A story about coming to trust oneself, the phrase “Silenzio Bruno!” is at the core of Disney and Pixar’s Luca. First seen in the film’s official trailer, it is a joking phrase from Luca’s best friend Alberto that encourages him to overcome his inner “Bruno,” aka his doubts and insecurities.
This sentiment occupies the center of Luca‘s story, helping its characters to find their place in a scary world – especially for unwelcome sea monsters. For many viewers, this isn’t unlike their own self-doubts and worries – things that keep them from being their best selves.
At the global press conference for the film, Jack Dylan Grazer, the voice of Alberto Scorfano, described “Silenzio Bruno” and “the elimination of doubt” as “one of the most crucial things you could ever learn in your life.” His character Alberto is a free spirit in the film, supposedly free from his inner Bruno – unlike his best friend Luca.
At first, Jack Dylan Grazer joked that he “got rid of [his] Bruno eons ago,” like his on-screen character did. “I’m definitely an Alberto,” he said. “I’ve always kinda been a daredevil, the first person to do the thing and be like ‘Hey guys follow me! Climb up this tree and then catch the squirrel!’ or whatever. If I ever got triple-dogged dared to do anything, there was no other option in the world but to do it, no matter what. Some guys would dare me to do something, I was like, ‘Okay guys, really I don’t wanna do that.’ And then they’d be, ‘I triple-dogged dare you.’ I think I need more integrity.”
His spirit of jovial light-heartedness matches that of Alberto, who has the foresight of a horse without blinders. Even then, he was able to find some resonance with the theme of overcoming doubt; “I didn’t really come across many challenges other than being in the closet.”
Jacob Tremblay, who lends his voice to the eponymous Luca, said that “Silenzio Bruno” was something he definitely related to as an actor. “You really have to go a hundred percent on all your performances or else it’s gonna fall flat. So I have to make sure I sound [confident] and step out of my comfort zone.” Letting go of that self-doubt and embracing challenges has helped him grow throughout his career and bring his performance of Luca to life.
In embodying the character of Giulia Marcovaldo, actress Emma Berman had to overcome her own inner Bruno. “I have to say I’m pretty similar to Giulia. She’s a very outgoing character, and she’s also very determined and hard-working like me. I’d have to say that the hardest part was when she was screaming because she’s not a scaredy-cat.”
In the film, Giulia plays a cool and confident confidante to Luca and Alberto, but Emma found herself having to realize and understand how she is similar and different. “I would say I’m pretty scared,” she said. “My biggest fear is spiders, so I’m pretty scared of things. So when she screamed it was so hard to portray how she’s not as fearless as I am, because I would be like that high-pitched, really scaredy-cat scream.”
Partially produced under the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s no doubt that countless Brunos were “Silenzio!”ed during the course of production. If there’s any doubt in your mind that it will live up to the hype, just wait and see; Disney and Pixar’s Luca releases June 18 on Disney+, free for subscribers.