Written By: Jayme Face
Kari Wahlgren is an incredible actress, voice over actress, writer and producer. Her voice can be heard in Emmy and Academy Award- winning animated films and tv shows! Soon you will hear her voice “Aranea” in the new Square Enix game “Final Fantasy XV” (Set to release November 29th) and as “Jessica” in “Rick and Morty” season 3 premiering February 2017.
Check out our interview with Kari!
upfrontNY: You voice Jessica in Rick and Morty, season 3 set to come out February 2017. Can you tell us anything about the new season and what is in store for Jessica?
Kari Wahlgren: All I can say is that the new season will be just as bizarre, smart, and funny as the first two….other than that, I’m sworn to secrecy!
upfrontNY: Aside from Jessica, you have also voiced various smaller roles, how do you make sure different characters you voice are different from each other?
Kari Wahlgren: Justin Roiland usually has a pretty clear vision of what he wants in the show, but he’s also open to ideas in the recording studio. Usually, between the two of us, it’s easy to figure out what Rick’s spaceship…or an alien doctor…might sound like!
upfrontNY: Your short film, Girl#2, won best short at the New Orleans Film Festival! Congratulations! Can you tell us more about the film?
Kari Wahlgren: Thank you! It’s been really rewarding to do something different creatively…I wrote and produced this short film and am very proud of it. It’s about two sorority sisters who are trying to survive a rampage by a serial killer in their sorority house. Once the festival season is over, we hope to get the film on TV or online so more people can see it.
upfrontNY: Now you have worn many hats, actress, writer, producer; how do they differ and how does each role help you with the others?
Kari Wahlgren: I think it just gives you more of an appreciation for all of the different pieces of the creative puzzle. You get to see everything that goes into the TV/Film process and that perspective helps when you step back into the role of an actor. It really is eye-opening…
upfrontNY: You have voiced characters in popular kids’ shows and movies, have you ever done those voices in person for children and what was the reaction?
Kari Wahlgren: When I’m asked to do a voice in front of a kid, there’s a 50/50 chance that the kid will be delighted or completely terrified. Until they get to be a certain age, they can’t quite process the idea that there’s an adult doing the voice of their favorite character. I’ve traumatized a number of children over the years…
upfrontNY: What is your favorite type of character to play?
Kari Wahlgren: I really love playing grandmas and babies.
upfrontNY: How did you get into voiceover work?
Kari Wahlgren: I started doing radio commercials in Kansas City and then found a voiceover agent after I moved to Los Angeles. Things just snowballed from there…
upfrontNY: What is your favorite thing about working in voiceover?
Kari Wahlgren: Every day is different in voiceover, and I get a chance to play so many characters that I’d never get to play on-camera. I love the constant challenge and surprise of it all.