Catherine Laga’aia Wants To Show The World Her Proud Samoan/White Heritage

By RahulPublished on: June 13, 2024 Updated on: June 14, 2024
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The incredibly talented New Zealand/Australian actress Catherine Laga’aia is set to star in the upcoming live-action adaptation of Disney’s Moana, and it’s already creating quite the buzz. Catherine, who previously mesmerized audiences with her performance as Young Candy in The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, is now diving into the world of Polynesian mythology, taking on the beloved role of Moana.

Moana, a character known for her fearless spirit and deep connection to her Polynesian roots, embarks on a daring adventure across the ocean to save her people. The story celebrates rich cultural heritage, and it seems Catherine is the perfect choice for this role. There’s something about her that really resonates with Moana’s background, making us wonder just how closely she connects with this character on a personal level.

Curious about what makes Catherine such a fitting choice for Moana? Let’s go!

The Surprising Cultural Connection Behind Catherine’s Role

When it comes to embodying the spirit of Moana, Catherine is not just acting—she’s channeling her own vibrant heritage. She was born to a culturally rich family, her father, Jay Laga’aia, is of Samoan descent, while her mother, Sandie, comes from a New Zealand European white background. This makes her ethnicity Half-White and half-Samoan.

Jay Laga'aia and Sandie Laga'aia, Catherine's parents
Her father (left) is of Samoan heritage and her mom (right) is of a European white background. Source: Facebook

This unique mix has given Catherine a diverse perspective, allowing her to resonate deeply with Moana’s quest for identity and belonging.

In a heartfelt statement, Catherine expressed her excitement about playing Moana, a character who shares her heritage.

I’m honored to have an opportunity to celebrate Samoa and all Pacific Island peoples, and to represent young girls who look like me.

Her Samoan roots run deep, with her grandfather hailing from Fa‘aala, Palauli, and her grandmother from Leulumoega Tuai, two culturally rich regions in Samoa. Her mother’s white background adds another layer to her identity, blending the vibrant cultures of the Pacific Islands with Western influences.

Catherine’s role is more than just a casting choice; it’s a celebration of her heritage. As she brings Moana to life, audiences will not only see a talented actress but also a proud representative of her Samoan and New Zealand roots.

Catherine with her brothers and sisters
She is one of eight children. Source: Facebook

In addition to Catherine, the live-action Moana will feature Dwayne Johnson reprising his role as the charismatic demigod Maui, Auli’i Cravalho, who voiced Moana in the original animated film, as an executive producer, New Zealander actor John Tui as Moana’s father, Chief Tui, Samoan-New Zealand actor Frankie Adams as Moana’s mother, Sina, and Rena Owen, hailing from the Bay of Islands in New Zealand, as Gramma Tala.

About Author: Rahul

Rahul has been diving into the world of entertainment in niches like celebrity, anime, and health articles since 2016. As a passionate writer, he combines personal experiences with thorough research to create content that's not only informative but also relatable and engaging.