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Last Updated - Monday, Oct. 4, 2004

 

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Interview With Jennifer Hale (Oct. 4, 2004)

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Here's an interview that I'm sure a lot of people have been waiting for.  I had a chance to talk to Jennifer Hale and she gave me some interesting answers ;)  She plays Sam and Mandy along with a bunch of other minor characters on Totally Spies.  For anyone who's a fan of animated programs or video games, you're bound to have run into her work whether you knew it or not.  She's been acting professionally since her teen years and I'm guessing the credits that are listed on various internet sites don't really list all the work she's done in the past.  Did I mention she's also really fun to talk to?

 

someguy959: I was searching online for some background information about you before conducting this interview.  Unfortunately, there seems to be very little information available.  So I'd like to start off this interview by asking you - Who is Jennifer Hale?

Jennifer Hale: well... Letís see, Iím a girl who loves her job, loves horses, loves her man, is eternally grateful to everyone along the way and is very happy to be here.

sg959: It's just amazing how much work you've done in movies, television, and video games.  Are there any major differences in performing for one medium over another?

JH: Thank you, Iím glad to be able to make a living doing this.  The underlying process for all the mediums is the same, itís the technical requirements and the sensibilities of each piece that change.  There are different things to love about each area.  Theyíre all a blast, itís all acting and I learn every time I work.

sg959: Considering just how many characters you've played over the years, is there a particular role that really stands out as a favourite?

JH: Thatís a tough one.  I walk out of so many jobs thinking, ďWow, that was awesome, what a great day!Ē, itís hard to pinpoint just one.  I love the heroines because they kick butt and it feels so great to be that for a day, and I love the villains because you really get to go all out, they let themselves behave in ways that would seriously humiliate most self-respecting people.

sg959: What about a performance that just makes you cringe everytime you think about it?

JH: Oh, there are a few of those.  Mostly those make me laugh and theyíre verrry humbling.

(I asked for some specific titles but Jennifer told me, "You know, I've blocked them out.   :) " - sg959)

sg959: If Jennifer Hale had never gotten into acting, what would she be doing today?

JH: Training horses, being an architect, a disaster relief person, something like that.  I love to be outside, I love to create stuff and I love my volunteer work, evacuating horses and other animals during fires (she works with The Los Angeles County Equine Response Team - sg959).

sg959: What did you have to go through to land the role of Sam and Mandy on Totally Spies?

JH: We all went to an island where they starved us for six days, made us sleep in beds of crawling insects, bungee jump from jagged rocks above a pit of vipers and whoever finished it all first won unless we voted them out.  Kidding.  They auditioned many of us, called a few back and chose from that group.  Iím so happy that David, Jamie and everyone gave me the opportunity to be part of the show, itís been one of my absolute favorite experiences.

sg959: I'm also curious as to how you found out about the role?

JH: My agents sent me in on it. (thank you!)

sg959: Did you expect to be providing the voice of more than one regular character or was it unexpected?

JH: I didnít expect to be playing two characters, that was a surprise and a great one.  It was intimidating at first, but I really love it.  They are such opposites.

sg959: What were your initial thoughts on the show and the characters (Sam and Mandy) you were playing.

JH: It looked so fun, I love spy/action stuff and it always rocks when I get to be one of those characters.  Plus I get to be a total snot, which is fun too.  This show is really well done, which makes it so easy.

sg959: As far as playing Sam goes, how did you bring the character to life?

JH: Well, I just jumped into the script and we had an awesome cast.  We got to be really good friends on top of everything else.  Andrea, Katy and Jess are all so talented and incredibly funny, you have no idea!  I wish we could make a show of the outtakes.

sg959: Did you have complete freedom to play her however you wanted to or was there some guidance?

JH: It was a nice mix of both.

sg959: Do you find many similarities between you and Sam or are you completely different personalities?

JH: You should ask Andrea this one.  :)

sg959: What about compared to Mandy?

JH: Oh man, I donít even want to think about that!

sg959: Which character is more fun to play?

JH: Ooo, both are very much fun.  Iím probably more partial to Sam, just because I think sheís really cool.

sg959: How do you feel Sam has developed over the past 3 seasons and what would you like to see happen with the character in the upcoming season?

JH: I think sheís always been smart and adventurous, but now you see more of her wacky side and her girly side as well.

sg959: Marathon is currently in early production of a fourth season of Totally Spies.  Will you be returning to play Sam and Mandy for another season?

JH: I would love to come back for another season.

sg959: Would you be willing to reprise your role as Sam for a Totally Spies feature film as well?

JH: Yeah, baby!

sg959: Is there one recording session of Totally Spies that stands out in your mind for whatever reason?  It'd be great to hear some behind the scenes stories.

JH: I canít pick just one session, but the thing that stands out in my head about the sessions in general is how much we all laughed.  We really did have a great time.  Jess does an imitation of William Shatner thatís hilarious and Andrea was in training to become ĎShatnerinaí as we liked to call it, doing her imitation of Jessí imitation.  He also does this total ďdudeĒ kind of guy and he would sit there being that guy (impossible to describe, but oh-my-god!) and see how long it took to make each of us crack up.  Katy was always coming up with totally surprising off the wall things and our director Jamie was so patient.  Poor guy, having to wrangle us!

sg959: For anyone reading this interview and thinking about trying to enter your chosen profession, do you have any advice that you'd like to pass on?

JH: Work hard, donít take yourself too seriously and if youíre gonna be on this ride, enjoy it.

sg959: Jennifer, thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview.  Are there any final parting words for Totally Spies fans and Jennifer Hale fans?

JH: Yes, thank you so much for watching, you guys are so important to what we do.  Laugh at least once a day.  Eat your vegetables.  And thank you!!

 

 

Jennifer has her own website at www.jenniferhale.net but it's currently being revamped and I'm told it will contain contact information if you'd like to send her fanmail, so keep checking her site.  Jennifer is currently working on Brandy & Mr. Whiskers, Billy & Mandy (Grim & Evil), Code Name Kids Next Door, Justice League,  Xaiolin Showdown along with guest appearances on numerous other shows (Lilo & Stitch, American Dragon, Duck Dodgers, The Batman and others).

 

  

 

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