Pixar’s Turning Red is all about a 13-year-old girl who is hitting the age of puberty, and with her body changes (like turning into a giant Red Panda) also comes her love of boys. Specifically, a boy band called 4-Town.
In honor of the Disney+ exclusive release of Turning Red on March 11th, we spoke with the actors behind 4-Town, the boys behind the boy band, all about working with Billie Eilish and what about Turning Red made them want to be involved.
Jordan Fisher (voice of “Robaire”), Grayson Villanueva (voice of “Tae Young”), Josh Levi (voice of “Aaron Z.”), and Topher Ngo (voice of “Aaron T.”) all said that one of the things that drew them to Turning Red was the opportunity to work with Billie Eilish. Josh has actually known her for a while, but was thrilled to finally get the chance to collaborate with her. For him, as soon as he heard her name he was in. Pairing it with something as special as Pixar is just the icing on the cake.
Jordan says that while Billie was a huge draw, there were multiple things that attracted him to Turning Red.
“Asian representation – that just screams. When it was brought to me it was ‘Something, something, Pixar. Something, Finneas. Something, Billie Eilish.’ And I said OK. It is an absolute to joy to know we were all walking into something fresh and new in so many aspects. When you don’t hear 4-Town singing you hear a score that is so dynamic, and so Asian inspired, and so right for this piece. Everything about it feels like something that has been missing for a really long time. For us to be a part of that is just a dream.” – Jordan Fisher
Grayson admits that he knew almost nothing about this project when he first heard about it, and that it was even under a code name. All he knew was that they were looking for boy band type people, so he submitted himself covering *NSYNC and early Justin Bieber for consideration. About three months later he was told Disney would be calling and he was over the moon!
Topher, who is real-life besties with Grayson, got his call on the same day. He says it was a lot of fun to be able to freak out together. Funnily enough, he submitted a Billie Eilish song as his sample without even knowing she was doing the music for the film. He adds, “To be able to do music that was written by Billie Eilish and Finneas – dream come true.”
Times might be a little bit crazy right now, but luckily they were able to all get together and record the tracks in the studio. Billie Eilish even joined them. She was there to throw in some direction every now and then, but also to be there as support and to acknowledge what they were all bringing to the table. Each of the 4-Town members had their own booth, all right next to each other.
4-Town has three songs, that Director Dommee Shi describes as follows: U Know What’s Up is the confidence booster, 1 True Love is a love ballad, and Nobody Like U is the hit song that you can never get out of your head. Of course, we just had to find out if the boys behind 4-Town have favorites — and it turns out they do. While they all admit to loving all of the songs, when it comes to favorites it is split right down the middle. Jordan and Josh are fans of the love song, 1 True Love, while Topher and Grayson say the better answer is U Know What’s Up.
During the early press day for Turning Red, Dommee Shi and Producer Lindsey Collins described each of the members of 4-Town. Aaron Z. is the sporty one, while Aaron T. is the goofy one. Tae Young is K-pop inspired, and Robaire is the most likely to have a solo career. When asked, all of them admit they are somewhat similar to their characters.
Josh says that he knows about sports, in fact, his siblings are all very athletic. He knows the language, but says that Aaron Z. definitely has him beat in that department. Grayson loves K-pop, but he also describes Tae Young as the more wholesome member of the group. He is known to rehabilitate doves in his spare time, and this is where Grayson thinks they are most alike, because he has such a soft spot for animals.
Topher admits that he is probably the goofy one is most of his groups of friends, but that he is also a bit of a klutz and kind of derpy. Goofy sounds much better though, so he jokes “let’s go with that.” When told how Dommee describes Robaire, Jordan laughed, saying he isn’t the type to leave everyone for a solo career, but he will leave them to find a book and a cup of coffee. The first rendering of his character that he saw was him sitting at a café in France and he thought “there’s my speed. I like doing the work and then going home.”
Unfortunately, 4-Town is just a fictional group which means we will never get to see them play a show live in concert. But we can rock out to their three songs featured in Pixar’s Turning Red, which are sure to all be hits! We dare you not to get them stuck in your head, because trust us, they are catchy.
Get ready to fall in love with 4-Town when Pixar’s Turning Red comes exclusively to Disney+ on Friday, March 11th.
Tessa Smith AKA Mama's Geeky, is a journalist that covers geek and Disney culture on her own website, as well as freelances for other sites such as What's On Disney Plus and Screen Rant. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Marketing and loves all things geeky. She is a Disney Vacation Club member and a Founders Circle Member of Disney+. She is also an approved critic for Rotten Tomatoes and a member of the Critics Choice Association. Tessa lives in Upstate New York with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs named Sansa and Khaleesi.