Interview with Kylie Kuioka and Cathy Shim

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We talk to Kylie Kuioka and Cathy Shim about their roles in Nickelodeon Movies’ new animated movie Paws of Fury, which can now be seen in theaters.

A dog-turned-samurai in a city of cats is sure to attract skeptics, and the heroic Hank in Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank gets a lot of both. The new animated martial arts comedy from Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies Paws of fury can now be seen in theaters. The film also co-stars Michael Cera’s Hank, Kylie Kuioka as Emiko and Cathy Shim as Little Mama.

In Paws of fury, the village of Kakamucho finds itself beset by feudal warlord Ika Chu (Ricky Gervais), with the villagers asking for a new samurai to protect them. However, Hank’s arrival is not without derision, Hank being a dog charged with protecting a town full of cats. While Little Mama is one of Hank’s many harsh critics, young Emiko trusts him much more.

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We talk to Kylie Kuioka and Cathy Shim about their roles as Emiko and Little Mama in Paws of furyeach of them sharing some of their most heartfelt memories from the making of the film.


Photo from Paws of Fury Little Mama and Hank

Screen Rant: How Did You Come Aboard Paws of fury?

Kylie Kuioka: Well, it was like a normal audition for me, but it was last minute because I was moving to a new place. My mom recorded the audition takes on her phone, and a few weeks later I got a callback, and I was so excited, because I got to meet directors Rob [Minkoff]To mark [Koetsir]and chris [Bailey], and producers and casting directors. A little later, I got a call from my agent and my manager saying that I had booked the role of Emiko, and I was so thrilled and happy and was jumping so many times!

Cathy Shim: I entered the process about a year before booking the role of Little Mama. They were still in development and figuring things out, and I was very lucky to come on board and work with Rob Minkoff. He was incredibly, as he was throughout the process, open to ideas and riffs and just such a giver when it came to creative licenses to the characters and their voices.

When I booked the role, it was during the height of COVID, and so this project will forever be the silver lining in a time that was kind of dark, not knowing what the other side was going to bring or look like. And so, there are many good memories that will remain forever linked to this project!

For each of you, what were the most memorable moments or scenes for you in Paws of fury?

Cathy Shim: I would say there are two for me, and they’re kind of yin and yang or different ends of the spectrum. This is the time for me, and I don’t want to say too much, where Little Mama really gets in on it with Hank and really casts him as the outcast of town and continues this whole rant about him not is not a cat. And then at the end of the film, she realizes: “No, Hank is a samurai, he is our hero.” These are the moments in the film that I think really resonate with Little Mama’s journey.

Kylie Kuioka: I would say my favorite scene was when Hank and Emiko were playing with origami and she made an origami of Hank and told Hank something very meaningful that helps him protect the village.

Paws Of Fury: The Legend Of Hank Synopsis


Check out our other interviews with Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank also stars Michael Cera, George Takei and Aasif Mandvi.

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Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank is now in theaters.

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