When you watch CODA for the first time, it’s hard not to be stunned. The work, from top to bottom, is just that good. Whether it’s the filmmaking or the performance, it all succeeds in a massive way. Among those success stories is actor Eugenio Derbez, who finally gets a juicy showcase here. For years, he’s been a reliable comedy star in Mexico, but aside from small roles or Instructions Not Included, he’s not seen the same sort of fame stateside. This could well change it all, especially as the film continues on its Oscar season path. Last week, I spoke to the actor by phone to discuss the movie, as well as the opportunity on the whole. Today, the discussion comes your way.
Below, you can hear my chat with Derbez. Around the time of its release, I spoke to filmmaker Sian Heder (here) about the movie, but today, it’s Derbez, representing the cast. He’s a lovely man, quick to laugh, but also supremely proud (rightly so) of the work. Especially when you consider how much he’s been deserving of a showcase like this, CODA just shines even brighter. The flick is brilliant, he’s great, and over a year later, it remains an absolute must see.
This is some of what I said in my CODA rave last year out of Sundance:
CODA is phenomenal. Writer/director Sian Heder is able to mix comedy and drama with aplomb, never once tripping over the cliches of the genre. It’s supremely confident work, from start to finish. Even when the narrative goes to some familiar places, the jokes and the situations are unique. Of course, casting deaf actors and actresses lends an extra bit of honesty and realism to things, though it also makes for some even funnier moments than expected. Who knew that ASL could be used to such comedic benefits?
Here now is my interview with CODA co-star Eugenio Derbez. Enjoy:
CODA is available now on AppleTV+, so be sure to watch/re-watch it!