Moana’s Auli’i Cravalho says that she and her character are one and the same

That didn’t stop the “Moiana” star from becoming an overnight sensation. “How Far I’ll Go,” one of her songs from the film, was a smash hit, topping the Billboard Top 100, and she has starred in several other film and television projects since her Disney debut.

However, it’s not her success that connects Auli’i Cravalho so much to her “Vaiana” character, but rather their shared heritage. “I knew the stories of Maui and grew up with Hawaiian and Polynesian values,” the actor said. “I understood the meaning it would have, not just culturally, but generationally.”

The singer also explained how much it means to her that “Moana” is a distinctly Hawaiian story. “My whole family is there,” Cravalho said. “My mother is the seventh child of the seventh child, so to speak, and basically everyone stayed. I saw my legacy in the Hawaiian Islands, which is beautiful, but I couldn’t have expected to be here,” the performer concluded.

While it hasn’t been announced who will be stepping into their roles in the upcoming live-action remake Moana, they will definitely be huge footsteps for whoever takes on the job. Either way, fans looking for more from the actress can likely look forward to Cravalho reprising her role in an upcoming sequel series on Disney+.

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