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Interview with Anthony Gonzalez + Alanna Ubach for Disney•Pixar’s COCO #PixarCocoEvent

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Pixar’s Coco is in theaters now, have you seen it yet? While I was in Los Angeles for the Pixar Coco Event, I had the fantastic opportunity to interview some talent from the film as well as those who made this film possible. I’m excited to share an interview that I had with Anthony Gonzalez (voice of ‘Miguel’) and Alanna Ubach (voice of ‘Mama Imelda’).

Interview with Anthony Gonzalez + Alanna Ubach for Disney•Pixar’s COCO #PixarCocoEvent

Photo Credit: MamaLatinaTips.com

Interview with Anthony Gonzalez + Alanna Ubach

This was an amazing interview, filled with laughter and some surprises. We had a fantastic time chatting with Anthony and Alanna and truly were all in smiles the entire time!!

Q: How was last night’s big red-carpet premiere?  

Anthony: That was AMAZING — It was so much fun, doing all of the press.

Interview with Anthony Gonzalez + Alanna Ubach for Disney•Pixar’s COCO #PixarCocoEvent

Photo Credit: MamaLatinaTips.com

Q: So you’ve been working on this movie for years.  What was it like to see it in a theater with your family?

Anthony: Oh, it was just amazing.  It shows all of the work that all these people have been putting. I just love it, and I can’t wait for everyone else to see it.

Q: Besides Miguel, is there any other character you would have liked to have done?  

Anthony: Dante!  He’s very funny.  I love it. I love his tongue.

Interview with Anthony Gonzalez + Alanna Ubach for Disney•Pixar’s COCO #PixarCocoEvent

GIVE THE DOG A BONE — An unlikely star of Disney•Pixar’s “Coco,” Dante is a Xolo dog—short for Xoloitzcuintle—the national dog of Mexico. Nearly hairless and missing some teeth, Dante has trouble keeping his tongue in his mouth. But he’s a loyal companion to Miguel, an aspiring musician who hopes to follow in the footsteps of his idol Ernesto de la Cruz. Featuring the voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez as Miguel and Benjamin Bratt as de la Cruz, “Coco” opens in theaters Nov. 22, 2017. ©2017 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Q: What was it like to see your character once it was drawn?  Were you like: “They definitely got that from me”? 

Anthony:  Like, the first time I saw Miguel.  I was actually very surprised, like, “Oh, we look alike,” and just to be a part of a Disney-Pixar movie is just a dream of mine.  Because I have been watching these movies since very little. So, to be in one right now is just amazing.

Interview with Anthony Gonzalez + Alanna Ubach for Disney•Pixar’s COCO #PixarCocoEvent

Photo Credit: MamaLatinaTips.com

Q: Would you say that you would like to Seize Your Moments and what has been your biggest Moment so far?

Anthony: I love to seize my moments. My biggest moment so far is that I loved singing a lot for a lot of commercials and movies and press.  Like, I got to sing for Coco, y’know, and it’s just so much singing with Miguel, or singing as Miguel.  I had so much fun singing the wonderful lyrics, and it was just so much fun being Miguel and singing.

At this point in the interview, we were given the awesome opportunity to hear both Anthony and Alanna sing:

Alanna’s song is one that she sings to her 12 week old as he’s going to sleep. She says that it is very simple but it puts him to sleep all the time.  Like, without fail.  So, it is a very important song. She learned it from her mother. Her Mom is from Sinaloa (Mexico) and her Dad is from Puerto Rico. Both of them actually knew this song. It’s about trying to coax a burrito (a little donkey) to get up the hill. It’s like, “Come on little donkey, get up the hill, so you can have your corn.”

Then, Anthony sang “Remember Me” from Coco and WOW — his voice is simply amazing.

Q: What would you tell other children that might be inspired to become an actor?  Because you said that you’d always wanted to do this since you were very young.

Anthony: Thankfully, I had the support of all of my parents and my siblings, so it was very easy to me, to do what I love.  So what I tell all the people who really just have a hobby, or just what they love to do.  Like, I love singing, and I love to act.  So what I really did is just never give up, and really do my best, and do what I love, and no one can stop me.

Interview with Anthony Gonzalez + Alanna Ubach for Disney•Pixar’s COCO #PixarCocoEvent

Photo Credit: MamaLatinaTips.com

Q: How did you get discovered?

Anthony: Actually, I never thought I would be an actor. I would start going to this television show where I would read books in Spanish with all my siblings and other kids. One day a director was present, and she thought that me and my brothers would be great actors, so she gave us an agent, and I’ve been with him since I was four years old and look, here I am!

Q: Alanna, as a mom, why do you feel this movie is important for parents? 

Alanna: I think it just paints such an exquisite picture of the afterlife, and when my son is old enough to see this film, he’ll be able to say, “Mama, if this is what the afterlife is like, I’m not afraid of death.”  It’s just as beautiful as birth.

Interview with Anthony Gonzalez + Alanna Ubach for Disney•Pixar’s COCO #PixarCocoEvent

Photo Credit: MamaLatinaTips.com

Q: How would you like him to remember you? 

Alanna: That I sang him funny, silly little songs, and that I loved him with my very soul.  He breaks my heart every single day.  He gets a hammer to my heart and pounds on it, and then hands it back to me, and then it takes me 23 hours to put it back together all over again, and then the following day he does the same thing.  He’s my life.  He really is my life.  And I hope he remembers me as someone who — that he was my life. He’s just everything to me.  I never thought in a million years, that I would have such a love for this little potted plant, who is my life right now.  But he’s just starting to engage and laugh.  And in the middle of the night — he has a bit of a cold — so,  I was telling my publicist, it’s like, sleeping next to a broken Volkswagen right now. Who else do you get up at five o’clock in the morning and say, I’m going to take a hot, steaming shower with this little, potted plant?  My husband rolls over, and he’s like, “What are you doing, you’re taking a shower right now?   Isn’t your call time 10:30?”  And I say, “No, I have to get him better.”  So, sure enough, we took a hot, steamy shower together, my little boy and I. Then, in the morning, everything was cleared out, so I highly recommend a hot, steamy shower for a little three-month old with a cold.

At this point, I’m pretty sure we were all wiping our tears……. I know I was.

Q: What was it like to sit next to your husband, to have him see yourself on film?  

Alanna: It was so surreal.  I was sitting in between my mother, who is 78 years old, and my husband.  We just had a little boy.  So, between the two of them, it’s too bad that I didn’t bring Kleenex! He was just floored and he didn’t really know that I could sing like that. He’ll hear me in the shower and my mother used to tell me about this story of llorona. So, it was a big surprise for her to hear this song that I sang, because it’s about that woman, and it is about that character that she used to talk about when I was a little girl.

Interview with Anthony Gonzalez + Alanna Ubach for Disney•Pixar’s COCO #PixarCocoEvent

Photo Credit: MamaLatinaTips.com

Q: Talk about something that you feel is like her, personality-wise. 

Alanna: This is based on my tia Flora. When I was a little girl, I remember her inflections.  She was very grand.  She was a very ornate character, and such an important figure growing up when I was a little girl, because, I remembered, it being eight o’clock in the morning, she had a full face of makeup on constantly, and she always wore her high heels.  At Christmas time it was — you know.  When she entered the room, she was, “Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad!!” I was so put off by her as a little girl, because she was just too much, but now as a woman in my early forties, I can look at this woman with such respect and she had such passion.  She was the DNA of my family, and she was very passionate and had this stoicism that was so admirable when I was a kid, growing up.  I never forgot her inflections.  To me, she was very sing-song-y, and she spoke the way she spoke Spanish when she spoke English, and so I thought, I’m going to make this character.  I’m going to base her after my tia Flora.

Interview with Anthony Gonzalez + Alanna Ubach for Disney•Pixar’s COCO #PixarCocoEvent

BLESSED? – Aspiring musician Miguel learns from the head clerk in the Department of Family Reunions in the Land of the Dead that he’ll need a blessing from a family member to return to the Land of the Living. But Miguel’s great-great-grandmother Mamá Imelda’s blessing comes with an unfortunate condition. Featuring Anthony Gonzalez as the voice of Miguel, Gabriel Iglesias as the voice of the clerk and Alanna Ubach as the voice of Mamá Imelda, Disney•Pixar’s “Coco” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2017. ©2017 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Q: What was the biggest challenge when putting that together in your head, re: how you wanted to portray her? 

Alanna: Walking into the sessions on my own.  But, thank goodness, you have Lee and Darla as the angels on your shoulder.  Their passion for this piece is so infectious that even if you’re tired, and you’re just coming off of a plane, and you’re stepping foot in the headquarters of Pixar for the first time, it is a little intimidating, but they make you feel so welcome. You can’t help but want to do your best work possible, when doing this. They showed us the sculptures of these characters and it really did help to actually not meet Gael and Benjamin in person, because I was just given these figurines of them.  So it made it even more magical to actually portray, because you’re actually looking at these figurines, rather than the person that you are star struck by.  Then, you want to say, “I loved you in Y Tu Mama Tambien, you were amazing in that.”  So, it really did help to just be given the sculpture.  Because I’m pretty sure I would have been a little too star struck and nervous to act with him.

Interview with Anthony Gonzalez + Alanna Ubach for Disney•Pixar’s COCO #PixarCocoEvent

ON COURSE TO CURSED – When aspiring musician Miguel (voice of Anthony Gonzalez) ends up in the Land of the Dead in Disney•Pixar’s “Coco,” his family takes him to the Department of Family Reunions where a busy clerk (voice of Gabriel Iglesias) informs him that he’s cursed. To return to the Land of the Living, Miguel will need a magical marigold petal and the blessing of a family member—but, according to the clerk, the family member can include any condition she likes—even forbidding music forever. Directed by Lee Unkrich (“Toy Story 3”), co-directed by Adrian Molina (story artist “Monsters University”) and produced by Darla K. Anderson (“Toy Story 3”), Disney•Pixar’s “Coco” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2017. ©2017 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Q: Do you celebrate Day of the Dead?

Alanna: Yes, I do celebrate the Day of the Dead, and like the time I actually started celebrating like, really, was when my grandfather passed away.  He was very special to me, because he was always there for me, and he would just be so funny, and he was always there to support me in what I loved to do, which was sing.  So starting when I was six year old, he passed away.  I would love to celebrate the Day of the Dead, because it was a day where I could be with him, and connect with him once again, and that’s why I loved this joyful celebration. I can’t believe I’m part of a movie that celebrates and shows this wonderful celebration.

Q: How are you balancing school work and social time with friends with this?  

Anthony: Well, one of my big dreams was to be home schooled, and I finally got to be home schooled!! I love it, because I get to act more, and I get to sing more, and that’s why I wanted to be home schooled, because I’d get to pursue my dream more.

Interview with Anthony Gonzalez + Alanna Ubach for Disney•Pixar’s COCO #PixarCocoEvent

Photo Credit: MamaLatinaTips.com

Q: Anthony, what is a characteristic that your grandpa had that you hope you are able to embody? 

Anthony: He was very silly and funny he would tell me jokes, he would just joke around with me.  “Oh, you can’t do pushups.” Then I would go down and go do pushups! We had a very good bond together, and that’s why I just love celebrating the Day of the Dead.

Q: What traits do you feel you share with Miguel?  

Anthony: I feel like me and Miguel just both want to pursue our dreams, Miguel looks at his idol, like he wants to be just like him.  He says, “I want to be just like him.”  I have a lot of singing idols and acting idols.  I want to be just like them, too.  So I’m very similar to Miguel, because we both just love the music. We both care about of our families, a lot, and we know how important that celebration of Dia de Los Muertos is, and, yeah.  That’s what I love most about really doing the voice of this awesome character.

Q: What do you hope audiences get from watching?  

Anthony: If they have asecret passion, share it with the world, and do what they want, to do in life, and do what they love, and to really, really know about the wonderful culture, Mexican culture, and the wonderful celebration of the Day of the Dead.  Maybe they will start celebrating, because it’s a universal celebration.

Interview with Anthony Gonzalez + Alanna Ubach for Disney•Pixar’s COCO #PixarCocoEvent

Photo Credit: MamaLatinaTips.com

Q: What’s it been like for your parents?  Are they like, “Sorry, but you gotta help with the laundry”?  

Anthony: It’s been a complete blessing for me and my parents.  Especially my mom.  She’s so happy.  And every time she sees the movie, I turn around, and she’s like bawling her eyes out.  She’s just so happy, and she can’t believe I’m in a Disney-Pixar movie, and I can’t believe it too.  She’s been an incredible support to me.

Interview with Anthony Gonzalez + Alanna Ubach for Disney•Pixar’s COCO #PixarCocoEvent

Photo Credit: MamaLatinaTips.com

Q: What do you think about the merchandising?  

Anthony: In my room I have, like, my desk, with every single toy they have.  I have a Papita.  I have a Dante….I have all of it, most likely!

See all of the Pixar Coco Products you can get HERE.

ABOUT PIXAR’S COCO

Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Héctor (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.

TRAILER

CHECK OUT MY SPOILER-FREE MOVIE REVIEW HERE.

MORE PIXAR COCO:

NEW Pixar Coco Trailer + Pan de Muerto & Hot Chocolate Recipes 

Disney•Pixar COCO Activity Sheets + Coloring Pages! 

NEW Trailer + Poster for Disney • Pixar’s Coco

Pixar Coco Premiere Marigold Carpet Experience!

Exclusive Interview with Benjamin Bratt (Voice of “Ernesto de la Cruz”) in Pixar’s Coco

 

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