How Alessia Cara Landed Her First Acting Role In Netflix’s The Willoughbys

Netflix’s newest animated film The Willoughbys has a lot of heart. And who better to help bring the movie to life than one pop star who always packs an emotional punch into her music: Alessia Cara.

Cara voices the vivacious, magenta-haired Jane in this hilarious yet heartfelt production, which is headed to Netflix near the end of the month. In this exclusive behind-the-scenes clip from the making of the film, Cara breaks down her new original song “I Choose”, as well as the process behind coming on board as Jane.

“I got an email from Bron Studios, and they had seen this interview that I did with Jimmy Fallon,” she recounts. “They said, ‘what are your wishes for the future?’ and I said I wanted to be in an animated film.” Now it looks like she finally got her wish.

“The character felt like me,” Cara adds, saying she began “freaking out” about being offered the role. As a singer, she says, the role felt natural  for her. “A lot of elements of her felt similar to parts of who I am, so I was like ‘I’m in! I’m doing this 100 percent. I said yes immediately, and that’s just kind of how it happened.” This is Cara’s first-ever onscreen role, and it was her first time writing an original song for a character instead of basing music on events pulled from her life.

Originally, the Grammy winner was given a simple melody to write her song around, a process that’s mirrored throughout the movie with aspiring artist Jane.

The Willoughbys follows a group of four siblings who decide to send their parents on an extended vacation after coming to the conclusion that they should just raise themselves. When this half-baked plan goes south, they end up with the Department of Child Services on their tail, but end up realizing the true meaning of family along the way.

A star-studded cast joins Cara to bring the family to life. Will Forte takes on the role of eldest sibling Tim Willoughby, while Martin Short and Jane Krakowski tackle Mother and Father Willoughby. Terry Crews is even on board as Commander Melanoff, with Ricky Gervais narrating the story as “The Cat.”

The Willoughbys is headed to Netflix on April 22. In the meantime, you can always check out the source material: Lois Lowry’s book of the same name.

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