TFW2005 content contributor Ktulu recently had a chance to sit down with Tara Strong, the voice of Sari in Transformers: Animated. Check out what she had to say below!
TFW2005: Though you're a long accomplished voice actress, the Transformers fanbase is of course getting to know your work even better now with your character Sari on the new Transformers Animated series. Prior to this show, did you know much about or have any interest in the Transformers franchise?
Tara: When I was younger, I loved the Transformers. Always had a few toys that I couldn't figure out!
TFW2005: What initially drew you to the Transformers Animated series, and once cast, how easily did you find yourself immersed into your character and the storyline?
Tara: I auditioned for the show hoping I would get the part. For starters, Sari was the ONLY regular girl role up for grabs! Plus, the Transformers is such a special franchise and I feel honored to now be a part of its history. It was easy to immerse myself into the character because the writing is so good.
TFW2005: Voice director Susan Blu has a long standing history with Transformers. How beneficial was her experience with the franchise to achieving the best tone for the performances?
Tara: She's the greatest, no matter what she does. Her history with the show made it fun and interesting.
TFW2005: What inspiration have you drawn upon for your portrayal of Sari?
Tara: I'm inspired by her character design, backstory, and the passion of the creators. I just try my best to bring their vision to life.
TFW2005: How much has your experience with previous roles affected how you approach new characters? For example, how much of Bubbles is in Sari?
Tara: There is no Bubbles in Sari, I try never to repeat vocal qualities or inflections. Each character has its own life in my head.
TFW2005: Is there any insight you could give us on where Sari's adventures with the Transformers might take her throughout the rest of the series without giving too much away?
Tara: Let's just say her entire identity could be a surprise.
TFW2005: The rest of the Animated cast is full of many other fan favorite voice actors as well, such as Corey Burton and David Kaye. Does the strength of your fellow cast mates, on this or any show, reinforce your intent to give all you can to the performance?
Tara: I always try to give my all. I have to say, this cast is stellar. The room is so full of legendary talent it's breathtaking. It's the first time I've met David Kaye because he was previously in Vancouver and I was instantly smitten with his talent and charm. We've become very close friends. My hubby, a realtor, took extra special care of his family and got them settled in a wonderful new home here.
TFW2005: What would you say has been your favorite voice acting experience thus far, and conversely, your worst?
Tara: I have so many favorites, I've been extremely lucky. I especially loved doing the Little Mermaid II, Powerpuff Girls, Teen Titans, and of course I love Transformers ... too many to choose!
TFW2005: Which of your characters have been favorites of your children?
Tara: My kids love Timmy on The Fairly OddParents and currently they're CRAZY for Truffles on Chowder.
TFW2005: Do you look for any specific key elements of a character or story when choosing roles?
Tara: I don't really choose roles, they choose me. When I'm at an audition, something organic will happen at the audition and if it's meant to be, it just sort of magically evolves into a living entity.
TFW2005: Having grown up idolizing shows with veteran voice actors the likes of Peter Cullen and Frank Welker, many Transformer fans have developed a keen interest in voice acting themselves, and many perform in Transformer fan projects. What advice do you have for those of us seriously pursuing a voice acting career? I realize this is a common question, but your opinion on the matter would be much appreciated.
Tara: Take acting classes, singing lessons, voice-classes where there is actual studio time. There are wonderful classes in Los Angeles, but I can't recommend outside this state. If it's in your heart, keep at it, make a reel and send it off to local reputable agents ... and of course check out www.voicestarz.com!
TFW2005: Do you know of any newer voice actors that used the Voicestarz program to help them get started?
Tara: We had one girl signed by William Morris & CESD.
TFW2005: Finally, what sort of series are you most looking forward to being a part of next? Are there any specific shows or game projects you're already cast in that you're particularly looking forward to?
Tara: I hope Transformers gets a pick up...keep watching Chowder, and we're working on a whole new season of The Fairy OddParents.
TFW2005: Thank you again for your time Ms. Strong. We're not only Transformer fans here at TFW2005, but fans of great animation in general, and many of us have strong interest in video games as well. You've been part of many of our favorite shows and games so this has been quite a privilege. Thank you!
Tara: My pleasure. Thanks for watching and be sure to check out my website at: www.tarastrong.com!