Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) and Zachary Levi (Tangled’s Flynn Rider) have been cast as the voices of Mary and Joseph in Sony Pictures Animation’s The Star, a family film about the events leading up to the very first Christmas.
In the film, a small but brave donkey named Bo yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. One day he finds the courage to break free, and finally goes on the adventure of his dreams. On his journey, he teams up with Ruth, a loveable sheep who has lost her flock and Dave, a dove with lofty aspirations. Along with three wisecracking camels and some eccentric stable animals, Bo and his new friends follow the Star and become unlikely heroes in the greatest story ever told – the first Christmas.
Bravely embracing her destiny, Mary is a strong, confident, and optimistic young woman who always treats others with love and kindness—especially Bo.
Golden Globe winner Gina Rodriguez says that while you might think it would be intimidating to play a role like Mary, she turned for inspiration to the greatest role models in her life. “I think Mary’s strength exists in all women, so I pulled from my own life, from the women around me who show that kind of strength every day,” she says. “I played her like the way my mother walks and talks, and the way my sisters are with their children.”
Rodriguez was also inspired in her performance by her grandmother’s faith. “I’ve been researching this role my whole life, growing up in a very Catholic household with a grandmother who was not only super faithful, but lived by the faith and gave it to others.”
Meanwhile, Joseph is a humble carpenter, loyal husband, and friend to Mary, and understandably anxious about the extraordinary task before him.
Recently cast as the lead in the upcoming DC Universe film Shazam, Zachary Levi says that the roles of Bo and Joseph are on similar tracks. “They’re on separate journeys, but they’ve both strong-willed and independent spirits,” he says. “At first, they don’t exactly endear themselves to each other, but as they are forced together, they break each other down – their hearts soften. Joseph begins to realize that Bo is a real hero who would do everything he can, including potentially saving Joseph and Mary’s lives, and appreciates it.
The film stars the voices of Steven Yeun, Keegan-Michael Key, Kelly Clarkson, Anthony Anderson, Aidy Bryant, Ving Rhames, Gabriel Iglesias, Patricia Heaton, Kristin Chenoweth, Christopher Plummer, and Tracy Morgan and Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey.
Watch the The Star featurette on Levi and Rodriguez below: