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Gael Garcia Bernal, The Good Guy Behind Disney Pixar Coco’s Hector #PixarCocoEvent

I was honored to be invited to the #PixarCocoEvent, a Disney press junket for Disney Pixar COCO, Big Hero 6 Baymak Returns, Kevin (Probably) Saves the World, Designated Survivor, and Olaf’s Frozen Adventure. As a guest, my expenses were covered in return for a series of articles about my experiences and reviews of the programming.


Last week, I started sharing my experiences going out to Los Angeles for the #PixarCocoEvent. Between the two press junkets for COCO, I’ve interviewed the story writers, directors, animators, and actors behind the film. I even saw Disney Pixar COCO at the red carpet premiere. As the day to the release (on November 22) get closer it’s getting harder to not tell you everything about the movie. I’m trying my best not to ‘spoil’ anything for you. So for today, I’ll focus on my interview with Gael Garcia Bernal, the voice of Hector in COCO.


Disney Pixar Coco movie image Miguel with Hector



When Hector first comes on the screen in COCO, he seems to be a character up to no good. He desperately wants to get back to the Land of the Living and tries every trick he can. He sees Miguel as an opportunity to do so. Hector appears to be a trickster a bad skeleton, but I learned in my interview with Gael Garcia Bernal, the voice of Hector, why Gael is anything but a bad guy.


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.


“COCO” will be released in U.S. theaters on November 22, 2017.


We get a glimpse of Gael Garcia Bernal as Hector in this Disney Pixar COCO movie trailer


Gael Garcia Bernal, The Good Guy Behind Disney Pixar Coco’s Hector

My fellow Disney bloggers and I enjoyed sitting down with Gael Garcia Bernal to talk to him about COCO, family, and life. That twenty-minute interview went quickly but it was long enough to convince me Gael Garcia Bernal is one of the good guys in Hollywood. Take a look.


Gael Garcia Bernal, The Good Guy Behind Disney Pixar Coco's Hector #PixarCocoEvent


What Gael Garcia Bernal wants us to learn about Day of the Dead from COCO.

Gael Garcia Bernal said, “….Anything you want to put on the alter is welcome. … The day of the dead because it’s a reflection on death and nobody has the definite answer on what happens after you die. It is a reflection of death that we all engage in it on a very personal level. We put ourselves in as a calaca, little skulls with your name on it. You put yourself on the same level and stuff to reflect on death and life.


Gael continued to inform us by sharing that it’s at school where kids learn about Day of the Dead. “…It’s at school that you start to build the altar. That’s the way I got into the Day of the Dead, as well.”


Gael Garcia Bernal is passing on the Day of the Dead traditions to his daughter.

It was so cute how Gael Garcia Bernal told us how he is teaching his daughter about the Day of the Dead traditions. It really is about the traditions and not so much what you put on the offendra, but that you have an offendra. Gael said, “Well that’s the thing because it is a very open ceremony. You start building the altar and you put your dead people there (and stuff that you like or reminds you of them). We put like some books that we like. We put some toys, like Lego pieces. We put up a lot of food.”



interview with Gael Garcia Bernal, the voice of Hector in Disney Pixar COCO

Photo Credit Silvia Martinez


From alters to discussing death with kids.

Gael Garcia Bernal was quite insightful sharing with us how building the offendra (altar) with his daughter and her friends is opening up discussion about death. He shared, “They start to reflect on them when they invite their friends to see the altar and stuff and they start to explain it to them. It is really interesting what they tell them about what goes on. I mean and also that knowledge, that security that there is no concrete answer on what happens when we die. It is a great way to engage in that conversation with kids … We were all kids and when we’re that age we start to wonder. Sometimes it is not easy to talk about it. And yet it happens. It’s a great way to open up the discussion really. And to let the kids have their own answer around it.


interview with Gael Garcia Bernal, the voice of Hector in Disney Pixar COCO

Photo Credit Silvia Martinez


Gael Garcia Bernal shared what it was like to share the screen with his daughter

You could see the excitement and love in Gael’s eyes when he described sharing scenes with his daughter in COCO. “Ah, it was beautiful. It’s one of those moments that acting definitely gives you moments that you think, ‘We’re so lucky. I’m so lucky we’re doing this job,’.  I never thought that I was gonna dedicate and live off the job I love doing.  And then you get a chance to have a beautiful postcard for life. I mean 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 there you know, and it was such a great opportunity.  She was really happy to do it but also like to say, like, ‘I just put it out there and that’s it.’  I mean it is wonderful, what can I say, it’s such a gift, no?  Oof, man.  I mean and with such a beautiful movie.”


Disney Pixar COCO movie image


Gael Garcia Bernal’s thoughts on Seizing the Moment

When asked about seizing the moment, Gael gave the one answer that truly convinced us of his good guy status. Here’s what Gael shared, “This is a very personal opinion about seizing the moment kind of. I think that what’s nice about the movie is that it shows De La Cruz …carrying the flag of seizing your moment. I think it has been one of the most damaging aspects of western society the notion of seizing the moment.” Gael went on to explain, “It has made us burn the forests that we have in front of us. It has made us live the now as if there was no tomorrow. {It’s} 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 is more, it’s more a craft. Little by little … seizing the moment sometimes makes you fall into a trap that it is now or never. There are 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. … It is interesting that in the film it kind of comes in play.


Gael added later, “I mean from every single aspect in your life to even more broad aspects like climate change and stuff, I mean we need to know that it is not about seizing the moment, living in the now, but we need to know that there is a future.”


interview with Gael Garcia Bernal, the voice of Hector in Disney Pixar COCO


I hope you agree that no matter how you perceive Hector in COCO that behind the scenes Gael Garcia Bernal really is a good guy.


Disney Pixar Coco movie posterWatch Disney Pixar COCO Wednesday, November 22 at your local theater!


Our #PixarCocoEvent series continues tomorrow with 8 Ways Olaf’s Frozen Adventure will Melt Your Heart & Make You Smile. You can get caught up with our #PixarCocoEvent series anytime by clicking on #PixarCocoEvent.


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