Who is Catherine Laga’aia and how is she related to Moana?

Catherine Laga’aia, a Sydney-born 17-year-old actress, is set to lead Disney’s highly anticipated live-action adaptation of Moana. Although relatively new to Hollywood, Laga’aia has made an impression with her role in the Australian series “The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart” in 2023, where she played the character Candy Blue.

Laga’aia expressed her excitement about portraying Moana, stating, “I’m really excited to embrace this character because Moana is one of my favorites.” This role marks her debut in a major Hollywood film, and she joins a cast that includes Dwayne Johnson reprising his role as the demigod Maui.


In addition to Laga’aia and Johnson, the Moana cast includes:

  • John Tui as Chief Tui, Moana’s father.
  • Frankie Adams as Sina, Moana’s mother.
  • Rena Owen as Gramma Tala, a revered character in the story.

The live-action adaptation of Moana, announced in April last year, is scheduled to begin production this summer. Thomas Kail, known for his work on “Grease Live” and “We Were the Lucky Ones,” is directing the film. Dwayne Johnson is not only starring but also producing the movie, aiming for a release date of July 10, 2026.

The announcement of Catherine Laga’aia in the lead role has sparked excitement among fans of the original animated film, as Disney continues to expand its repertoire of live-action adaptations of beloved animated classics.