DESPICABLE ME 2 Adds Some Mexican Flavor

In the sequel to DESPICABLE ME, the filmmakers added some spice to the mix by adding a Latino character voiced by Benjamin Bratt. The writers and one of the stars talk about how the idea came about.

Since Gru, voiced by Steve Carell, has turned over a new leaf by giving up his villainous day job, a new antagonist enters the picture by the name of El Macho. One of the key scenes in DESPICABLE ME 2 revolves around a Cinco de Mayo celebration. One of the the DESPICABLE ME 2 screenwriters Cinco Paul explains how the idea came about.
“As you know my name is Cinco and I was born on Cinco de Mayo so I think it stemmed from wanting to get my name in the movie as much as I possibly could. I grew up in Phoenix so I had a lot of exposure to Latin culture and I think that inspired that idea of this villain called El Macho. I think the name came first then everything else came after and we loved the idea of this villain.”
Paul’s writing partner Ken Daurio adds “El Macho,” meaning very masculine in Spanish, was inspired by his father-in-law.
“El Macho, that scary intimidating Latino guy is basically my father in law. He's just this big intimidating scary guy, so we did have his name El Macho and we just thought Gru just wants to be cool. So what's the exact opposite of that is someone super macho and is all together. So it just kind of evolved, the name Macho just took us there.”
For the voice of El Macho aka Eduardo, Al Pacino was originally cast, but midway through the production, the Godfather actor suddenly dropped out. Benjamin Bratt came in to save the day, but he had some pretty big shoes to fill, which he initially found difficult.
“He [Pacino] laid down his performance and in my mind it was brilliant and the animators animated the character according to his performance of what he did. So after they initially departed ways and they needed an actor to come in and refine the sole of the character I was met with these very strict parameters that I had to follow. One was a problem of math and it was getting the wording in to make the words fit into the mouth. The second more challenging issue for me was to make it feel organic. Our initial approach was to replicate what Al Pacino did, but of course we found that to be impossible. It was a waste of two days to mimic what Al did because no one can out Al Pacino and no one should dare try. So I simply used what he did as an inspiration and as a guide on what I needed to do.”
Bratt, whose mother is Peruvian, says his new animated role in DESPICABLE ME 2 has finally made him “cool in the eyes” of his kids and they now think of dad as the “cats meow.” But does he live up to his character’s name, El Macho, in real life?
“First of all I think there's a huge distinction between un macho and a real man. I don't think you have to be one to be another. I think a real man can cry and it's fine for a real man to cry but un macho would never cry. That said body hair is optional, I've been essentially hairless my whole life and yet I think I'm macho sometimes. You have to ask my wife.”

All women can probably agree Benjamin Bratt is muy macho.  DESPICABLE ME 2 also starring Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig, is currently playing in movie theaters.

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