Sanda Echeverría provides the voice of Maria (left) in The Secret Life of Pets
Sandra Echeverría makes her Hollywood debut in the animated film The Secret Life of Pets, which is now in theaters. Echeverría, who has a long trajectory in Mexican film and TV, is very excited to have lent her voice to such a highly anticipated film. Although she has been struggling to land auditions in the American market, this role landed at her feet to her surprise.
“Usually I have to audition, but this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Fortunately, Universal thought of me for this part. The Universal agency in Mexico had heard me in previous projects and approached me directly about this role,” she shares. “I am super excited!”
The Secret Life of Pets comes to us from the creators of Despicable Me and features the voice talents of Louis C.K. and Jenny Slate. It promises to be the funniest film of the summer, with all the elements to entertain both children and adults alike.
The film centers around Max (Louis CK), a misbehaving terrier who enjoys a pleasant life in a NYC high rise until his owner adopts Duke, an enormous and rebellious hound voiced by Eric Stonestreet. While on a stroll, they run into a ferocious gang of street cats, and they all eventually end up on the way to the pound. Luckily, they run into Snowball (Kevin Hart), a rabbit who helps them escape in exchange for them joining a group of abandoned animals in a plot against the humans who mistreated them.
Echeverría shares details about her character, including how her role integrates into the rest of the plot.
“My character’s name is Maria, who’s a soap star. Funny enough, the pets watch soaps when their owner leaves the house. We parody the soaps in a very overdramatic and comical way,” she says. “I see it as a huge joke, and I believe all parodies are essential in entertainment. It’s actually not that far removed from soaps I’ve been in. I would have 30 scenes, and I would be crying in 20 of them.”
Echeverría, who has been involved in Spanish dubbing of American films for over eight years, did her first direct voicing in English and divulges details about her new experience.
“The difference, obviously, is that you’re voicing the character directly, not interpreting someone else’s lines. That limits you in how you personalize a character. It’s a lot more complicated,” she says. “This is a lot more fun because it’s just you, the director and the animation, so you have a lot more freedom and get a say in how the character sounds.”
The Secret Life of Pets is now in theaters.
Edison Millan contributed to this story.