Finding 'Ohana Star Kea Peahu Dishes on the New Netflix Movie
Looking for a heartfelt adventure to get completely sucked into this weekend? Look no further than Netflix's newest film, Finding 'Ohana.
Premiering today, Jan. 29, the movie follows a girl named Pili who moves with her mom and brother to her ancestral land of Hawaii, where she assembles a team to go on an epic treasure hunt in order to save her family home—and reconnect with her heritage along the way. Actress Kea Peahu plays Pili, and we got the chance to ask her all about this great new film and why it's so important to her.
Sweety High: What can you tell us about Finding 'Ohana? What's it about, and why are you excited to be a part of the film?
Kea Peahu: Finding 'Ohana is a family movie that is filled with a bunch of emotions and adventure! It's similar to The Goonies but with a Hawaiian twist. It's about two siblings that are born on Oahu, Hawai'i but raised in Brooklyn, New York with their single mother. One summer, they take a trip to Hawai'i to spend time with their Papa. During their visit in Hawai'i, Pili sneaks into her Papa's bus and finds a journal she wasn't supposed to have found. That journal leads to Spanish gold!
Pili is a geocacher so she loves epic adventures and solving mysteries. After reading a little bit of the journal, Pili decides to take it to the next level. The journal leads Pili, her brother Ioane, and their two new friends Hana and Casper on a huge adventure. Through their journey, Pili and her brother Ioane learn more about their culture and family heritage. Also on the adventure everyone connects and finds 'Ohana within each other.
From the moment I got the script for this role, I knew it was something I wanted to book. The roll was perfect and I felt like I could relate to the storyline. The best part about this was being able to film my very first movie at home in Hawai'i.
SH: How would you describe your character, Pili? How are you similar to her, and how are you different?
KP: Pili is a geocacher! Pili is very adventurous, brave, and smart! She's very committed to everything she does. She's stubborn and is not a quitter in any way. Fun fact, Pili is terrified of swimming and losing her family. I would say Pili and I have pretty similar backgrounds. She's from Oahu, and she moved to New York. I'm from Oahu, and I moved to California. Pili and I are both pretty active and adventurous. We both value our friends and family. The difference between us is that I've never actually geocached before and I absolutely love swimming.
SH: In what ways are you most connected to your Hawaiian heritage? What aspects of that are you excited to explore in this show?
KP: When I was living in Hawai'i, I spent my weekends playing sports, dancing hula and going to the beach. I was always surrounded by family and friends. When I moved to California, we no longer had hula, the beach or our family. But, the support and love were always still there. In Hawai'i, we believe in Aloha (love) and 'Ohana (family). We love and support each other in every way possible. No matter how far I am, I always feel that from everyone in Hawai'i. My mom always reminds me of what it means to be Hawaiian. Respect people, appreciate people, be grateful, take care of one another and always be kind. I don't get to practice my Hawaiian culture like hula and surfing, but we practice our culture through the way we treat people.
I'm excited for people to watch this movie and to see how we connect with people. Two big lessons I hope people get out of the film is the importance of 'Ohana and the importance of respecting and taking care of the land.
SH: What skills do you personally have that would make you good at finding a long-lost treasure?
KP: To be honest, I don't think I'd be as good of a geocacher as Pili is. I am a pretty strong-minded person. I am also pretty competitive. Mindset goes a long way so I think I'd do just fine.
SH: Do you get to dance at all in the film? Do you have any favorite moments as a pro dancer?
KP: We don't have any really serious dance moments in the movie. There is a part in the end of the movie that we dance with each other while laughing and having a lot of fun. The cast and I each had our own little section of the choreography that we created and it was a lot of fun.
As a professional dancer, I have had so many amazing opportunities. My first big thing was dancing with Justin Bieber on his Purpose tour. That was amazing! Joining The Lab changed my life. After winning "World of Dance," we traveled the world and even toured with JLo on her It's My Party Tour. I'd have to say that tour with JLo was my most favorite moment of dance so far.
SH: What's the most important lesson about friendship that you learned on the set?
KP: The most important lesson I've learned about friendship in this movie, is to respect and trust one another. You never know what could happen at any time or place, so I think it's very important to be prepared to work together in case anything happens. Going more into trust, I think it's always good to be able to trust people. In Hawai'i its common for friends to be considered family. I like to think that a lot of my friends are family. At the end of the day, it's really just all about respecting, loving, and supporting one another.
Can't get enough of Netflix originals? Click HERE to read our interview with We Can Be Heroes star YaYa Gosselin.