Dublin Comic Con: Anime Edition 2018
Guest Interview – Tara Strong
Mary: You have appeared in many memorable roles over the years, from iconic shows like Sabrina The Teenage Witch (as the voice of Molly Dolly, the porcelain doll sent from the Other Realm that wreaked havoc during Halloween) to playing the I Love You voice box in the Ted movies, to now playing the babbles of Sunny, the youngest of the Baudelaire children in the latest adaption of A Series of Unfortunate Events. What is it like playing off-screen roles in such iconic shows?
Tara: I’ve had such a lucky career, it’s all been great fun.
Mary: You are also one of the select few voice actors who is also a Disney princess. In fact, you are the voices of three Disney Princesses, all from the same fairy tale. Having played Melody, the daughter of Ariel, in The Little Mermaid 2, as well as two of Ariel’s sisters in the prequel film, do you ever wish more love was shown towards the rest of the overlooked Disney princesses?
Tara: Yes! Especially Melody. She was my favourite role I have ever played.
Mary: Aside from the sweet princesses, you also play some kickass female characters as well, including Batgirl and Harley Quinn from the Batman universe, Raven from Teen Titans and Juliet Starling from Lollipop Chainsaw. Every one of whom can certainly take care of themselves in any situation! As you attend conventions across the world, what is the most common cosplay your fans wear as they meet you nowadays, compared to even ten years ago?
Tara: I’d say it’s a tie between Harley and Raven.
Mary: Your voice acting career now spans thirty years in the business, creating voices for characters that generations of children have been brought up on. From some of the most iconic cartoon shows from the 80’s, such as Hello Kitty to the Care Bears, Barbar to Madeline, to my own childhood favourites Rugrats, The Powerpuff Girls, Fairy Odd Parents, Drawn Together and Teen Titans. What shows did you enjoy as a child and that of your children’s shows do you enjoy now?
Tara: I loved the Flintstones, The Jetsons and the Smurfs.
Mary: Now, you also played the recurring role of Dannan O’Mallard and Molly Winks in Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks, which was a cartoon series following an older Piggley Winks as he recites tales of his youth back in Ireland during the 1950’s to his three American grandchildren. What does it feel like for you being in Ireland now, and have you visited before?
Tara: Ireland is like being in a fairy tale. I never want to leave. Jakers is very dear to my heart.
Mary: You also played voices in two of Studio Ghibli’s movies, Spirited Away and Only Yesterday. What is your impression of lip syncing to dub the Japanese animation, compared to voicing American animation? Do you find it more difficult to connect with the characters and deliver the script you want?
Tara: Those movies are brilliant, dubbing is always more challenging. You have to make the character your own and act within existing time sequences from another language.
Mary: Now, Teen Titans Go will be bringing us a movie later this year, with you returning to your role of Raven. Have you already recorded your lines for its release? If so, what was the atmosphere amongst the cast when news broke that the show will be getting a film in cinemas?
Tara: Yes, we are all back and we were all extremely excited.
Mary: Now, I have to bring up My Little Pony, a series that has grown on me over the years. And especially seeing as the Princess of Friendship, Twilight Sparkle, is in front of me! Now, what were your first thoughts when you heard that they were going to do a reboot of the 1980’s franchise, and did you audition only for the voice of Twilight?
Tara: Lauren Faust came to my home and asked me to lay down Twilight, Pinkie and Rainbow Dash for a pitch. She loved my Twilight, and the rest is history.
Mary: With My Little Pony: The Movie in cinemas last year and with the show now in its eighth season, are you surprised by the number of adults and parents that are also excited about the show?
Tara: At first, I was surprised, but they are the sweetest fans ever.
Mary: Now my final question is this. If you were to host a fictional dinner party, which characters from your past roles would you have attend?
Tara: All of them…. except Terrence from Fosters Home. He can stay away.