Rosalie Chiang on Billie Eilish Music, Puberty

  • Rosalie Chiang is the voice of Meilin Lee in Domee Shi’s function directorial debut at Pixar, “Turning Red.”
  • Chiang spoke with Insider about operating at the movie, and the way it hooked up to her personal formative years. 
  • “Turning Red” is these days to be had to move on Disney+, in addition to on virtual, Blu-Ray, and DVD.

Rosalie Chiang used to be 12 years outdated when she first become the voice of Meilin Lee in “Turning Red.”

At the time, the actor used to be employed as a “scratch” voice for the movie, which means that she used to be recording transient discussion to be used throughout the manufacturing procedure, now not for the overall minimize of the movie. Two years later into manufacturing, when it got here time to in truth solid the position, director Domee Shi and manufacturer Lindsey Collins learned that “nobody” else who had auditioned “came close” to Chiang’s efficiency, Collins informed the San Francisco Chronicle.

And so, in 2020, Chiang become the authentic voice of Meilin Lee — a assured, Chinese-Canadian 13-year-old who splits time between college, her tight-knit, boy band-loving pals, and dealing at her circle of relatives’s temple. In the movie, Meilin learns the ladies of her circle of relatives are cursed: Each of them inherited the ability to turn out to be into a large crimson panda, however all of her different feminine family sealed away the facility after they have been younger the use of a ritual. 

Chiang spoke with Insider about her enjoy operating on “Turning Red,” together with her “confusion and disgust” when one among her maximum embarrassing strains made it into the movie, the way it displays her personal enjoy of girlhood and fandom, and what it used to be like assembly Billie Eilish on the movie’s Los Angeles premiere. 

Warning: Spoilers for “Turning Red” beneath.

Turning Red Panda Mei

“Turning Red” is ready a woman, Meilin Lee, who learns that she will be able to develop into a large crimson panda.


The house unlock of this movie features a ton of deleted scenes and featurettes. Obviously, you began recording for this movie while you have been a lot more youthful than you are actually. What’s it like to appear again for your early paintings for this movie?

The issues Domee Shi has made me do in that recording sales space… People suppose the scene the place Meilin cat-calls Devon is probably the most embarrassing factor, however there are issues that did not even make it into the true movie. I’m now not gonna say the rest particular, however that is how bizarre they have been.

Working with Domee, have been there a large number of the ones moments the place she driven you additional into that flinch zone?

I’d say so, yeah. There have been instances the place I appeared on the script and I used to be like, “I gotta say that?” But it is k, I mentioned it, it used to be nice.

All those bizarre issues Domee has made me do have truly driven me out of my convenience zone, and I truly admire that this provides me the chance not to be embarrassed and simply move all out.

I do know you are on TikTok and feature spoken about this just a little there, however folks love the “Awooga” line. What have been you feeling while you learned that the road had made it into the overall minimize, after which when it went viral after?

Probably a mixture of confusion and disgust. I used to be simply stunned, as a result of I utterly satisfied myself that they are now not gonna put that within the movie. I used to be like, “Oh, this is okay, no one cares about this line.” And then it made it into the movie, and I used to be like, “Oh my gosh, it’s going to become a meme isn’t it.”

Next factor I do know, I see any individual simply had a clip of that second that had like 8 million perspectives. I’m identical to, “Wow, okay, that went viral.” And then I posted that TikTok and it went viral, it is loopy.

One of the opposite moments that is long past viral on TikTok from “Turning Red” is the scene in opposition to the top the place Mei’s circle of relatives is chanting in Cantonese after which her pals and their favourite boy band 4Town sign up for in. What used to be your response to that scene when you have been recording, after which when that specific second went viral find it irresistible did?

Actually, after I recorded the scene, I assumed it used to be beautiful dull. I simply had the level instructions and my strains announcing, “Oh, she yells that, oh, she’s running there, oh, she punches.” And I’m like, “All right, non-verbal, non-verbal, non-verbal, all right, I got it.”

I did not even know that scene existed, so after I noticed it on the “Turning Red” wrap birthday party, my thoughts used to be blown.

Turning Red Mei's friends

Mei and her pals Abby, Priya, and Miriam in “Turning Red.”


Your personality, Meilin, is simply so refreshing to peer in an animated movie. You grew up along her when you have been making the film as smartly — how do you notice her as serving as a task type for women, or what have been you feeling relating to her whilst operating in this movie?

What’s other along with her in comparison to different coming-of-age motion pictures is that I see so much folks on-line announcing they are so aggravating and cringey, however everybody at that age used to be aggravating and cringey. A large number of coming-of-age films I’ve watched, I by no means truly hook up with them as a result of I think like there may be this kind of airbrushed, filtered really feel to it, the place they are now not truly appearing the horrors of being a tween.

So for this film to totally depict that, no clear out, simply those loopy women, I feel it approach so much.

Totally. I take note complaint that this film used to be unrealistic, or it is too mature, it is like — no, all people have been like this, in truth.

Yeah. My pals may also be vulgar. No oldsters suppose that, however we’re. 

On the “cringey” entrance, probably the most issues that I like probably the most about this movie is how a lot it celebrates fandom and flinch. I do know you are giant into Okay-pop — have been there facets of that have, or of typically being a fan, that you simply introduced into this movie? What about fandom within the movie resonated with you?

Their love for 4Town is so paying homage to my squad and I’s love for Okay-pop on the whole. It simply felt so actual, simply seeing those women have their minds blown about 4Town, which is the very same response I had with my pals. 

We in truth sought after to visit the Twice live performance, as a result of they got here to the United States just lately. We did not manage to pay for. The tickets have been dear as hell, and we virtually have been like, “Oh gosh, we need to hustle everything we have to make money for this band.”

They promote out so rapid! I additionally ignored Twice. Are you seeking to catch Dreamcatcher, or another upcoming Okay-pop excursions?

I wish to, I truly do. Dreamcatcher were given their first win on a Korean song display, and I’ve been bringing up their identify in each and every unmarried interview I perhaps may.

I’m manifesting for you. Pivoting just a little, you co-starred with Sandra Oh on this movie and did a number of press along with her. What used to be that dating like, and used to be there any recommendation that she handed directly to you throughout that point?

I did not get to paintings along with her throughout the making of this movie, however she did invite me to lunch proper prior to the clicking excursion began, so we have been ready to talk. And she’s the sort of heat and sort one who simply sought after to learn about me, and we evolved this truly cool bond right through this complete press excursion as a result of we are simply answering questions over and over again, and it will probably get a bit tense.

But her best possible piece of recommendation she’s given me is to only be type to myself, as a result of I think like as a teen I will be very self-deprecating and significant of myself.

A publish shared through Rosalie Chiang (chain-g) (@rosaliecchiang)

I do know you spoke just a little on Instagram about coming to phrases with, “Oh, I actually killed it in this movie.” What did that second really feel like?

It used to be emotional, as a result of I began appearing when I used to be 9. So it is been seven years, and for the longest time I simply wasn’t getting the rest. I used to be getting no auditions, let on my own bookings or callbacks. And throughout that time period, I used to be nonetheless only a transient voice for Mei in “Turning Red,” so there used to be an opportunity I’d just lose this complete film. I used to be simply dwelling at the edge, and I type of idea “Turning Red” used to be a fluke, and that once this, whether or not I e book it or now not, I’m simply gonna disappear and that’s the reason it.

Watching the film for the fourth time, it used to be the primary time I noticed that I had completed what I sought after to succeed in since I used to be 9 years outdated. And Sandra Oh put her hand on my shoulder and mentioned, “You did a good job. You worked really hard on this and it really shows.” And that simply intended the sector to me. 

“Turning Red” had so many fun collaborators, and obviously 4Town’s music has become very beloved and went viral. What was your reaction when you learned that Billie Eilish and Finneas would be writing the boy band music? What was it like meeting Billie at the Los Angeles premiere?

I was pretty shocked, because at that time, I did know some of Billie Eilish’s discography, and I thought, “Really? Boy band songs?” That truly speaks to how gifted they truly are as song artists.

And after I met her, she used to be so cool and right down to earth. I were given to hug her, like that is probably the most coolest reports of my lifestyles. That day of the LA Premiere is all a blur, in truth. I do not take note the rest that day. It’s simply type of two seconds, after which accomplished, and I’m again house slumbering. 

rosalie chiang in a fluffy white dress, billie eilish in a gorillaz shirt and beanie, and sandra oh in a bright blue dress at the turning red premiere in Los Angeles

Rosalie Chiang, Billie Eilish, and Sandra Oh on the Los Angeles premiere of “Turning Red.”


A large number of the reception to this movie has been so superb, however there used to be additionally folks announcing that the movie wasn’t relatable, or that it used to be too particular, in infrequently racist or sexist tactics. What used to be your tackle that type of response to the movie?

This film has gotten each and every unmarried roughly response you’ll perhaps get. The entire factor about now not being relatable — I utterly recognize that evaluate, as a result of should you did not relate to it, you did not relate to it, and I’m now not gonna say, “Hey, you have to relate to it.”

A relatable film does not essentially imply it is the biggest film of all time, and I am hoping folks can see this as only a window or a door to any other tradition, to any other lifestyles. Because that is one thing that you’ve got some folks announcing, “Oh, I don’t relate to this, it’s too exaggerated and this doesn’t happen in real life.” And then you could have any other facet announcing, “Oh yeah, it does happen, this is literally my life.” I say simply have a look at it, and take it with a grain of salt, and simply revel in.

And then, I see a large number of moms reviewing it, announcing it is beside the point and the whole thing. And I simply suppose that is so humorous, as a result of I think like that is precisely how Meilin’s mom Ming would react to this movie, announcing it is beside the point, and they are simply kids. But kids undergo this! This is not new, that is truly correct. Like I mentioned previous, my pals and I are tremendous vulgar. 

I’d say, I recognize your opinion, however I simply hope you revel in it, whether or not you relate to it or now not.

This dialog has been edited and condensed for readability.

“Turning Red” is these days to be had to move on Disney+, as smartly as digitally and on Blu-Ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD.

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