Wonder Woman Wednesday: An Interview with ‘Justice League Action’s Rachel Kimsey

The Cartoon Network has given us many cool cartoons starring DC characters, including Teen Titans Go! and Beware the Batman, among others. They're at it again with the much anticipated release of the Justice League Action animated series. Heavy on action and sleek on design (led by lead animator Shane Glines), JLA delivers an entertaining, action-filled superhero epic worthy of the large screen. The audience seems a little more all-ages, but there is an underlying humor that I think all could appreciate.

Just as Gal Gadot was arguably the breakaway hit in Batman V Superman... Wonder Woman is no slouch in Justice League Action, easily holding her own against lead co-stars Batman and Superman.

Behind every great cartoon character, there is a great cartoon voice actor. We were lucky enough to get to the chance to talk with voice-over actress Rachel Kimsey about her work on Justice League Action as Wonder Woman.



Michael Fitzgerald Troy: Hi, Rachel. Thanks for agreeing to this interview for Wonder Woman Wednesday. Congratulations on landing your sweet gig as everyone's favorite Amazon on Cartoon Network's new Justice League Action series. How did you land the role for the voice of Wonder Woman?

Rachel Kinsey: Thank you!  It really is the dream of a lifetime to get to play Wonder Woman! I actually auditioned for a few roles on JLA when it was first released, but I held off on reading for Wonder Woman until last.  I felt so connected to the character that I felt a lot of pressure to fully honor her and what she means to me, and to so many of us.

MFT: I really dig the hip aesthetic and fast-paced vibe of the cartoon. You really get the sense that anything could happen at any given moment. Is it as much fun to work on as it looks like?

RK: Without exaggeration, this is the most fun job I have ever had.  Not only is it a dream job with great writing and an amazing director and production team, but we’re lucky enough to get to record as a group most of the time, and the energy in the room is infectious.  Getting to feed off of each other as we work, and look into the booth and see the writers and director and artists enjoying it too, is such a privilege.

MFT: Since writing this column - and being one myself- I have to say Wonder Woman fans can be quite picky, but I think you should feel safe in knowing I highly approve of this approach and look of the character. How DO you approach the character?

RK: I’ve been a Wonder Woman fan since I was a baby.  She has always been my iconic female hero.  For me that meant learning to spin and run in heels as a little girl, wanting to be strong, knowing that didn’t make me less beautiful, and knowing that I could hold my own with the boys around me.  I take that spirit in with me.  If I can make that little girl proud, I’m doing the best I know how.

MFT: Was it all intimidating voicing such an iconic character, in the height of her 75th anniversary celebration no less?

RK: I had a profound experience when I was auditioning for the role.  Wonder Woman is an iconic character, but faced with voicing her, it occurred to me that she doesn’t have an iconic sound.  She’s been played and voiced by amazing actresses for decades, no doubt, but her sound is not what we identify Wonder Woman by.  I realized that, for me, she sounds the way I sound when I feel like Wonder Woman.  I try to embody that ever time I step up.

MFT: I understand you're a yoga instructor, as well - an interesting parallel to the Warrior Princess - but both take a certain discipline. Did you use any of that with your voice-over?

RK: I’ve always been a very physical person.  I teach yoga and coached crossfit, and I was a personal trainer and a stunt woman.  There’s something about that physical power and confidence that I identify with Wonder Woman, not as something she puts on but as something that’s just part of who she is.  Balancing that with compassion, mindfulness, and empathy is at the core of the character.

…I’m also infamous for doing all the punches and kicks behind the mic and looking like a total goofball, but I don’t know any other way to do it!  

MFT: I really love the feel of the show and the underlying humor. Zeus is a great character. Have you loaned your voice talents to any other characters on JLA as of yet?

RK: I’ve been really lucky to get to voice a few other characters.  I can’t say yet in which episode, but I did get to do a scene with myself, fight and all!  It was the most fun thing ever going back and forth from voice to voice and fighting and blocking my own hits!  Getting to be a hero and a villain in the same day was bonkers amazing fun.  

MFT: I love the version of her costume in the show. Is it wrong I love the heels? Would it be possible to instruct yoga in those puppies?

RK: How great is the wardrobe?!  Shane Glines did phenomenal character design work.  And I love the boots, too; they’re amazing.  I would love to believe I could pull those off in real life, but until I have access to thigh high red heels, we’ll never know! I’m not seeing yoga happening in that gear, but I guess that’s just one more place where super powers make anything possible!

MFT: I'm sure it's a secret, but do we get to see WW square off against Cheetah anytime soon?

RK: I wish I could say!  There are so many heroes and villains in this season of Justice League Action, I don’t think anyone will be disappointed!

MFT: Have you seen the amazing trailer for the forthcoming Wonder Woman feature film with Gal Gadot?

RK: Do you mean, “Did I tear up watching it on the floor of San Diego Comic-Con while standing in the DC comics booth in front of Nicola Scott?”  Then, yes.  Yes, I did.

MFT: How does it feel to be part of a legend's history during her much deserved resurgence in widespread popularity?

RK: It is such an honor to be a part of the Wonder Woman legacy. To be included at this incredible moment in history feels like a gift I will never be able to re-pay.

From the moment I learned I got to be in the pilot of Justice League Action ,I told myself, no matter what happens, today I am Wonder Woman and no one can ever take that away from me.  Each additional day I get to say that is a dream come true.


Well, that does it for this week's Wonder Woman Wednesday. Thanks so much to Rachel Kimsey for the great interview!  Make sure to check out the fun, new Justice League Action on the Cartoon Network.
   
Be back here next week for another exciting Wonder Woman Wednesday, and make sure you check out the "I Am Wonder Fan" Facebook Page.

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