Moana: Dwayne Johnson’s grandfather was an inspiration for the Maui’s character


Dwayne The Rock Johnson seems to have truly recognized and identified himself in the new Disney movie he is being a part of. Namely, he is lending his voice to one of the main characters – Maui. Although Maui’s physical appearance has not met the approval of many, Dwayne explains that there is the reason he was conceived in that particular manner.

The reason Maui was so fiercely criticized by Polynesian communities is the fact it does not fairly describe the natives. Disney was said to represent the negative stereotypes regarding Maui’s obesity. Dwayne, however, did not pay much attention to these comments and he addressed the issue to another side. “It was an opportunity for us to showcase Polynesian culture to the world,” he explained.

The reason Maui is so dear to his voice-lender is the fact that it shares resemblances with his late grandfather. Johnson revealed that the animators were looking for inspiration in ‘High Chief’ Peter Maivia, his grandfather while creating the character.

“Here’s a little fun fact: the shape of Maui and his look, a lot of it was based on my grandfather,” Dwayne stated. “He looked like that; he was a Samoan high chief.”

It is not only one character in the movie that Dwayne feels attached to. He is also fond of a female character that he likes because of her strong personality. “It’s a new version of a female hero that I love. There is no love interest and there is no damsel in distress character in her.”

He also equates Moana and his older daughter:

“I have a 15-year-old daughter who is just like Moana, who’s ambitious and has a really strong point of view, and wants to tackle the world, and is loving tapping into her own identity, and putting me in my place!” he explained.

Seeing an actor so engrossed in one project makes the audience even more eager to watch it. This opportunity arrives soon as Moana will hit the big screens on November 23, 2016.