Russell IS Wonder Woman
Star Wants An Invisible Jet...
Keri Russell makes her animation debut as the voice of the
title character in Wonder Woman, the next entry in the popular
series of DC Universe animated original PG-13 movies arriving
today (March 3) from Warner Premiere, DC Comics and Warner
Bros. Animation. Warner Home Video is distributing the all-new
film, which will also be available OnDemand and Pay-Per-View
as well as available for download today.
beats the heart of a warrior...
Russell is best known for her Golden
Globe-winning lead role in the popular television series
Felicity. One of the Mouseketeers on the 1990s incarnation
of The Mickey Mouse Club, Russell has appeared or starred
in numerous films and TV series, including Mission Impossible
III, The Upside of Anger, We Were Soldiers, and the recent
Bedtime Stories. The New York-based actress drew widespread
acclaim for her performance opposite Wonder Woman co-star
Nathan Fillion in last year’s Waitress.
her first-ever voiceover recording for an animated film
would be Wonder Woman, coming out today – Russell
chatted about the cool factor of owning an invisible jet,
Halloween costumes of her youth, potential future Russell-Fillion
co-starring roles, and a super hero supplies store. True
What was the extent of your knowledge
of Wonder Woman before accepting this role?
RUSSELL: I have vivid memories of being four years
old and my mom making a Halloween costume for me –
and I was Wonder Woman, thank you very much. It had the
tiara and the wristbands, and I remember my younger sister
was clearly upset that she didn’t have that costume.
I’m standing there very proudly in my Wonder Woman
outfit, and she’s standing just naked in a diaper
and a cape, looking at me as if to say, “Where’s
my costume?” So I guess that was my first official
Wonder Woman stint.
Obviously, growing up, I knew of the show.
I can remember folding laundry with my mom while watching
Lynda Carter on TV. So I knew a little bit, but I didn’t
know all the depths of the story we discover in this film.
Ultimately, she’s a very cool, strong, female warrior.
What do you find enticing about this story and
the character arc of Diana/Wonder Woman?
RUSSELL: I think the good stories are those where
the character decides to break away and do something different.
In this case, Diana is at that age where she’s breaking
away from her mom, and from the whole island of Amazon women.
She wants to explore. She’s walking that fine line
of child and good kid, and wanting to become a woman who
can make her own choices and explore the world.
“Wonder Woman” is filled with action
and humor, but can you discuss the love story aspects of
RUSSELL: I think love is a great catalyst for many
characters to further the story or their own growth, and
in this film Diana is intrigued by learning about man and
the outside world. Seeking that knowledge and experience
definitely propels her forward, and away from the safe haven
of her family.
How do you feel about stepping into a role like Wonder Woman
that could very well inspire a future generation of females?
RUSSELL: Any story that inspires you is great,
male or female. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.
I just think Wonder Woman is cool (she laughs). She’s
got her invisible jet, and her armbands. There is something
to be said about the gender issue, but I think more than
anything Wonder Woman was just a good, cool comic, and that’s
why people read it. It wasn’t like just throwing one
to the ladies. She was tough and smart, and her super powers
were cool, so that’s why I think Wonder Woman has
How did you arrive at the voice used for Diana/Wonder
RUSSELL: I was trying to focus on her differences
– she's a true, strong warrior, but she's also right
at the break of being a young woman standing on her own
and fighting out in the world. So it was a question of playing
the innocence in her voice against the strength of a warrior,
and then balancing that against Virginia Madsen playing
her mother with such warmth and wisdom already in her voice.
So finding Diana's voice was trying to figure out how to
walk that line.
Was there anything in particular that made you agree to
make this your first animated performance?
RUSSELL: I personally adore origin stories –
they're so intriguing, learning what shaped and formed a
character. And this story is funny and action-packed and
adult in a nice way. Then they said Nathan Fillion was playing
opposite me, and that made it that much better. I adore
Nathan and, after spending so much time with him making
“Waitress,” I could hear exactly how he'd read
every line while I was reading the “Wonder Woman”
script. Then you've got this great cast with Virginia Madsen
and Alfred Molina and Oliver Platt – so I kind of
wanted to do it to be in the cool kids' group.
You and Nathan Fillion just came off the acclaimed “Waitress”
and now you’re back together – and with seemingly
great chemistry – in “Wonder Woman.” Can
you frame that relationship for us?
RUSSELL: Nathan and I have decided to do all our
movies together, animated or non-animated (she laughs).
Can you imagine it? In our next film we’ll be playing
Jamaicans – it has nothing to do with anything, but
we’re just going to be in it together (she laughs).
Fillion is so lovely, and so funny – he really is
a huge part of the reason I took this. When I heard he was
doing this, I thought, “Oh Nathan’s doing that
voice – I want to act with him,” even though
I don’t even see him once the whole time we’re
recording this. He’s so funny for this – he
has the old kind of 1940s swagger, that sharp rah-rah-rah
dialogue that he does so well, and it’s written so
well for him in the script. I think he’s perfect for
Steve (Trevor). I just want to know what we get
to do together next.
So what’s special about playing Wonder Woman?
to face with Ares...or a producer...
RUSSELL: I love watching animated films, so it
sounded exciting and fun because I had never had the opportunity
to do voiceovers before – and ultimately, recording
this film was a blast. There were some challenges –
I haven’t been impaled too many times in my life with
swords and spears and things like that – so I didn’t
have a lot of experience making those sounds.
work definitely requires it’s own specific muscle.
And because you’re not seeing what you’re recording,
and all these things are going on, you really have to use
your imagination and stay focused and kind of be able to
tap your head and rub your belly at the same time.
they surrounded me with people who really know what they’re
doing – to guide me through the technicalities that
I had never done or used before. I loved being in this little
dark room and not having to worry about the way I looked
or anything other than just really concentrating on the
intention of the words on the script.
Do you take any guilty pleasures in playing a super hero?
RUSSELL: Um … yes. I think it’s because
all those things describe me perfectly (she laughs).
I’m smart, beautiful, strong (she laughs harder).
I don’t really feel I am any of those things right
now – but I think it’s really cool they asked
me to do it.
the epitome of amazing. I mean, she’s WONDER Woman!
My husband is having a good time with that. As I was leaving
the house, my husband was already making jokes about me
being Wonder Woman. But I do take some pleasure –
and pride – in being chosen to play this role.
Is it difficult for women these days to find a
good role model?
speaks softly but...
RUSSELL: I think they’re out there. Growing
up, I would say Wonder Woman and Nancy Drew were definite
role models for me. Historically, I know Amelia Earhart
stands out for me. Even today, there’s no shortage
of female role models. They’re everywhere –
in history, in literature, in the news. Just look around.
Do you ever wish you had some of Wonder Woman’s goodies
– like an invisible plane or lasso of truth?
RUSSELL: Who doesn’t want an invisible plane
– that would be so cool (she laughs). I wish
I had an invisible plane to take me home to Brooklyn, and
I wouldn’t have to ride the subway.
a lasso of truth might be a little too much at times. Sometimes
you don’t want the truth. Sometimes you’re like,
“Oh just tell me the good answer. I don’t want
the truth.” On the other hand, a lasso of truth could
be interesting on the streets of New York. And the tiara
I can do without. But the invisible jet is definitely the
way to go.
Now that you’ve been chosen to play Wonder
Woman, has the super hero world revealed itself to you in
any greater detail?
RUSSELL: The funny thing is that my husband and
I were going to brunch in Brooklyn, and across the street,
all closed up, was a shop with this big sign that said,
“Super Hero Supply Center.” It’s set up
like a real store. Inside, there’s cans of what looks
like paint, but when you look closer, it’s like anti-gravity
powder, and then there’s advertisements inside for
maps to find your best hide-out, and a rack with capes on
it. It’s filled with all these actual super hero supplies.
I think we figured out that it was either for little kids
or a creative writing workshop place.
want to find that place. In the meantime, thank you, Ms.
Russell and...people, get this DVD. Seriously.