and it’s something that many Filipinos can relate to. Tia Carrere talks about the importance of Karaoke.

“Filipinos are like the singers of Asia, don’t you think?” Carrere said. “I mean, Karaoke is like our superpower. Arnel Pineda became the lead singer of Journey not for nothing, you know. Every hotel bar in Manila has world-class singers. So, of course, we had to have karaoke in the movie.”

About Easter Sunday

Stand-up comedy sensation Jo Koy (Jo Koy: In His Elements, Jo Koy: Comin’ in Hot) stars as a man returning home for an Easter celebration with his riotous, bickering, eating, drinking, laughing, loving family, in this love letter to his Filipino-American community.

Easter Sunday features an all-star comedic cast that includes Jimmy O. Yang (Silicon Valley series), Tia Carrere (True Lies, Wayne’s World films), Brandon Wardell (Curb Your Enthusiasm series), Tony nominee Eva Noblezada (Broadway’s Hadestown), Lydia Gaston (Broadway’s The King and I), Asif Ali (WandaVision), Rodney To (Parks and Recreation series), Eugene Cordero (The Good Place series), Jay Chandrasekhar (I Love You, Man), and Lou Diamond Phillips (Courage Under Fire).

Easter Sunday, from DreamWorks Pictures, is directed by Jay Chandrasekhar (Super Troopers franchise, The Dukes of Hazzard, Beerfest), from a script by Ken Cheng (Sin City Saints series) and Kate Angelo (Sex Tape) based on a story by Ken Cheng.

The film is produced by Rideback’s blockbuster producers Dan Lin (The Lego Movie franchise, It franchise) and Jonathan Eirich (Aladdin, The Two Popes), and is executive produced by Seth William Meier, Jessica Gao, Cheng, Yang, Koy, Joe Meloche and Nick Reynolds.

The film is distributed by Universal Pictures domestically. Amblin Partners and Universal will share international distribution rights.

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