Maui Arts & Entertainment

Crowe Comments on Casting Choice for ‘Aloha’ Role

June 3, 2015, 11:59 AM HST
* Updated June 3, 2:08 PM
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Aloha movie poster via Aloha Movie Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/AlohaTheMovie/timeline

Aloha movie poster via Aloha Movie Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/AlohaTheMovie/timeline

By Debra Lordan

Cameron Crowe‘s new film, ALOHA, has not only received poor ratings from reviewers, but he has come under attack for choosing Emma Stone to star as the half-Asian Allison Ng character.

Crowe responded to his critics, offering “a heartfelt apology” through his website, The Uncool.

“I have heard your words and your disappointment, and I offer you a heartfelt apology to all who felt this was an odd or misguided casting choice,” Crowe said.

Crowe goes on to say that as far back as 2007, the Capt. Ng character was written as a “super-proud, quarter-Hawaiian, who was frustrated that, by all outward appearances, she looked nothing like one.”

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“A half-Chinese father was meant to show the surprising mix of cultures often prevalent in Hawaiʻi,” Crowe continued. “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.”

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Crowe commented that from the very beginning, the movie seemed to be misunderstood–“one that people felt they knew a lot about, but in fact, they knew very little,” he said.

“It was a small movie… about Hawaiʻi, and the lives of these characters who live and work in and around the island of Oʻahu,” said Crowe.

“Whether that story point felt hurtful or humorous has been, of course, the topic of much discussion,” Crowe wrote.

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However, he said, he is proud that he employed many Asian-Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, including Dennis “Bumpy” Kanahele, his village, “and many other locals who worked closely in our crew and with our script to help ensure authenticity.”

Crowe said he was 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,” said Crowe.

Crowe said he has learned something  “very inspiring” from the criticism he has received.

“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,” Crowe concluded.

Written and directed by Crowe, ALOHA also includes Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams, Bill Murray, John Kransinski, Danny McBride and Alec Baldwin.

In ALOHA, a celebrated military contractor (Cooper) returns to the site of his greatest career triumphs–the US Space program in Honolulu–and reconnects with a past love (McAdams), while unexpectedly falling for the hard-charging Air Force watchdog ( Stone) assigned to him.

For more about the movie, go online.

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