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  • - 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?