Written and directed by Brad Bird, the animated action adventure film Incredibles 2 sees Helen (voiced by Holly Hunter) called upon to help bring Supers back while Bob (voiced by Craig T. Nelson) is left to navigate the day-to-day family life at home. When a high-tech super-villain known as Screenslaver hatches a brilliant but scary plot that the Incredibles can only overcome if they work together, Violet (voiced by Sarah Vowell), Dash (voiced by Huck Milner) and baby Jack-Jack jump in to lend a hand and their powers to help their parents save the world.
At the film’s Los Angeles press day, Collider got the opportunity to sit down and chat with actress Sophia Bush (who voices a young wannabe Super named Voyd, with the ability to divert and manipulate objects around her by creating voids that allow the objects to appear and disappear) about joining this really cool superhero world, getting to tour Pixar, why being a part of this sequel is a real pinch me moment for her, who Voyd is when she takes off the mask, whether she sees herself in her character, and that she’d still love to do a live-action superhero movie. She also talked about her development deal with 20th Century Fox Television, and how excited she is to be able to tell stories from an empowered position.
Collider: When The Incredibles came out years ago, there wasn’t the superhero craze that there is now. How cool is it to get to be a part of all that, but in this way, with Incredibles 2?
SOPHIA BUSH: It’s so amazing! There’s honestly a part of me that wonders if The Incredibles didn’t really launch the craze. I think everyone realized how much fun these films are, and how you get to tell these big stories about real life themes, and then add on this layer of incredible entertainment with superheroes and powers and action sequences. Now, we look at the whole Marvel Universe and we go, “Oh, okay!”
How cool will it be, the first time you see somebody in a Halloween costume, as your character?
BUSH: You know what’s so crazy? I hadn’t even thought about that, and then, the day that we made the announcement public that I joined the cast, my girlfriend Hilarie [Burton], who I used to work with, texted me and said, “Wait, does this mean I get to dress up as you for Halloween?” And then, I had that realization that I will see kids dressed up as Voyd, and it’s so surreal and awesome. It’s just an incredible thing. It truly is an amazing thing to be a part of a movie like this, especially for me. I’m such a Pixar fan, as it is, and The Incredibles has always been my favorite Pixar movie. To be in the sequel is a real pinch me moment, in my life. I got to play a character who has such an identity, and who I think is someone that kids and young women and college-aged men and women really can look at and identify with, as far as being a person who has had to hide who they are, who’s been othered by society, and who feels like they finally have an opportunity to step out of the shadow they’ve been in, and is wondering if the world is going to accept them for who they are, as they are. It’s really such a story about identity, and it is for everyone in the film. There’s this role reversal of who the bread winning parent is and who the stay-at-home parent is, and the growing up of kids that are trying to figure out who they are in the world. Everyone is figuring out their place. And then, you get this beautiful family story and you get superheroes, on top of it, so it makes it really fun.
In this film, we only really get to see the superhero side of your character. Did you think about who Voyd is, when she goes home and takes off the mask?
BUSH: I did. I thought a lot about what I’ve learned, as an activist in the equal rights space. I’ve thought a lot about how so many of the young people in the LGBTQ community, who have felt shunned or othered, or the many people who feel shunned or othered because of their race or their gender, have had people who they’ve been able to look at, in the entertainment world. They have role models and people who say to them, “It gets better.” I’ll never forget hearing the story of this young gay boy in Oklahoma, who talked about how, growing up and watching Will & Grace made him realize that his life was going to be okay, even though, as a kid, he wasn’t really accepted and didn’t feel like he ever would be, but he had something to look to.
I think about that reality and that kind of a story for Voyd, being this young woman who is different and who has to hide who she is, and who can’t tell anyone about her life and who can’t tell anyone about her identity, and who has these powers and this magic that she really has to diminish it. She has to dim her own light, but she grew up looking up to Elastigirl and wanting to be like Elastigirl. Now, Elastigirl is back and Voyd gets this call, and maybe she’s going to be able to be herself. It’s like that young kid meeting Eric McCormack or Debra Messing. It’s an out of body experience that she has, the first time that she gets to meet Elastigirl.
That’s what really personalizes it for me. When you see her, toward the end of the film, getting called on by Elastigirl, and she’s really got to get out there, even though she doesn’t have as much practice with her powers and she doesn’t know how to control them as well as a lot of people do. She’s good, but she’s not an expert yet, and there she is giving it her all because it’s a big moment for her. And then, you see her with Violet, and they’re just two young girls talking. I just find it to be so sweet and hopeful.
When you got to see how cool your character looks and you learned about all of the cool things that she gets to do and what her powers are, were you ever just the slightest bit jealous that it was all animated, or were you totally cool with not having to put on spandex?
BUSH: I was cool with it. It’s still a dream for me to do a live-action superhero movie. It always has been. When I was little, I always told people that I wanted to grow up to be Batman, and they were like, “That might not happen for you.” So maybe I’ll get to play some amazing character like that in a film. It is certainly really fun to dip my toes into the superhero pool like this, and I love that my character’s a woman in STEM. That’s pretty cool. She’s a little scientist, manipulating space and time. It’s pretty rad.