Joe Valencia (Jo Koy) and his son, Junior (Brandon Wardell) | Screenshot of “Easter Sunday” via YouTube
NEW YORK – Fans of FilAm stand-up comic Joseph Glenn Herbert, Sr., popularly known as Jo Koy, are in for another dose of humor when the movie “Easter Sunday” hits theaters on Aug. 5. Produced by Amblin, Steven Spielberg’s film and television production company and distributed by Universal Pictures, the movie shares a glimpse of Filipino culture.
Jo Koy was proud to announce the movie, and he mentioned Spielberg during his gig at a packed UBS Arena in Elmont, New York, last April.
“Hey guys, my movie is coming up. And I thank THE Steven Spielberg for his help in producing the movie. Yes, the Spielberg, you know!” he proudly explained. He gave a preview of the movie and presented a trailer for it.
Jo Koy spoke about the importance of Filipino representation in movies. He was recently awarded the Key to the City to his character’s hometown ahead of the release of his new movie by Juslyn Manalo, the first Filipina-American mayor of Daly City, California. The comedy film is directed by Jay Chandrasekhar and written by Ken Cheng and Kate Angelo, from a story by Cheng. The movie’s setting is in Daly City. California.
Jo Koy stars as Joe Valencia, a struggling actor/comedian and a single father. He and his son, Junior, attend a gathering of his FilAm family on Easter Sunday when the reunion turns into a lot of arguing, screaming, laughing, and loving.
The cast includes Jimmy O. Yang, Tia Carrere, Brandon Wardell, Eva Noblezada, Lydia Gaston, Asif Ali, Rodney To, Eugene Cordero, Jay Chandrasekhar, Tiffany Haddish, and Lou Diamond Phillips, co-star. Last year, on May 29, according to ABS-CBN, Sharon Cuneta revealed that she was originally going to star in the film but had to drop out due to a false positive COVID-19 test. They gave her role to Tia Carrere, Jo Koy’s aunt in the film.
Jo Koy says the movie is not just about Filipinos but all families.
“I wanted to tell the story about my family, but most importantly I wanted to let people know that not only Filipinos can get this. When you leave, you’re gonna be like ‘That mom is just like my mom, and that kid is just like my kid,'” Jo Koy told WKPIX. “I want this door to stay open for everybody, I want this to be the blueprint for everybody, let’s hear everybody’s family story.”