A Comment on Allison Ng

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From the very beginning of its appearance in the Sony Hack, “Aloha” has felt like a misunderstood movie. One that people felt they knew a lot about, but in fact they knew very little. It was a small movie, made by passionate actors who wanted to join me in making a film about Hawaii, and the lives of these characters who live and work in and around the island of Oahu.

Thank you so much for all the impassioned comments regarding the casting of the wonderful Emma Stone in the part of Allison Ng. I have heard your words and your disappointment, and I offer you a heart-felt apology to all who felt this was an odd or misguided casting choice. As far back as 2007, Captain Allison Ng was written to be a super-proud ¼ Hawaiian who was frustrated that, by all outward appearances, she looked nothing like one.  A half-Chinese father was meant to show the surprising mix of cultures often prevalent in Hawaii.  Extremely proud of her unlikely heritage, she feels personally compelled to over-explain every chance she gets. The character was based on a real-life, red-headed local who did just that.

Whether that story point felt hurtful or humorous has been, of course, the topic of much discussion. However I am so proud that in the same movie, we employed many Asian-American, Native-Hawaiian and Pacific-Islanders, both before and behind the camera… including Dennis “Bumpy” Kanahele, and his village, and many other locals who worked closely in our crew and with our script to help ensure authenticity.

We were extremely proud to present the island, the locals and the film community with many jobs for over four months. Emma Stone was chief among those who did tireless research, and if any part of her fine characterization has caused consternation and controversy, I am the one to blame.

I am grateful for the dialogue. And from the many voices, loud and small, I have learned something very inspiring. So many of us are hungry for stories with more racial diversity, more truth in representation, and I am anxious to help tell those stories in the future.

Thanks again

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Aloha – What Did You Think?

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It’s finally here. Aloha sees a wide release in North America today. Please share your thoughts here once you’ve seen the film. We will read all your comments and appreciate your feedback.

Please be respectful. Any inflammatory comments or profanity will result in your post being deleted. Please understand there will be spoilers in the comments too. thanks!

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Aloha Inspirations: Ninotchka & Emma Stone

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“Ah, the great Ernst Lubitsch’s Ninotchka is a movie that will fill you with charm and humor of the highest order. Emma Stone’s Air Force Pilot Captain Allison Ng was modeled on Greta Garbo’s memorable Russian envoy character Ninotchka.”

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With Jónsi & Alex

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With Jónsi & Alex (aka Rice Boy Sleeps) the day we finished the score for “Aloha,” our 2nd musical adventure together.

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Daily Aloha: Ng, Brian and Tracy

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Bradley Cooper;Emma Stone;Rachel McAdams

Our three main characters (Ng, Gilcrest and Tracy) are pictured here as they attend a most important event on the Hickam Air Force Base in Aloha.

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Aloha Featurette: The Mana of Hawaii

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IMDB shared this brand new exclusive Aloha featurette yesterday. You will see a few new tidbits from the film, but I’m most excited for your first look at “Bumpy”. Bumpy is played in the film by the real Dennis “Bumpy” Kanahele. He plays a key role in the film and both he and Cameron talk about what Aloha means to them in this video. Enjoy!

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Aloha Inspirations: Hawaiian Traditions & History

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“Another inspiring photo. Hawaii, far more than the mainland, values its traditions and history. The remnants of generations gone by are especially sacred there, and unearthed bones are links to myths, legends and the real-life stories of our ancestors. Another piece of the puzzle that would become the story of the culture and life of our characters in Hawaii.”

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Daily Aloha: The Launch

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Brian Gilcrest (Bradley Cooper) readies the launch of Brave Angel. Ng looks on with curiosity…or is it concern?

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