Disney’s Jungle Cruise is now out on 4K, Blu-ray, and DVD. We’ve got five 4K copies of the film to give out of the summer hit, which starred Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt in the top roles and features a great cast rounded out by Veronica Falcón, Edgar Ramírez, Jack Whitehall, Jesse Plemons, and Paul Giamatti.
To enter our giveaway, you can either comment on our Facebook post about the interview or retweet our Twitter post. It will last until Nov. 30 and you must be in the U.S. due to it being a physical prize.
ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke with Jungle Cruise star Veronica Falcón about playing Trader Sam, her great co-stars, and her acting goals.
Tyler Treese: I really enjoyed Jungle Cruise, and obviously, it’s based on this great Disney ride. Did you know much about the ride before you got this role?
Veronica Falcón: Yeah, of course. I mean the first time I went to Disney when I was young, I think the first time I was like 11 years old, and that was probably one of the first rides I do. So yes, I knew about it and it was just amazing to get this role.
Is that kind of a crazy moment for your career? This ride that you’re familiar with and took as a kid, now you’re in a film based on that. Just how wild is that?
It’s very cool, but it’s also very surreal. I remember the night of the premiere, the premiere was in Disney and we could take the ride. It was just such a beautiful moment at the same time. So yeah, it’s great. I take it very seriously. We all grow up with these movies and we love them so.
I thought this was a really neat way to update the character of Trader Sam from the ride. It’s really a fresh take on this old idea. How fun was it to really put your own spin on the character of Trader Sam?
I think it’s fantastic. I think it’s a great idea that, that it was a woman and you put a little bit, but it’s really Disney’s spin. They are the ones that thought about it and I was just a lucky actor to do it. I think it’s fantastic. I think both women in [the film], Emily Blunt’s character and mine, they’re both women that are ahead of their time. They both come from different worlds, but they both are smart, intelligent, independent. They’re are their own person. And I think it’s very important to put images out there like that of women, even in a comedy or whatever I think is just important and I loved playing Trader.
There’s so much interesting lore in Jungle Cruise. Does having that extra backstory really help you when it comes to getting into the role and fleshing out your character?
It really does and it doesn’t because the script was so well-written and the character is so well-defined. I mean, I didn’t go so much into the backstory of Trader as it is in the [records] of Disney because it’s very extensive and it really is a new take of the character. So I took some things from that, of course, but mostly everything within the construction of Trader comes from the actual script of the movie. There are references to other things, and I read the backstory, the character, because Disney always has a backstory for all the characters and you can just research it on the internet if you want, or you can ask for it if you’re like an actor and they’ll give it to you, but it’s a new take on the character.
So I thought it was important to really base the construction mostly on the script. I got the opportunity to play with great actors and with a fantastic director. I remember the first thing I did in Atlanta was they took me to do a costume fitting. When I saw the costumes of Trader you know, you’re there, like everybody was on top of their game, like Paco Delgado with costumes and Joel Harlow with makeup and hair, the team of makeup and hair were fantastic. So once you go into that, it’s pretty simple to do it actually because they create this role for you and you just have to inhabit it.
The fan reaction was so positive to the film and it came out at a very specific time where families were finally going back to theaters and it seemed like a big triumph. It was finally a fun action movie that everybody could enjoy. Just how great has the reaction been on your side and were you surprised at just how much of an event it felt like?
Well, yes and no. Nobody was expecting the pandemic, none of us. That was terrible and it’s still terrible for so many people. So to be able to put a movie out there, like business, putting a movie out there in this very precise time when we’re starting to go little, little by little back to old life and have people laugh and enjoy it and have a joyous time, I think is incredible.I’m very, very grateful that I’m part of that because we all need to laugh and this is a lovely story. It was three years from the moment we shot it until the premiere. It was three years and it usually doesn’t take that long, but we had the pandemic, we had so many things and I think it was very beautiful to be at the premiere and see people reacting in a communal experience of a film. I just think it’s great that we can laugh again. It’s important.
Nobody does bigger films than Disney and Dwayne Johnson. How was it working with him and did anything surprise you about working with Johnson?
Well, it didn’t quite surprise me because I’ve seen him. My son is a huge fan of Dwayne, so we follow him on Instagram. He seemed like a very real, very authentic human being, very kind. So it wasn’t surprising when he actually was that. He’s funny, he’s kind. The same [with] Emily, they’re really lovely human beings. They’re really hardworking, but at the same time they’re generous and they’re kind and they’re professional. So, no, I wasn’t surprised because when you get to that level of, I honestly think that people that are as loved as Dwayne, there’s a reason, and the reason is because the man is lovely. He’s kind and funny and generous and he thinks of other people and they always made me feel very welcome. It was my first big studio movie, so I have nothing but wonderful things to say about him, about Emily, and everybody else.
You’ve shown such great range in your recent roles in this, The Forever Purge, and Ozark. Are there any types of roles or films that you haven’t gotten to do yet that you would really like to show another side of yourself?
I’d love to do something like a Wes Anderson film. I love Wes Anderson and the Cohen brothers. I would love to do a superhero [film], although I’m a little old to play a superhero, but maybe I can be a villain or something. I dunno, maybe star wars. Those are the things. So I could go from a very indie, very character-driven piece, that I would love to do to be in one of those iconic movies. Like I already got one, which is very lucky, but one can only hope.
You had such an amazing career in Mexico. What has been the biggest challenge working in Hollywood? Has there been any challenges adapting or is it pretty similar?
No, it is similar. It depends on who you work with and there are good and professional people everywhere. And there are people that don’t work as they should everywhere. It’s not particular to one country. I’ve been very lucky throughout my career because I mostly work with really professional, amazing people. But I think the hardest thing for me to adapt is not even acting in another language because I started my career in English. Then I started to be an actor in English. So I had access to that from very early on. I think [the challenge] is actually being far away from my own country, especially in moments like the one we just lived. That’s probably the hardest because even though part of my family is with me, my father, my brothers, my beloved friends are in Mexico and I miss it sometimes. But yeah, overall it’s been a great experience to work here and I’m very grateful to be working the way I am.