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Asian American Actress, Irene Tsu, Voices Nai Nai in the 2021 Oscars Best Animated Feature Nominee, Over the Moon

Asian American Actress, Irene Tsu, Voices Nai Nai in the 2021 Oscars Best Animated Feature Nominee, Over the Moon

LOS ANGELES, April 20, 2021/ –– Barrier-breaking Asian American actress and author, Irene Tsu, plays the role of Nai Nai, the calm and caring grandma in the Netflix Originals film, Over the Moon (2020). 

Directed by legendary animator Glen Keaneandnominated for Best Animated Feature at this Sunday’s Oscars, the film is an empowering and heartwarming story about independence and imagination. It details the journey of a young Chinese girl who builds a rocket ship in the hopes of meeting the fabled moon goddess.

“To be a part of an Oscar nominated, exquisitely cultured film with so much heart is incredible,” remarks Irene Tsu.

Considered one of the very first Asian American actresses to break through Hollywood’s rigid diversity barriers in the 1960’s, Irene has been in the entertainment industry for over five decades.

“When I began acting, there were hardly any other Asian American actresses who were landing leading roles,” Irene explains. “That’s why films focused on cultural inclusion, like Over the Moon, are so important as it allows children to see their own culture and experiences reflected onscreen.”

Aside from last fall’s launch of Over the Moon, 2020 brought some light to Irene with the successful release of her anticipated memoir, A Water Color Dream: The Many Lives of Irene TsuReaders have an open invitation into Irene’s life experiences, including those with Hollywood legends like Frank Sinatra (whom she was romantically involved with for two+ years), Elvis Presley, Jeff Bridges, and Bette Midler, to name a few.

Tune into the 93rd Academy Awards on ABC, Sunday, April 25, 2021 to see if Over the Moon takes home the Oscar.

To interview Irene Tsu, contact Eileen Koch of EKC PR at (310) 441-1000 or email [email protected]


About Irene Tsu 

Born in China, Irene Tsu dreamed of becoming a prima ballerina. In 1957, her family emigrated to America and Irene attended school in New York where she studied ballet and trained for her dream. About 15 years later she auditioned for her first Broadway show, Flower Drum Song, and subsequently got a part in the film adaption directed by Henry Koster and starring Nancy Kwan.

With a natural dexterity for acting, Irene began to pick up more substantial roles, eventually becoming a distinguished and sought-after Asian American actress. 



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