Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles - Hi, Vanity Fair. I'm Tara strong, and I'm an actress, mostly known for my animated voiceover roles. Like Timmy Turner from "The Fairly Odd Parents." And Bubbles from "The Powerpuff Girls." She's hardcore. And Raven from "Teen Titans." And Harley Quinn from DC Universe, and Batgirl too. And Twilight Sparkle from "My Little Pony." I'm here today to break down some of my most famous characters. [funky music] 'Cause I've got fairy godparents. Yeehaw! That's my room. You think you can destroy the elements of harmony, just like that? Dear Trixie Tang, instead of going to the big school dance with somebody handsome and popular, how 'bout going with me, Timmy Turner. Timmy Turner is a 10 year old boy who lives with his mom and dad who are kind of boring and a little neglectful. And he has a super mean babysitter named Vicky. So he gets the privilege of having two awesome fairy godparents, Cosmo, and Wanda, who are not perfect at their jobs. So often things go very wrong and there's all kinds of crazy characters. The art was incredible. The cast was incredible. We were like a family. We would do two episodes back to back in the studio altogether. And that was some of the most hilarious, happy times in my life. "Fairly OddParents" was originally created for a series of short cartoons for a program in Nickelodeon called "Oh Yeah Cartoons" and I was not be original Timmy Turner. Mary Kay Bergman was the first to play the role. She was brilliant and she was just the sweetest woman ever. She passed away before the series got picked up. So I was brought in to replace her at the audition, which was very sad because she was just the loveliest woman. And I adored her and she was so talented. Many of the people going into the audition were playing her on their cassette tapes at the time. And I didn't want to do that. And I went into the director, Butch Hartman. He was also the creator. He's one of these crazy aliens that can draw, write, direct, voice. And I said, "I don't want to copy exactly what she did. I want to make it my own." And he said that that's what booked the part. Taking from her original inspiration and then making Timmy Turner my own. Okay you guys, I wish I was older. [magical music] Well, how do I look? - [Both Fairies] Eww. - You know, at an audition process, you get a drawing of the character, you get a character description, sometimes you get a show bible of what their world looks like. And then you as the voice actor have to try to imagine what the creative team behind it wants that to sound like. And so I wanted it to sound like an authentic ten-year-old boy. I wanted him to be fun and adventurous, but also a little bit nerdy, not so confident. And so all of those factors sort of go into play. And then I imagine those worlds in my mind, anytime I speak, I'm imagining what's happening to my character in my mind. A lot of people say, when you get into animation, "oh, I've got a funny voice, I could do this, right?" Absolutely not. You to have an acting background so that you can bring forth the action with your voice when it's missing from in front of you when you're doing on camera work. So in my mind, I was just imagining I was a 10 year old boy with this amazing opportunity to have any wish I want come true. And then organically, the voice just came out. Wow, she likes me! And I creep her out! Awesome! He's so much fun to voice because although you believe that he's an authentic boy, the shows are so crazy and out there that it can go to all kinds of different levels and you, as the actor, doesn't have to, you don't have to be afraid to be too big or too small in different moments. And there's so many layers and levels of musicality to him. He was really born of the creativity and the authenticity and the organic nature of "The Fairly OddParents." - I'm gonna get ya. - Professor! You turned it down again! I'm just as tough as Blossom and Buttercup, I can handle the rough stuff too! Come on you guys. Turn it up just this once. I'll show you! Bubbles is the sweetest, most authentic, vulnerable kick-ass girl you'd ever want to know. She is your best friend. She is someone that would do anything for a friend. She's content sitting and coloring. She's also quite content saving the day and being badass. She is such a big part of me, of all my characters, I would say I'm mostly like Bubbles. "Powerpuff Girls" was another show that I actually didn't book the original voice of. I wasn't in town. They had originally cast Bubbles as Kath Soucie, unbelievable, brilliant talent, she was Phil and Lil on the "Rugrats", and she was just amazing. It was a pilot called "The Whoop-Ass Girls" created by Craig McCracken, who is an absolute mega genius. He could take over the world if he wanted to. Whatever I did when I went in, they just really liked it. And they felt like it was a good differentiation from the other characters. So Bubbles is so different from E.G. Daily's Buttercup and Cathy Cavadini's Blossom and they're all so different and they're all so important. And I think something in my voice just triggered them to go, "okay, that's Bubbles." And Buttercup was a monster and I played the mayor and Blossom was Ms. Bellum. Then Buttercup wanted to pretend she was Blossom, but Blossom wanted to be Blossom and I wanted to be Bubbles but they told me I couldn't. And no one wants to be me! In the character description, she was described as like the cutest thing you could ever imagine. So even though she's super tough, she had to be super adorable, which is why the show works. These are the cutest little girls ever, but they could kill people. They could destroy towns. So I knew I had to make it super duper adorable. And inspiration came from the drawings, again, they were so incredible. Back then in animation, we didn't have computer generated images. Everything was hand drawn. At sessions they would give us storyboards that were like this thick with every single moment in the action. - Ask him if he knows who did this. [cheeping] [squeaking] - Yes! - Can he take us to them? [cheeping] Come on! - You know, it's funny, all the girls have these weird little powers, like ice breath or talking different languages or whatever. And I don't know why, the writers, Craig decided it would be hilarious if she could talk to squirrels. Bubbles is a huge animal lover so it makes sense. I'm standing in the booth doing my squirrel talk like this. [cheeping] And Tom Kenny, who is of course famously known for SpongeBob. He was also the mayor and the narrator. He like looked at me after my first take and he goes, "Tara!" And I was like, "yeah," he's like, "is this how you talk to squirrels?" I said, "I guess so." I didn't even realize I was doing that. That's how you talk to squirrels. That's my room. [crashing] Nobody goes in my room. Raven, she's so important. She's so important. When I think about how much she's touched people's lives. You don't know when you book a show like that it's going to be so important to people. When I first went in, I thought I was going to book Starfire because character description for Starfire is she's a grownup Bubbles. Well, I'm a grownup Bubbles. And at the time I was doing something like five different dark, tragic teenage voices. I was Batgirl for the same network. I was Kylie on "Extreme Ghostbusters," Shareena Wickett, Ingrid from X Middle School from "Fillmore." Like how do I make this girl different? Every single character I create has to be different. They're their own entity. They live in their own universe. They live up in my head when it's their time to play. And I didn't know how I was going to make her different. And at the audition, I just went into my acting mode. I just imagined where she was and her scenarios. And it was very similar to my own voice, which is Batgirl. Again, it's all the same people. So I knew as I was reading it, this probably isn't going to fly because it's just Batgirl. And I left the studio and on my way out, I had this idea and I turned to Andrea Romano, who is absolutely one of the most brilliant voice directors. And I said, "can I try one more thing?" And she said, "yes." And she let me go back in. And I just had this idea to have this weird little roll every time she said anything. It just came out. It was just a god shot. It was just this organic thing that I decided to go with. And that's what booked the part. So like thank you to Andrea for believing in me and giving me that time. And thank you to whatever spirit guide sent me Raven. He was the only person who ever made me feel like I wasn't creepy. And don't try to tell me I'm not. - Okay. - Well, I knew she was half demon. Her father is basically the devil. I mean, he's a horrible, demonic character. And I knew she had that inside of her. So I felt like if it was this deep guttural roll, that was constantly gnawing at her goodness, that if there was this deep inside darkness that she had to fight, that maybe it comes from somewhere so deep down and low that it just is like this constant roll. It's this constant reminder. It's this constant voice in her head to fight for goodness. I know this isn't my style, but we just kicked Slade's butt. Shouldn't we celebrate or something?