This book is my signed copy of “Malish Koala”. My Instagram pal of 3 years Crowd-Funded the publishing of the book that he wrote and illustrated. I’m so proud of Malish and all who contributed to help make this book a reality. You can buy the book here . (If you choose to use the link & purchase the book, I will get a wee portion of sale from Amazon.) CLICK HERE TO WATCH ME READ “MALISH KOALA” AT TEDDY BEAR TUCK-IN TIME.
About a week ago, I was able to catch up with Malish and ask him a few questions. Something you need to know about Malish is before he was a plushie book author, he was and still is a script writer, actor and director. He has made nearly a dozen short films that you can watch by clicking on MALISH MOVIES. AND!! AND, and, and! Malish has his very own website: MalishKoala.com.
Here’s our little conversation we had at Malish’s home in the Hollywood Hills.
HOPE: Have you always dreamed of being a book author, actor and film maker? How did this come about?
MALISH: It all started a few years ago when I was visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida. Everyone was coming up to me, telling me that I’m very cute and asking if they can follow me on Instagram. That day I decided to start an Instagram account where I would post pictures of my adventures. After just a couple of weeks, I realized that there is a big plushie community out there. One day I made a short Harry Potter style intro for “Malish Koala and the secret of the missing raspberry” just for fun. I wasn’t actually going to make a movie, but everyone started asking what that movie is about and when it’s coming out. That’s how I got the idea to start making movies. I was never planning on doing it, it happened naturally. When I started getting a lot of comments about my movie posters, I came up with the idea of the picture book. It was also a great way to tell everyone a little bit about my family and our live in Los Angeles.
HOPE: Do you have a large or small family? MALISH: I have a big family, we met on my birthday 5 years ago.
HOPE: Tell us about your writing process: what inspires you? Do you write in morning or at night? Inside or outside? with snacks/drinks? MALISH: My writing process is threefold. First, my crew and I take a nice walk through the Hollywood Hills, discussing potential ideas. Then we come home and start putting our ideas on paper, going through all of them and picking the best one. We always make sure we have some popcorn, dark chocolate, exotic fruits or tropical ice cream, and a bowl of raspberries in our writing room! When we have the plot of the movie we begin the last and the longest step, we write the first chapter, film it, release it, and after that things just start falling into place. We write every next chapter as we go, it’s a flow, and some times even I don’t know what’s gonna happen next!
HOPE: Congratulations on winning and Oscar- how many have you won and for what? Do you have a favorite character to play? Do you have a personal favorite movie you’ve starred in? MALISH: Another great question. My all-time favorite character is Hercule Koaló! He first appeared as a guest star in my very first Halloween Special “Mystery Dinner” for which by the way I won my first Best Director Academy Award. It’s impossible for me to pick a favorite movie, all of them brought me so much joy. Casting is a very big part of it. Every time we announce an audition hundreds of plushies from around the world send their submissions. I love how those movies bring everyone together. From participating in casting to a lively discussion after the movie is posted. As far as the Academy of Motion Pictures concerned, the Oscars for the Best Picture went to “Mystery Dinner” in 2017, “Ruby Express” in 2018, and “The Temple of Missing Buttons” in 2019.
HOPE: We know raspberries and icecream are your favorites, but tell us a little more about yourself.
MALISH: I love traveling! My favorite destinations are San Francisco, Las Vegas, and New York! I’m not a fan of driving, so we always fly, and my favorite part of flying is when they serve those little Biscoff cookies! Every time we go to San Francisco, we visit a little Biscoff cafe which is located at Pier 39. This is the only place that serves my favorite coffee – Biscoff Latte! HOPE: SHUT THE BACKDOOR!? A BISCOFF LATTE?! MALISH: If you ever go to San Francisco make sure to try it. HOPE: I DEFINITELY will! MALISH: As a professional filmmaker, I spend a lot of my time watching movies. We have a family tradition to watch a movie on the big projector screen every Friday night. We watch classics and critically acclaimed movies. My 2 favorite genres are Mystery and Musical!I love everything sweet, but a very special place in my heart takes patisserie. And every time we are in Las Vegas, we go to one of the many buffets, they have entire rooms dedicated to desserts. I love discovering new bakeries in town or any place we go to. I’m very fond of different musical instruments. I play xylophone, Banjo, Guitar, and a finger piano.I’m a native Angeleno, so it only makes sense that I love the warm climate. And every time we go someplace cold, I have to put on an extra pair of pants. I’m a memorabilia collector. Vintage movie posters, Disney pins, movie props, books, you name it!
HOPE: You sure have a great range of interests. And I love your family tradition of watching a Friday night movie. I love musicals too, and sweets which reminds me of Disneyland. I know you go there often for a wrap party with your crew once the filming is done, so with that in mind, can you tell us when visiting Disneyland, what are your MUST rides and MUST eats? Anything you would like for others to know about Disneyland that you think they shouldn’t miss? MALISH: Oh Boy! This is a million dollars question! My favorite area of the park is ADVENTURELAND, it has the best rides and best treats! “Jungle Cruise”, “Tiki Room”, “Indiana Jones Adventure” are my favorite attractions. I’d like to share a little secret with you, after riding the world’s famous Jungle Cruise you can go to one of the skippers and ask for a map of the cruise, they will ask you to do a fun little task and the map is yours. While at Adventureland make sure to go to the “Tropical Hideaway” for a Dole Whip and Sweet Lumpia. After that, we usually head over to New Orleans Square. Here you can ride the “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Haunted Mansion”. Not everybody knows but you can find the most delicious Mickey doughnuts at the Mint Julep Bar next to the New Orleans Square train station. And of course, don’t forget about Churros! On a very hot day, it is really nice to ride “Splash Mountain”, and when you exit it you’ll find yourself at the entrance of another one of my favorites – The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, what a sweet ride that is. I also recommend to stay until the end of the day and catch Fantasmic! It’s a nighttime show featuring fireworks, characters, live actors, water effects, pyrotechnics, lasers, music, audio-animatronics, searchlights, decorated boat floats, and mist screen projections.
HOPE: Thank you Malish for your hospitality. You definitely know where to get the tastiest raspberries I’ve ever tasted. I’m sure the readers will enjoy these tidbits you’ve shared about yourself and some of your favorite places. MALISH: Thank you Hope for stopping by, it’s been a pleasure.
We had a great time visting and snacking over tea and raspberries. I also learned something else I’ll share with you (a little something fun), MALISH HAS KOALAMOJIS! GET THEM HERE: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/malish-koala/id1317652166