It has been just under a month since Hulu and Peacock began streaming the newest branch of the ever-growing tree that is the How to Train Your Dragon franchise. Dreamworks launched the new series called Dragons: 9 Realms with hopes of releasing more seasons in the future beyond the initial 6-episode order.
We recently sat down to speak with one of the voice actresses in the series, Aimee Garcia. She is best known for her roles in Lucifer, Dexter, M.O.D.O.K., and even penned her own Wonder Woman comic book for D.C. Comics - all of which we discuss in our conversation below.
Click the podcast player below to listen to our full chat with Aimee. Otherwise, scroll down for the entire transcript. If you prefer a fully immersive interview experience, you can scroll down to find the full video interview between Aimee Garcia and Literary Joe.
Literary Joe: So, let’s talk about Dragons. I want to ask you because I noticed that you do a lot of live-action stuff, but ahead of Dragons, you did M.O.D.O.K. and The Addams Family, so is it the pandemic that has guided you more into voice acting or is that something that you already had a passion for?
Aimee Garcia: No, I’ve done voice acting for years. I was on a couple of episodes of Family Guy back in the day. I actually did the voiceover for Spanglish, I narrated that movie back in the day with Adam Sandler and James L. Brooks. I felt very fortunate that I was doing an animated series while we weren’t able to leave our homes. So I got to at least stay creative, and so I’ve been doing it forever and have just kept doing it but I guess now it’s just stuff that people are seeing, but I’ve been doing it for a long time.
Literary Joe: So I know things are crazy with the pandemic. When you did the recording for your work on Dragons, can you give us a timeline of how long ago that was versus now that it’s finally coming out this month?
Aimee Garcia: I think it was almost two years, in fact, I’m looking at this old picture of Alex, so cute, it’s dated March 16th, 2020. So I think that’s when things really started to pick up. So, as you know, animation takes a long time, and people from all over the world have worked on this, which I think is so cool, so it really is a global team effort. So, yeah, it’s been a while, but I’m glad it’s finally coming to the world!
Literary Joe: So even though that was almost two years ago now, can you remember what it was about the How to Train Your Dragon franchise that appealed to you and made you want to join it?
Aimee Garcia: Yes, I love the movies, love the How to Train Your Dragon franchise. I feel like it really encourages you never to give up your sense of adventure no matter how old you are and never give up your sense of play. And so I love that because I’m a big kid, and I think dragons might exist in an alternate universe. It’s a very, very big universe, and so to say that creatures like this don’t exist - you never know. I was just in Belize, and I saw a huge iguana. I’m like, you know what, you never know. This might be the cousin of a dragon. So I don’t know, I love that, and as far as this particular project, I’d never seen a Latina Spanish whiz tech nerd before in animation. I didn’t have that growing up. I never saw the smartest girl in the room be this Latina with coke bottle glasses who was just a genius in technology so I felt really excited to voice a character that didn’t exist when I was a kid.
Literary Joe: Obviously I’ve seen some of the show and I don’t want to spoil anything, but can you tell our listeners and readers about the character of Alex from your perspective?
Aimee Garcia: So Alex Gonzales is a curmudgeonly - like, we’re gonna die. She’s so fun, I love her. She’s a total tech genius nerd that prefers animals to people. She does not like to leave her room. Her favorite place is in front of her tablet or in front of her computer in her room. She does not come from a place of yet, she comes from a place of no way. And she tends to see the glass half empty. She’s socially awkward, she doesn’t have a lot of friends at the beginning of the series. She’s kind of a loner type and you’ll find out why once you start watching it. She’s guarded and you physically see her hold her tablet in the first couple of episodes. She doesn’t say much, she’s like a sneaky ninja that can pop up anywhere without being detected. And she is super smart. I mean, computers are her third arm. She’s such a brainiac and because she’s not very social she’s very awkward in front of people so she tends to overshare when she finally is talking and she has no filter. So it makes for a lot of comedy and shaking my head moments for her. I love her because she’s not an optimist but she will have your back, which I love. And so I really appreciate some who - you know, she’s a girl of action. She may say you’re on your own, but she’ll show up. So it’s really fun to see her come out of her shell because she goes from this severe introvert who does not like people to really finding her voice through this group of characters who end up becoming her family.
Literary Joe: Out of all of those facets of her personality are there any that parallel from your childhood or who you are now?
Aimee Garcia: Well, I think she’s very curious, which I’ve still remained very curious. One thing that I’m different than Alex, although she has a wonderful arc throughout the series she just doesn’t believe that humans and dragons can co-exist. She feels that if humans discovered that dragons really existed dragons would be hunted. And so, again, she’s like a curmudgeonly old man at the ripe young age of fifteen. She just doesn’t that it can happen. But then she begrudgingly realizes that not only can different types of people co-exist but different types of species once these kids end up discovering their dragons. And the dragons almost become an extension of themselves. So I think she’s hysterical. I love that DreamWorks gave her that E.T. moment in the trailer with her and Feathers are both screaming. The dragon is more scared of her I think than she is of the dragon, which is so fun. But yeah, I think we’re similar in that we’re both major nerds and we wear the same sort of glasses and I feel like Alex and I could be twinsies. So in that regard, we’re very similar but I’m definitely much more of an optimist than she is.
Literary Joe: I think there are also parallels there between Alex and your character from Lucifer. I was curious if that was something you thought about while you were doing this role?
Aimee Garcia: Well, it’s interesting because Ella in Lucifer is very optimistic and very much a believer in what you can’t see. And Alex is on the polar opposite end of that but they’re both equally brilliant. They’re both the smartest person in the room. They both wear coke bottle glasses. They’re both Latina scientists, they both are socially awkward, they both have no filter which is so beautiful but I think the best characters blossom with you as an audience. And I feel like because she’s not hopping on a dragon and ready to ride into the sunset, she’s very hesitant and cautious. So you root for her, you want her to just get on a dragon. You want her to not be afraid to fly on a dragon. And I think that what’s so beautiful about her is that she has this relatable fear. That’s so human to be scared. Now imagine if a ginormous dragon was in front of you, and how would you react? So I love her because she goes from not wanting to leave her room to becoming part of this misfit teen group that has befriended these dragons. So it’s really fun, and her dragon is the coolest. It’s feather-hide species, so obviously, she named it Feathers. And the fun thing about her dragon is that they’re similar in that they can both camouflage and become invisible when they want to, but they’re dissimilar in that Feathers is like a rambunctious puppy that wants to play all the time, and Feathers has a sonic scream that can knock dragons out of the sky - pretty cool - and can mimic dragons. So I think it’s really cool that here’s this girl who barely talks, is super introverted, and doesn’t want to leave her room. And her dragon has such a loud sonic scream that it is essentially like a concussion weapon. And so it’s so cool to pair them together; it’s like an unlikely duo. So it’s really fun to see these two on this adventure.
Literary Joe: Could you tell me a little bit about the Wonder Woman comics you wrote?
Aimee Garcia: I actually wrote these two. This I co-wrote with my writing partner, this is Dungeons and Dragons, A.J. Mendez. I get so excited when I see Garcia; I’m like, mom, look! This I wrote by myself, it was part of the Gold and Black anthology. So I guess I have a thing for girls with coke bottle glasses. And it’s so cute, she steals Wonder Woman’s lasso, and she goes Wonder Woman, I’m so sorry, I was just scared of not being good enough. She says I was tired of feeling invisible, I guess I am kind of like Alex. She says, I was tired of being invisible and your lasso made me feel seen for the first time. And this is what Wonder Woman says, “your strength comes from within, Sophia. Being scared of not being good enough and being scared of not being seen is part of being human. All that matters is that you see yourself. You are enough and that is the truth. And then she’s like, and sometimes it’s not so bad to be invisible, and then takes her on her invisible jet and flies over Chicago, where I’m from. Awwww!
Literary Joe: Was it that love of comics that got you to do M.O.D.O.K. or was it just the animation that made you want to be in that realm?
Aimee Garcia: Well, I love all things comics. My dad was like a sci-fi geek, like a Star Trek guy. So I like Spider-Man, Spider-Man is my favorite of all time, I have a little card that I won’t give to anyone because I won’t take it out of the plastic. So yeah, it was both. I wasn’t very familiar with M.O.D.O.K. but obviously, I knew who Iron Man was, and then one thing led to another, and here we are, the two worlds collide, animation and comics. So it was the perfect kismet.
Literary Joe: Is there anything else you’d like to say about Dragons: 9 Realms before I let you go?
Aimee Garcia: Dragons is something you can watch with anyone of any age, which is so great. It’s a show that will make you laugh; you might tear up. It has a lot of adventure, and I think more than anything, it’ll just remind you to never give up on your sense of curiosity. And who doesn’t like dragons? So it’s something that I think the whole family could watch. And it’s not like a movie. You’ll get different stories every week, which is fun cause kids like new things. So it’ll be really fun cause who doesn’t like dragons? And I think it’ll be one of those shows that reminds you to take care of things that are precious and never ever ever ever lose your sense of adventure and the possibility that there might be dragons.
Literary Joe: Angel Batista just showed up in Dexter: New Blood - is there any chance we could see Jaimie, your character, pop up in any upcoming episodes, or is that something you can’t talk about?
Aimee Garcia: I think I can talk about it! No, I wish I was a part of Dexter: New Blood, but I’m so excited they’re doing it again. Michael’s great and Jennifer is great, and David’s great. No, I’m so bummed, but it’s great that they’re going to give us more Dexter, which I am very excited about personally as a fan.
What do you guys think of these comments from Aimee Garcia? Which project did you most enjoy her work in? Be sure to share your thoughts and view the full video interview for yourself below!
Aimee Garcia is a blast in this interview! We talk about her affinity for playing tech-savvy Latina characters and how that continues on to her newest project, Dragons: 9 Realms. We chat about why Aimee decided to join the How to Train Your Dragon franchise and how her character parallels to herself and the character she plays in Lucifer.
Of course, we couldn't go without mentioning Dexter: New Blood, and although the actress confirms she won't be joining the new show this season, she did talk a bit about her connection with the other actors from the series. Aimee even takes a moment to discuss her role in M.O.D.O.K. and talk about her own written comics. She even reads an excerpt from her own Wonder Woman DC comic.
Dragons: 9 Realms is currently streaming on Hulu and Peacock.