Itatí Cantoral sees parallels between “Red”, her latest work, and her life: “My daughter is a panda! And I was a panda too.”

Itatí Cantoral sees parallels between “Red”, her latest work, and her life: “My daughter is a panda!  And I was a panda too."
The Mexican Itatí Cantoral spoke with Infobae about her experience in “Red”.

Net It is a totally feminine film, which teaches you that empathy and feminism begin by having empathy and identification with your mother and by being accepted by your mother”, she synthesized. Itatí Cantoralthe Mexican actress who gives voice to Ming Lee in the Spanish version of Netthe movie that opens on March 11 in Disney+. Ming is an overprotective mother, too controlling and demanding from the point of view of her daughter Mei, who at 13 begins with the changes of adolescence. To flesh out the chaos that follows puberty, the film shows how Mei, whenever she loses control of her emotions, turns into a giant red panda.

—I used to say: “It seems that they know that my daughter is going through the same age” —he told Infobae his impression when reading the script that the director Domee Shi wrote alongside julia cho—. I said, “My daughter is a panda.” My daughter is a panda! And I was a panda, too.

Before the character of Soraya Montenegro in Maria from the neighborhood turned her into one of the public’s favorite villains, Cantoral was Mei’s age when she joined the cast of The spiderweb, a Mexican television suspense show. Her mother, the Argentine Itatí Zucchi, was also overprotective like Ming: “Very overprotective. She was the woman I loved the most in my life. Obviously I had arguments, because I was always a rebellious girl, a girl who thought, who talked, and my mom made me that way. My mom made me say ‘no’; As a good Argentine, she made me express myself, nothing like ‘quietly you look prettier’”.

“Red” premiered on March 11 on Disney Plus. (Disney/Pixar)

Yes to the director —Oscar winner for the short film Beam— and the screenwriter is joined by the producer, Lindsay Collinsit is noted that Net (Turning Red in English) had an all-female management team. And that, for Cantoral, shows: “Break these myths that daughters get along better with their parents, because really with the person with whom you have to identify and feel accepted – which I think is what happens to the character de Mei—, beyond being accepted at your school, with your friends, with your teachers, she is your mother”.

The actress remembered for her roles in Pretty, Adventuress or The Mexican and the blondand that will soon be seen in the series, also from Disney +, Dads on requestit is not only the voice of Ming —the role that in the English version he played sandra oh— but that she herself, in her real life, is in that trance: she has a teenager in the house.

“It is so! My daughter is like that, ”she acknowledged. “The reggaeton, the dances, the intense perreo… Because now in TikTok you have to wag your tail, and the more you wag your tail, the more followers you have… And you, as a mom, are like, ‘What are you doing? Well, not in my time…’”, she laughed at herself.

“Sometimes as a mother we forget certain things, and nobody teaches us, and we have to learn”, she felt a little sorry for her character. But the complex relationship between Mei and Ming in Net shows at the same time “how to achieve empathy from love, because there is no deeper love in this world or purer than that of a mother”. Even if her daughter turns into a beast—in this case, huge and red—every once in a while.

This first production pixar after Soul (Oscar for Best Animated Film) and Luca (nominee for the 2022 award) and the interruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic take much from the story of director Shi, as she told in another interview with Infobaebut it is above all universal: changes in the body, in relationships and in interests, such as modesty, infatuation and intense sleep are something that everyone has experienced growing up.

In Mei’s case, she goes from being an obedient and studious girl to discovering her defiant side or falling in love with the boy band 4⭐️Town, whose songs —among them “Nobody Like U”— are from son de billie eilish and Finneas. They integrate a soundtrack that belongs to the award-winning Swedish composer Ludwig Goransson (Black Panther, The Mandalorian).

The story of Net It takes place in Canada, and the bicultural factor is a strong element of the plot. For Cantoral it is something recognizable: his father, the musician Roberto Cantoral, is Mexican and his mother was a South American migrant of Italian descent. In addition, the actress herself lived in the United States, where she participated in the film Man on Firestarring Denzel Washingtonand made the novel the wounded soulamong other jobs.

—I was born here —he said, from Mexico, where he was at the time of the interview, recently returned from shooting a film in Chile—, but my mother came from Argentina and I have a brother who has lived in Vancouver for 20 years: all the same. And today the world is —I feel it that way— very little tolerant. Adolescents like my daughter are living in a very fast-paced world, where there are thousands of cultures, and you have to —on the contrary— be more tolerant in order to get along. And you can’t forget your roots, what makes up a culture, the story of who we are and where we come from.