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INTERVIEW – ‘Moonfall’ Star Kelly Yu on Working with Icons like Roland Emmerich and Halle Berry for Her US Film Debut

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Multi-talented Chinese-Canadian Kelly Yu has been singing and acting for two decades. She’s comfortable on screen and in the recording studio, but most U.S. audiences haven’t had the chance to enjoy her work. That changes with the premiere of Moonfall, the latest epic disaster film from director Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow).

Starring alongside the likes of Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson, Charlie Plummer, Michael Peña and more, Yu makes her North American film debut in a film perfectly suited for the week of Lunar New Year. I spoke with Yu about her role in the film and she talked about how excited she was to work with a director like Roland Emmerich. Yu shared how much she enjoyed getting to know Halle Berry (whom she described as “chill” and “sweet”) and also discussed some of the challenges of making a film that is so grand in scale.

Jimmy’ (Zayn Maloney, left) and ’Michelle’ (Kelly Yu, right) in the sci-fi epic MOONFALL.
Jimmy’ (Zayn Maloney, left) and ’Michelle’ (Kelly Yu, right) in the sci-fi epic MOONFALL.

Yu was born in China, moved to Vancouver, B.C. in her teens and then went to college in Boston, MA. Given her background, Yu has a uniquely international perspective and approach to her films, which I appreciated. In the end, as Yu explained to me, making a film in China or the U.S. is the same, and it seems she felt as comfortable making a major feature film in North America as she has been with her other projects.

Check out our conversation below and watch Kelly Yu as Michelle in Moonfall, in theaters Friday, February 4th! Interview with ‘Moonfall’ Star Kelly Yu

In Moonfall, a mysterious force knocks the Moon from its orbit around Earth and sends it hurtling on a collision course with life as we know it. With mere weeks before impact and the world on the brink of annihilation, NASA executive and former astronaut Jo Fowler (Academy Award® winner Halle Berry) is convinced she has the key to saving us all – but only one astronaut from her past, Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson, “Midway”) and a conspiracy theorist K.C. Houseman (John Bradley, “Game of Thrones”) believes her. These unlikely heroes will mount an impossible last-ditch mission into space, leaving behind everyone they love, only to find out that our Moon is not what we think it is. Directed by Roland Emmerich, and written by Roland Emmerich & Harald Kloser & Spenser Cohen, and produced by Roland Emmerich, p.g.a. and Harald Kloser, p.g.a., the film also stars Michael Peña, Charlie Plummer, Kelly Yu, Eme Ikwuakor, Carolina Bartczak, and Donald Sutherland. Lionsgate presents, in association with Huayi Brothers International and Huayi Tencent Entertainment International, a Centropolis Entertainment production, in association with Street Entertainment and AGC Studios.


Ron is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of POC Culture.  He is a big believer in the power and impact of pop culture and the importance of representation in media.

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