“I have been so blessed to sing and dance my little heart out on many projects, but now I get to really hone in on my skills as an actor,” the actress told Hollywood Life in October 2020 about her claim to fame. “That’s something that consistently challenges me more than singing does because that kind of comes from my soul, whereas acting I have to worry about my face. Like, does it look natural when my arms are like this? Why does suddenly standing feels so strange? I have to relearn my body in a way.”
When Auli’i made her debut as Moana, the actress’ voice was on full display. Now that she’s been nabbing more acting roles, fans are getting used to seeing her face on screen. After Moana premiered, the Hawaii native played Lilette Suarez in the short-lived series Rise. When it comes to films, her first live-action role was in All Together Now, which premiered in August 2020.
“I feel like I’m growing, both personally and professionally,” Auli’i said of the role while speaking with Schon Magazine at the time. “All Together Now is my first live-action film, and I am so very proud of what we’ve created. I’m excited to continue portraying strong complex women and learning from them too.”
In 2021, the actress was cast alongside Rowan Blanchard in the movie Love in Color. Nearly a year later, in February 2022, it was revealed that she would star in the movie Darby Harper Wants You To Know.
“Heard Hulu needed a campy dead cheerleader and here I am!!!” she shared via Instagram following the film’s announcement. “Capri. Short for Capricorn.”
Through her acting career, Auli’i has spoken about representing her Polynesian culture.
“Representation is key in telling stories that resonate. I was blessed in my casting of Moana, and I knew from the very beginning the importance of having a Native Hawaiian play a Polynesian heroine,” she told Schon. “Two years after the original release of Moana, I was able to work with Disney and the University of Hawaii to re-record the film in ‘Olelo Hawai’i, the Hawaiian Language. Moana is now being used for educational purposes across the state in the revitalisation of the Hawaiian Language. Representation absolutely matters.”
Scroll through our gallery to see what actress has been up to since starring in Moana.
Love J-14? Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for fun, exclusive videos with your favorite stars.