Hispanic Heritage month/ Latino Spirit Awards: ‘Coco’ was life-changing for Anthony González

Anthony González, American actor and musician, was recognized on May 6 with the Dynamic Youth Award award from the Latino Caucus during the Latino Spirit awards at the state capitol.
Anthony González, American actor and musician, was recognized on May 6 with the Dynamic Youth Award award from the Latino Caucus during the Latino Spirit awards at the state capitol.

We could say the life of Anthony González changed completely when he was casted to voice the lead role of ‘Miguel’ in Pixar’s Oscar-winning animated feature Coco, which is directed by Lee Unkrich.

“First, I wouldn’t be here,” said González, an American actor and musician, who began performing at the age of four. “It change my life in ways I never thought it would.”

“I grew up watching Pixar movies and never thought I would be in one at the age of 12, 13, 14. It’s been a big part of my life,’ said González, who actually audition for Coco when he was 9 years old. “It’s been about five, almost six years of me being in this journey. It’s probably the majority of my life that I can remember.”

Because of his role of ‘Miguel,’ González won Teen Choice and Annie Awards and early this year he was presented with the Dynamic Youth Award by the Latino Legislative Caucus during the annual Latino Spirit Awards ceremony held on May 6 at the State Capitol.

“I am supper happy and honored to be part of this amazing legacy of people who also received this award as well,” said González, who was born and raised in Los Ángeles.

For González, getting the Latino Spirit Award, means he is being “recognized in the amazing Latino culture.”

“It’s just amazing for me, it’s an honor for me to be receiving this award,” said González, adding that he was happy to be in Sacramento for receive the award. “It’s my second time here.”

“I am supper happy and honored to be awarded such a meaningful award that is a representation of the Latino culture and Latino community and the wonderful things the Latino culture is doing and so happy to be part of that,” said González, who grew up reading in Univision’s Club De los Libritos, a program that seeks to cultivate the Spanish language within the United States.

One change in González life is that now he is considered a role model for not only younger children, but especially Latinos children who now are able to see themselves reflected on the big screen thanks to González role of ‘Miguel.’

“It’s really cool. I just so happy I am able to set an example for other kids and so happy that they are staring to follow their dreams, follow their heart,” he said, adding “they are staring to learn play the guitar because of the movie, and that is supper cool.”

Education is also every important to González, who is now doing homeschooling to keep up with his studies.

“I know school is very important, so I want to make sure I was continuing to do that,” he said. “It was very necessary for me to have to leave school because, you know, I had to do a lot of press for the movie.”

He recalled doing like 60 interviews one day with Benjamin Bratt, who plays Ernesto de la Cruz in Coco.

“I actually got to experience things that never thought I would. I got to travel, went to Canada, New York, many places in around California, also Houston, Atlanta, I lost count,” he said, adding the journey of Coco has been an amazing experience.

“I am supper happy that I got to spend a lot of my life doing what I love to do which is acting and singing and I hope I can continue to do that for the rest of my life,” González who starred in the feature Icebox, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and is available on HBO. He also starred in the Universal feature Grandaddy Day Care.

Within his community González has been involved in various charitable causes including: Univision’s event TeletonUSA, which has raised millions of dollars for the Children’s Rehabilitation Institute of TeletónUSA; We Day, an event that seeks to end child labor, support international development, and encourage social activism among young people; and McDonald’s Houston Children’s Festival, whose proceeds go toward funding help for abused and neglected children.

He also helped raise almost half a million dollars for the Colburn Music School, an institution dedicated to providing a scholarship-based education program for young musicians.

María G. Ortiz-Briones: 559-441-6782, @TuValleTuSalud