Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar might be one of the funniest movies of 2021 so far, but it's the young child actor playing the hilarious role of Yoyo, the mischievous sidekick to the film's villain that is really stealing the show. Breakout star Reyn Doi may be just 12 years old, but the Honolulu native is giving comedy icons Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo a run for their money with his pitch-perfect comedic timing and an opening scene like no other.
In an exclusive with PopCulture.com, Reyn gets candid about his naughty character and that hilarious bike ride through the neighborhood. "Yoyo is such a mysterious little boy because has two sides to his character," Reyn told us in our series PopCulture @Home of his character, Yoyo. "He can be that little innocent, cute boy, who's riding down on this neighborhood, throwing newspapers, [and] he can be like a sidekick, who loves and works hard."
While his character works for the nefarious Sharon Gordon Fisherman — the movie's antagonist who has retributive hopes — Reyn admits he has never played a villainous role before, but that it wasn't difficult. "It was different at first, then I got used to it, and Kristen led me actually," he said. "By her playing that sort of role, she gave me ideas to pick from. And not only that, but before even going to set, I was back at home and I practiced riding the bicycle, multitasking. And I practiced with my coach and so on."
With the movie setting itself up from the start as an escape to a world of hilarity and absurdities, the opening scene with Reyn is one that viewers will truly not expect. Taking place in a suburban community, the young boy bikes and delivers the morning paper while lip-syncing to Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb's song, "Guilty." The way in which Reyn is playing Yoyo so earnestly with heart while singing the popular '80s ballad is so hilarious, it's hard not to fall in love with him and the movie almost immediately — and the song.
"I actually knew the song prior to booking this role because my dad used to always listen to it in his car in Hawaii," he admitted. "Then when I found out I booked the job, I was like, 'I got to learn this song.' And since then, I think I sing it a lot, like in my mind, or I just sing it. And I love the song so much."
Singing isn't all Reyn does. The preteen, who shot the movie at just 10 years old, also engages in his fair share of dancing with his co-stars, Wiig, Mumolo and Jamie Dornan. The child actor who got his start dancing on TV began his foray into the arts at the age of 4, when his mom took him to class in Hawaii. It was only three years ago that he was introduced to acting. "I like it when I can express my dancing on set because it sort of brings out my passion for dancing," he said. "Because I've been dancing since I was around four, and I was very passionate about dancing. But when I started acting, I sort of didn't really drift away from it, but I sort of got really more focused on my acting career. I would choose acting over dancing because that's my main sort of focus."0comments
As Reyn focuses on acting, he calls working on the set of Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar an "amazing experience" for his first major movie, crediting Wiig for becoming a mentor of sorts for him throughout the entire process. "I was able to watch [Kristen] perform, like improv, or monologue, or see her different facial expressions, which really did make me feel like, 'Wow.' And she's such an amazing actor," he said. "But her as a person, she's so kind and so full of love. I mean, she rubbed my mom's back when my mom was so full of pain one day. And she had to go to the hospital, and then she was there by my side that day, to help me shoot. So I am so thankful."
Barb & Star Go to the Vista Del Mar is currently available everywhere you rent movies and will be released to own on digital March 26, followed by a Blu-ray Combo Pack with DVD on April 6. For more with Reyn, the movie's stars and more, stay tuned to the latest from PopCulture.com.