Last month I had the amazing opportunity to interview some of the cast and creators of Disney Pixar’s Coco during the #PixarCocoEvent. Among the few, we interviewed I had the honor of interviewing Edward James Olmos who happens to be one of my favorite childhood actors. Edward James Olmos is the star of many films but most memorable for me was Selna. It’s not often I am taken back by people but he definitely made me think deeper about the meaning of Coco. I love the life lesson he shared with his Great Grandfather.
I hope one day I will be able to share that same wealth of knowledge with my children. I hope you enjoy this wonderful interview and check out the movie Disney Pixar’s Coco in theaters everywhere today! Make sure you check out my Full Spoiler Free Disney Pixar’s Coco Movie Review. Find out about why everyone is going crazy about this beautifully crafted film.
Why Coco Hit’s Home With Edward James Olmos
Thinking about my grandparents, my great-grandparents. It just conjures up the reason why we are who we are. You start to get into your memory of where you come from and who made you that way and especially with your parents. You start with them, but this was very emotional for me.
How Edward James Olmos Would Like To Be Remembered
Amongst my family, hopefully, they’ve shared enough time with me and that I shared enough time with them and remember the times that we spent together. I mean, so many different stories, but just to be remembered in a way that empowers them would be nice.
Why He Took The Role
It’s pretty simple, the film itself is very direct in making you feel that the Day of the Dead is a very needed moment in everybody’s life. Everybody has their own way of dealing with their past and where they come from and each culture has their own way of doing it and it’s wonderful when you learn about it, but this is the first time that I’ve ever seen this explained so simply. And that’s why I took the role. I mean, my part is a cameo, but it’s very intrinsic to the story. You really realize what happens when no one thinks of you anymore.
Edwards Experience With The Day of the Dead
I know about the Day of the Dead and we have celebrated the Day of the Dead since I was born and it’s an integral part of living inside of a Mexican household. Life and death situation here on this planet and our life, but we would always go and celebrate the Day of the Dead with my great-grandparents, my great-great grandparents. We’d always go around where they were all buried at the Evergreen Cemetery in East L.A.
How A Six-Year Long Project Became The Most Effective and Important Film Out of Hollywood
I think we have right to be defensive of our culture because the art forms have a tendency to exploit. They romanticize, glamorize, exploit the material. They try to make money with it and in a way, you know, that’s what it is. This is a business. The entertainment business, but in a case like this, this is probably the most effective and the most important film that’s come out of the Hollywood system because at this moment in time especially, no one knew six years when they started to do this that it would come out in this year this month and the situation would be what we’re experiencing right this moment.
Edward and His Great Grandfather Life Lesson
I was raised by my great-grandparents, And my great-grandfather was about eighty-three, he was shuffling and we were walking along the street and I was asking a thousand questions. Constantly talking and he would just listen and move along and one day, I said, Grandpa, Abuelito what is that? What does that say? What is that? And he looked at it and then he looked down and me and now we’re here on First and Indiana which is the heart of East L.A., Boyle Heights and he says, whenever you see that mijito, you look for the bird. You look for a plant. You look for a flower. You look for a tree. You look for grass because, mijito, that’s a stop sign.
I said, okay. That’s how I learned what a stop sign was. Now, my grandfather wouldn’t have said that. My father would not have said that. They would not have understood that moment in time and what it meant to resonate. Now, when I see a stop sign and I’m going down the street at seventy, who do I think about? Got to remember that one because basically, what happens is that is wisdom and you can only get that from the great-grandparent. You can’t get it from the grandparent and you don’t get it from, that intensity, he knew what he was doing.
That’s What Coco Is
That’s what Coco is. This is a great contribution. Twenty years from today, every Latino family and then many, many other cultures also will have this film in their library and put it in whenever the kids are around. Here, watch this one and they will, in turn, embellish and bring forth. That’s why Selena is a perfect example. People love that movie and they watch it over and over and again.
It was a celebration of life, of living, with bringing, conjuring up the understanding of those that got you there. You’re just saying thank you to them. Thanks for bringing me to this space and here we are around your tomb or your gravesite and we put flowers and little candles, their picture, and their food. I bring my dad his Menudo. We just sit there and laugh. And cry. There’s a lot of crying and especially the older you get. The closer you get to being in the hole, the closer you are to understanding what life really is. That’s the reality of our life. We have to celebrate it.
In essence, this is an ability to understand that this will live for the duration of humanity. This piece of art will be around as long as any piece of art can be around. It’ll be passed on, so I’m very grateful. I play an integral part to the story because you really realize what it is that we’re doing and what this is about. And when I finally said to Hector, (Spoiler Alert) play me my song. Oh, I can’t play it. No. Play me my song. You want the guitar, you play me my song. You took my femur and you never gave it back, so play me my song.
Okay. And then when he closes his eyes and he finally just gives it, oh, thank you. Then the Miguel goes, whoa, what happened? That’s when Hector says, well, that’s what happens when people don’t think about you anymore. You disappear. It’s all about just the understanding of what we conjure when we’re here. Not one of you can be here without thinking about who got you here and if you don’t do it daily, you’re missing the day and that’s really the key to just being thankful.
The Chancleta Scene
The chancleta, that moment in the movie is probably one of the most priceless moments. For those of you that don’t know anything about it, I got to tell you. If that’s a first experience you’ve ever heard about the chancleta. Chancla is a slipper thing in some places. In huarache in other places. It’s an actual slipper, but they take it off, man, and because they took it, you know why they took it off? They took out the chancleta to throw it. (Spoiler Alert) Do you remember when she throws it and she goes, okay, now, go get it and she’s walking around barefoot, that was the epitome and when she gets the mariachi with the sticks up his nose, I almost died.
If you are ready to cry, laugh, and sing along to a beautiful movie then make sure you head to the theaters today and catch Disney Pixar’s Coco in theaters now everywhere. Disney Pixar has also released specific locations where you can view the film in Spanish. Head over to this link HERE to find your nearest location. Make sure you come back and let me know what you thought of the film and what your favorite part of it was in the comments section below.
About 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.
Catch The Full Trailer Below!
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