I recently had the amazing opportunity to chat with the fabulous Elijah Kelley about his role as Sunny in the new animated LucasFilm Strange Magic! I absolutely love Elijah! I had met him before when he was doing press for Hairspray in which he starred in as well as Seaweed. I already knew he was a sweetheart and I was thrilled everyone else got to see this as well.
We met Elijah in the hallway in which he gave us all hugs!
He remembered we had a moment in which we sang west side story together with Zac Efron. We then took a selfie together which I’m so sorry for doing to him as it opened the floodgates for everyone to ask and he then had to take a million and one selfies.
He was so kind to stand there and take one with everyone. He’s really one of the most humble celebrities you will ever meet! I can see why George Lucas loves him.
We then went into the interview area where Elijah performed a musical medley of some of his songs from Strange Magic.
He’s so darn talented that one! Check out the videos below:
I didn’t record the whole thing as I did what he said and put my camera down and partied with him and enjoyed his amazing performance.
After the party he sat down with a moderator and chatted about the film. The moderator then opened it up to questions and I got to ask him a question as well about the film.
The interview began with asking Elijah to tell us a little bit about what it was like to voice his character Sunny.
Well, first of all, I’ve never done a voiceover before in my life, so it was a little bit of a challenge because you see he’s hyper and super into everything that he always does. I thought that it was gonna be so easy. I thought it was gonna be a piece of cake, but I would go in there and guarantee you, I would leave lightheaded and sweaty from all the running and everything. It was like P90X, but bringing it to life and understanding the world that Sunny lives in and understanding that he’s kind of like the nucleus of trying to get everything together, and pulling everybody together, and trying to save the day, and messing up the day, it’s, you know, it’s a lot like me.
The moderator pointed out the Sunny was the was the driving force of the movie in a lot of ways because he loved Dawn (one of the princess characters in the film) and he was willing to go for it. She then wanted to know if there any themes in the movie that Elijah related to or think people will connect with?
I think, I think that people will, will connect for fighting for what you love because as you can see that it’s- everybody goes through a lot of trouble to be able to grasp the love of their life, and I think that love is so complicated. I think that it’s so- uh, the wiring of love is just so weird, you know, and the fact that people can go to the ends of the Earth to capture something like that is, you know, that’s very, very inspirational. And I think in a time like this where we are in the world, uh, you know, it’s an animation, but the subject matter is universal and it’s timeless, you know? Whether we’re talking about, uh, uh, a divide, you know, in America or we’re talking about what’s going on over, you know, in Paris, not to be so serious but, you know, love eradicates a lot of those issues. Because we have these two kingdoms that have this division and this kind of beef between them, so to speak, and because two of the characters are able to fall in love, everyone’s able to come together. Understanding and conversation. It’s like when the Bog King finally had a conversation with his mom, that set up the whole place, and they went in and, you know, they were the same, we hate all the same things. So now we can love all the same things so, you know, so our common interest in what we don’t like. You know, love can be spawned from so many different things.
Being the a quadruple threat that Elijah is the moderator wanted to know a little bit about his background as a singer, and what was his favorite song to perform in Strange Magic?
Uh, well actually my favorite song in Strange Magic isn’t there anymore. Well, maybe if we gonna sing, we can put it in there. Can we blog hashtag sequel? It was a song called “Hold On, I’m Coming”. But my favorite song in the movie is not even a full song. It’s when the little, the little birdies, they sing “Gotcha Looking So Crazy Right Now.” I love how we incorporated or you guys incorporated the, you know, the Beyonce. That’s like seriously my favorite part. That was good. Well, my musical background started in church. I grew up in church all my life. My mom was in ministry; my dad was in ministry, so we, we had a traveling singing group that we go all around the southeast to different churches and you know, we would just sing and congregate, and that’s actually how I met the guitarist when I first moved out here in 2000- 2005 or 2006. I played drums at this church for, like, a year and a half and, you know, he was the music director. But now he’s, like, doing big things. He’s, like, producing the album, with Baby Face right now as we speak.
Elijah is so upbeat and so is his character Sunny. What other characteristics did Elijah find similar to his character.
Sunny doesn’t quit. I’ll tell you a, a bit of personal information. Over the Christmas holidays, both my laptops were stolen; hard drives were stolen, all of this stuff, and I had to, you know, do these police reports and everything, and literally everything that I have worked on in 2014 had seemingly vanished. And I had to sit down and still myself and you know. This is a quality about him. You know, once you understand that there’s a task at hand, you can’t stop until that task is finished. So throughout adversity, throughout trial, you have to keep going, and I think that’s something that Sunny carries.
I then got to ask my question to Elijah and I had to know since he also worked with George Lucas on Red Tails, what is it that Elijah loves about working with George Lucas?
I’m glad you asked that question because, you know, I never really get to tell him, but George has surpassed I think what we are on Earth. He’s become an idea. It’s like every time I come here, I get so inspired because everything that we’re sitting on, everything that we drove up on was spawned from an idea. And when you have an idea, and when you have an idea that you’re convicted about, and you can change the world from that idea, you don’t stray away from it, and you dedicate your life to that idea. So every time I’m around him, it reinvigorates the passion for art in me that it only takes one thing. It only takes one idea. It only takes one thought to pretty much change your universe, and that’s, that’s why I love working with him because I can, I’m constantly reminded of that. Thanks, George.
I think we can all agree with Elijah about George Lucas! I can’t tell you how much he has inspired me as well! George has done it again with this amazing film! It was so great to chat with Elijah and hear his thoughts on this amazing film.
Check out the trailer for Strange Magic Below:
Don’t forget Strange Magic opens tomorrow 1/23 and it comes to you from the mind of legendary film maker George Lucas.
For more info on Strange Magic visit:
Run out and see Strange Magic!
I was solely invited and provided transportation and accommodations to this media day by Disney. All Opinions are my own.