Jo Koy’s celebration of his Filipino family, ‘Easter Sunday’ culture brings joy and laughter

HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES — The new movie “Easter Sunday” is inspired by Jo Koy’s stand-up comedy routine.

He plays a comedic, aspiring actor who returns home to the San Francisco Bay Area for Easter.

“Easter Sunday” is a funny and heartwarming tribute to Filipino American culture. Koy has enjoyed decades of stand-up success, but the fact that a Filipina-centric film has finally made it to the big screen brings him joy.

“It’s the joy of the future. I won’t look to the past anymore. It’s done. It’s behind me,” Koy said. “But, like, here we go. Let’s get started. Let’s keep the door open too. I’m going to stand by that door. I want to see more people see movies like this.”

And although this film is centered on the Filipino community, the family theme of the film concerns everyone.

“I just hope it’s like ‘Big Fat Greek Wedding’ but with Filipinos,” co-star Tia Carrere said.

Carrere plays Koy’s aunt, Tita Teresa. When she saw the script, Carrere says she cried at the thought of being able to pay homage to her own culture for the first time.

“I’ve been Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai… pretty Asian who smiles at white, I’ve done everything,” laughs Carrère. “But it’s great to be able to call on my upbringing and all the characters in my neighborhood and my own family and celebrate that. I’m so grateful that we’ve come to this place where Filipino Americans can be at the center of a film. .”

“I want us to feel seen,” Koy said. “There are a lot of Filipinos living here, and a lot of Asians living here. And in this movie, you can see us. And you hear about us, and you learn a little bit more about us, but more of this, you can bind yourself to us.”

“We’re an amazing, funny, loving, crazy, wacky family who happen to be Filipino,” Carrere said.

“Celebrate your own madness in your own family! Accept it!” said co-star Lydia Gaston.

“Easter Sunday” is in theaters now.

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