The following is excerpted from LDS Living. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.
Eliana Su’a does resemble the Disney animated character Moana. There is no denying it. But on the set of Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, where Eliana was starring in her first major motion picture as Sam, the daughter of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the popular Disney movie came to life. It all started when Hollywood sweethearts Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively brought their daughters on the set of the film while Reynolds was filming a brief cameo appearance. Their daughters, who are both under the age of 5, began following Eliana around the set saying, “Moana, Moana!”
“But there was this cool part [that] just kind of showed Dwayne Johnson’s personality,” Melissa Su’a, Eliana’s mother recalls. “He just makes people feel comfortable and at home, so then Ryan goes, ‘Oh my gosh, there’s Maui.’. . . And so he [Dwayne] starts singing, middle of the scene just in between, he starts singing for them.”
It is one of the many memories that 11-year-old Eliana will carry with her from the set of her first big acting role. Despite being very young (she just started middle school), if you listen to Eliana speak, you would think she was a longtime pro. Part of this may be attributed to the fact that her dad, Justin Su’a, is a mental skills and leadership coach for professional athletes, and it is clear in talking with Eliana that Justin has instilled mental toughness in his children.
Her mother, Melissa, remembers Eliana performing a dance routine to Michael Jackson as a child and recognizing then how much Eliana loved being in front of the camera.
“She’s one of those kids who would always put on little shows, stuff that a lot of little kids do, but we were just like, ‘There’s something extra about her,’” Melissa says with a laugh.
When Eliana was 8 years old, her friend Jack was cast in an orange juice commercial, and as Eliana saw the commercial air time after time, she told her mom she wanted to “do what Jack was doing.”
To read the full article, CLICK HERE.