This interview was originally posted on 7/22/21
We are just hours away from the release of Netflix and Kevin Smith‘s Masters of the Universe: Revelation series. I am beyond pumped for long-time fans of the franchise and newcomers to come together and experience this fantastic continuation. I got the chance to chat with Tiffany Smith, who portrays newcomer Andra about what it was like to be a part of the series. As a long-time lover of the franchise, she shared how excited she is for people to experience this journey with them and how honored she feels to be portraying the first character of color in Eternia. Check out the full interview below!
Masters of the Universe: Revelation drops tomorrow, July 23, 2021, on Netflix.
This interview has been condensed for clarity.
Interview with Tiffany Smith
Julia Roth: What is something you want readers to know about you personally going into Masters of the Universe: Revelation?
Tiffany Smith: The biggest thing is that I am a massive fan of this world. I have a photo of myself from first grade holding an action figure from She-Ra. It has always been a part of my childhood to now. I am watching this as a fan just as much as everyone else is.
JR: What was the audition process like for the show? Did you know going in who you were auditioning for?
TS: I got sent sides and I had no idea exactly who they were for. It could have had a name on it, but they were the same sides they were sending to everyone who was auditioning, or every female role has the same sides. I didn’t know which character this was for. But, I did know it was for Masters of the Universe (Revelation), which definitely put on the pressure. I wanted to make sure I really crushed it. I auditioned and I remember listening and rerecording and going back and listening.
And then one side had the iconic line ‘I have the power’ and I just remember feeling so stressed about saying that line because I know how steeped into everyone’s mind it is and I thought maybe this is something this character is going to have to say it in the show. I fully used my lightsaber to help me get into the space of mind because I don’t have a Sword of Power. So I used the lightsaber and thurst it up into the air and decided it was a great idea to leave that sound effect at the end of the clip.
JR: I mean, with Kevin Smith attached to the project, I think anything Star Wars would win.
TS: Yes! I thought that either they are going to think I am super dorky, or they will go, ‘does she know what franchise this is for?’
JR: When did you learn that you would be portraying Andra? Was it right away?
TS: No, I think I waited a couple of weeks. The crazy part about all of this is because one – animation takes a while longer than film and tv, but also because of the COVID year, we had. It’s been a longer wait for everything. In my mind, I think it was a couple of weeks after my audition and I was following up with my agent asking if they had heard anything. Usually, in this space, when you audition, it’s like you are yelling into a black hole and if you don’t hear anything back, you most likely didn’t get it, but for me, I kept checking in and asking ‘did we hear anything?!’ And I finally got the email saying that I booked it!
I was just so excited because I had gotten to work with Kevin in the past for hosting things. I was so much more excited that he was involved in this and just through the world of working at DC and working in a geek space in LA, I ended up knowing a lot of the writers prior to working on the show. It was just that huge celebration of having such incredible writers that are my friends and that Kevin is a part of this. I actually get to be a part of this! Then seeing the cast list just blew me away even more too. These are some of the most talented actors and voice-over actors and I’m in this group now!
JR: When I first saw the list, I thought to myself, ‘how did they get all of these people!’ But, leading up to the release, everyone has said how excited they were to be on the show.
TS: I think it’s one of those things that so many people have a love for the Masters of the Universe world on their own and then knowing it was Kevin doing it. Whenever he is attached to a project, you know he is going to be in it 200%. I knew this was something great because everyone that was involved was 100% on board and wanted it to be something really special. I think that when you are an actor and you start hearing about something you can feel that excitement.
You could tell everyone was just so passionate about this project and that is what makes it such a special thing. It easier to get people on board because they can hear your passion and they want to be a part of this. Together we are going to make this something epic for fans who watched it in the 80s and for people just coming into this space.
JR: It really is fantastic. It’s everyone’s wish to have one of their favorite shows from their childhood to be continued. There are so many things that have been canceled over the years and I just wish we could have had two more episodes. And with this, we are getting ten of them and hopefully more.
TS: I’m very hopeful for more. I’m excited for everyone to see it and excited to see where characters will go and even further. And who knows what can happen.
JR: It (Masters of the Universe) is such a vast universe that they could go on with anything and open it up to more than just He-Man. This series opens those doors and says yes, we can tell a story in this world that doesn’t solely focus on He-Man and Skeletor in every episode.
TS: I think the great part about this is the show has always had Masters of the Universe in the title. And I think that part is so cool that you can explore the people around He-Man and how He-Man affects the people around him. What impact he has on them. I think it’s really cool to get to know the characters you saw on the original show but didn’t really get a lot of screen time. Even more excited for new characters like Andra!
JR: How does it feel to be the first person to portray her? So many people are coming to the series and voicing characters who already have someone who has done it before. What was it like knowing you had a fresh slate?
TS: I think as you said, I had a little bit less pressure than everyone else in the way that they might be compared to other people who had voiced this character or an idea of who this character was for people who watched it when they were young. The flip side of that, though, is that I have the pressure of being the new girl. I need to make sure that she is a badass. That we do the best with her.
And on top of that, she is the first character of color in Eternia. She is bringing diversity to this world. I had the pressure on those two sides. But the thing that I loved about it and remembered from one of my first sessions was Kevin saying, ‘she’s you but more animated, more amped up,’ and for me, in my mind, it reminds me of Barry Allen in The Flash. He is a fan of the world he is in and a fan of the other superheroes.
For me, that is really a big piece of who Andra is. She is the audience’s entrance into this world. She is like, ‘oh man, I can’t believe I get to go here – I heard all about this place – Woah, this is so amazing.’ I think that part is so exciting because she hasn’t been done before, so we got to really fully create a character. Another great part about her is that there is a character named Andra in the comics, so I feel like there is still a great legacy connection to the Masters of the Universe, with her name being Andra even though she is a new character.
JR: She’s perfect. I love her … a lot. I would have to say that she is probably my favorite character. For me, Masters of the Universe has always been that beautiful mix and magic and fantasy and technology. She is so excited and so smart. She’s an engineer and she is running around exploring while diving headfirst into the magic side of the world too. To me, this is amazing. I love her.
TS: That makes me so happy. Like I said, there was a different kind of pressure going in because one, she is new, but also this is the first series regular for an animated series for me. So getting to make her whole journey and knowing that people are going to connect with her is so exciting for me. I am still pinching myself that I get to do this and people are going to watch it. I love the fact that she is a badass and a super smart engineer and she is willing to jump into the adventure. She has funny quips that are like, ‘that’s what I was thinking.’ I’m so excited to hear that you love her just as much as I do.
JR: She really is utterly fantastic. I was so excited that they were releasing a new character and I don’t think I could have been any more wowed with her. You really have done such an amazing job. What do you want viewers to take away from her journey?
TS: I think the biggest thing that I love about the show as a whole and that she is a great demonstration of is that we really all do have the power. That you don’t have to be Prince Adam or even a prince, you don’t have to be a lieutenant; you don’t have to be any title. We all have the power within us. I think she is such a great example of that because when we meet her, Teela is in a totally different place in her life and seeing the journey that she goes on with her and how she grows.
For her, so much of this is about family. I really connect with this because I have a really close connection with my family and in a lot of these cartoons that we watched as kids, there was always something that made you feel welcome and a part of this family and you loved it. I think her journey to connect and find family and find her place is what I hope people take away from it.
And along those lines, I didn’t have characters that looked a lot like me on almost any of the shows I watched when I was younger. I hope that there are people watching that can see themselves in Andra and feel like they are being seen on the show too.
JR: I am a huge supporter of diverse representation in TV. My son is a person of color and a lot of times, we will watch stuff and he doesn’t see himself. As soon as I got the screeners for this (Masters of the Universe: Revelation), he watched the first episode or two with us and it was this amazing thing because he now sees someone who represents him. He has that moment of feeling like he belongs in this world because, look, she’s here.
TS: I think that even working as a host in the geek space and getting to go to conventions is great. I feel very lucky that I have had experiences where a mom or a dad will bring their younger daughter up to meet me and hearing them say that ‘just seeing you on this show, made my daughter more comfortable and that she can see herself stepping into this space.’ It’s such a gift when I hear that. For me, I grew up multiracial and there often weren’t people who looked like me on TV and now, getting to see even more of that and being a part of it is incredible. I feel really blessed and lucky and it’s not lost on me just how important and special it is.
JR: It really is such an amazing thing to be a part of and Andra is such a great inspiration for viewers. Let’s tie things up with what has been your favorite moment from part one?
TS: My favorite moment from part one? Gosh. In the last session that we had to do ADR, we had finished and they were like, ‘well, that’s it for you for now,’ and I was just like, ‘oh well, okay.’ And then they asked if we wanted to see the teaser. And of course, I did! This was really amazing for me because it was like that moment when you leave summer camp, sad it’s over but everyone is still excited. We had Kevin on the zoom and directors from Powerhouse and we all just geeked out watching the teaser. And literally, I was jumping up and down in the voice-over booth and that is for sure a moment that will stick with me from the first season.
Everyone is so excited for this show and has put their all into it and I think when you watch the trailer or something that has come out of it and see how excited everyone else is over what others have done. That’s awesome.
JR: The first teaser was amazing. Everything that has come out, teasers, images, trailers. Everything has been spot on.
TS: Yes! I am a bit embarrassed how many times I’ve watched the teaser. I have a 2021 workout playlist and of course, “I Need a Hero” is number one on the list now.
JR: Thank you so much for chatting with me and celebrate all day tomorrow!
TS: Thank you and I can’t wait for everyone to dive into this amazing series!