TEEN TITANS GO! & DC SUPER HERO GIRLS Interview With Cythonna Voice Actor Missi Pyle (Exclusive)
Teen Titans Go! & DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse star Missi Pyle talks to us about bringing the villainous Cythonna to life in the movie and reveals how she brought the character to life...
In Teen Titans Go! & DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse, Lex Luthor wields an ancient Kryptonian power and unites the world's supervillains to capture the DC Universe's heroes. With only the fan-favourite DC Super Hero Girls left to stop the Legion of Doom, the team must cross dimensions to rescue their fellow superheroes from the Phantom Zone, but a fortuitous wrong turn leads them to Titans Tower...where they find much-needed allies in the iconic Teen Titans!
That's the premise of this awesome blockbuster event, and we can promise you'll have an absolute riot with this hilarious, action-packed crossover. To mark its Digital, Blu-ray, and DVD release this week, we sat down for a conversation with Missi Pyle (Galaxy Quest, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Y: The Last Man) to discuss her standout role as the villainous Cythonna.
A relatively obscure comic book character, she gets to take centre stage in a way here that puts the villain on a map in a big way. Across the course of this crossover event, Cythonna proves to be more than a match for friend and foe alike, and Missi does a phenomenal job of bringing her to life.
In this interview, we hear from the actor on joining the DC Universe, how she found the right voice for this character, and what it was like being able to put her own spin on this DC Comics villain. Missi also explains what it is about voiceover roles like this one that excite her as a performer. Oh, and if you're keen to hear from her on Y: The Last Man's shock cancellation, click here.
How did this project come your way and what did it mean to you to be offered the chance to join not just the DC Universe, but this awesome DC Super Hero Girls franchise?
It’s always been my dream to be a superhero. I love villains, though. I love their flaws. How does anyone become a person who is so willing to give up joy? [Laughs] I think they’re so complicated and wonderful and I’ve played a few live-action villains, but Cythonna is such a wonderful, full-on, gorgeous broken woman. It popped up during the pandemic which was awesome because there wasn’t a lot of work around at the time and I was grateful to be able to go out there and sink my teeth into something.
I loved Cythonna’s voice, but what sort of work went into finding the right sound and accent for her in this movie?
It’s something we all came up with together. Of course, I never met anyone in person because we were all on Zoom and I recorded in a studio on my own. It was a long process. I was able to see an outline of her, but for me, when I read a script, most of the time, I can sort of hear who that person is based on a little bit of everything. From there, we created her together. The writers, the director and myself found her. All villains love to be the hero on some level, but they can’t, so there are little pieces of her where she’s a stereotypical villain. But they play off that, so you almost know how to be her, and go from there.
Cythonna is a pretty obscure character, but was being able to come in and put your own stamp on a character we haven’t seen dozens of times before a big part of why you wanted to take on this role?
That is very true. It was fun to play with all those characters, but I had never heard of her. It was fun to pop in and just come in and do whatever I wanted [Laughs]. There wasn’t that template there.
Did that take the pressure off a little as this wasn’t a character like Batgirl or Supergirl who have so many expectations from comic book fans?
You know, it’s funny but I hadn’t thought of it that way. There was absolutely no pressure and we just played with her until we came up with something that worked for everybody. It was a big playground, but I hadn’t thought of that and it really is lovely to play a character who can be whatever you want her to be as an actor because she isn’t living in anyone else’s mind.
Playing a villain who quite effortlessly outsmarts Lex Luthor and beats Superman must feel pretty empowering, I’m guessing?
I do love that. I feel like all villains would be a hero if they could. They just can’t. Even with the villains people already know, that’s pretty exciting, but to be Cythonna is so exciting. She’s this strong female character who outsmarts someone like Lex Luthor and these heroes. It was a lot of fun to play her and she is brilliant. She just can’t be the hero she wants. She’s been battered down, and that’s what makes her a villain.
You’ve done a few voiceover roles now, but as someone who is primarily an on-camera actor, what do you most enjoy about this particular aspect of performing?
What’s so wonderful about any voice work is that you just bring the essence of you and your voice. You don’t have to worry about the physicality. You don’t have to physically prepare for the role and don’t have to worry about the actual camera. Those are all wonderful things, and I very much enjoy performing for the camera and trying to figure it out and the relationship you have with it, but these movies are such a fun collaboration with a group of animators. The whole story too. It’s such a process. A lot of the shows I’ve been on in the world of animation, and I haven’t done a tonne of work, but there have been a couple of shows, and what you see at the end is so extraordinary in the sense of how they take your work and bring these elements together. There are no limitations. It’s just you in the recording booth and it’s so much fun. It’s also so fast [Laughs]. You go to work for two hours and you’ve done a whole movie!
Now you’ve had a taste of this DC Universe, are there any other characters you’d like to bring to life in other projects?
I’d love to play this character in real life! [Laughs] It’s always been my dream to be a villain and I’d like to continue bringing a little more humanity and depth to them. They’re always more fun, let’s be honest.
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Teen Titans Go! & DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse is available on Digital, Blu-ray & DVD on May 24. The movie event also premieres on Cartoon Network on May 28 and starts streaming on HBO Max beginning June 28!