Being a voice talent for an animated project can end up having actors talking to themselves. That’s not some mental breakdown because of the work demands but just the result of the best actors being able to provide a multitude of voices.
Tara Strong has become one of the most versatile voice actors through her 35 years speaking for animated characters from Dil Pickles on Rugrats to Porcupine on “My Friends Tigger & Pooh.” She’s so good at her job that Strong often gets cast to voice a variety of characters in the same project. In “Teen Titans Go! & DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse,” Strong speaks for Batgirl, Raven and Harley Quinn.
Coming up with different voices started long before the Canadian actor was hired for her first work in 1987 with the title character in “Hello Kitty’s Furry Tale Theater.” She created funny voices for every stuffed animal she owned and with her sister would create a fake radio show when they were kids. Since then she has become an extremely busy voice actor. Speaking for multiple characters in a project is fun for Strong.
“Sometimes you record them all down together and sometimes you go back-to-back. I think on this special we did them separately especially since ‘DC Super Hero Girls’ is a separate session,” Strong says. “But we always come from a place of emotion. Often, we get asked ‘How do you get into voice over and I’ve got a funny voice,’ and that’s not really as important as coming from an acting background.
“The reason ‘Teen Titans Go!’ and ‘DC Super Hero Girls’ translate is we all have an acting background and we come at all of these places imagining all the action in our minds and really seeing that and then portraying it with our voices. And I think that’s why it translates. And on top of that, we all really love each other, and I think people can see that too.”
“Teen Titans Go!” and “DC Super Hero Girls” are animated series that air on Cartoon Network. The two series filled with superhero characters from the DC Universe have come together for the feature film “Teen Titans Go! & DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse.” It will be available on DVD starting May 24 and then will be broadcast on Cartoon network on May 28. It will debut on HBO Max on June 28.
Lex Luthor uses an ancient Kryptonian power to unite the world’s Super-Villains to capture all of Earth’s superheroes until only the DC Super Hero Girls are left to stop the Legion of Doom. A rescue mission to the Phantom Zone leads Supergirl, Batgirl and other members of the team to Titans Tower where they find much-needed allies in the Teen Titans.
Joining Strong as voice talents in the production are: Grey Griffin as Wonder Woman; Scott Menville as Robin; Kari Wahlgren as Zatanna; Nicole Sullivan as Supergirl; Khary Payton as Cyborg; Myrna Velasco as Green Lantern; and Hynden Walch as Starfire.
Recording sessions for the film were held during the pandemic but in some ways that was not a change for the voice actors. There are instances where an entire cast will come together to record their lines at the same time. But, more often, individuals record their lines on their own.
Strong prefers the group recording sessions because it gives her the opportunity to react to what the other actors are saying. But, she just considers herself to be lucky that she was able to keep working even when many other productions were shut down.
“Voiceover is really one of the only legs of the entertainment business that did not miss a beat. We were recording almost immediately from home via Zoom. ‘Teen Titans Go!’ as well as ‘DC Super Hero Girls’ have been with groups,” Strong says. “We feel really lucky because you can actually feel the camaraderie.
“I mean we’ve been together 20 years on ‘Teen Titans,’ so we certainly know each other and can guess how someone’s going to respond or say something. But there’s nothing like actually being able to bounce off the other actors.”
The only part of working on “Teen Titans Go! & DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse” that made Strong nervous was giving voice to Harley Quinn. She respects the fact that Arleen Sorkin created the voice for the character and knows how much fans love her work.
Strong was told that she was not to try to copy Sorkin but to take the essence of the character and give it her own spin. That made it easier for Strong to find the right voice for the latest character in her long voice career.