Co-Director of Disney’s ENCANTO, Cherise Castro Smith Shares Her Journey to Being the First Latina Director of a Disney Animated Feature

Disney Encanto Family

Cherise Castro-Smith, Disney’s First Latina credited as a director in a Disney film joined AMIGOS on Clubhouse to share her journey and experience as the co-director and screenplay writer for ENCANTO.

Learn about the inspiration for the characters, including the lead character, Mirabel.

The Cast of ENCANTO:

Stephanie Beatriz Stephanie Beatriz … Mirabel (voice)
María Cecilia Botero María Cecilia Botero … Abuela Alma (voice)
John Leguizamo John Leguizamo … Bruno (voice)
Mauro Castillo Mauro Castillo … Félix (voice)
Jessica Darrow Jessica Darrow … Luisa (voice)
Angie Cepeda Angie Cepeda … Julieta (voice)
Carolina Gaitan Carolina Gaitan … Pepa (voice) (as Carolina Gaitán)
Diane Guerrero Diane Guerrero … Isabela (voice)
Wilmer Valderrama Wilmer Valderrama … Agustín (voice)
Rhenzy Feliz Rhenzy Feliz … Camilo (voice)
Ravi Cabot-Conyers Ravi Cabot-Conyers … Antonio (voice)
Adassa Adassa … Dolores (voice)
Maluma Maluma … Mariano (voice)
Rose Portillo Rose Portillo … Señora Guzmán (voice)
Noemi Josefina Flores Noemi Josefina Flores … Young Mirabel / Town Kid (voice)
Juan Castano Juan Castano … Osvaldo (voice)
Sarah-Nicole Robles Sarah-Nicole Robles … Señora Ozma (voice)
Hector Elias Hector Elias … Old Arturo (voice)
Alan Tudyk Alan Tudyk … Toucan (voice)
Olga Merediz Olga Merediz … Abuela Alma (singing voice)
Jorge E. Ruiz Cano Jorge E. Ruiz Cano … Tiple Maestro (voice)
Alyssa Bella Candiani Alyssa Bella Candiani … Town Kid (voice)
Paisley Herrera Paisley Herrera … Town Kid (voice) (as Paisley Day Herrera)
Brooklyn Skylar Rodriguez Brooklyn Skylar Rodriguez … Town Kid (voice)
Ezra Rudulph Ezra Rudulph … Town Kid (voice)

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Interview with Cherise Castro Smith, Latina Co-Director of Disney’s Encanto – AmigosMax on Clubhouse

Show Notes / Transcript

Rodrigo: Hey, what’s up Danay? Danay might be a little busy right now. Oh, Charise you’re here. 

Danay: Hey, I’m actually going to send you down real quickly, then go and bring you back up. There we go. Hey, Rodrigo sorry about that.

Rodrigo: I’m going to make a room about this later on. I’m playing, I’m playing.

Danay: I bet you will. Hey, Charise long time. 

Charise: Hello.Hi. How’s it going? 

Danay: It’s going great. It’s going great. Welcome everybody. I’m just waiting for Jackie to join us in here. And then we’ll get started. So welcome everybody. This is our meet, Encantos Latina co-director Chasice Castro Smith room. So welcome Charise. 

Charise: Hello. Hi. I’m delighted to be here. 

Danay: We are delighted to have you. We have been talking nonstop about the movie and how we love the characters, how we love the diversity, how we love the representation, how we identify with each character. I mean, we have talked nonstop about this movie. So I definitely wanted to have you come in here and just talk to us about your journey, being the first Latina co-director of a Disney animated feature, which is huge congratulations. 

Charise: Thank you so much. 

Danay: And yeah, so I’m going to go ahead and jump right in. I wanted to really quickly just welcome everybody. This is the Amigos club and we are 36,000 strong and our club’s purpose is strictly to elevate the Latino professional community. And so we love having conversations like this. If you’re not following the club, definitely follow the little greenhouse at the top. And you can be alerted to more events like this. My name is Danay Escanaverino. I am the founder of the club. We’ll go ahead and let the moderators introduce themselves. And then I’m going to go ahead and talk a little about Charise and then we’ll head right into the questions. So Rodrigo over to you.

Rodrigo: Appreciate it Danay. My name is Rodrigo Bravo. I do a whole bunch of things. Just really happy to be here. I’ve seen the movie now two, three times. Saw it with my son. It was interesting, the different reactions that I had and that he had. And so I would definitely love to ask that question and [03:19 inaudible], of course I had to say that right, Jackie, over to you.

Jackie: Thank you, Rodrigo. Yes, my name is Jackie Paz and I am super excited to be here. As a pro Colombian, I’m very, very excited and I have tons of questions as well. And so, so amazingly fan girling right now, right here. So I’m so excited. Can’t wait until we start with the questions.

Danay: Okay, great. Charise, I’m going to go ahead and introduce you. I want to talk a little bit about, who you are and what you’ve done. So Charise is from Miami Florida, where she was raised in a Cuban American family, same and she attended Brown University as an undergrad, the Yale School of drama, where she earned her acting. After graduating, she focused on writing, having her plays produced across the country at places like Chicago’s Goodman theater and San Diego’s LA Jola play Playhouse. 

And as a TV writer, she’s worked on shows like Foxes, The Exorcist. Netflix, is the Haunting of Hillhouse as well as writing and co-executive producing the ABC pilot of The Death of Ava Sophia Valdez. Much of her work is comedic, relationship focused and often politically relevant. She notably wants to create more complex dimensional roles for women on stage in leading roles. Her work has been inspired. This is my favorite part. Her work has been inspired by an eclectic mix of sources, such as Shakespeare, South Park, Greek myths, and 1970s horror films. I love that. I love that you, in the same, say South Park and Shakespeare

Rodrigo: It’s the 1970s horror films for me. 

Danay: And lastly but certainly not least. Castro Smith has made her film debut in a Walt Disney animation studios, film titled Encanto centered on a Columbian girl who lacks magical powers in spite of her family having them. And I just wanted to point out not only is she co-director, but she’s also the writer of the screenplay. So Chasice, would you like to tell us anything else that I haven’t gotten over? 

Charise: Oh my goodness. What a great introduction. Thank you. Yes you got it all right. I’m delighted to be here and yeah, happy to answer any questions.

Danay: Great. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to spend about the first 30 minutes asking you some questions and then we’ll open it up to audience participation so that any of our audience members can come on up and ask you their own questions. So hang tight. We’re going to definitely open it up for audience questions. But we’re going to wait a few minutes so that we can ask a few of our own. So I know that you wrote the screenplay. Can you tell us, how did the idea for the story come about?

Charise: Sure. So, making these movies is a very, very long process, from the very, very beginning of when this idea started until it came out, it was five years. So about a year and a half into development, Jared Bush and Byron Howard were the two directors of the movie. And I wrote the script with Jared. They realized they were looking for a writer to come on and help with the script, help develop the movie. And at that point they knew that they wanted to make a movie that was about a big extended family. They knew that they wanted everyone in that family to have magical powers except for one girl. But there was no story beyond that, there was no screenplay. There was some sort of developmental artwork, but the story had not been sort of conceived of yet. And then I joined, I think like in October of 2018 and just was off to the races, started working with Jared on the script, started figuring out who all these characters were and just how we were going to put the movie together.

Danay: I love that. Rodrigo over to you.

Rodrigo: One of the things that people don’t understand about a movie is the length of time it takes. And you were describing how the story wasn’t really conceived at that point. How much of the story really draws from your personal experiences? I think for myself, I know that when I saw the movie, there were certain scenes that, I mean it hit me. I was like, oh my God, why am I crying? Why is this PTSD affected me like this? And I think the discussion we’ve had really centers around how personal this movie feels to us. So I wanted to know how much of this movie is really personal to you? How much did you draw from your own experience?

Charise: Yeah. So that’s a great question. There’s a lot of my own personal experience in this movie. I always want to have humility when I’m writing. I’m Cuban American, and obviously this movie is set in Columbia. So I have a lot of humility writing about a culture that’s not the one that I grew up in. And as we were developing the movie, we had a lot of help from our Columbian cultural trust and consultants who really helped us, helped me and Jared Byron understand the history of Columbia, understand more about the culture. The two of them got to go on a research trip there. I was very jealous because I was supposed to go on March of 2020. And no, obviously that didn’t happen. 

But you were asking about how much of this movie is personal to me. I will say that when I first met with Jared Byron about this film, the first thing that really to me in, was this idea of someone who doesn’t really know where they belong. I think so many of us struggle with questions of self-worth and sort of figuring out who we are, figuring out who we are in relationship to our families, figuring out what we bring to the table. And that was, I was definitely, like when I was 15, like those were all questions that were very much percolating in my brain. So that part of it is very personal to me. And also something that I really felt passionately about bringing to this movie was a moment of like forgiveness, a moment of acknowledge and healing intergenerational trauma, because I think it’s something that so many of us have dealt with in our families, right?

This idea of, in my family, my grandparents came from Cuba when they were in their early thirties with my mom and my uncle and that whole journey, that whole uprooting and having to start over and really find a way to live in a new country was something that was a big part of my family’s history and got sort of handed down to me, my brother, my cousins in ways that were healthy and some ways that were not so healthy. And so it was something, I was always thinking about my own experience and my family’s experience as I was writing this film.

Rodrigo: Charise thank you so much for commenting on that. And me, I’m Mexican American. I identify as Chicano, but one thing that I love about a Latina [11:12 inaudible] is whatever we choose to call it. We share these same trajectories and my parents, they too uprooted. But anyways just to kind of finish that thought before I kick it over to Jackie for her question. I just love that you shared that because it shows how much there is commonality among the different various subor and flavors there are in [11:45 inaudible]. That we all have that trajectory in our family background. Because just like you said, your family uprooted themselves, my family did as well. And I think that was captured in the movie and I love that that was included. Thank you so much for that Jackie over to you.

Jackie: Thank you, Rodrigo. And can I go on with what Rodrigo mentioned, how many subor and how different we are as a Latino, Hispanic Latinx, whatever we decide to call ourselves a community. My question is more of, not only do the characters cover amazing diversity in Latinida but also sizes and hair textures and shapes. What were the conversations around bringing this about?

Charise: Sure. That’s a great question. I mean, it was all very intentional and it was all based on A, research we did about families in Colombia and people telling us that there was so much diversity within families. And it was really important for them to have that represented on screen. So it was a really like years long process of developing. First of all, who these characters were, who their personalities were, what their magical gifts were, what their relationships were like to everybody else in the family. But then also on the design side, the character modeling side, there was really intentional choices made about how these characters should look and sort of what kind of family traits would bring them together and how they could also sort of stand in their diversity. 

We had a wonderful journalist named Liana, who was is a Columbian consultant of ours on the film. And she is really someone who was passionate about people wearing their hair naturally. And so she was a huge, wonderful help to us and an influence in developing [13:46 inaudible] hair, Antonio’s hair, Camillo’s hair. And just so many of these people that we spoke to across different disciplines from our Columbia cultural trust were so helpful to us, in figuring out exactly how this family should look at. And making sure that it really represented the variety and the diversity that naturally exists in that country.

Jackie: Thank you so much. And yes, it does represent so much diversity in our family. As a Columbian I can attest to that, my family is very diverse. I’ll pass the mic now to Danay.

Danay: Yes. Thank you for that. That’s one of my favorite things about the movie, aside from the story, which by the way, I love the fact that it’s not a knight in shining armor coming to rescue the princess in despair. I love that about the movie, but my question is actually about you, which character do you most identify with in the story? 

Charise: I mean, if you look at this little picture of me, that’s on the app right now, you might notice some similarities between one of the characters in this movie. So there’s definitely a lot of me in Isabella, just in terms of like, I just so acutely remember that like time when you’re a teenager, and this is something that your environment. And I talked a lot about, this movie is like really inspired by magical realism. We took a lot from that literary tradition and piece it into the movie. And one of the things that was a really fun thing that we tried to put into the movie. We were like, okay, so being a 15 year old is like, honestly, like just living in your own magical realism novel, because when you fall in love, it’s like the greatest thing that’s ever happened to anyone on earth.

And when you get your heart broken, when you’re 15, no one has ever been in more pain. So like the spectrum of emotions that a character experiences like at that age just to begin with, is practically like just magical realism in and of itself. And so yeah, I think there’s a lot of me in [16:13 inaudible]. And like fun fact, they did actually use my hair as a hair model for her. So there’s that too. 

Danay: That’s awesome. Can I just say that, even though I have zero screen writing talent, I am now inspired to write my own movie just so that I can have a character. Oh my goodness. Over to you Rodrigo.

Rodrigo: Well, I don’t have any hair, so they wouldn’t model anybody after me, I guess. But with that said, you mentioned the character, are there any other characters that you could share that were modeled by somebody? And I guess what I’m really getting at is Abolita. We keep talking about Abolita, the love, and also I mean, frankly the harm, you mentioned that earlier the generational trauma, I’m always talking about how important it is to have generational health not just generational wealth. And I think the movie totally describes and centers on that. Can you explain like the concept of Abolita, maybe who’s it based on if you can and what kind of led to inspire to that character?

Charise: So my grandmother was actually, she was really sweet. She was one of the most loving, wonderful people in my life. I will say my grandfather actually I think, was the person that took on a lot of these sort of darker aspects of this immigration assimilation moment that they went through. He was an engineer in Cuba, he came to the states, moved to Miami before he could actually bring my grandmother and my mom and my uncle over. And he had to start over. He was a dishwasher and he had really dark skin. So like in 1960s, in Miami, he read as black. And so it was really, really hard for him, but he did the whole immigrant dream thing.

He like built himself back up. He formed this company in Miami that was really successful. But I don’t think that that moment really ever left him. And he was really hard on, particularly my mom and my uncle, but it transferred down to me. I was kind of the Isabella of our family, I guess. I was the one that like went to the amazing schools and got all the good grades and did all the things. But I think that pressure really had an effect, especially on my cousins. And so that that was something that I really thought about a lot as I was writing this movie.

Rodrigo: Charise, thank you so much for that. I think just like you said right now, I grew up in that kind of environment with my father, but I didn’t feel like it impacted me that much as much as it impacted my sister. And especially because I was the first born and Latino culture, I’m the [19:41 apparent], I’m the guy, I’m this and that. So I’m kind of allowed to make my own mistakes, but my sister wasn’t. And so some of those scenes, especially the ones where Abolita is criticizing Isabella. I feel so bad, not for myself, but for my sister. And I really appreciate how the movie just tackled that head on and brought it to face, brought it to life. So thank you so much for that. Over to you, Jackie.

Jackie: Again, I want to say, thank you. Thank you so much for taking the time and answer these question for us. I wanted to talk a little bit more about, what it means to, you are the first Latina woman to co-direct a Walt Disney animation studio movie. So that itself as a Latina, as a woman, I’m incredibly proud of you, even though you’re now directly my family, but I’m so proud. And so amazed of the steps that we’re taking, that we’re getting to. And based on that, I just want to kind of find out a little bit of how this experience has affected you professional and your personal life, how this has changed that for you?

Charise: Yeah. Thank you for that. It was it’s been, the process of making these movies, particularly animation is extremely intense. The other thing was we made this movie basically entirely from our homes because we were doing development, we were doing early screenings. We were writing the script. We were casting before the pandemic hit, but we didn’t actually start production of the movie until like June of 2020. And by that time we were all working from home. So it was definitely challenging. Just making this entire movie over over zoom, which is what we did. So it was a lot of hours. My daughter is about to turn four. She was six months old when I started working on this movie. So it was not an easy process to be sure, long hours, a lot of work. But I really couldn’t be more proud of the outcome. So it’s been a long journey, but I think worth it.

Jackie: Thank you. Thank you so much again for answering. And now to you Danay.

Danay: Thank you. So I actually have a question from one of our members. Her name is Bluce, and she wants to know, okay, this one is a doozy. So bare with me. In. But the heartbreaking scene, nearing the end between Mirabel and Abuela, when they’re arguing on who is to blame for that candle fading and the gas heater breaking apart. I understand that Abuela’s expectations of each family is part of their gift and coping mechanism. The question is, despite this revelation, do you think that each character is also their Abuela’s dream realized?

Charise: Oh my goodness. What a great question. I think so. I think so. And I think that’s hopefully what would happen after the movie ended, is that we would see Abuela actually realizing that, like I think the characters  like that, people like that can get really stuck in a fear and a scarcity mentality, but I think, hopefully that character, once she kind of opens her eyes and sees what’s directly in front of her, I think absolutely. Yes.

Danay: Yeah. I actually love how those two characters end up understanding each other’s point of view. I think you just nailed it. You absolutely nailed it with that because a lot of the times our elderly generation, our Abuelos our Abuelas, dios, diaz, they have this trauma that we absolutely cannot ever understand. We may, try to sympathize with it, but we don’t understand it. And likewise, they’ve gone through so much that our struggles sometimes may seem petty to them or they just can’t understand our point of view. And so just that whole coming together moment where they each saw each other and where they were coming from, I thought was amazing. And as a Latina, I saw my family in that, so, so much, because my dad was a political prisoner in Cuba. And so, for me it was just like, I understand where he’s coming from with a lot of stuff. So I love that. I absolutely thought that you nailed it with that. But yeah. Over to you Rodrigo.

Rodrigo: Going along those lines, I was interested to know if the violence that’s kind of alluded to, especially at the river sea. Does that have any historical significance? It kind of reminded me of the movie of Roma and where they kind of portray the Corpus Christi massacre the [25:18 El NASO]. Seeing the movie, I didn’t realize that that’s where they were portrayed, although I already knew about it. And then later on I found out that there was actually some historical context to it. Is there anything historical to that, that kind of alluded to that? 

Charise: So something we learned as we were talking to a lot of our cultural experts, specifically, Natalie [25:42 inaudible] were two filmmakers who worked really closely with us on the film, was that around the turn of the century in Colombia, there was a lot of sort of civil strife within towns, sort of neighbor against neighbor that forced people to kind of migrate into like the mountains basically like into the wilderness and found these new communities. And so that actually is the basis for the story of what happened to this family. And we tried to be very intentional in terms of not showing like any particular colors or particular identification for those people that are sort of the aggressors in that scene. Because what we heard repeatedly was that it really was sort of a neighbor against neighbor kind of conflict. And it was really sad in that, who was the victim and who was a perpetrator, the lines were very blurred and unclear. So it was loosely based on that historical moment.

Rodrigo: Thank you so much for sharing that. And I didn’t know this until literally right now, that portion of the history of Colombia called [27:11 LA Valencia]. And so that’s not a history that I’m familiar with. But I am definitely going to delve into it. And that’s why I love when movies do tackle real world instances and where it’s based on reality and it doesn’t shy away from it. Again, not shying away from the generational trauma, not shying away from the actual turmoil that occurred in Columbia and really kind of providing education for folks. If they really want to delve into it, they can find that the movie has some bases and history. So they thank you so much for sharing that and enlightening me and others here in the room. Jackie.

Jackie: Yeah. Thank you so much for that. There is a lot of the history that we learned in school as a Colombian that it’s something that I’m sure a lot of our Latin countries have, a lot of the sad story. Yeah, it wasn’t a particular pretty time in our history. There’s a lot of those, but I just want to kind of pivot a little bit in going back to the characters. One of the questions that I do have and something that I have this conversation with various people in my family and friends is, everybody in the family had a gift and at the end Maribel is kind of the person that keeps the family together. But it’s never specify what is her particular gift. A lot of my family members say, the power of keeping the family together, the power of seeing everybody, being able to see past what everybody else. So I kind of want to ask you, did you have, well you’re one of the [29:00 inaudible] but what is your take on this? If you were to point a gift to Maribel, what would you say was her gift?

Charise: Sure, that’s a great question. People ask that all the time. I mean, I think that when people watch this movie, they can sort of find their own answer to that question. What I think is that Maribel is just a naturally, deeply pathetic person. She’s someone who is able to look past the sort of surface personas that the people have and really see what’s inside of people, see the complexity and depth in people. She goes through the movie and does that with so many of her different family members with Lisa and Bruno and Isabella and [29:50 inaudble]. She really is able to see past the surface, see past the family roles and look at the full person with empathy. And honestly, I think that’s Maribel’s gift. She didn’t get her magical door in that moment. She didn’t get her magical gift, but I think in some ways maybe that experience actually made her more able to see people clearly.

Jackie: Love, love that. Yes, that’s one of the things that I particularly say, I think that her experiences allowed her to see everybody more clearly, even Abuela, see how she wanted to keep the family together so bad that she put so much pressure on everybody even on herself to keep the family and not lose what she have created. Thank you so much for clarifying that and giving us that point of view. Now I’m going to pass to Danay.

Danay: Thank you for that. Okay. So as promised, we said that we were going to just ask you questions from the moderators, the first 30 minutes, and then we were going to open it up for audience questions. And even though I have about 50 more questions that I would like to ask you about this, I know that in the interest of time we definitely want to make sure that our audience members get a chance to come up here and ask you some questions. So if you would like to come and ask question, please raise your hand. And we had opened it up for a queue as we were announcing the room. So I definitely want to make sure that we honor that queue. So bare with me, I’m going to bring people up in that order. I’m just like scrolling through these pictures and I’m seeing people have Encanto people as their pictures. It’s really cute. 

Nando: I would’ve personally been Bruno.

LaVonne: Oh yes.

Danay: Yeah. We don’t talk about Bruno. 

Rodrigo: We don’t talk about Bruno. 

Danay: What family does not have its own Bruno. I ask you.

Rodrigo: No, that’s true. Yeah. Every family has its own Bruno. We don’t, we don’t about them. For me it’s my [32:18 inaudible]. She did her thing. Everybody just says [32:23 inaudible]. She made her decision. So yeah buy anyways. I know Danay’s busy bringing up some folks, while she does that and wraps that up I just want to let everybody know that you know, feel free to join the [32:43 inaudible]. We got a lot of things planned in regards to interviews, panels, discussions, things of this nature. We are Amigos. This is the largest Latino Latinx club. Here on clubhouse we got over 36K strong and the most important thing is about elevating the community. And this is a prime example of what we’re trying to do, not only bringing discussion to the platform, but also the people that make that discussion happen. And right now we’re talking to Charise Castro, Smith, co-director and writer of Enchanto, the first Latina to be director here at a Disney film and more important, just having her experience on the film.

And as you all can see, it resonates with me and I’m sure it resonates with so many of you out there right now that y’all know an Abolito, y’all know a Bruno and Isabelle. And so this is so beautiful because we’re seeing our voices, our people [33:38 inaudible] on the screen. And I think that’s why so many people are so enchanted with Enchanto because it really does reflect Latin, Hispanic, all the flavors [33:47 inaudible] and especially with the representation on screen. So excited to have Miss Charise here, and we are bringing people up here, please be mindful. We want to bring up as many people as we can, but please make sure that you keep your questions as short as possible so that we can get to as many people as we can because Miss Charise, I’m sure she’s busy and we have her here for a specified amount of time. So I want to be respectful about that and Danay and ackie and I we want to make sure we get through everybody or as many people as we can. Well, with that said Danay, are you ready? You want to go ahead and start cueing it up? 

Danay: I’m ready. Let’s let’s go. Cortez. What is your question for Chasice?

Cortez: Yeah. Hello, I’m Cortez Campos. I’m a film student from Syracuse University and I loved the movie first off. Really loved it. My siblings can’t stop talking about it to me too. But my question for you is can you talk about what it was like to, co-direct a project with an R director because I’m sure there had to be at least a few disagreements or problems there, disagreements that you two had and how did you overcome them and then where that lead to the final product, was it better? Was it maybe questionably worse and I just kind of want to hear your take on that?

Charise: Sure. Hi Cortez, well, that’s awesome. Good luck with all your film studies. It’s really cool. Yeah, I mean, so previous to this, I had never worked in animation before this. This was my first animated project. I was a playwright. I worked alot in live action TV before this. So I actually came into this, not quite understanding the scope of what’s involved in making a movie like this. There were around 800 people on our crew, like 800 people worked on this and the amount of work that just goes into it is kind of mindboggling because in live action, like you’re shooting a scene that has a tree in it. You can go outside, get a camera there you’re done, you’ve got a tree. In animation, someone has to research what kind of tree it’s going to be. Someone has to design that tree. Someone has to model that tree like in 3d space. Then someone has to basically rig the tree, which means like articulate it, make it sort of so that it can move. 

And then an animator has to come and make that tree move and then it has to be lit and rendered. So there is a tremendous amount of work that goes into a project like this. I think that one of the reasons that these movies tend to have more than one director is just because of how much work is actually involved. Byron who is one of the directors on the film, has like a 30 year history of working in animation. He started out as an animator and he directed Tangled, he directed Zootopia. He has just a wealth of information as a visual artist. Jared who was the other director that I worked with and we wrote the screenplay together came from live action, but has made an animated move, made Zootopia and [36:55 inaudible] also. So he had more experience, but I will directing one of these movies is really about dividing and conquering. Understanding what people’s strengths are and trying to take your ego out of the rest of it and focusing on what the strengths of the team are and, and working together to get it done. 

Like Jared and I were really involved with recording the voices, working with [37:24 inaudible] music and obviously the screenplay and editing it together, which was a process, not just at the end, but throughout, because the way that these movies are made is that we would store it, write the end entire scripts, storyboard the entire script, record voices, edit it together and screen the movie for everyone at the studio. And then we did that eight times and the movie got progressively more complete as it went along. So it really was a process about dividing and conquering and somehow we made get to the end.

Rodrigo: Thank you so much. I could barely write a blog post. That sounds like such an effort, but thank you so much for that response, Charise and Cortez I’m going to gently tuck you back into the audience. We’re going to move everybody once they have responded. They have their question and after the response we’re going to go ahead and move everybody back down to the audience, just to keep the stage clean. And also if we do have time invite other folks up to the stage. Right now, we’re going to pause on bringing other folks up, but promise if we do have time, we’re definitely going to bring more folks up. So thank you so much Cortez for that question. And I do see Lupita Daily here. Lupita is a big [38:39 inaudible]. She loves movies. I’m sure she has a great question. Go right ahead Lupita.

Lupita: Hi, thank you everybody. Oh my God. I was looking forward to be on this room. I actually moved my lunch time for this time so I can enjoy this. What not like about this movie? Oh my God. I love that Disney is bringing us such a production that shows different culture, especially from Latino cultures. Like for example, Coco from Mexico and Mexican. And what I like about this movie is that it give us the opportunity to appreciate and to learn more about other countries. Like in this case before I was living in Mexico I never had really connections from other Latino countries. Now that I live in New York, I have more access and this movie gave me the chance to have the opportunity to talk with other people from Colombia and talk about the movie, but also talk about the traditions, like for example [39:58 inaudible].

It cures everything. I love that. I miss it actually, because I’m not familiar with the culture, but hearing my friends from Columbia and explaining that little detail, I was like, oh my God, I love it. So it was great. A lot of other details that give us the movie that we can appreciate and learn more from that culture. And I have two questions for you Charise. The number one question is for example Dallores, she has the enhance hearing power. Every other member of the family, they have the power in order to help the community. So how [40:45 inaudible] hearing power was planning to help the community that was not shown on the movie. And we were talking about that with my friends and we were like, you know what, that’s right. So I was wondering, you can share that with us.

Charise: That’s funny. We thought that Dallores is kind of like, so each character of the movie actually was, we tried to base them on really relatable family archetypes. So like Luisa is the person who is super responsible, can do anything, never complains. Isabella is just the one who never seems to have any problems is graceful, perfect. And then we were thinking about like, in a lot of, certainly in my family, you have [41:37 inaudible], like the one who knows everybody’s business. 

And so we’re thinking again, like what would that power be? So that actually was the Genesis of Dallores and her ability and in a small town like that, she’s sort of the emergency alert system, she hears someone across town who needs help and she’s the one who picks up on it right away. That’s how we thought about Dallores.

Lupita: That was great. Yes. And we love also how everybody, in a way, everybody of us, everybody has our, we all have something special that we want to help other people. So we pretty much relate with that. And we love that and sometimes we don’t complain, but it’s okay to complain and it’s okay to, you know what, I’m going to give a rest I deserve it. And that’s what we got from the movie. And that was very rich. And my second question for you is do you have any on the horizon that you’re working on, I would love to follow you and see whatever you’re doing and know you’re fine. 

Charise: Aw, thank you. Yes. So I actually have gone back to live action at the moment. I have a couple of projects both television and features that are in development still under wraps, that hopefully as you should be hearing about in the next couple of months, hopefully.

Lupita: Great. Thank you. Thank you very much. 

Jackie:  For that question. Thank you so much Charise for answering as well. And yes, I was curious about the Dallores power as well because it’s my daughter’s favorite character. So I was curious about that. 

Rodrigo: We all have a [43:37 inaudible] in the families. I immediately recognize her power. 

Charise: She’s also [43:42 inaudible] favorite character. So your daughter has good taste.

Jackie: Oh, she loves her. And I’m like, I’m thinking that now I know why she identifies so well with it because she, that [43:53 inaudible]. But with that, I would like to pass the mic to Dahli. I know you have a question, there you go. 

Dahli: Thank you. I’ll try to make it really fast. Thank you so much, Charise. This is amazing. My first question is, are there any programs that we shouldn’t be aware of, like conferences or outreach events so that we can tell our children, like maybe a high school kid or a college grad to take advantage of so that they can, end up in the industry. And my second question is there anything that you believe that you did different that allowed you to have the opportunity to get to where you are and feel free to ask me to repeat it?

Charise: Yeah, sure. I would be totally honest with you. I don’t off the top of my head, know about like so many opportunities for high school students. But I will say that once people are, a little bit older, there’s like, I know HBO has like a writer’s incubator program. My friend Tanya [44:55 inaudible] is an amazing playwright TV writer. She just started something called the [45:00 inaudible] ignition lab and she’s taking on younger people who have started writing and are looking to get more exposure in the industry. Nalap is an amazing organization. I think it’s the national association of Latino producers. And they do a lot of amazing work just in terms of helping people make connections, helping people sort of get that springboard into the next opportunity. So I hope that’s a good answer to your first question. And then what was the second question?

Lupita: No problem. Thank you so much. Is there anything in particular that you believe that you did different than others that allowed you to get to where you are today?

Charise: Oh my God I don’t know. I think my family really instilled a very strong work ethic in me. I’ve worked really hard to get where I am, but I think I’ve also just been really fortunate to be totally honest.

Lupita: Thank you so much Charise.

Charise: Thank you.

Danay: Great. Thank you Galy for coming up and asking your questions. I think we will just keep going so we can move along and I would love to introduce my fabulous friend Nando. What question do you have for Charise?

Nando: Hi Charice. Thank you so much for being here. I have two quick questions. The first one is you folks are setting TikTok a fire, a breeze with Enchanto had so many secret LGBT, under the covers codes. Like we don’t talk about Bruno and Luisa and all this. So my first question is, did y’all embed a little bit of, so those of us that are part of the LGBT community could totally see it or was it just my accident?

Charise: Well, I think that we really try to encompass a wide spectrum of experiences, of personality, of people into this film. So I truly am happy anytime someone sees themself in this movie, just to right off the bat. I think some of it wasn’t intentional. Some of it, I think people are reading into, and I’m super happy for that interpretation. But I’m just honestly, genuinely happy anytime somebody identifies with one of the characters in the movie,

Nando: I love that. Alright. Well, thank you for that. The second question is, I work with women who experience imposture syndrome, and a lot of the times that blocks them. They go into the self-sabotaging patterns. So when you get that call, when you get that call that says, girlfriend, you’re going to be one of the co-directors of this Disney film, like did any imposter syndrome come in? If so, how did you manage that because this is huge?

Charise: I mean, the question is like, well it never goes away really. I still have it now and I already finished like doing this movie. But yeah, I don’t know. You just kind of have to, somebody gave me a little bit of good advice, which was like, you’re going to see that like red flashing neon sign of failure right in the periphery, like right on the side of your eyeline and you just have to just look past it, you just have to keep looking past it because honestly, I don’t think it ever goes away.

Nando: Yeah and as you progress in your career or whatever is that you’re doing, it’s sort of like next level, next devil. So you’re right, I personally also believe, I’ve been doing this for five years, that it doesn’t go away, but you learn techniques along the way to be like, okay, you got this, you got this. So thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. Congratulations on that.

Charise: Absolutely. Thank you.

Rodrigo: Nando thank you so much for your question. And again definitely love the representation. I agree with Charise it’s beautiful when people can see themselves in a film, in a play, in a book or whatnot. And I think Enchanto really does do a great job of that. With that said, I’m going to go ahead and continue with a couple of other friends here on stage. I want to go ahead introduce Miss Tesa. Miss Tesa do you have a question for Miss Charise? 

Miss Tesa: Yes. Thank you so much for this beautiful space. Danay, Rodrigo, and Jackie. Always creates spaces that feel like family. So my question, I wonder, there’s so much beauty and power behind having you and behind the direction writing of Enchanto. And I grew up being inspired by those who were first. They’re first to break barriers or open doors, and those who leave the doors open and send the rope down, on the elevator down and pull others up with them. And I absolutely feel that with this film and with this project, you’ve done just that. So my first question of one of two quick ones I wanted to hear a bit about who were your inspirations, who were the storytellers, truthtellers and filmmakers that you’ve looked up to. Thank you.

Charise: Thank you. Oh my gosh that’s a good question. There are so many people that I look up to, I will say just because we’re talking about Enchanto. I have looked up to John [50:40 inaudible], like my entire life. I remember reading a play of his, I think it was called like [50:48 stick around] when I was like 14 years old. And I was like, what? I didn’t even know this was possible. And then I got to work with him on this movie, which was so cool. It was like, such an awesome full circle because he was one of the people actually that, when I read his play, when I like saw his career, when I saw that he had like one person shows on Broadway and stuff, I was like, wow, he’s really doing this. And so he was one of the people that actually sort of helped me see myself in that way. And then I got to actually direct him in this movie, which was pretty cool.

Miss Tesa: That’s magical. I love that you got to work with one of your heroes. And the last thing I wanted to add bouncing off at my friend Nando was mentioning. It’s no secret that Disney has an increasingly positive, but kind of difficult past with diversity. So I wanted to hear a little bit about what are some of the moments of challenge and then maybe a victory that you experienced and to the idea of how might you use your experience to inspire others that are working against the legacy like Disney, that’s in a moment of change, whether it be at the theater, a film house or any other creative field, where we’re trying to have more voices and more representation and more just honest storytelling about the beautiful fabric that makes up so much of society. That’s not so narrow to what Disney has been in the past. 

Charise: I hear that. I will say like, nobody can do this alone. Like it’s impossible to change a legacy of storytelling change something of that magnitude of their own. I will say I felt incredibly lucky to have a wonderful partner on this journey. One of the producers on this film is Yvette Marino. She’s amazing. She basically became my sister working on this film. She’s Mexican American and honestly just her being there to hold my hand. And honestly days when I was just like crying, her just being there to help me kind of keep going. I don’t think I would’ve gotten through this experience without her, like nobody can do this alone. And that’s one of the reason I think even this community is so wonderful, is that like, you find people, you work with them, they support you. It’s everybody needs a community around them.

Miss Tesa: Ah, that’s so beautiful. Thank you so much. I’m so glad that you had your squad. It makes the biggest difference. And I just want you to know you made so many of women of color, so proud. And you make us feel as though that the squad has gotten bigger and you’ve opened up opportunities. So thank you for being here, excited to sit back and listen to the rest of the question.

Charise: Thanks.

Jackie: Thank you so much for asking such great questions and as always, so glad to have you back on the stage with us, with that, I will pass the mic to the lovely Miss Levon. Miss. Levon, the mic is yours.

Miss Levon: Some things never change. No one has mentioned Bruno really, really? Since I relate so much to Bruno in so many different ways, there’s a couple of a quick thought I had as we were sitting here. I saw Bruno as seeing what others didn’t see. He was paying attention. He was conscious to the possibilities and he would share those insights and those possibilities with others. And he just was full of insights, but they never took the opportunity to shift things that he may have been seeing and then take some type of responsibility or some type of accountability when the result was in their face. So that was just, Bruno is the it, and I can relate because I’ve been in that scenario over and over. And I would tell people all the time, I never said that. What I said I was this.

Charise: I think that song has surpassed let it go for a reason. I’m just saying. 

Miss Levon: Yes, it has. Yes it has. So I absolutely love it. I watch it religiously. Now that it’s on Disney plus. I watch it in the movie theater by myself. There was nobody in there and the first time I watched it, I balled like a baby, because I can relate to so many different characters in my own upbringing, in my own life. And so I just want to thank you, so much appreciation for this beautiful. A lot of people are reading into it, but I’m telling you this is what I’m seeing, whatever there is for them to see or whatever there is for them to read into, it’s bettering their lives. It’s inspiring people. It’s empowering people. It’s encouraging people. I sat in the movie theater and took freaking notes. I journal at home on Disney plus. More insights I missed, I journal it again and then guess what I applied in my life. So again, thank you, thank you. Appreciate you. Thank you so much. 

Charise: Aw, thank you.

Rodrigo: Thank you so much Levon for that. I did pin the link there at the top. We don’t talk about Bruno surpasses, let it go to become the biggest hit. Amazing Danay, take it away.

Danay: Thank you. Yes. I have downloaded the entire soundtrack. It’s been a while since I found the soundtrack, I absolutely fell in love with every single song. Monster puppy, she says she love the soundtrack too. And yeah, so this is definitely one of those. With that I’m going to head over Consuelo so she can ask her question. 

Consuelo: Hello. So nice to meet you and what an honor, I want to thank you for breaking ceilings for Latinas and having a seat at the table with such a big opportunity. So thank you.

Charise: Thank you so much.

Consuelo: And my question would be, I also wanted to let you know how many friends came to me sharing that this movie helped heal some childhood wounds. And it went way farther than what you could ever dream. So I wanted to let you know that, but my question would be, is which character of the movie do you relate to most?

Charise: Sure. I think I relate to a lot of different characters in the movie. I sort of look like Anabella, and I was the very anxious teenager, so there’s that, but I’m definitely the like person who is like, my daughter was sick on Friday and I was like, okay I got to make her a little like [57:41 inaudible] so she can feel better. So I think I have a little bit of [57:44 inaudible] in me. And I think I was kind of like Isabella, my family a little bit, like the sort of like I was the only [57:57 inaudible], that’s what my grandparents called me. I was the only girl. And I think I was kind of like the perfect one who could do no wrong. So, there’s a little bit, I relate to a lot of different characters in this movie,

Consuelo: So that’s awesome. Thank you so much for your time and an honor meeting you. 

Charise: Thank you so much.

Rodrigo: Consuelo thank you so much for your question there. I got to be honest though. My favorite song for the movie was surface pressure. The breakdown at the 52nd mark of the song was amazing when she just starts ta ta ta. Oh, it got me, even my son who, he’s 17. He started, he’s like, okay, hold on. He started nodding his head when we were watching the movie. But anyways, with that said, I want to go ahead and keep going with the questions from the folks that we brought up so far. Again, we are tucking people back into the audience once they ask their question, simply just for maintenance, make sure that we clear the stage. If we have time, we’re going to bring up more folks up. But for right now, we’re definitely going to make sure that we focus on the folks that are up here right now. 

And again, this is Amigos Latinos Latinas United. We are the largest Latinx club here on clubhouse with over 36,000 members. I hope we have more than 36 members, right. But yeah, 36,000 members, part of the club. Feel free to click the little green mansion on the top, the little green [59:14 inaudible] and join the club. We have discussion panels like this, interviews and conversations where we elevate the community all the time here on the Amigos platform. With that said, I want to introduce King. 

Danay: I’m just going to jump in real quick. I just wanted to remind everybody, we have Charise here with us until about 4:10. So if you wouldn’t mind, if we could just keep it to one question per person so we can try to get through as many people as possible. So yeah, just one question King over to you.

King: Hi everyone. Hey, Charise. Thank you Danay for hosting this space. So funny enough that someone mentioned that no one had mentioned Bruno because my question was specifically about Bruno. We’re not supposed to talk about Bruno. I related with the character. I’m the Bruno of my family. And how was it working with John [1:00:14 inaudible] because funny enough that you look up to him because I also looked up to him since I was a kid. I’ve seen his movies forever. So how was working with him? 

Charise: Oh my gosh. It was amazing. It was COVID so it was weird. He was in London, when we were recording him and we were like on zoom directing him. But he’s amazing. Like he’s so generous as a performer, he just was willing to try things like a million different ways, had a bunch of like hilarious, amazing adlibs. One of my favorite jokes in the movie is just something he just came up with, that whole thing about the, rat [1:00:49 inaudible], about the aunt who has amnesia. That was just him. So he’s amazing. He’s really, really nice, sweet person.

King: Thank you. So yeah. Appreciate you guys for having the space you guys are awesome.

Danay: Thank you King. Thank you for joining us. Jackie, did you want to call in the next person?

Jackie: Yes, yes. And I love that. He added the rat [1:01:15 inaudible] that was funny. I want to pass the mic now to Carmen. Carmen, welcome to the stage. Please ask your question. 

Carmen: Oh wow. So now it’s down to one question. So Charise I absolutely love the movie and can completely relate to all the characters I think Abuela is my mother-in-law, but that being said, where I live is very similar to the town that you portray. People had to leave and uproot and they’re very secluded and very wary about people coming in and just kind of that same type of, like having to, this is the way things are done and always have been done. That being said. It’s a question, hoping that I can get a question. I’m interviewing next week, a person that’s running for city council. And so what would you knowing that, the relationship here in this town is very similar to the relationship to the town Maria lives in. What question would you ask, like Abuela, since I’m like asking a city council person on improvement of their own town? 

Charise: Oh my goodness. I don’t know if that can help. Wow. I don’t know. Well I guess a question I have for Abuela, is why do the dog get out all the time? People need to build some better fences.

Carmen: Well, I think that would apply here, fences for cows. That would apply.

Charise: Okay.

Danay: Thanks a lot, Carmen. 

Carmen: Thank you.

Danay: Rodrigo, would you like to call on the next person? 

Rodrigo: Sure, sure, no problem. Definitely enjoying the space. I see Sophia York, you film media. Sophia, what question do you have for Charise?

Sophia: Hi, thank you so much Amigos for this space and Charise I have to say thank you for bringing such a beautiful story and a fantastic representation of Columbia and Latin culture to life. It’s really lovely. And also for being a trailblazer for all looking to make it in small and big screen. It’s really so encouraging. My question is more career oriented. What advice or words of the encouragement would you give to a young, to young Latin people in general following a career in the film industry?

Charise: Wow. I mean, yes. Well, two pieces of advice. The first and they seem to contradict each other, but I don’t think they actually do. The first is to know that your voice is special and unique and that what will make you successful and will make you stand out, is holding onto your voice, understanding it and really respecting it and honoring it for what it is. So knowing yourself and really honoring your intuition. The second piece of advice I have is to try to read as many screenplays, watch as many TV shows, watch as many movies as you possibly can, because that will actually help you sort of develop your aesthetic and develop your voice. Like I was a veracious, insane reader when I was a kid like throughout my life, I have been. And I think it’s really, that has helped me to hone my own voice, to help me understand what my taste is, understand what my aesthetic is. And sort of the more you take in, the more you learn and yeah, I think those are my two biggest pieces of advice. 

Sophia: Thank you. That’s very encouraging. 

Rodrigo: Sophia that’s a great question. Oh, Jackie, take it away. Go for it.

Jackie: I just wanted to say thank you Sophia for the question. That was an awesome questions. And now I am going to pass the mic to JP.

Janet: Thank you. I can’t say what an honor it is to be up here and to hear you speak. I don’t know if you can PTR, but I did change my icon to Louisa because she’s the one that I related to the most.

Rodrigo: Hey Louisa.

Janet: I’m the one that like, I love her, the puddles got out and the house is falling, go fix it, go fix it. And then in the song she talks about like, I can’t remember the exact lyric, but it’s like, you know, go to your sister because she’s the oldest. Yeah, that’s me. And I just related to that. And then I saw it in Spanish with my mom and my mom was, as soon as she saw Louisa, she was like, Janet, that’s you. And I was like, I do not realize we also physically looked the same. And then I’m actually an immigration court interpreter. So the scene of them uprooting was like, it just hit me really hard because I hear so many people stories. I know they uprooted within their country, but I just felt like that could probably make people understand why some people have to seek asylum in the US. So movie meant so much to me, but my question is actually my music nerd side, I’m such a huge Lynn Manal Miranda fan, like huge, huge, huge. And obviously we’ve talked about the songs that are amazing. 

So I just wanted to know how the relationship worked with you as a screenwriter and Lynn and all the other songwriters. Like how do you make those match? Like I know one of the things that had to happen was Bruno’s name had a change to Bruno that he originally wanted to be Oscar and he wanted Bruno cause Bruno no, no, no. So I just want to know other than that, like how does that relationship work? Like do you work closely together to make sure the songs work together or just Lynn and his colleagues just go off on their own? I’m really curious as to that relationship.

Charisa: Sure. Of course. So, I mean, Lynn wrote the music and the words that these songs by himself. Jermaine Franco wrote the score. She is incredible and Mike [1:07:33 inaudible] produced a lot of music, but Lynn was the writer of the music and the songs in this movie. So we did, we worked really closely with Lynn throughout. We would, as we were developing a story, Jared, and I would say, okay, I think there’s a song moment here. This is loosely what we think it is. We would send Lynn usually like a monologue that had like, this is what they’re thinking right now. This is what they’re feeling. This is what they need to convey. 

This is the story information that needs to happen. And we talked to him about like sort of vibe and tone and he would go off and like write an amazing song. And then we’d get an email that had like an original Lynn Miranda like demo tape of the songs in them, which honestly, that was one of the coolest parts of working on this movie, was just getting to hear Lynn sing every part of we don’t talk about Bruno for the first time. And then they would get refined, like as story needs would change, he would sort of make tweaks to the songs and yeah, it was just a process that evolved over the course of making the movie.

Janet: Amazing. Thank you so much for answering that doubt I had. Thank you. 

Charise: Of course. Yeah. Thanks.

Rodrigo: Great question, Janet. Thank you so much for that. We do have Charise for just a few more minutes, so we want to make sure we get through people as fast as we can. Jenice. 

Janice: My name is Jenice and my company is called the Brand Phoenix. My eight year old is right next to me and I wanted her to know that you are a real human being behind the magic and she wants to tell you some things and don’t be surprised if there’s a petition that starts, that tells Disney to rename their magic kingdom to the magic queendom because of what you did. So let me just bring my little one up. Hold on, say hi. 

Child: Hi. 

Charise: Hello. Hi. Nice to meet you.

Child: Nice to meet you too. Oh my God. I’m just like so freaking out. 

Jenice: Don’t freak out. Tell her how you feel about everything. 

Child: I love the movie Enchanto. I loved it. I watch it like four times already.

Charise: Thank you so much. It’s so lovely to meet you and I’m so glad that you enjoyed the movie.

Child: I notice that you look like Mirabel.

Charise: Yes, it’s true. 

Rodrigo: Perception, that little girl has perception, that’s her superpower. 

Jenice: Thank you so much. That’s it, that’s all I needed. Thank you for being a real person. 

Charise: Happy to meet you both. 

Jenice: Thanks guys. Thanks Danay.

Danay: Thanks Jenice. That was absolutely adorable. 

Jackie: That’s so cute. 

Danay: Oh my goodness. I can’t stop smiling. That’s so freaking cute. Okay, so we’re going to go with one more person. Charise if you wouldn’t mind one last question and then go ahead and wrap it up and get you going. So Kas what do you have as a question?

Kas: Oh my God. Hello everybody. Hello. I’m going to talk as fast as Dominicans possibly can because I know we’re on a time. So as a second generation, as a Latina, I totally identify with Maribel a lot too. I’m definitely the like quote weirdo in my family, trying to like detangle generational trauma, which is what I think Maribel’s power is, is to break generational trauma. And also while watching the movie, my family was just like, yeah, that’s you that’s you. So I have been such a fan of yours since I went to Yale to watch [1:11:31 inaudible]. I’m also an actor. I’m an actor right now in grad school, at UCSD. 

Charise: Oh congratulations. 

Kas: Thank you. And they really encourage artists to be multihyphenate as you are. And you are a huge inspiration of mine. So my question is, what advice could you give other multihyphenate artists who want to tell a story and struggle to write it themselves and what inspired you to start writing?

Charise: Oh my goodness. That’s a great question. And yes I think people, artists should do lots of things. And let’s see, I mean the first play I ever wrote, I just, I had a dream on new year’s day and I was like, I think this is a play. And I just wrote it for myself. I didn’t think anybody was ever going to see it. And later when I was in grad school, I just decided to put that play on at this little student theater that we had on campus. And it was through putting that play on that Paula Vogel, who was the head of playwriting at that time was like, you should write, you should do this more and encouraged me. And then I got my first writing. I first got my first production after grad school with her help and then got writing agents and started working in TV. So I guess, just start and put yourself out there because you never know where things are going to lead. I think that’s my best piece of advice.

Kas: Thank you so much.

Charise: Of course. Thank you. 

Danay: Thank you for that Kas and Charice do we have time for one more person? 

Charise: Yes, let’s go. 

Danay: Danna let’s go.

Cia: Hi, thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much Charise. I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time, I know you’re a little busy and also thank you for the representation of Latinos in there. I was so happy and presently surprised. Also I wanted to talk about Bruno, unfortunately. I’m actually obsessed with him and I like the little scene with him behind Dallores and we don’t talk about Bruno. Not everybody noticed that but I did. I wanted to know why you guys didn’t give him like more of a backstory, because I wanted to know just like a little bit more about him.

Charise: Oh my goodness. That’s a great question. I will say that one of the biggest challenges of making this movie was, we had 12 huge multidimensional characters that all needed to have story arcs and needed to fit within 90 minutes. And so there was a different version of the story where Bruna was actually closer to Maribel’s age and it was like much more of a buddy story. The two of them go going through all this together. But then we realized that we really wanted Maribel to have time to interact with lots of different family members. So we decided that it was going to be a solo journey for her. Who knows what’s going to come out on Disney plus. Lots of people love Bruno, obviously he’s very popular. So I’d be surprised if this is a last that we see and hear of him.

Cia: Okay. So Encanto part two, that’s what I’m hearing. 

Charise: Neither confirming nor denying

Danay: She is not at Liberty to say

Cia: I’ll take that as a yes. Thank you so much. 

Rodrigo: I heard that too. We’re going to report it right now to CNN.

Cia: Thank you Danay, Rodrigo. Thank you guys. That was amazing.

Danay: Thank you Cia. Thank you so much Charise for coming in here and just answering a barrage of questions. I don’t think you were tripped up once. I mean, it was so wonderful. Not at all. It was so wonderful to just hear more about the story, the stories behind the characters. The story of your journey in this movie. I am absolutely enchanted [1:15:31 inaudible]. And I want to thank you so much for coming in here. So I’ll send it over to the other two mods real quickly for last thoughts, and then we’ll get your last thoughts Charise, and then we’ll close down the room. 

Rodrigo: Thank you so much for spending time with us and giving us some insight as to not only the movie itself, but also how it came about, really the work that y’all put in to get this right. And I’m so appreciative of that because a lot of times when we are trying to make a movie that represents [1:16:11 inaudible] sometimes we get it wrong because we don’t make enough research. And I felt like y’all just hit it on the head, even the historical kind of illusions, the colors, the hair, the representation, everything that you all did. I love the movie. My son loves the movie and really the realness behind it, because I think a lot of folks, regardless of what portion of Latinida they come from, whether it’s South America, Central America, here in America, in the islands, [1:16:40 inaudible]. 

People can relate to the story. So thank you so much for bringing that to us and really putting something that looks like us on the screen. And I really do hope that they make Enchanto 2, 3, 4, 5, and other projects that you’re involved with Charise because you all did a phenomenal job. Thank you so much for being a part and thanks to everybody that was here in the audience and those that were able to ask questions as well. Thank y’all so much for hanging out with us and just spending time. Thank you so much Charise.

Thank you.

Charise: Thank you.

Jackie: I got to say again also, thank you so much Charise. Thank you so much for being here and thank you. As a Colombian, I am so very proud and so glad the way my country in particular was represented, how beautiful you guys you know, did such a beautiful job of representing not only the details of my country of Columbia, how beautiful it is. But also make it so reliable that everybody can identify and can relate to this beautiful family. And besides that, I still have a thousand questions, not just about the movie, but you in particular. I think you are an extraordinary woman. What you have accomplished, what you have done. It’s just an amazing story and definitely would love to, and I’m sure Danay will do this too. I would love to extend an invitation for you to come and grace, our stages, anytime you want, let us know if you want to create a space, any project that you need support with, let us know because we’ll be there. And I would love to have just a room to ask about your trajectory, your story, everything. So yeah, I want to be a [1:18:22 inaudible].

Charise: Thank you so much. 

Jackie: Thank you so much for being here and taking the time to answer our questions.

Charise: Thank you Danay and Rodrigo and Jackie and everyone who asked questions and came. It was really a pleasure. And just thank you. It was really lovely to be here.

Danay: Thank you. And again, this was an absolutely wonderful time with you Charise. I wish you nothing but the best and we will definitely be watching you and cheering you on with your next project. And I just wanted to give a shout out real quickly to the rest of our audience. I know you guys weren’t able to ask your questions but maybe the next time.  Thank you everybody for hanging out with us. Thanks to the audience. Thanks for everybody who had questions. Hope you have a beautiful, blessed day. 

Bye everybody.

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