Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez Interview: ‘Coco’
SPOILER ALERT: The interview below gives away plot points of the movie “Coco.”
Songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Lopez-Anderson return to the Oscars on March 4 just four years after winning. That victory was their Best Original Song blockbuster “Let It Go” from Disney’s “Frozen.” The new nomination is in the same category and is also from Disney: “Remember Me” from Best Animated Feature frontrunner “Coco.”
In our recent interview with the couple (watch the exclusive video above), Robert reveals one of his favorite aspects of the new movie: “I loved the idea of the backstory of this song which was that one songwriter wrote it for his daughter and it was a beautiful expression of love. And then another songwriter killed him and stole the song and corrupted the meaning so it’s all about him and flash and virtuosity. Those two ideas of how a song is presented are antithetical and represent the two choices you can take in art.”
The Pixar production, directed by Lee Unkrich and produced by Darla K. Anderson, is set in Mexico and is about a 12-year-old boy who wants to be a musician and idolizes his long-deceased hero, Ernesto de la Cruz. He is then accidentally transported to the Land of the Dead and needs help from his deceased family to return home.
Regarding their first night at the Academy Awards in 2014, Kristen says, “That was an incredible night! It’s very surreal because I actually can’t remember walking up and doing the speech. But I do remember the party after and that our driver didn’t have the right parking pass, so we waited and waited as everyone else kept getting in their cars. Finally we walked up to the gas station on the corner and called an Uber to get to the Vanity Fair party.”
Robert became the youngest member of the EGOT club that evening at age 39. He is one of only 12 people to ever competitively win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. He first began his awards victory tour with at the Tonys in 2004 with “Avenue Q” and followed with two more wins in 2011 for “The Book of Mormon.” He won Daytime Emmys in 2008 and 2010 for “Wonder Pets.” His Grammy wins were in 2012 for “The Book of Mormon” and in 2015 for “Frozen.”
The duo next has “Frozen on Broadway,” which begins previews on February 22 at the St. James Theatre. Michael Grandage directs cast members Caissie Levy (Elsa), Patti Murin (Anna), Jelani Alladin (Kristoff), Greg Hildreth (Olaf) and John Riddle (Hans).