The Family Trade Born into a family of performers, Gonzalez, 13, was such a singing sensation that by age 4 he was starring in his family band, performing at the Olvera Plaza in Los Angeles with his parents and four siblings. “Seeing all the people smiling and laughing and clapping for me . . . it’s such a wonderful feeling,” he says. “I knew that I wanted to do it for the rest of my life.”
Embracing His Background His parents, who immigrated to L.A.
in their 20s, grew up on a farm in Guatemala, but Gonzalez’s family also stems from Mexico, Germany and Italy. He leaned on his diverse heritage to relate to his character. “We both have a passion for music, and we both know how important family is,” he says. “And at the end of the day, we’re all human beings. That’s something Coco will show: that everyone is the same.”
Celebrating His Ancestors Starring in the film also taught Gonzalez more about the meaning of the Day of the Dead. “If you remember your ancestors, they can cross over and be with you again,” he says. Gonzalez adds it should be a universal celebration, not just for Latinos. “Who doesn’t have ancestors that have passed away?”