From performing in comdey bars in Las Vegas to starring in his own Netflix specials , Jo Koy is now taking his career to higher heights with the release of his upcoming film Easter Sunday.
The film's teaser, released by Universal Pictures and Dreamworks on May 5, features the famous Filipino-American stand-up comic in his first-ever feature film role.
Easter Sunday features Koy as himself and is set around the days when his on-screen mother (played by Tia Carrere) urges him to come home for their family's Easter celebration to that day he reunites "with his riotous, bickering, eating, drinking, laughing, loving family."
Joining Koy and Carrera in this light comedy flick are other Filipino actors, namely Jimmy O. Yang, Brandon Wardell, Tony nominee Eva Noblezada, Lydia Gaston, Asif Ali, Rodney To, Eugene Cordero, Jay Chandrasekhar, Tiffany Haddish and Lou Diamond Phillips.
It is directed by Jay Chandrasekhar and written by Ken Cheng. Apart from Koy, the film is produced by Dan Lin, and Jonathan Eirich. It is being distributed by Universal Pictures in the U.S. and Steven Spielberg's Amblin Pictures internationally.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Koy revealed how Spielberg had to idea to take part in the production of the film.
"He just loved the stories about my mom and our relationship… He just enjoyed that dynamic, and he enjoyed the storytelling, and he was like, 'I want to make this story a reality," Koy told the outlet.
"And it's not about making fun of Filipinos. It's about a family first that just happens to be Filipino. And you're going to relate to it. No matter what ethnicity you are, a mom is a mom. They all do the same mom stuff," he added.
This is why Koy hopes that more than bringing lighthearted entertainment to its audience, Easter Sunday would serve its purpose of being an avenue to encourage equality among all types of races.
The comic explained, "One thing I try and express a lot is when we turn off the light, we're all the same color. We're all laughing at the same thing. My story is relatable to you no matter what color you are. For some reason when we turn the lights on, we like to separate ourselves and not get it. And I just don't understand what that is."
"You're going to see a lot of different ethnicities in this movie. We got an Indian guy, we got a Black woman, we got Filipino people. We got an Indian directorfor God's sake. And you know what? No one cares. It's just a movie about a family," he continued.
The actor also wishes that the message of equality reflected on this film will transcend to other movies produced in Hollywood in the future.
"And once Hollywood sees that this is the norm, this can be done without always having to be so specific. A mom is a mom, a son is a son, a grandson is a grandson. And we can all relate to it. I want this movie to open other doors for other people, other ethnicities to celebrate their culture," Koy said.
Easter Sunday is slated for release in theaters in the U.S. on August 5.