In Space Jam: A New Legacy, comedian Gabriel Iglesias voiced Tune Squad member Speedy Gonzales, someone he considered a “hero growing up in the house.” In last’s night interview on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, the voice actor discussed his on-set experience after landing the role without an audition, referring to himself as Warner Bros.’ “big brown shield, ” protecting the company from controversy surrounding the character.
While talking with Colbert, the comic revealed that prior to recording any of his lines, he was asked by director Malcolm D. Lee if he wanted to change the traditional line delivery of the sombrero sporting, heavily accented mouse, to which he declined. “I thought that was pretty awesome that they would give me that power,” the comic says. “And I said ‘No. When people think of Speedy Gonzales, I don’t want them to think of me, I want them to think of Speedy Gonzales.’”
When Iglesias arrived on set he received another, much more puzzling question that made him wonder why he was offered the role in the first place: “The question was asked, ‘Can you do Speedy Gonzales?’ And I’m like, ‘How did I get the part? Oh, they needed a big brown shield,’” making reference to the fact that nearly all previous voice actors for the Mexican stereotype character have been caucasian since Speedy Gonzales was debuted in 1953.
However, Iglesias doesn’t seem to mind too much, pulling out his “perfect” Speedy Gonzales impression in the film and on last night’s show. In response to the praise from the crew of Space Jam: A New Legacy, Iglesias said, “I know, I have been Mexican a long time.”
He then showed off that he can not only do an effective Speedy Gonzales, but could voice every member of the Tune Squad. While giving a taste of his Marvin the Martian, Yosemite Sam, and Bugs Bunny impressions, he jokes that they could fire all other voice actors and he would do the film for half the price.
“Well don’t think that just because I’m Mexican I can only do Mexican characters, I do voices for a living. Given the opportunity I can voice the entire film, by myself.”