Harvey Guillén Says Friendship with Ariana DeBose Is 'Opposite' of Their “Wish ”Characters (Exclusive)

"We'd been saying we want to work on something together for years," Guillén says of DeBose

<p>getty (2)</p> Harvey Guillén; Ariana DeBose

getty (2)

Harvey Guillén; Ariana DeBose

Harvey Guillén and Ariana DeBose got their wish to work together granted.

As Disney's Wish becomes available on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday, star Guillén, 33, told PEOPLE how he and DeBose, who voices protagonist Asha in the animated musical, were pleasantly surprised by the opportunity to star opposite one another.

"I was already friends with Ariana before this, and ... when you book something, you usually keep it pretty secretive until they announce it," he says.

"And I just randomly one day got a text from her and she was like, 'Wait a minute. What? [Are you playing] Gabo?' And I was like, 'Yeah.' "

"She told me who she was playing, because they don't tell you who plays what, really. So it's kind of a nice happy accident and very nice to kind of reunite with a friend," Guillén adds.

<p>Disney</p> Ariana DeBose's character Asha and Harvey Guillén's character Gabo (center) in Disney's <em>Wish</em> (2023)


Ariana DeBose's character Asha and Harvey Guillén's character Gabo (center) in Disney's Wish (2023)

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According to the Blue Beetle actor, he and DeBose, 33, have "been saying we want to work on something together for years."

"Ironically, we were brought together by the Disney magic that brought us together without knowing they're bringing us together," he says. "And to play such friends who are at [odds] sometimes, which is the opposite of what we are in real life."

Directed by Oscar-winning Frozen filmmaker Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn, Wish follows DeBose's Asha, an optimistic young woman in the fictional kingdom of Rosas who makes a wish and is answered by a cosmic force named Star.

Together, Asha and Star work to defeat a villain who has been described as one of the most "formidable foes" in Disney history: King Magnifico, voiced by Chris Pine.

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The pair also enlist the help of several friends called "The Teens," who are inspired by the titular dwarfs in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs — including Guillén's character Gabo, who he tells PEOPLE "is representative for Grumpy."

Asked whether their real-life dynamic affected how he and DeBose played opposite one another, Guillén says, "No, because at the end of the day, Ariana and myself are actors ... in our personal life, we're friends, but we're playing characters."

"She embodies this whole different character, and I embody Gabo in a different way. Their wants and desires and connections to each other are different."

But that doesn't mean getting into character wasn't a challenge for him, at times.

"I remember reading some of the lines and I'm like, 'Oh, he's so mean right now,' and remembering, 'That's not you, Harvey. That's Gabo. You have to separate the two.' It was just nice to see the final product."

"But I think it did help to have that backstory with [Asha] because even as grumpy as [Gabo] got, he still cared for her," Guillén says. "Because I can't possibly see myself playing a character that would hate Ariana DeBose or be grumpy towards her."

<p>Disney</p> Asha, voiced by Ariana DeBose, in Disney's <em>Wish</em> (2023)


Asha, voiced by Ariana DeBose, in Disney's Wish (2023)

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Guillén, who's known for his role as Guillermo de la Cruz on FX's hit vampire series What We Do in the Shadows, tells PEOPLE that Gabo is "so different than what I've played before," which is part of what made the part exciting.

"I love doing stuff like that, just because it really shows range ... I get to play with the character who's grumpy, but has a good heart," he says.

"At the end of the day, sometimes we don't know what someone's going through. And they all have their own backstory, all the friends, all the characters. So at the end, he shows up to help his friend who's in need."

"No matter how grumpy somebody is, at the core of everyone, we're human and there's humanity behind us all. So you step up and do the right thing with your moral compass," Guillén adds.

Wish is now available at digital retailers, and on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD.

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