So recently, I got a chance to talk to the lovely Vanessa Marshall. A professional voice-over artist for over 10 years, Ms. Marshall is probably a familiar voice to comic fans. After voicing the likes of Mary Jane in the Spectacular Spider-Man and Vertigo in Wolverine and the X-Men (as well as the Huntress in the Justice League Heroes video game), Ms. Marshall has recently completed what may be her highest profile comic book role yet: Wonder Woman in the animated movie Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. Ms. Marshall kindly took time off from some auditions to answer a few questions:
So, how did you get into voiceover work?
By accident! I was an on-camera actress and was not booking work at all. In 1998, I did a one woman show with 15 different characters, and a voice over agent (who attended the show) recommended that I look into voice over. She then invited me to read at her agency (as a kind of audition), and ultimately she decided to take me on as a client. I have been with her ever since. I was very lucky! After a year of classes, I started booking work. I was having so much fun that I gave up on-camera acting completely.
You play a lot of established characters in your body of work, with roots in various other mediums. Do you do research into the characters you voice?
Always. I enjoy learning as much as possible about the characters I play. Google is my home page! I search everything.
On that same note, are you a fan of any of the characters you’ve voiced?
Wonder Woman for sure!! MJ is super cool too. I almost got to play Jean Grey!! That would have been intensely cool as well!!
So in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, you voice Wonder Woman, another iconic character. What was your first exposure to the character?
Comic books, of course, but Ms. Carter inspired my underoo collection! What girl didn’t want to be Wonder Woman? The bracelets were a must as well!! (No invisible plane yet…darn!)
The character has been played by a number of characters in live action and animation over the years, most notably by Lynda Carter. Do you look at any of these past portrayals for how you choose to do her voice, or do you like doing your own thing?
I did my own thing, hoping to draw on the archetypal feminine energy within me — the energy that Wonder Woman so fully embodies. Her power, her ethics and her fierce sense of calm have always inspired me. I hoped to let those things guide my performance in a specific and genuine way. It was really fun to bring all that to the mike.
The film has a pretty big ensemble cast, including James Woods and William Baldwin. Were any of you ever in the recording studio at the same time, or was it all done solo? If so, did you get a chance to meet with any of your castmates?
There were group records, but not all cast members were present. Some folks recorded alone due to their availability. I know Gina and James never once worked together and still managed to sound brilliant interacting through the wonders of editing! I worked mostly with Nolan North and Josh Keaton. We had so much fun!
Can you tell us a little bit about the plot of the film and what Wonder Woman’s role is?
It is an intensely meta-physical story, involving alternate universes and battle between the Justice League and the Crime Syndicate to alternately save and destroy the world (or worlds as it were). Wonder Woman helps the group focus on the task at hand. She does her part and kicks much butt!!! Loved the battle scenes!!
Are there any other characters, whether they be comic or literary or whatever, that you’d like to play someday?
I wish I got to play Jean Grey!!
Lastly, do you have any other projects coming up?
I just finished with Metal Gear’s latest addition, Mass Effect 2, and I am working in a few upcoming Marvel cartoon series as well as a DC cartoon. Not sure if I am at liberty to discuss those specifically!