Published On: Fri, Jul 5th, 2013

Benjamin Bratt talks ‘Despicable Me 2’ and replacing Al Pacino as Eduardo aka El Macho

 Benjamin Bratt was added to the cast of Despicable Me 2, replace Al Pacino and now, while promoting the film, talks about coming in late and replacing the icon.

” It was a really interesting set of circumstances that I happened upon when I first came into the picture.  As most of you know, Al Pacino was originally cast to voice both Eduardo and El Macho, and as such, he laid down his performance, which to my mind was brilliant, and the animators animated the character based on what he did.  After they mutually departed ways, and they needed to have an actor to come in and refine the soul of the character, I was met with these very strict parameters that I had to follow,” Bratt explained to Collider.

despicable-me-2-poster minion locker“One was a problem of math.  In terms of timing, I simply had to get the wording within that verbal parenthetical just to make the words fit into the mouth.  The second more challenging issue for me, of course, was to make it feel organic, like it came from an organic place.  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 trying to mimic essentially what he had done because no one can out-Al Pacino Al Pacino, and no one should dare try.  So I simply used what he did as an inspiration and as a guide for what I needed to do, which was to find something within me and my own personal recollections to bring to it.  Now mind you, that character, as you saw, is all over the map physically and a man of girth with little hair, and yet still full of life and zest and exuberance, and expansive in every imaginable way.  The challenge for me was to find that in myself and make it feel real.”

 The role may be larger than life as Bratt describes the experience.

“This is a completely different animal here, and so I’m inside a studio in a recording booth, and I’m being as large and as loud and as proud and as exuberant and as zestful as I can be, and I’m being told it ain’t enough.  (laughs)  And so, the challenge for me was to go beyond what I already understood my limits to be as a performer.  I don’t have that objective third eye, and yet Chris Renaud, one of the directors who was there — Pierre Coffin remained in France — and Chris Meledandri, the producer, they were there to be that third eye for me and the inspiration to push me beyond what I thought was possible.”

In the end, he sounds thankful and excited about the role.

“I will add that it was emancipating in a way I’d never experienced as a performer, not even on stage.  I mean, you can live out loud and proud on stage, too, and I’ve had the opportunities to do so over the course of years, but nothing like this, and to be able to play a dual role, someone who although clearly in the throes of middle age and with an expanding waistline and everything else still sees himself and comports himself as a man who is debonair and dashing and uber charming and light on his feet.  Like a lot of us middle-aged guys, he still thinks of himself as someone in his twenties.  He lives that way, and that’s appealing regardless of how he looks.  But then to jump from that into something with more menace, if you will, was not only challenging, but it was really exciting to do. ”

Check out the full interview here

Bratt also has another role in an animation film: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, that’s coming out this fall.




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About the Author

- Stephen is a contributor and writer on The Dispatch. Stephen is the founder and editor for the Steven Spielberg Fan Club website and contributes to pop culture stories on The Dispatch, especially upcoming movie news. Beginning in 2016, Stephen took the role of Managing Editor for the Tampa Dispatch.

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  1. Why does it matter if a game is British? | Mock says:

    […] Benjamin Bratt talks 'Despicable Me 2′… As most of you know, Al Pacino was originally cast to voice both Eduardo and El Macho, and as such, he laid down his performance, which to my mind was brilliant, and the animators animated the character based on what he did. After they mutually … Read more on The Global Dispatch […]

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