Edward James Olmos has had quite the career. He was in Blade Runner, Miami Vice, Dexter, even Battlestar Galactica, just to name a few. But out of everything, he recently said that the one scene he has in Pixar’s Coco may be the achievement among them all.
“I’m, as Chicharrón, doing the one scene, it’s one of my proudest moments in the art form,” he said at a recent press conference.
Coco, the latest film from Pixar, tells the story of a young boy named Miguel who goes to the Land of the Dead to uncover a secret about his family. The whole thing is set in Mexico, voiced by a Latin cast, and centers on paying respects to your family history. Then, in one particularly emotional scene, Olmos’ character, Chicharrón, shows the sadder side of that.
“That’s why I’m so grateful—six years ago, you didn’t know we’d be, politically, the shape that we’re in, nobody did,” Olmos said. “Nobody knew that Mexicans were gonna be treated like they’ve been treated over the last year. Nobody. The last two years have been very difficult for us, and it’s hard not to come about and have an attitude. But you try to stay strong, knowing that the pendulum swung one way, it’s gonna swing back. And when it does, it will have a different reaction. It will have another sense of who we are and the changes. This placed us in a very strong position for the future. People are going to say ‘Thank you’ to the Mexican culture for introducing them to a value they did not know anything about.”
That value is your family, your roots, and your history.
“People who see this movie are going to come out really moved, especially when you haven’t thought about your parents or you haven’t thought about your loved ones,” he said. “You haven’t really gotten into your own family, and you been too busy living your life that you haven’t gone back to even say, ‘Thank you.’ You haven’t been even to the cemetery where they’re buried now for 30 years or 20 years or however long they’ve been away from you.”
He also believes, simply put, the movie will have an impact far beyond anything we can even imagine.
“You have no idea what you’ve done,” he said to the Pixar team. “You won’t know for like 15 or 20 years. It’s going to take that long to resonate around the planet and to take hold like art does to people in their subconscious mind.”
Coco is a wonderful film, and you can read our review of it below. Check back next week for an interview with the film’s director, Lee Unkrich.