Harley Quinn Voice Actor Tara Strong on How Harley Empowered Her Life

There's no question that Tara Strong's become one of the most recognizable voices in the acting world behind several iconic characters from DC, Marvel, and beyond. The Society of Voice Arts & Sciences (SOVAS) will honor the seasoned actress with the Voice Arts Legacy Award for Arts and Entertainment. Fellow voice actor Cree Summer will present the award at the Voiceover Career Expo at the Marriot Convention Center on December 15th. Strong has over 600 credits to her name, including Teen Titans Go!, Rugrats, The Powerpuff Girls, My Little Pony, and the Disney live-action series Loki as the voice of the animated Time Variance Authority mascot Miss Minutes. The actress spoke with Variety, breaking down some of her iconic roles like Harley Quinn and Batgirl and their continuing social influence. When it came to the aforementioned DC characters, she saw them as a unique opportunity.

Tara Strong attends 2019 Comic-Con International WB's "Teen Titans Go! Vs. Teen Titans" at Hilton Bayfront, San Diego, California on July 21 2019
Tara Strong attends 2019 Comic-Con International WB's "Teen Titans Go! Vs. Teen Titans" at Hilton Bayfront, San Diego, California on July 21 2019, photo credit: Eugene Powers / Shutterstock.com.

"It's a tremendous responsibility and honor," Strong said. "I feel so very lucky that I've been able to provide voices for characters that empower girls and friends of girls and women. A lot of those characters started not as the stars of the show. When I booked Batgirl, there were some great women-empowerment episodes on that series. With 'Powerpuff Girls' and all the amazing, very strong feminine DC and Marvel characters I've played over the years, Harley is probably the one that most mirrored my life."

Strong embraced Harley Quinn in innovative and symbiotic ways. "In the beginning, Harley was an abused woman. She's a sidekick for Joker. She didn't have an origin story in the comics. She was created for the series based on the gorgeous Arleen Sorkin, and people fell in love with her," she explained. "Over the years, Harley has become her powerhouse, and Harley has become my therapy. There were lines she has said that I wanted to say to my significant other at the time. There are moments when you feel the empowerment of removing herself from situations. There have been mirroring moments where I feel most connected to her growth. Raven [from 'Teen Titans'] has also provided so much magic for kids and adults. I meet people who say they wanted to take their lives or didn't know who they were and how important her magic has been to them."

When it comes to the convention scene, "It's rewarding and humbling. There was a girl dressed like Raven, and her mom was bawling. I went over to see if she was OK. She said her daughter was severely autistic and hadn't spoken in five years. When she heard I was coming, she didn't shut up. I get chills like that, to be something I was a part of that helped this girl come out of her shell." For more on how Strong handles her voice, when she embraced it as a career, and more, you can check out the full interview here.

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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