Voice actress Gray DeLisle is no stranger to Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman. But I think it’s fair to say those earlier iterations were nowhere near as bonkers or off-the-wall funny as she plays the Amazon warrior in the current DC Super Hero Girls cartoon. If you’ve ever taken a ganger at her Twitter, you know how entertaining DeLisle can be on social media. So as you can imagine, she definitely leans into her comedy chops for this version.
As the de facto leader of her superpowered group of friends, Wonder Woman reaches a crossroads that tests her abilities in the Teen Titans Go! & DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse crossover animated film. Ahead of the release, we had the opportunity to chat with Gray DeLisle about exploring Wonder Woman’s vulnerabilities and much more!
Taimur Dar: You’ve voiced Wonder Woman a number of times in the past but this one is my favorite because it really plays to your comedic strengths. Was getting to turn the comedy dial to 11 something that appealed to you?
Gray DeLisle: Absolutely! The first version of DC Super Hero Girls was for younger audiences so it wasn’t quite as much fun. I’ve also been able to play the “earnest Wonder Woman” in all the other properties for several years. When this one came up it was such a departure and so much more fun. Even though I do get to play the “earnest Wonder Woman” in this one as well at the very end. It was fun to play both Wonder Women in one film. I do love the comedy and I love the awkwardness of Wonder Woman. It’s so fun to play. And she’s trying to be cool and funny and she doesn’t know how. [Laughs].
Dar: There’s a running gag in DC Super Hero Girls with Diana being constantly frustrated by technology. When I interviewed you a few months ago for Mortal Kombat LegendsI was surprised to learn that you didn’t even own a computer until the pandemic!
DeLisle: It’s so true! I didn’t own a computer. I still have problems. I started a kids band over the lockdown called The Roughhousers and we’ve been doing a lot of press. They wanted to do Skype and I’m like, “Oh no! Why are you doing Skype when everyone is doing Zoom?” And I kept trying to get the guy to do Zoom but they wouldn’t. I was trying to sign into the meeting but it wasn’t working on my phone. So finally I had to go down to the laptop in the garage studio and get on Skype. It was the most frustrating and stressful part of the day. [Laughs]. I know technology is supposed to make our lives easier but it seems to make my life more stressful.
Dar: In a way you kind of already answered my question, but is it safe to say you can relate to Diana’s aggravations with technology?
DeLisle: Oh my God! Absolutely! 100% yes! But then again I know that I would probably be homeless if not for technology. I built this very expensive studio for my ex-husband in our garage. He’s a music guy. And then our marriage didn’t work out so he moved to Nashville. We’re still good friends. I was like, “What am I going to do with this expensive stupid studio that I built in my darn garage?” And then the world fell apart and my agent goes, “Is there any way you can record?” So thank goodness for my studio and the technology that did save me because otherwise I would be homeless! I have no other skills in the world! I can’t type and I can’t do anything computer-wise. All I can do is make weird voices.
Dar: As hilarious as DC Super Hero Girls gets, there’s a lot of room for heart and emotion. Mayhem in the Multiverse has a great moment when Diana returns home to the island of Themyscira after suffering great failure and see her mother who then comforts her by telling her that everyone fails. It’s a unique moment of vulnerability that I’m sure everyone has encountered at some point within the last two years. Did that scene and moment have any resonance for you?
DeLisle: Yes, in more ways than one. My mom and I have a strained relationship. Over the pandemic she was of one mind about the vaccine and I was of another mind about the vaccine. I was afraid for my kids to get sick so I wouldn’t let her visit. We just had our first big long visit after almost two years for Mother’s Day. So when I watched that part of the movie I got a little emotional. Mommy issues, you know? We all have them! [Laughs].
Dar: You also play the villain Giganta whose voice you’ve said you modeled after the character Biff Tannen in the Back to the Future films. Again, it’s another character that plays to your comedic strengths and has so many hilarious moments like how she’s insulting her loving and supporting parents. But if you look closer there are hints that Giganta is just insecure and overcompensating. Did that inform your performance so there was more depth to Giganta than we realized?
DeLisle: I think that’s the case with most bullies. Just a deep sense of insecurity. Like one big bully that we all had to deal with for the last four years before Biden came. Bullying always stems from that insecurity. I think it’s hilarious that she has these sweet parents. Even my son is friends with some kids who are mean to their parents because they think it makes them see cool but his parents are so nice! It was a great take on Giganta.
Dar: Lois Lane is yet another character you’ve voiced often. In DC Super Hero Girls she is depicted as a fast talking student reporter. Again, it’s another showcase of your great comedy skills. Incidentally, you also voice Lois Lane in the current season of Young Justice and is raising her son Jon Kent also voiced by you. I remember reading you used to do a Lois Lane voice when your son was growing upso how do you contrast your experiences voicing Lois in these two different projects?
DeLisle: I would do the old fashioned Lois Lane for my son because he liked the Max Fleischer Superman stuff from the ’40s. So it wasn’t quite as fast as [in] DC Super Hero Girls. And then Young Justice felt very real. You can’t put on that stylized voice so I played it straight like my own voice. For DC Super Hero Girls I wanted to make her cartoony. She lives in a busy city so I gave her a tiny bit of a New York thing and fast talking. Almost vintage but also like a hipster young woman who lives in the city.
Dar: It’s not uncommon to see voice actors try their hand in writing for animation. I’ve definitely been seeing an increased trend. That Parent Like No One Is Watching animated short that you created is one of the most hilarious things I’ve ever seen. So I’m curious if you’ve ever had an inkling to write something for any of the numerous animated shows you’ve worked on?
DeLisle: I actually have never written a script for any shows that I have done. I know Richard Horvitz did. He wrote a Billy & Mandy with his wife who’s a really phenomenal writer. I really don’t have any interest in writing cartoons. It’s funny because people ask me to sing or write songs with them. For some reason I’m a fairly solitary person when it comes to writing. I like to just write something that is completely my idea. I’ll write songs and comedy but it has to be completely my own. It’s really hard for me to take on a different story with set characters and parameters and create within that world. It’s hard for me to even sing songs with other people that I didn’t write. I’m really good at singing my own songs. I made up the melody so I can’t screw up because it’s mine.
Teen Titans Go! & DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse is available Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital starting May 24, 2022.
Fans can also catch the movie event on Cartoon Network premiering Saturday, May 28 and then on HBO Max beginning June 28.