None other than the very talented Gael Garcia Brings Hector To Life in the upcoming Disney Pixar hit coco. Gael Garcia is known for his stellar roles in Belen, Amores Perros and Y Tu Mama Tambien. Born in Mexico, He sat with us for an exclusive interview about Coco. I am very grateful fo the chance to sit down with such a talented actor, producer, and director. Thank you, Disney, for inviting me to a fabulous Coco Marigold carpet and for the chance of learning so much about the movie from the talent. Coco is set to teach us so much!
Gael Garcia Brings Hector To Life In Coco
The passion, enregy, and excitement Gael Garcia shared is contagious. The joy of sharing with the world the traditions of his country is palpable when you talk to him. But how did he get involved with the film? Pixar emailed him, and his immediate reply was that of course, he wanted to be in a film about the day of the dead. “It was a bit daunting to think I had to sing, but I liked the challenge of it”. But he was counting on the fact that he is from Jalisco, a region in Mexico know for the special Gritos- screams that Mariachis pull off so artistically, to help him out.
On the Day of the Dead tradition
Gael Garcia shares that the day of the dead is a very open and generous celebration, “it invites a very personal point of view because it’s a reflection on death and nobody has the definite answer on what happens after you die, no? So, it is a reflection on death that we all engage in it on a very personal level. We all put our dead people, we put ourselves there, you know, we put ourselves in the, as a calaveritas -as a little skull with your name on it. The Day of the Dead celebration “shows the complexity of a tradition that is incredibly deep and incredibly profound and necessary. Because ultimately this reflection leads you to be a better human being, leads you to be better, to build a better society, leads you to build a better future as well to live life in a much more essential way. And that’s what I think this film shows about Mexico”.
In Coco, Pixar puts in as much as they can of the many different ways in which the Day of the Dead is celebrated throughout Mexico. This is a film that definitely does remind us of the rich culture of Mexico.
How Gael Garcia Celebrates the Day of the Dead
In particular, how is he teaching about the celebration to his daughter? He answers: ” We put some books that we like, we put some toys, we put a lot of food. A lot of little pieces that we found, Lego pieces, and they start to reflect on them when they invite their friends to see the altar they start to explain it to them who they were. It is really interesting what they tell them about what goes on. Also the knowledge, the security that there is no concrete answer on what happens when we die. So it is a really, it is a great way to engage in that conversation with kids, as well”.
Singing With his Daughter
In the movie, Hector has a duet with his daughter. Behind the images, it is Gael Garcia and his daughter Libertad delivering an emotional and beautiful rendition of “Remember Me”. What was it like to work with his daughter? “Ah, it was beautiful. It was beautiful. It’s gonna be – I mean it’s one of those moments that – I mean, acting definitely gives you such I mean so many moments of that you think, ‘We’re so lucky,’ you know? ‘I’m so lucky we’re doing this job,’ you know? I never thought that was going to live off the job I love doing or this experiences that I love doing. And then you get a chance to have a beautiful postcard for life. This is gonna be something that my daughter one day will see when she’s, I don’t know, sixty. And it will be really, really fun to her to remember and to hear ourselves. It was such a great opportunity”. As he shared, you couldn’t help but feel his happiness at the chance of doing this together. He was proud as a peacock!
On Seizing our Moment
One of the many great lessons of the film is “Size Your Moment”. Nevertheless, Gael Garcia feels that in the western world this concept has probably gone too far. He says:” “it has made us live the now as if there was no tomorrow. As if we’re not engaging with a responsibility that freedom gives us to know that there’s a future and there are people that will come after. And it is not a rush; life… it’s more a craft. Sometimes, makes you fall into a trap that it is now or never, you know. And there’s moments that it is now or never but you know when that is; it’s not that there’s a rule that you have to follow that path. I think that notion has very been really very damaging,” he explains. “We need to know that there is a future.”
As a fan, saying I was star struck is an understatement. Getting out my first question, I was all excited nerves, but his warmth and genuine excitement for the film was pure gold for this Gael Garcial Bernal eternal fan!!! He does not disappoint as Hector, and his interview was one to remember forever!
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. To read our conversation with the creators and filmmakers of Coco, go here.
Did you get your tickets for Coco? It is in theaters everywhere on November 22nd!!!