Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Wonder Woman: Q&A with CSI & NCIS Stars Marg Helgenberger & David
Posted by Cybergosh on 12/17 at 07:24 PM on movieblog.ugo.com
Criminal investigation meets Greek mythology when current primetime television
stars David McCallum and Marg Helgenberger assume the voices of Zeus and Hera,
respectively, for “Wonder Woman,” the next entry in the popular series
of DC Universe animated original PG-13 films.
Warner Premiere, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation are set to release the all-new
“Wonder Woman” on March 3, 2009, distributed by Warner Home Video.
The animated original movie will also be available OnDemand and Pay-Per-View as
well as available for download day and date, March 3, 2009.
The two highly-regarded performers answered a few brief questions during their
recording sessions for “Wonder Woman.” Here’s what they had
to say …
McCallum, known to current TV audiences as Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard
in the hit CBS series “Navy NCIS (Navel Criminal Investigative Service),”
adds “Wonder Woman” to an animation resume that already includes the
DC Universe movie “Batman Gotham Knight” and TV series “Ben
10” and “The Replacements.” Animation is but a side gig for
McCallum, though, the actor having achieved legendary status for his two best
known roles - in film as Lt.-Cmdr. Eric Ashley-Pitt in “The Great Escape”
and on TV as super spy Illya Kuryakin in “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”
During his 62-year career, McCallum has played many notable characters in fanboy
TV favorites like “Jeremiah,” “The Outer Limits” (1963-64
& 1997), “Babylon 5,” “SeaQuest DSV, “Alfred Hitchcock
Presents,” “The A-Team,” “The Invisible Man” and
“Night Gallery,” to name a few.
Helgenberger is an anchor for the patriarch of CBS’ current crime lineup,
“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.” The actress is approaching her 200th
episode as Catherine Willows, the series’ female lead. Helgenberger , remembered
for her breakthrough, Emmy Award-winning performance in “China Beach,”
is no stranger to the sci-fi genre, having starred in “Species” and
its sequel on the big screen. The 2005 People’s Choice Award winner as “Favorite
Female Television Star” has been seen in a variety of roles ranging from
feature films ("Erin Brockovich,” “Bad Boys,” “Always")
to top-rated TV series ("ER," “thirtysomething,” “Frasier").
And now, McCallum and Helgenberger get to play gods. The two highly-regarded performers
answered a few brief questions during their recording sessions for “Wonder
QUESTION: You’ve played a number of interesting roles, but what’s
your take on voicing a god?
MARG HELGENBERGER: Well, as the saying goes, behind every great man is an even
greater woman. I guess playing Hera means that I’m, well, not only Queen
of the Gods, I’m better than he is! [she laughs]
DAVID MCCALLUM: I played Julius Caesar in a Central Park version of the Shakespeare
play, and just before that I was the emperor in “Amadeus” on Broadway.
So when my acting friends heard I was Zeus, they said “Ah, you’re
following your New York career.”
QUESTION: You’re fairly busy with a hit TV series, so what made you say
“yes” to recording for an animated film?
MARG HELGENBERGER: I think the cast was enticing. Not that I was going to be playing
opposite most of them, but just to be in their company. And being married to Zeus
was kind of fun - he is the god of all gods in Greek mythology. Voicing acting
is usually fun, though - I’ve even asked my agents about narrating books
on tape. I’m very curious about that world. I’m a fan of documentaries,
as well, and the voice kind of makes it right. Mostly for me, though, it’s
all about the acting -you don’t have to get hair and makeup and the whole
bit. You just can have fun with the acting.
DAVID MCCALLUM: Radio has always been my first love, and this is as close to that
performance as you can get. One of my favorite things when I was younger was to
listen to radio dramas, and there are none now. They would do three-hour plays
on radio - this was before television, of course. So doing these films is a lot
like those performances.
I love doing animation - mainly because you get to over-act. They’re always
saying “more,” “louder,” “bigger,” “huger”
and you just turn it lose. Andrea’s (Romano) reputation proceeds her as
Numero Uno so it’s always good to work with her. Plus, doing animation voiceovers,
I have learned so much, and it’s always good in your career to discover
something you didn’t know, and to learn to do things differently. So it’s
been a fascinating experience.
Most importantly, though, I have a grandson who thinks this is the greatest thing
I’ve ever done. When I did “Ben 10,” I really didn’t know
anything about “Ben 10.” But when I went back to visit my son Pierre
and told him what I’d just done, he said “You did a Ben 10?!?”
and then he started yelling out to my grandson, “Luca, Luca, come here,
Granddaddy did a ‘Ben 10’ show.” You suddenly discover you’re
gratte-cul with a five-year-old, and that’s pretty cool.”
QUESTION: Are you or were you a comic book fan?
MARG HELGENBERGER: The comic books I read when I was much younger were the goofy
ones like “Archie” and “Betty & Veronica.” I think
there was one called “Nancy and Sluggo.” I did actually date a comic
book artist briefly during the 1980s. I was living in New York and he lived in
my building. I’d bump into him in the elevator and he’d been (awake)
for three days straight, hovering over his drawing board. He had this whole odd
world in his mind, and it was pretty fascinating. I was very impressed.
DAVID MCCALLUM: I think the comic books that I grew up with, The Beano and the
Dandy and Desperate Dan, I really loved those back in the day. And during World
War I, there was a detective comic I used to read in the Daily Express or Daily
Mail. And of course, I loved going to the local Odeon on Saturday mornings for
the show and they always had a cartoon. Those are my memories of comics as a kid.
QUESTION: “Wonder Woman” offers a pretty strong female role model.
Are females represented enough on screen yet, or are we still building that foundation?
MARG HELGENBERGER: Television is a medium that’s incredibly strong for actresses
- far more than feature films. There are so many opportunities for all of us to
portray all different types of women - particularly women of great strength, real
women with wonderful souls. But in terms of the action heroines, there’s
not enough of them. When I think about all the action heroines in film, the ones
that stand out to me are actresses and roles and films like Sigourney Weaver in
“Aliens,” and the French film “La Femme Nikita,” and certainly
Linda Hamilton in the “Terminator” movies. I guess my son would probably
point out the “Resident Evil” films. But I think we need more of those
characters. Maybe now that we’re into the 21st Century, there will be a
lot more of them.
QUESTION: Does working in this medium have any other special significance for
DAVID MCCALLUM: It’s fascinating for me because when I did “The Man
From U.N.C.L.E.” it was over at Metro (Goldwyn Mayer). Right next to where
I had my little dressing room suite was MGM Animation, and just to sort of walk
by there every day and know that all those incredible characters came from them
was fascinating. I’ve always appreciated the work that goes into animated
productions and I enjoy being part of that creativity.
Visit the film’s official website at http://www.wonderwomanmovie.com