During Dragon Con 2019, we got to sit down in a press room with voice actor Kimberly Brooks for an interview.
Kimberly, can you tell us about a role that changed your career?
Great question! I would have the say the moment I felt something like that was when I played a role in an episode of Scooby Doo Mystery Inc. I was a Hex girl. And it was with the whole original cast…Casey Kasem, Mary Kay Bergman. All the greats were in the room. And I just felt this is my childhood right now! I can’t believe I’m in this room. I’m the BIGGEST fan. And I’m actually in this room. That was pretty cool! That was a good moment. And in general, when I was working at Warner Bros. on several shows at once. Like Static Shock. That’s when I knew.
Casting Director/Voice Director, Andrea Ramono made a joke to me, “You are here so much at Warner Bros. that we should give you a little apartment here.” So that’s when I thought, “That’s pretty cool. That’s pretty awesome.”
I read in an interview about your discussion on representation. And you receiving comments from companies about having to be more “black-sounding” or “more urban, more girlfriend”. Do you still find those comments come up today? Being that you ARE the Actor of 1,000 Voices.
I feel it is a lot better today. It is not this unusual thing that we are not used to saying. They are better about how they ask. But in my bag of tricks, I have all kinds of voices that I do. On South Park, I have this character I do named Classi, (said in her Classi voice) and she is not Classi at all. Sometimes I get to have fun with those types of characters so I don’t feel as offended when I have a person that’s not of color trying to get me to sound like what they think a person of color should sound like. I don’t have that as much today. Definitely the ’90s were about all that. Animation was growing so much at that time. I fell like now there is so much representation. And I’m not talking just about race but female, gender identity, all of it. People are taking that more seriously. Representation in voice animation is definitely changing for sure.
What’s one of your favorite parts of playing the iconic Princess Allura?
My favorite part is getting to come to conventions. It’s really strange because I didn’t realize how many young people I was affecting. To play a part to affect their lives. Just seeing changes and representation. Because with voice over acting, I’m in my iso booth and doing my thing, you just keep going but you get a moment to stop and meet fans and people who are just like “WOW! There’s this black princess.” That is just amazing to me. That’s a really good part. And just a great production, director and cast It’s one of the best shows I’ve ever worked on. Everything’s wonderful about that.
Regarding your character Jasper, how did the overwhelming reception and impact of Steven Universe affect you personally and also career-wise?
I had no idea what was going to happen when I joined Steven Universe. Because I hadn’t seen the show when I auditioned for that role. And when I booked it I said, “Okay!” I’m just going to go to Cartoon Network and do my thing. And then I’m like, “Oh my g*d!”. It’s great! It’s a character that I don’t normally play. It’s a “character” so I’m using a different part of my voice. But Rebecca Sugar, creator of Steven Universe is another goddess that I love. She’s just so intelligent. She told me I’m the only character that uses a different voice. Everyone else on the show uses their regular voice. But That is what I auditioned with. Jasper is really rough and really mean and really tough so I gotta go there with my voice. Jasper is another one of my favorite characters because it is so different from all of my other characters that I do and also who I am.
We know you from voicing characters in the video games Batman: Batman: Arkham City and in Injustice: Gods Among Us. What made you audition for the role of Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl?
I’m an actor and audition for everything when it comes! Gosh, that was a while back too. I was just going a lot of stuff for Warner Bros. And working there a lot. I’m sure it was just a traditional way. I just read for the role. The Director was Collette Sunderman who I worked with a lot on Static Shock and ¡Mucha Lucha!. I was really happy when I booked it and really bummed when I got replaced for the next game. And when I got replaced I didn’t know until the game came out. I don’t really play video games. But that was a good run. That was really fun. And with video games you record by yourself, so I don’t have a lot of stories. I think during one of those sessions I did see Mark Hamill though. I love him!
You mentioned Mark Hamill, if you could have a role in Star Wars, either as a voice actor or live-action role what role would you like to have? In which time period?
I’m not a geek. I don’t know Star Wars really well, but I saw Star Wars in the theater. That’s how old I am. (I saw) the original Star Wars…in the theater…and I remember it. I wasn’t too little, I remember it! (laughing) I LOVE Princess Leia. She’s tough, she’s sarcastic. That’s me. So I would pick Princess Leia. I would go for that. I’m pretty old school.
Lastly, we are a pop-culture fandom site. Can you tell us about any of your favorite fandoms? Favorite movie, tv-show, cartoon. Favorite celebrity encounter. Whether classic, retro or modern fandoms. We love it all!
I like really weird things. I grew up in Los Angeles and for some reason, I’m super nostalgic about LA and the 70s and 80s so any show that was shot in LA on location in that time period. Like, say, The Rockford Files. I could watch that show all day long. I’m obsessed with LA and the traffic during the 70s and 80s. It was just a different time. And I was there and I remember it.
You can continue to learn more about Kimberly Brooks on IMDb.