The Quick Q&A: Meet the Voices of the Madrigal Family in 'Encanto'

Disney unveils one of the most magical families this week in "Encanto," and we got the chance to attend a quick q&a featuring all of the voice actors.

Jesse Conner

By Jesse Conner

The Quick Q&A: Meet the Voices of the Madrigal Family in Encanto

© Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Thanksgiving is happening in just a couple days and along with this blessed holiday usually comes lots of family. We all sit together once a year to tell each other what we're thankful for and then we dig into a bounty of food until we pass out. Our mouth is watering just thinking about it. And this Thanksgiving in particular, Disney reveals their newest animated film "Encanto" that features the biggest, most diverse family you've ever seen. Introducing the Madrigals!

This new family is anything but ordinary. Almost every family member has some sort of special ability. Even their house is alive! The characters in the film are voiced by cast members Stephanie Beatriz, John Leguizamo, Maria Cecilia Botero, Diane Guerrero, Jessica Darrow, Angie Cepeda, Mauro Castillo, Carolina Gaitan, Rhenzy Feliz, Ravi Cabot-Conyers, and Adassa. And it features original songs by none other than Lin-Manuel Miranda. We're thankful to have been invited to the virtual press conference for "Encanto" where the voice actors we mentioned participated in a Q&A. Check out the quick Q&A for "Encanto" below and be sure to watch it in theaters this week.

'Encanto' Q&A: Stephanie Beatriz, John Leguizamo, Maria Cecilia Botero, Diane Guerrero, Jessica Darrow, Angie Cepeda, Mauro Castillo, Carolina Gaitan, Rhenzy Feliz, Ravi Cabot-Conyers, & Adassa

Q: What's your character's gift, or the lack thereof, and how do you personally relate to it?

Stephanie Beatriz: Mirabel doesn't have a gift, which I find extremely relatable, because there have been many times in my life where I felt like I didn't belong, I didn't measure up, I wasn't talented enough to be there, I had that sort of imposter syndrome. But I also discovered, getting older, and working more and more on trusting myself, that I do have something to offer, and it is special, and I am myself. So, not everybody's gonna love that but the people that do, are gonna love it really hard.

Q: Why can't the Madrigals talk about Bruno and how do you relate to him?

John Leguizamo: Well, Bruno is that relative that always says the wrong thing at every party and who wrecks every holiday because they're always talking too much. And so, that's who I am. I'm Bruno. I'm that uncle that they try to get rid of. And they do get rid of him in this movie. And I relate to him because I had that as a bit of an issue. I was always talking too much, saying everything nobody wanted to hear and was afraid to say. I was the black sheep of the family. So, I relate to Bruno.

Q: How do you relate to Abuela Alma? And tell us about her gift, or the lack thereof.

Maria Cecilia Botero: Well, Abuela doesn't have a gift. I mean, she's the one that keeps the family together. And I think I am, too, in my family. So, it was kind of myself.

Q: How did you relate to your character Louisa, and what is her gift?

Jessica Darrow: Yes, I love Louisa so much because of how much we are alike. We are both tough crybabies, you know? We've got the tough exterior, but soft, mushy, gushy center. And we're very much the rock of both of our families. And we definitely keep it all together. Whether it be family secrets or just general moderation within the family, you know? Like, we take care of our sisters, our mom, our dad, abuela. We would both do anything for our abuelas. And yeah, her gift is super strength, and that is both physical and emotional. She is the emotional superhero of the film.

© Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

© Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Q: Tell us more about Julieta. How do you relate to her?

Angie Cepeda: Julieta's very kind, she's warm, I really fell in love with her. And she cares so much about her family, and for the people in her community. She has this gift, and she heals people with the food that she cooks. And she does that for all who need it. And she also has this special relationship with Mirabel. She knows how Mirabel feels about not having a gift, and the fact that she feels that Mirabel doesn't belong, and she's always there for her. And I relate to that in a way that I'm kind of that (person) in my family. I have a lot of nieces and nephews, and it's so important for me to be there for them, and try to be some kind of guidance, because I know how that feels when you feel awkward, when you feel like you don't belong. So, I try to be that rock in my family, as well. Family's everything for me. And I also love cooking.

Q: How do you relate to Isabela and what is her gift?

Diane Guerrero: Isabela was sort of given the role of kind of being perfect, and her gift is to make things grow, plants and beautiful flowers. And so, I guess with this gift sort of came the expectation that she just had to be perfect. She uses it kind of like a defense mechanism, something that has worked for her for so long. But I think she discovers that when you're growing up, and you're an actual real human being, that perfection really isn't sustainable. And I think that I really relate to that in my own life. I used to think that if you weren't perfect, if you didn't do things right, then that would just be the end of it, you know? I used to be so afraid to mess up and ask questions and seem like I was having trouble with something, and I think I used it to protect myself for a long time. But like Isabela, I've been trying to break free from that. I want to mess up, I want to make weird, crinkly things grow. I want to roll around in the mud, and I want to experiment, and I want to evolve.

Q: Can you tell us about Felix and how you relate to him?

Mauro Castillo: Felix is the soul of the party. He's a music lover. And he deeply loves his wife, Pepa, with her change of mood. And he loves everything about her. And he admires every single member of the family. He likes the food a lot. Um, the salsa. He's very like me. Like me because I'm a salsa singer, and I love to dance, and show all of the goodness from the people in the Pacific, Columbia Pacific, and the Atlantic Pacific. You know, the region that I came (from). I'm from Cali, Colombia the world capital of the salsa, la capital mundial de la salsa. And this is a character that has a lot of things in common with me. For me, it's a pleasure to be here, sharing with those amazing talents, and sharing music with Lin Manuel.

Q: Can you tell us about Pepa? I feel like a lot of us have the crazy aunt in the family that's very dramatic.

Carolina Gaitan: It's the craziest. I mean, I really can relate with her because of that. Because I'm a little bit crazy as well. Overly dramatic, sometimes a little bit like a drama queen. But most of all, I think it's about vulnerability. Like, not to be in control of everything. And I really love that about Pepa. She's emotional and she allows herself to be emotional. And I think that that's very beautiful about a person and about a character. And that's also a gift. And I think also that being in that part of Colombia, that is very specific, with the climate variety that we have. And she's always raining or thundering, and Colombia is like that, you know? Like, in Bogota it's super cold, but then you go two hours from Bogota to another city. And then you go to Cali, for example, and it's super warm. So, it's everything in Pepa, and everything about Pepa that I love. And, of course, the music as well because I'm a singer, and I'm a salsa singer as well so it's like viva la salsa.

Q: Tell us about Camilo. How do you relate to him?

Rhenzy Feliz: It was definitely one of the most fun things to do, getting to do all these different kinds of sounds, and when we're actually recording the thing. But yeah, he's the son of Felix and Pepa, who we just saw. So, someone who's a little crazy, a little dramatic, and someone who's a lot of fun, and a lot of energy, you're born an entertainer. So, that's kind of Camilo. He sort of wants to make everyone laugh and have a good time. And I sort of feel like that. I mean, I'm an actor so when you sort of try and get the spotlight, it feels nice, it feels good. And so, he's out there trying to get that attention. So, he has a good time, and he's a lot of fun, but he loves his family. And yes, he's given the ability just to shape shift. And so, when you're given that, on top of the fact that you already want to entertain, you're born for the spotlight.

© Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

© Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Q: Can you tell us anything about Antonio's gift and how you relate to him?

Ravi Cabot-Conyers: Okay, so Antonio's gift is talking to animals and communicating with them. And they can communicate with him. He's kind of an introvert, but he also has a really big heart. I can communicate with all different sorts of people.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit more about Dolores?

Adassa: I absolutely love the character. I think that Charise Castro Smith and Byron Howard and Jared Bush did an amazing job writing this character, because she has all the secrets, she can hear everything. But sometimes her well-placed heart is a little bit out of order when she kinda speaks up and she can't help it. And then she kind of pops in and out, just like, "Oh, yeah, this happened." And just the matter of a fact, that you didn't hear it, you know? And I love her character, because even though she is a strong part of the family, sometimes she can be unnoticed. And even though she can hear everything not a lot of people really pay much attention to her, which is why there's so many issues that happen within the story. With Dolores, it's just everything's so loud that she has to maintain a certain composure to be able to deal with things around her in her environment. But she just means well.

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Encanto

Jesse Conner

Jesse is a writer and content manager for Noovie. When he's not working, he's on the beach playing volleyball.

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