“Encanto” star Adassa visits Bangor Toy-Con

Published: Dec. 10, 2022 at 12:34 AM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - We don’t talk about Bruno - but we love to talk about Bangor.

Encanto star Adassa was a special guest of the Bangor Comic and Toy-Con, signing autographs and chatting with fans about her role as Dolores in the Oscar-winning animated film.

Tom Krosnowski sat down with Adassa and discussed the role, her career and the importance of representation in film.

Q: “How did this role come about?”

A: “This was an out of the blue situation. I had already retired, I did 20 years with music, and I had toured with Snoop and Pitbull and Flo Rida and did songs with Ciara. And then I received an email and it was Disney, and it first went to junk, then we responded, it was amazing. It was such an out of the blue situation. So I’m currently out of retirement and I get to enjoy Dolores with everyone around the world.”

Q: “What’s it been like after the movie came out?”

A: “It’s been wonderful. I’ve been able to meet so many people. We did the Oscars, we won the Oscar for best animated film. We were also at the AMAs, so we’ve been able to perform on stages all over the world. We just did a sold-out concert at the Hollywood Bowl, and now I’m here in Bangor, Maine, and I’m going to be able to preview the movie with all of the families here. I think it’s almost sold out for tonight! And I’ll be dressed as Dolores, so you’ll be able to recognize me because I will be in full Dolores mode, and I’ll be able to take pictures with you guys and sign autographs.”

Q: “What does playing Dolores mean to you?”

A: “Oh, it means everything, what you represent. When you go to the Movie Rocket, you’ll be able to feel what it is to be a family, a family that has flaws, which I think we all can relate to. There’s some of us that feel like Lisa, you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, others like Mirabel, which, ‘I don’t know what my power is, but I want to help everyone anyway!’ And then there’s Dolores which has all of the information which is a burden in itself because she can hear everything, and yet she has to keep those secrets inside.”

Q: “What power would you want to have?”

A: “I love Dolores’s power, so I love the power to be able to hear everything. Just like when she did in the song - ‘Hey! Grew to live in fear of Bruno stuttering or stumbling, I could always hear him sort of muttering and mumbling, I associate him with the sound of falling sand.’ But if I had to choose another one, I would say Julieta because she can heal through food. And that’s a great power to have.”

Q: “How challenging is it to get into character, or does it come natural?”

A: “It’s kind of natural, and I love being directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda because for the song, once I had already worked with Byron Howard and Jared Bush on establishing the tone of Dolores, because you can take a role anywhere really, you know, you can say it softly, you can say it loud. And once we found it, I met with him and I was like ‘OK, I really feel like this is what Dolores would do and I hope I don’t get fired!’ And, he liked what I showed him and that’s on my on my TikTok page on @AdassaOfficial and you could see his reaction, when I was like OK, I closed my eyes, and I was like, ‘Grew to live in fear’ instead of singing it an octave higher.”

Q: “How does it make you feel when you see the success the songs have had online?”

A: “It makes me feel that so many people are represented - they feel seen, they feel heard, because each character speaks to a little piece within themselves. And for that, being Afro-Latina, for a lot of kids who have never seen a character that looks like them, it’s such a valuable tool because now they can dream and feel like ‘Oh, I can dream big!’ Because, sometimes if you don’t see it done, you don’t ever feel that that could be you. And now, that’s what this film opens up in conversation that you can be a principal character, there is a spot for you. Even with your quirks, everything that you are. Whether you’re Latino or not, you can find a place in the Madrigal family. I love the fact that that’s opened up that discussion. When I go to Comic Cons - like we’ll be at Bangor Mall, signing autographs and being with all of you at this great event at Bangor Comic and Toy-Con - I get to meet those families. They get to tell me their stories. They come dressed up as the characters, and to see that on TikTok which went absolutely viral, people dressing up as the characters, singing the songs, cosplaying, in families, I mean, little kids doing it, grandpa’s and grandma’s doing it, and when I see it live, it just fills my heart with so much love, and and I just want to do more!”

Q: “What was it like filming the upcoming live performance of Encanto?”

A: “To do it live on-stage at the Hollywood Bowl was a dream. Number one, I mean, the biggest artists of all time sung there - the Beatles. Then, right after us, you had Brandy Carlisle with Elton John on the same stage. We had 50 dancers, an 80-piece ensemble and you can catch it on Disney+ on December 28. So, I had to call up my agent and I was like Sarah, we need to call Will (at Toy-Con) and see if we can move things around! And Will was so gracious, and being able to move our date, but that’s what I did for a week. We were all there with Lin-Manuel, with Wilmer Valderrama, all of us, Stephanie Beatrice and all singing the songs live, and you’ll be able to see that.”

Q: “How have you enjoyed your time in Maine?”

A: “It’s been lovely! I went to an amazing Mexican restaurant, Miguel’s, that had wonderful vegan options. We went to Stephen King’s house we swung by, that was beautiful. The weather has been wonderful, so I cannot wait to share it with all of you and your friends and your family. So come on out, because I cannot wait to spend that time with you! I’ve got a couple of days, so let’s make them count!”

Q: “What is coming up next for you?”

A: “We are currently closing on certain projects that are super exciting for me! Unfortunately, I’ve signed nondisclosure agreements, so I can’t talk about them officially, but soon enough, you’ll be able to hear about them! I also have two albums coming out - one of them that is Latin, following up on my reggaetón pop, and then also one that is country and a little bit on the Americana side. So it’s fun to do both!”

Q: “How do you balance all these different projects?”

A: “Well, I feel that balance is almost impossible, it’s mainly a pyramid of priorities. So, whatever is at the top of the priority list, and I have seven kids on top of the fact of having all of this! So, I prioritize my family and then I prioritize from there, everything else - my career, and so I make sure that there’s time for everything, because it’s important. Even for people who are considering to get into this business, it’s not impossible to do it with family. I’m doing it, I’m proof of it! You can do this with family, you can incorporate them sometimes - I take them on the road with me, and and I get to showcase to them that you can have your family you can make your dreams come true without compromising your principles, your values and your priorities.”

Q: “Any advice for up-and-comers?”

A: “It’s just uniting everything and all that you are. Everything that people would say, ‘Why do you act like that?’ That is important. Keep that in there. When you do voiceovers, or when you do singing, you have characteristics about you, and your voice is your instrument. You can make it sound high, or you can make it sound really deep, and low. It all depends on what you want to do with your instrument, so have fun with it. Figure it out, fall in love with it. And then you’ll find your way in the market, in the business, music, acting, broadcasting, or whatever you do. "

I want to invite all your friends, families come on out. We will be at Bangor Comic and Toy-Con Saturday and Sunday. Saturday is going to be from 10 a.m.-7 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. There’s so many fun things to do, so many fun things to see, so I hope to see you!”