Sitting Down with COCO’s Miguel and Imelda
Interview with Anthony Gonzalez and Alanna Ubach
Have you seen Coco yet? If not, you’re totally missing out. It’s an amazing and beautiful story of family. The central character is Miguel, voiced by Anthony Gonzalez. When he takes an unexpected trip to the land of the dead he runs into Mamá Imelda his great-great-grandmother voiced by Alanna Ubach. I had the opportunity to sit down with them both.
This was a break out role for Anthony and we asked him about his big red-carpet premiere. “That was amazing. It was so much fun, doing all of the press.” he shared with us. His smile and personality were just overflowing. He went on to share how amazing it was to watch the movie that he had been working on for years with his family in the theater.
We asked him if there was another character, besides Miguel, that he would have liked to play and he didn’t skip a beat – it was Dante. He also told us the first time he saw Miguel drawn he was actually surprised that it looked like him.
Alanna felt that the character of Mamá Imelda was similar to her tia Flora who was ornate and grand. She described that she could walk into a room and own it with her constant full face of make up and high heels. She had a lot of respect for this passionate woman. That’s who she based Imelda on – her tia Flora.
We asked her what she hoped that the audience would get from watching the movie. Her answer was two fold. If you have a secret passion then you should share it with the world. The second was that she wants others to know more about the wonderful Mexican culture and the wonderful celebration of the Day of the Dead. “Who knows, maybe they will start celebrating, because it’s a universal celebration.”
For Anthony he felt that he could relate to Miguel’s desire to pursue his dreams. “I’m very similar to Miguel because we both just love the music.” He also felt a connection to the fact that they both care about their families and know how important the celebration of Dia de Los Muertos is. It was really endearing listening to him share about his grandfather who passed away and how he celebrates him. “We had a very good bond together and that’s why I just love celebrating the Day of the Dead.”
One of the lines in the movie is “Seize your Moment” and when we asked Anthony if he liked seizing his moments he laughed and whole heartedly agreed. He shared that his biggest moment so far would have to be Coco and all the singing he got to do. And let me tell you his voice is spectacular – the kid has amazing pipes!
We asked him to sing for us and he belted out a bit of Remember Me for us.
He and Alanna also did some of their gritos for us. A grito is like the squeal of excitement they often do during some of the songs. I totally tried when I got home it’s not pretty.
Alanna also has an incredible voice which we get to hear. She shared with us that she loves to sing for her infant at home.
Being that she’s a mama we asked her why she felt this movie was important for parents and she talked about the exquisite picture of the afterlife that the film paints. “I’m not afraid of death. It’s just as beautiful as birth.”
We asked her how she wanted to be remembered. For Alanna she wanted her son to remember that she sang him funny, silly little songs and she loved him with her very soul.
COCO is in theatres everywhere now!
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Visit the official COCO website here: http://movies.disney.com/coco