Anthony Ramos is a rising star with big projects underway. From working alongside Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in A Star is Born to his leading role as Usnavi de la Vega in the upcoming film, In The Heights, Anthony is breaking barriers. The Brooklyn-born actor is bringing his passion for music to DreamWorks’ new film Trolls World Tour, which also stars Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake and J Balvin. The musical was scheduled to be released in theaters on April 10, but due to the coronavirus global pandemic, it is coming out on-demand instead. “I definitely see a lot of people going through it, stressed financially, emotionally, spiritually,” he tells HOLA! USA. “I’m just dealing with it on a day to day basis, but for the most part I’m good; I’m really good. I’m thankful for having this time at home because I don’t remember the last time I’ve had this much time at home at all.”
Music heals the soul, something Anthony definitely understands. As a talented singer and songwriter, Anthony identifies with his animated character and connecting people through music and rhythm. Keep reading to see who is on repeat on his playlist and how he became King Trollex and transports you to the Trolls Village, an imaginary world where funk, country, techno, classical, pop and rock coexist together.
HOLA! USA: What inspired you to be in an animated film? Anthony Ramos: “I’ve wanted to animate a character for so long. It took two years to make it happen, and a few auditions, but I’m so grateful that DreamWorks and Universal gave me a chance to be a part of this. It’s interesting that Trolls was the first one because Trolls is probably one of my favorite animated movies. I watched it at least three times. This was even before I auditioned for the job. And to get a part in the second movie was wild. My fiancée and I laughed about it because she was like, ‘We been watching this movie so much.’”
Who reached out that they wanted you to be a part of this? “It was kind of funny. I was in L.A., and I recorded my audition in the closet on my phone because I didn’t really know how to use any programs to record on the computer. It wasn’t until months after I got the call. I hadn’t heard from the team in so long, and then finally, it was like one of those surprises; it was like Christmas to me.”
How would you describe your character King Trollex? “King Trollex, from the start of the movie, he’s the life of the party. The guy is full of energy, full of love, full of life, music. And he’s a great spirit. He’s that guy that can just influence a crowd and pick everybody up on their feet. It’s so awesome. I remember in college I used to take the iPod and put it into whoever had a speaker and I’d deejay parties for an hour or two hours. I’d just be there making the songs. It’s so funny. I don’t know how to be a bore, and I don’t know how to DJ, but music is such a big part of my life, and I love it so much. It’s really cool to be King Trollex.”
Who are your go-to artists to help your mood? “Johnny Swan is one of my favorites. I’ve been listening to the whole catalog of 1975. I was listening yesterday to more jazz singers and performers. It just varies, and then the next thing you know, I’m listening to Post Malone. I like Harry Styles’ album. I listen to worship music too, Elevation Worship, so it varies.”
With this animated movie, did you record at the same time with Justin or Anna?
“For this one, I recorded solo. It would have been cool to get with the other cast members, but I‘m sure it’s pretty hard with peoples’ schedules. It would have been even cooler to see the characters interact. You’re in the booth by yourself with the director, or producer, or engineer or all three. And they’re just explaining the scenario to you, and you’re just kind of like, all right. And you get your mind into that world.”
If you could pick one genre of music from the movie, which one would you prefer?
“That‘s so hard. I love pop music. I’m a sucker for pop music, all types of pop music.”