'Puss in Boots: The Last Wish' Star Harvey Guillen Reacts to 'Surprise' 2023 Oscar Nomination (Exclusive)

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is the sixth movie in the Shrek film franchise, and the fourth movie of the series to be nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards. PopCulture.com recently had a chance to chat with one of the movie's stars: Harvey Guillen, who voices the lovable, quirky pup Perrito. We asked Guillen about the big 2023 Oscar nomination news, which he confessed came as a big "surprise" to him.

"You never do something where you think they're going to get accolades for it or any kind of reward, so it was a nice surprise. It was not expected at all." Recalling where he was when he heard the news, Guillen said, "I think that morning my friend basically texted me, and she's also my publicist. She said, 'Puss in Boots!' And I think she misspelled it. It was, 'Puss in Puss,' or, 'Boots in Boots,' or something. And I was like, 'What? Boots and Boots?" She texts at six in the morning and I was like, 'What? What's going on?' And then I put together and then it's like, 'Nomination. Got a nomination for an Oscar.' And I was like, 'Oh my gosh.' And it was a really nice surprise when she texted that. And again, not expected."

Noting how the film has achieved other accolades, Guillen said, "We had had nominations for Golden Globes and for Critic's Choice, so it was showing signs that it might happen, but you never, again, do it for anything like that. But I really do think that the story for Puss in Boots is so beautifully done, and I think that there's nothing out there like it right now. And especially at this time, we really do need something like that. It's the message overall is it's the last wish, and sometimes the life you wish for is the life you're living, but you just have to stop and realize how lucky you are."

Guillen went on to compare his role in Puss in Boots: The Last Wish to some of his other roles, such as voicing Square in the new Apple TV+ series Shape Island. "I seem to have fallen into a place where I'm really picky about what I want to do. And then if I commit to something, I'm really 150%," he said. "So Perrito is totally different than Square in a way that Perrito is more energetic. He's an active higher than my regular voice register, which is exhausting to perform that. And then Square is not, he's more subtle and soft."

He also referenced his What We Do in the Shadows role, Guillermo, which has been a beloved character for fans of the vampire comedy for four seasons on FX. "Guillermo is really kind of like a passionate soul that we can all relate to as a human because he represents the working class and he represents that we've all been there at a corporation job that overlooks us for promotion, maybe had a crush on them from afar. Maybe we're not honest with our family and the secrets that we're hiding from them because we're too ashamed or scared of what the results may be." 

Guillen concluded, "All these characters, whether it's animation, stop motion or animation, nominated for an Oscar or Guillermo, the show nominated for Emmys, whatever it is exactly, it's a compliment. I always stand behind the fact that I do projects that I'm really proud of that tell a story and make me feel something, whether it's any of those platforms." The 2023 Oscars will kick off Sunday, March 12, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.