Last week I attended the #PixarCocoEvent in Los Angelos with 24 other amazing bloggers. During my trip, I was given the opportunity to interview the cast and producers of Disney Pixar’s newest film COCO. This film is one of the most beautifully created movies I have ever seen and applaud Disney and Pixar for creating such a moving film. If you would like to read my Disney Pixar’s Coco Movie Review (No Spoilers) head over here now to check it out.
In A Theaters near you Starting on November 22, 2017
In Disney Pixar’s COCO Benjamin Bratt voice’s Ernesto de la Cruz, Miguel (Voiced by Anthony Gonzalez), Mexican Musical Idol. I have been a fan of Benjamin Bratt’s work for many years when I heard he would be staring at this film I couldn’t wait to see it. During our exclusive interview with Benjamin Bratt, I learned a lot about his past as well as his thoughts about being apart of this groundbreaking film.
During our interview with Benjamin Bratt, you can’t help but smile at his lovable nature. When he walks into the room you can feel the warmth of his presence as well as his love for this film. During our interview he quoted.
What I’m most excited about with Coco is it’s finally an opportunity on a global scale to illuminate the beauty of the Latino culture.”
I completely agree with him in saying this is a film that definitely illuminates the beauty of the Latino Culture that hasn’t actually been done before. Read below for the rest of our amazing interview and learn about his thought’s on his character’s key phrase “Sieze the Moment” as well as how he came to sing all of his character’s songs in the movie.
Interview With Benjamin Bratt
Visiting The Pixar Building When Learning About The Film
Way back when, when I was first given a tour of the Pixar Studios up in Emeryville, Lee and Darla and Adrian (The Creators of COCO) led me into this room that, from floor to ceiling on every wall was covered in Mexican iconography, Day of the Dead colors and images and some of the characters that were drawn, illustrated that they were going to portray in the film.
And it affected me in a way that actually kind of surprised me because it was in that moment that I recognized these beautiful brown faces albeit they’re animated figures. They looked like people I know, the people I come from. And it underscored the fact that that portrayal hasn’t been done yet on this kind of scale. And so, in a way, it reintroduces who we are as a people in our uniqueness but also in our sameness to everyone else in the world whether you’re from China or Africa or Europe or anywhere else in the world.
That at the end of the day, for all the uniqueness that we have, and there’s a lot that’s vibrant and authentic and beautiful about Latino culture, we all at the end of the day are more alike than we are different and this need or sense of wanting to belong to something, to recognize where you come from, to stay connected to the people that paved a path for you before you got here.
One of Benjamin Bratt’s Favorite Scenes That Got Him All Choked Up
One of my favorite scenes in the film, and this scene was completed when I saw it. When I first saw the film, it was about two-thirds animated so a lot of what happens at the end were basically sketches and stick figures but it still packed an emotional wallop. But what was complete, and it just reinforced what my initial feeling was, was that seen with that Eddie Olmos plays, Chicharrón, where it really spells out what it is to finally die, the final death.
It’s expository but it also, it just punches you right in the heart because you realize, oh, wait a second, if we don’t stay connected to where we come from, we don’t remember our ancestors, the people who came before us, that’s it, we’re finally moving on to where, who knows. But it’s probably not a good place because you not supported by people in the land of the living. And then the song that Gael delivers, raw, simple, emotional, truly moving.
The Powerful, Macho Novella Lead, A lot of Pedro Infante, Vicenter Fernandez
You know, the truth is, I had never seen a film with Pedro Infante or Jorge Negrete. I was loosely aware of the Vicente Fernandez’s music. But after Lee and Adrian shared with me that those are the people in real life that they were drawing on for this character I went out to YouTube, of course, and studied a lot of it. And what I realized was that there’s real star power.
You know, they were like the Mexican versions of Frank Sinatra. Someone who is as adored for his musical ability as he was for his movie star magnetism. And that doesn’t happen to everyone. Not everyone possesses that set of talent or that particular personal chemistry. So, you know, you have to create it. I just thought okay, I’ll just try to be larger-than-life. And it’s an even more difficult trick to do it just vocally. Thank God, they draw the guy. That’s a good-looking skeleton. His hair was perfect.
What Benjamin Would Like To Be Remembered As When He Passes
That’s such a profound question and the first time anyone’s asked it. If I am to be remembered at all I would hope it would be for, my kindness or my generosity, for the love that lives in my heart for people that I hold near and dear. And for someone who tried to live his life with integrity. Nothing too deep. Oh, and he’s pretty fun, too. He was a fun guy.
Benjamin’s Thoughts on how COCO Can Be Used To Help Explain Death To Children
I hope so and actually think so. I think people give short shrift to the impact and power of film stories. They really can do a lot to teach young people, whether you want them to or not. And in that, this story views death as a kind of celebration, as a continuation really of what we are and who we are. And it’s not something to be feared but something to realize that it’s part of the natural cycle of life and that you can, in fact, stay connected to the people that you love.
I think there’s a hopefulness in that and a kind of comfort, too, I would say. And I already know that and I already feel that and I already believe that as do most of my family members. But seeing the film reminded me last night as my mother now enters into a certain set of years in her life, she would hate for me to name it, that as we edged closer to our moment of mortality that there will be a kind of comfort in knowing that we can stay connected through prayer, through memory, through acknowledgment, through ofrendas. So, my hope is that children will see it as a reminder of what already exists, which is just the next step in this cycle of life.
Family First, there’s a celebration of food for everything
– Benjamin Bratt
Seize The Moment, Or At least Plan it Out
Seize the moment I interpret as a call to action. I’m a little more pensive before I make a decision and I think I’ve gotten more cautious as I’ve gotten older. But what I can relate to is, and it’s always held particular importance for me, but it is the most important thing in my life right now and that’s my family, my immediate family, my relationship with my wife and my two children, my daughter Sophia and my son Matteo.
They take precedence over all else, even at work, and that’s how I self-identify. If someone says what are you, I don’t even start with man. I say I’m a husband, I’m a father first. And with that kind of clarity, you know, you can really take on any challenge that’s presented to you. But as far as seize the moment goes, you know, if you ask me to jump off a 50-foot cliff I might have done that when I was 25. But now I’ll take a pause and, do I do this with my shoes on my shoes off? Do I wear a life jacket? Want to do it with me? We’ll hold hands or should I go solo?
Benjamin Bratt Can Sing?! Listen To His Amazing Vocal’s in COCO
So, here’s the deal. You know, I acknowledge that I’m a fairly decent actor but I’ve always wanted to be a singer. I just admire singers so much and musicians in general because with singing, your voices your instrument.
And it translates across all language, all cultures because a beautiful voice is a beautiful voice. I don’t possess one when it comes to singing. And I’ve always said I’d give my left big toe to be able to be a balladeer like MarC Anthony, say. He’s just a phenomenal, powerful singer and a friend but someone whose talent I admire immensely. So, when I was offered the role, I thought it was a bit ironic that I was meant to play the most, you know, famous singer and musician in Mexican history.
I had a little chuckle for myself. And then, of course, I became immediately terrified because Lee and Darla and Adrian wanted me to attempt it. What better circumstances could I do that. they provided me with Liz Kaplan who’s the instructor, mentor to the stars in a New York. I had several sessions with her. And they just gave me the opportunity to fail. And the first few sessions, I’ll tell you, they were horrible. They were really horrible. But, you know, they gave me a shot. I was happy to do it. And that it’s in the movie, I recorded every song that is in the movie, I’m really proud of it.
I chose to seize the moment.
– Benjamin Bratt
The Biggest lesson He Would Like To Pass Onto His Children
To have compassion, to be empathetic, to recognize that wherever you come from, whatever your gender is, whatever your sexual orientation, whatever your religion is, lead with kindness, lead with empathy and lead with love.
I don’t know about you but this interview gave me goosebumps, I learned so much about Benjamin Bratt during our interview. I don’t want to spoil the movie with the many surprises he has in store for you. So make sure you see it in theaters near you starting on November 22, 2017. Check out his amazing vocal skills he spoke of in Disney Pixar’s COCO and see why I am over the moon excited for you to catch this movie with your family.
Catch The Full Trailer Below!
Disney Pixar’s COCO: Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer 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 Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.
Keep Reading About Coco With My Other Related Articles