‘Easter Sunday’ is comedian Jo Koy’s heartwarming tribute to Filipino-American culture

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

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

“Easter Sunday” is a funny, heartwarming tribute to Filipino-American culture. Koy has had decades of success in stand-up, but the fact that a Filipino film has finally hit the big screen gives him joy.

“It’s joy in the future. I’m not going to look back to the past anymore. It’s over. It’s behind me,” Koy said. “But, like, here we go. Let’s start. Let’s keep the door open too. I’m going to stand next to that door. I want more people to get these kinds of movies.”

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And while this film is central to the Philippine community, the film’s theme about family is recognizable to everyone.

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

Carrere plays Koy’s aunt, Tita Teresa. When she saw the script, Carrere said she wept at the prospect of being able to pay tribute to her own culture for the first time.

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“I’ve been Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai…beautiful Asian girl smiling at the white guy, I’ve done it all,” Carrere laughed. “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 we came to this place where Filipino Americans can take center stage in a movie.”

“I want us to feel seen,” Koy said. “There are a lot of Filipinos who live here, and a lot of Asians who live here. And in this film you get to see us. And you hear about us, and you learn a little bit about us, but on top of that you get a relationship with us.”

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

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

“Easter Sunday” is now in theaters.

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