Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Moon Chase Presents: An Interview With Susan Roman! Part 2

Here comes Part Two of our exciting interview with Susan Roman! Read on Moonies for more on Sailor Jupiter and many shows before and after Sailor Moon! Many of our older Moonies may also gain a greater appreciation for some older cartoons from the 80s and 90s which Susan was a part of after reading this!

MC: At this event in Japan, the results of a poll asking fans of their 5 favorite episodes were revealed – and the 5th favorite episode just happened to be the first one that your character showed up in! What do you think made this episode so special and so loved?

SR: I think it has to do with the unexpected. It's the surprise of seeing such a FEISTY girl, rocketing onto the screen, no holds barred, ready to just be herself and do some serious business. And I think it's also a bit of a surprise to see a teenage female character with such obvious anger-management issues. That's kind of unusual. And, in the end of all, she did try to keep her temper under control – which is something a lot of people could identify with.

MC (and everyone else): Would you reprise your role as Sailor Jupiter if the last season were to be dubbed or the entire series were to be re-dubbed?
Jigglypuff2cute: if the fifth season of sailor moon comes to the US will you still do her voice? and do you think they should just put the last season as pg 13 cause of the certain things in it? i mean if they try to keep the last season ( if they decide to air in it US) rated for kids, it just wont be the same and there will be A LOT of confusion from all the cutting out parts. i know i was kinda confused when i saw the sailor scouts first die. i didnt even know they were dead untill i saw the ghosts giving princess serinity power. same as with sailor moon and tuxedo mask but tha wasnt untill i decided to watch it in japanese.

SR: I would definitely do Sailor Jupiter again – I really miss her! I'm not familiar with what happened in the story line after we did our very last session – actually, it all ended kind of abruptly. We were told that there would be more episodes coming down the line, but nothing ever happened. That was absolutely baffling to us – how could something SO popular not continue on to the very end? I never understood what happened there. I don't know that anyone understands what happened there!

MC: Some places are reporting that you played some additional voices in the Super Mario Brothers 3 cartoon. One of our staff members has seen you in the credits but we can’t figure out who you played – who did you play in the show and had you played any of the Mario games or found ways to familiarize yourself with the characters before you started recording?

SR:You know – that’s completely not ringing a bell with me...

MC: You were one of the few (possibly only) actress to be involved with both the 1980s Care Bears series as well as the CGI movies Journey to Joke-a-Lot and Big Wish Movie. To you, how do you think the Bears have changed since the 80s, and how did it feel to come back to “Care-a-Lot” after a long time?

SR:I got a HUGE kick out of that. I don’t know if there were quite so many care bears in the actual series as there were in the films – they seemed to multiply by the minute – but I absolutely loved the diversity they provided. Each bear had his or her own special characteristics and of course, the more characteristics that were explored, the more kids would be able to identify with them.

MC: While we’re talking about the 80s, remember Strawberry Shortcake? All the Berrykins were looked up to by many girls of that time (including a very young me!), and this show has also experienced another revival in recent years. What do you think made Strawberry Shortcake special to girls of that time and do you think that a new generation can appreciate the show?

SR:I’m so glad you brought up Strawberry Shortcake – I’m pretty sure that it was one of the first cartoons I ever did, so it has a soft spot in my heart. It has to be one of the kindest, gentlest cartoons on the planet and I thought it was brilliant. I actually had no idea that it was so popular – I’m so glad to hear that! Maybe it struck a chord with so many people because, in a way, it was like Care Bears. You got to choose the Berrykin (or care bear) you liked the most or who you related to the most (or maybe who you thought was the most like you) and you felt a sense of kinship, of friendship. Being able to identify and cherish some of your own special qualities is unbelievably important when you’re growing up.

There was another sweet and gentle cartoon that I did during that time period called Herself the Elf. (Isn’t that the greatest title?) One of the episodes had the most beautiful opening song, written and sung by Judy Collins. If you ever get a chance to track it down, you should, just so you can listen to that song. It was really special...


Editor's Note: Finding images of these old 80's characters are bringing back memories! Yes, I remember this, and for our Moonies wanting to watch this, here's Judy Collins' theme song. Sadly, can't find any episodes!


MC: With all those sweet names of the characters you played in Strawberry Shortcake (Blueberry Muffin and Crepe Suzette), was it difficult to not eat the baking that they were named after during your time working on it?

SR: Oh, that’s funny! I honestly don’t think I’d know a Crepe Suzette if I fell over one, but I’ve sure eaten my share of blueberry muffins – THE best muffin flavor in the world...

MC: Also in 1983, Nelvana produced their first full-length animated feature, Rock and Rule. You had a lead role in this movie playing Angel, and your character’s singing voice was Debbie Harry of Blondie fame! What was this experience like for you? Did you get to meet Debbie Harry at all during production?

SR: Now that was exciting! To be involved in a project that went into completely uncharted territory – a full-length animated film! Wow. And I don’t know if you’ve ever listened to Rock & Rule’s music track, but it’s got to be one of the best out there – and so far ahead of its time. It’s funny – I remember that I wasn’t included in the first round of auditions for Rock & Rule because all I’d done by that point was little girl voices, and they didn’t think for one minute that someone who sounded like Blueberry Muffin could sound like Debbie Harry. Which made total sense.

But then they had a second and third round of auditions, and a production coordinator named Arlene suggested my name - because she’d heard me talking in my normal voice, between takes, when I was doing an episode of Strawberry Shortcake. Isn’t that unbelievable? So, I think I was the very last person in the city to read for that part.

And I never once got to meet Debbie Harry – sigh.


MC: The Raccoons was also a big hit back then and is probably still being watched by many children who have grown up now on Teletoon Retro! The show had a lot of messages about environmental conservation and how big business works sometimes against nature. What do you think made this show such a big hit back then and now that we are living in times that are not so different than they were back then, do you think that the show can appeal to a new generation?

SR: I think that The Raccoons is timeless, and the messages it conveyed were right on the money, weren’t they? On the other hand, maybe it was so successful because they didn’t bang you over the head with environmental issues – those issues were slipped in with a velvet hammer. The point was made in a gentle way, in a way that was accessible – no matter how old you were when you were watching.

MC: Do you have any favorite memories of Melissa Raccoon?

SR: Well, because I replaced another actress (who’d moved to LA, I believe) it was a bit stressful at first. I was concentrating way more on sounding like her than just about anything else. (In those days, it was a BIG No-No to change the way an established character sounded in the middle of a series. I guess it doesn’t seem to bother people as much as it did back then...)

But after a while, I started to feel more comfortable with what I was doing and just had fun with it. I really liked Melissa Raccoon, and I tried to make her as honest and down-to-earth as possible. The Raccoons was a WONDERFUL project to work on. Everyone involved was so supportive and kind.


MC: When playing Snowy in the much-loved TinTin series, how did you try to add personality to his barks?

SR: Oh, that was such a fun cartoon! It seemed that Snowy was ALWAYS tumbling over waterfalls or falling out of boats or basically drowning in some way or another, so I used to bring a big glass of water in the booth with me and gargle it at the back of my throat – at the same time that I was trying to bark for help. Of course, I nearly choked myself to death, but I think it made everything sound a lot more real.

Did you know that, in the very beginning of the project, Snowy was supposed to actually talk? When I auditioned for the part, there was tons of dialogue for him, and it was only when I was leaving the booth that they asked if I could lay down “a few barks.”

Uh oh. Note to self: I guess I should have practiced BARKING before I got there.

So I turned away from the mic and did a tiny little practice bark, and it didn’t sound too bad – so I just went for it. Barked up a storm, feeling like an idiot – but you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do...

And doing that show turned out to be one of my absolute FAVOURITE experiences of all.


MC: In 2011, a 3-D motion capture TinTin film is set to be released starring Jamie Bell, Simon Pegg, and Daniel Craig (better known as the current James Bond). What we have been noticing at a lot of the licensing conventions that Sailor Moon has been showcased at, is that the trend among many media companies is to revive old tried, tested, and true properties. We think this might be the case here – what do you think of the idea of bringing TinTin in 3-D?

SR: It’s always good when a great idea, a great concept, is resurrected and made more current. I wish them all the luck in the world. And I love the idea that these projects can live on and on, in whatever format.

MC: Do you think you will go see TinTin when it comes out?

SR: Well, I’d love to hear what Snowy sounds like!

MC: Sailor Jupiter is a popular character that first lived in manga (Japanese comics), but you have also played Callisto and the Scarlet Witch from X-Men. What was it like playing these characters from the page to the screen? Did you read any of the X-Men comics at all?

SR: You know – this is why you can’t trust everything you read on the internet. I absolutely did not do the voices of either Callisto or the Scarlet Witch, and I sure wish I could say that I did. I just listened back to a clip from each episode, and both women’s voices are so very different from mine that it’s hard to believe that no one’s picked up on it. I did do Moonstone in The Avengers.

Editor's Note: Watch this episode of the Avengers (Part 1 & Part 2)!

MC: When coming up with the voice of James in Thomas and the Magic Railroad, how much did the old series on PBS influence how you portrayed the voice? Or did you come up with something completely different?

SR: I’d never seen the old series on PBS so there wasn’t any influence there at all. It was all visual. I just looked at his facial expressions (and listened to what the director had to say, of course) and took it from there. That was a very nice project, by the way – very easy-going and a lot of fun.

MC: Bakugan and Beyblade are really huge hits with the younger kids right now with all the additional toy and video games that accompany the series. Does the rising phenomenon of these two shows compare to Sailor Moon?

SR: Well, they’re following in the footsteps, but I don’t know that anything out there can compare to the Sailor Moon phenomenon, which seemed to strike a chord on a more emotional level. Beyblade and Bakugan are way more action/competition-oriented, which suits their audience to a tee.

MC: Some of our readers are big Mega Man fans! How was recording a character’s voice for a video game different from recording a character’s voice for a cartoon? Did you ever play any of the games?

SR: No, I never did because I knew I’d end up being far too critical of myself to really enjoy the game. Sometimes, when you listen to things back, you say to yourself, “Oh man, I should have read that line differently – what was I thinking?” And recording it was exactly the same as recording for a cartoon, except that you had to do the same scene over and over again - with different outcomes – all dependent on how well the player was navigating the game.

MC (and Zozonae): Of all of your roles in cartoons, which character has been your favorite to play and why?

SR: Well, Sailor Jupiter would have to be right up there at the top. And I’m glad that you mentioned Strawberry Shortcake – in one episode, I played the Berry Princess and I just LOVED doing that. I mean, who doesn’t want to be a princess every once in a while? I also loved playing Eddie Storkowitz in Birdz, and it was so disappointing that the series never really got off the ground. It was such a funny little cartoon, with an absolutely brilliant cast. And the same thing goes for another funny little cartoon called Weird Years, where I got to play the wizened old grandmother, Zozo – which was a HUGE stretch for me and probably the most fun I’ve had in years. (By the way, on another website it incorrectly states that I played Nadia. I wonder how all these mistakes can be fixed?)

But my absolute favourite would have to be Snowy in Tin Tin.





MC: We have a mystery to solve – there was a recent animated movie that was released to DVD late last year called Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. You were rumored to be in it – so I rented it, and even though the movie was very good you were nowhere to be spotted! For the official record, did you really play the Silver Banshee in this one? If yes, how did you record the wails and how did you think you sounded digitized?

SR: Nope. That wasn’t me. Unless I was sleepwalking or something...

MC: And also on the rumor patrol, do you have a role in Rudolph and his New Friend Frosty? It was rumored that Linda Ballantyne (the third actress to play Sailor Moon) was to be a part of this, but we learned from an earlier interview with her that she was not in it. If you are, are you excited to be working with Ringo Starr?

SR: I think it would be TERRIFIC to work with Ringo Starr – but I don’t have anything to do with that project.

Editor's Note: Since the project never aired on TV over the Christmas season, we believe that this project doesn't even exist.

MC: A really long time ago you used to teach through Voiceworx – what was this experience like and do you have any inspiring stories from the classroom?

SR: It’s always fun to get together with actors (and there were a few regular citizens in the classes, too) who want to try their hand at becoming voice actors. My job was to try and impart whatever knowledge I had and, hopefully, to boost people’s confidence levels. Animation can be a bit intimidating at first and sometimes, people have to learn to come out of their shells. I really enjoy teaching – and I especially enjoy helping people connect to all the characters that are hiding away inside, just waiting to find the light.

The thing that’s the most difficult is being consistent. It’s easy to come up with a great voice for two or three lines of dialogue, but when you have to contend with an entire script, when you’ve got a hundred or more lines to say, you’ve really got to keep your wits about you.


MC: Any upcoming productions that fans will be able to catch you in soon?

SR: Actually, I have a big audition this afternoon and I’ve been working on it for the last couple of days – so wish me luck!

MC: Once again, thanks again Susan for this opportunity and we wish you the best of luck in the future!

SR: Well, there’s my lucky wish right there!! You’re so welcome – and I hope that your website continues to attract fans from all over the world. You’ve really done a FANTASTIC job with it!

Sail on......

Susan


Thanks again to Susan for this amazing opportunity, and we will continue to strive for our best to bring everything we can to the fans around the Sailor Moon world!

3 comments:

Nekorin said...

Thank you for this interview! Sailor Jupiter was my favorite when I was younger! (Lately I can't seem to pick a favorite anymore, I love them all! ^_^)

Megaman Legends 2 is also one of my favorite games, and I love your voice, so I hope I'll get to hear you again soon!

Brit-chan said...

Great interview! I'd certainly would love to hear Susan again as Sailor Jupiter if there ever were a redub or dub of Stars. She had a spot on voice!

The World of Lurlene Mcdaniel said...

I agree with Brit chan, if they could get terri hawkes or tracey west to do sailor moon's voice and susan roman to do sailor jupiter's voice again in the stars series, I would be totally happy.

I'm so glad you did an interview with susan roman. She sounds like a really cool person and sailor jupiter has been one of my favorites. And i love strawberry shortcake and care bears too. I grew up with those shows!