Molly Quinn Talks SUPERMAN: UNBOUND, Voicing Supergirl, Narrating Audio Books, Favorite Genres and Her Wish to Be a Live-Action Batgirl

     April 5, 2013


Based on the Geoff Johns/Gary Frank 2008 DC Comics release “Superman: Brainiac,” Superman: Unbound is the latest DC universe animated original movie from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. The story is about a destructive force that is devastating planets across the galaxy, with Earth next in its sights, and even Superman may not be capable of halting the destruction alone. The film features the voices of Matt Bomer (White Collar) as Superman, John Noble (Fringe) as Brainiac, Molly Quinn (Castle) as Supergirl, and Stana Katic (Castle) as Lois Lane.  For more on the movie, here’s Dave’s review and our WonderCon panel recap.

While at WonderCon, actress Molly Quinn spoke at a roundtable about how she wanted to voice Supergirl, what it was like to play such an iconic character, how much fun she has doing the grunting and yelling for the fight scenes, the process of narrating books 4 and 5 of The Mortal Instruments audio books, what she loves about sci-fi and fantasy, and how she would love to do a live-action Batgirl.  Check out what she had to say after the jump.

MOLLY QUINN at WonderConQuestion:  As you thought about Supergirl, what was the key for how you wanted to play her?

MOLLY QUINN:  I wanted to make sure that she was strong and that, even when she argued and had her little moments of teenaged angst, she knew, deep down inside, what she was going to do.  She would ask advice, after she had her mind made up.  I think that’s just completely fun, and so real.   I think a lot of times when people play superheroes, they stick with this, “I am a superhero,” but the truth is that we’re all human and that human quality is really important to bring. 

Was it weird to play an icon and to know that people have thought about Supergirl, for generations, and imagined what she was like?

QUINN:  Oh, gosh!  I tried not to think about any of that.  I just tried to focus on how much fun it was.  But, now that you’re saying that, I’m like, “Oh, my god, I hope they like it!  Did I play it right?  Are they going to be upset that I’m a redhead, in real life?”  I want the people to be happy.  I loved getting the job, but whatever I do, I like making good movies because I like to watch good movies.  As long as I can do that, I’m happy.  And I hope people enjoy Supergirl because I liked [playing] her, a lot. 

For people who have never seen an animated movie, what would you say to get them to watch it?  

QUINN:  It’s a great fantasy.  You’re going to enjoy it, from the beginning to the end.  There’s enough humor mixed in with the fighting.  There are enough rest stops.  You’re going to enjoy it, but you’re not going to get worn out.  Also, Brainiac is incredible, just that entire character, in general.  It’s phenomenal!  That would be my biggest selling point.            

superman-unboundDo the action scenes require you to just do a lot of grunting and yelling in the booth?

QUINN:  Yes, absolutely!  And that’s the most fun.  One of the scenes said something like, “Supergirl punches through 10 androids in a row, going in a circle formation.”  I remember being in the booth and going, “Okay, how would I do this?”  So, I do this whole thing and, when they put it together, it looked better than I could have imagined.  In the booth, I know a lot of people will just stand there and do it, but I really enjoyed getting into it.  I’ll throw those punches and I’ll act like I’m being thrown aside.  Whenever there are winks, I try to do the whole thing.  People think I’m ridiculous, but I think it adds something really important to the performance.  It’s fun! 

Nathan Fillion is both a geek and a veteran of voice-overs in the DC world.  Did he have any influence on you doing this, or you wanting to do this?  Did he give you any insight into what the process was going to be like?

QUINN:  You know, he didn’t.  I’d like to say that he did, but he didn’t.  The only thing that Nathan ever says, when I ask him for any type of advice is, “You’re in this industry.  That’s enough.  If you weren’t good, you wouldn’t be here.”  I’m always like, “Thanks, Nathan!  I appreciate it!”  That’s his words of wisdom, and it is true.  He’s funny.            

Do you have to be more uninhibited to do voice-over work or on-camera work?

superman-unbound-3QUINN:  I think it’s equal.  That’s very interesting because it comes out in two completely different ways.  Definitely in voice-over, you have to be completely uninhibited.  More than that, you have to put yourself back into the enjoyment of pretending.  Whereas in live-action, you do need to be completely uninhibited, but it’s different.  It’s more laid-back and about having a conversation.  With voice-over, you have to pretend like you’re three, except you can talk and read.  Both times, you have to be uninhibited, but it’s two different types.

You also narrated books 4 and 5 of The Mortal Instruments audio books?

QUINN:  Yeah.  That was great!  I’m a huge fan of that series.  Always have been.  In the last one, we think a character is dead.  I was in the book reading, and I started bawling.  I was in tears, reading, “And she strokes his hair, as his last breath comes out,” but it sounded awesome in the audio books, so I was happy for that.  But, those books touched my heart.  I thought they would cut out all the crying, or let me re-read it, but they were like, “No, that was perfect!”  It was good because it means so much to me.

Do you find that that’s a really different style of acting, to do narrating?

QUINN:  I think so.  It’s almost like you get to do every voice in the cartoon.  That’s the way I like to look at it.  I asked about that, before I went in.  Sometimes they want you just to read very stoic and in one voice, but with slight inflection.  Because there are a lot of aliens and demons in [Cassandra Clare’s] work, I asked if I could come up with my own voices for the characters, and they were like, “Yeah, do whatever you want!”  So, it felt like I was doing every single part in a cartoon.  That was incredible!  And it was very sweet that they gave me that much freedom.  It was great!  But, it’s very different.  You have to have a lot of stamina.  They’ll be like, “Molly, you have to go back because you didn’t read that line right.”  You read seven hours a day, and you only have three or four days to finish it.  So, it’s very different, but it’s great.

superman-unbound-blu-rayWhat do you love about the world of sci-fi, fantasy and superheroes, and the fan world that comes with it?

QUINN:  Oh, gosh!  For example, I’m reading The Wheel of Time, and I’m on Book 6 right now.  I get so into it, and then I’ll close the book and be so sad because I love living in that world.  That’s where I want to be.  I want to be an astronaut.  That’s what I want.  I enjoy that that escape is there, and I like meeting other people that enjoy it, as well.  I think it’s awesome to be able to have a place where you can dress up as those characters.  I also think it takes so much bravery.  People think it’s silly, but it takes a strong person to be able to do that.  Only when you know yourself are you able to become those other people.  That’s true enjoyment.  You can’t do that unless you’re firm in who you are.  I think these people are absolutely incredible, and I look up to a lot of them.

Is there another superhero or a character in a fantasy novel that you would love to play? 

QUINN:  I loved doing Supergirl, but I would love to do Batgirl.  I would absolutely love to do a live-action Batgirl!

Superman: Unbound will be released on Blu-ray, DVD, OnDemand and for download on May 7th.

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