Young Rock is back on NBC as Season 2 premiered this week. This means fans get to see more of Ana Tuisila's version of Lia Maivia, the grandmother of Dwayne Johnson who is also unapologetic for anything she does and says. PopCulture.com recently caught up with Tuisila who detailed the challenges of playing a strong and diverse character.
"I needed to know who she was and how she was, and that was very difficult because there was very little known about her," Tuisila exclusively told PopCulture. "There's nothing much known about her at all. So it was a lot of information and advice from Dwayne and his mother, Ata, who she was and how she was within their family. And then I had to ask for some dialogue assistance because I didn't know how she sounded."
She continued, "First of all, she's Samoan, and I'm Samoan, which made things so much easier. And the women in our community are very much alike. Well, women back then. Not now. So it was really easy to play a Samoan woman. And also, the writers and producers knew Lia when she was alive back then, and so it was also great to know, and they would provide me with some information and feedback and that she was a great character, great sense of humor. So assistance from them and others that knew of her helped me play the character as authentically as possible."
In Season 2, Lia continues to run her pro wrestling promotion in Hawaii but is under house arrest while she is being investigated for extortion charges. Because of that, Lia's daughter Ata gets involved in the business side of pro wrestling and learns how the promotion can be better.
Tuisila also revealed what to expect from Lia as Season 2 rolls on. "You're going to see more of Lia and who she is and what was happening with her prior to how Dwayne Johnson is, and it's about how he started," she said. "It's about how she had to battle with other promoters, wrestling promoters. She has a court case that she has to go through, so more exciting, more of Lia and her relationship with her daughter, Ata. So there'll be more of that."
Young Rock airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. For more on the NBC sitcom and all your news on Dwayne Johnson, stick to PopCulture.com for the latest.