What does it mean to be perfect? If your hair flows in the wind and flowers burst from the ground everywhere you walk, does it mean you don’t have hardships? Or that maybe, just maybe, you wish spiky cactuses popped up instead?
That’s the case with Encanto’s lovely daughter Isabela, played by Jane The Virgin and Doom Patrol veteran Diane Guerrero. She’s the beautiful, perfect daughter to whom everything comes easily—or is she?
The A.V. Club talked to Guerrero about all that perfection for the video above. Guerrero says that she thinks Isabela “doesn’t fully accept her real self,” continuing, “I think that, there she is, bubbling and just bursting with energy and curiosity for more than what she appears.”
Guerrero says she feels like a lot of Isabela’s internal struggles come because of an understanding of what her family needs her to be—or what she thinks they need her to be. “Like many of us, she has just fallen into this role that is comfortable and safe, but also very hindering to any possibility of spills,” says Guerrero. “I think she’s very afraid of that.”
Guerrero also says Isabela’s Encanto journey could serve as a lesson to all viewers. “Just because you find your talent at an early age, that doesn’t mean that you don’t change. It doesn’t mean that you can’t evolve into more than that,” says Guerrero, continuing:
I see it as like something so personal too, because it really does speak to a lot of my journey, like some of the roles that I assumed as a as a child and even as an adolescent in an effort to protect myself and my family. I held on to that role for a really long time, and I too have struggled with trying to hold it all together and striving for perfection when really I needed to take care of myself and my needs. So that has been an incredible exploration for me that has really gotten me to the place that I am now. It’s so awesome that I’m playing this character because I’m kind of going through the same things.
Encanto is in theaters now. You can check out our review of the movie right here. If you’re thirsty for even more voice actor goodness, there’s also our interview with Stephanie Beatriz, who plays Mirabel, right here.