Tiffany Smith is back as badass engineer Andra as the war for Eternia continues in the second part of Masters of the Universe: Revelation, an innovative and action-packed animated series that picks up where the iconic characters left off. After a cataclysmic battle with He-Man (Chris Wood), Skeletor (Mark Hamill) is now wielding the Sword of Power, and the weary heroes of Eternia must band together to fight back against the forces of evil in a thrilling and epic conclusion to the two-part series. Making her mark in such roles as Hawkgirl (Lego DC Super-Villains) and Meghan Markle (Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal) it is no surprise that multi-threat (actress, host & internet personality) Smith is crushing her role as Teela's (Sarah Michelle Gellar) best friend. Smith joined Bleeding Cool to discuss fan reaction to the first half of the series, Teela & Andra's relationship, and working with showrunner & executive producer Kevin Smith.
You play Andra in Netflix's "Masters of the Universe: Revelation" Part Two. Let me just start by saying I really love the show and the continuation of the original He-Man lore. Everything is a callback and it's mostly a Valentine to fans like myself. The critics liked it, but the MOTU fans were in an uproar over the first half of this story. I'd like to know what was your reaction to some fans' negative responses to the first half?
Tiffany Smith: I grew up reading comic books and I grew up loving "Masters of the Universe" and He-Man. I have action figures from when I was a little kid. I feel really lucky to be a part of a franchise that fans are so connected to. I think that that's something, no matter what the property is, if you grew up loving it or you read it first and then you see it come to life, it's really hard to make every single person happy. It was a love letter to fans of the original. And I think the crazy part is if you go back and watch the original one and then come to ours, for me in particular, it felt like this was the continuation. It grew up a bit, but still had all the things that I loved about the original series. I'm so pumped to be a part of a franchise in a world that people are so committed and connected to.
Kevin Smith is a master at digging into the story and the mythology of whatever he's working on and pulling out a lot of deep bench characters. Andra is sort of a deep-bench character from one of the early comic books. Can you tell me a little bit about her?
TS: They really wanted to bring in a new character that could be the audience. If you've seen the first part, you kind of see that Andra gets excited hearing about stuff and actually meeting the people that she's heard these stories about. That was what was so appealing to me. I joke that I'm like Barry Allen in the Justice League, where he gets excited about seeing Batman, and he's like, Oh my God, this is all real. That felt like a big piece of Andra. It was really fun for me to jump into that because that is how I feel about the world of Masters of the Universe and He-Man. She really is the best friend next to Teela. You get to follow her journey along with everybody else. It's such a cool way to bring new fans in and have the audience's eyes a part of it as well. She is a very smart engineer. She can make cool tech and she's strong and she's a badass. That's what I love about her as well, is that she has all these elements and then you get to see that she does have this soft heart that she wants to have a family, she wants to be connected with them.
Teela and Andra have sort of a Xena and Gabrielle vibe, and although it's never specifically stated, there are a few knowing glances shared between them. Since I have the source, what is the relationship between Andra and Teela?
TS: I am not the writer, so I don't know. When I went into it and I started reading the episodes and getting to know the characters, I'm a huge Lord of the Rings fan, for me, it was Frodo and Sam. It's this best friends relationship. I love that anybody can watch the show. If people can find a connection or feel like part of them is in the show, then makes me so happy. I grew up watching cartoons like this, and I'm multi-ethnic, I'm mixed. So it's not often that I got to see characters that looked like me. I love the fact that this show is bringing more representation out there, and it just feels really, really special. If anyone can see a piece of themselves in the characters on this show, I think that that's really special and really important
How do you think fans will react to the second half of the story?
TS: I can never guess how fans are going to respond to things. The end of part one was such a big cliffhanger and Skelator has the power right now, which is bananas. Getting to see that actually come to fruition and where all these other characters go because of that, I am so excited for people to see it. It's one of those things where we talked about this when the first part came out, it didn't register to me that Skeletor and He-Man have never actually fought, they never raised fists to each other. Every time I get to see anything extra or where the teasers come out, I'm blown away by what they do animation-wise. I think that people are going to be super excited about that. I hope that people love part two as much as I loved making it, and I think that they will.
You've worked with him a little bit in the past before this project, do you have any behind-the-scenes stories or some funny anecdotes about Kevin Smith?
TS: I think what I love so much about Kevin is that whatever he signed on to do, he puts himself in completely. We all felt really excited to be a part of it because you could tell that everyone had that same energy. Everyone was so excited and wanted to put their best into this project. Kevin being at the helm of it along with Rob [David] over at Mattel and Netflix execs as well, you could tell I was excited. He knew how the project was going to come together, and people were excited even more to sign on because they knew how pumped he was. This is the first series that I've done full series with the character. So I came in and I was like, 'What do you want to talk about where she's going to go? What is she going to do?' And he was like 'Tiffany, she's you, amped up.' And I said 'Well, thank you for saying that. You think I'm like her because she's such a badass.' I hope that I'm like her more and more. Every day I'm training, I'm working out. I want those guns, man.
"Masters of the Universe: Revelation" Part Two will be streaming on Netflix by the time readers see this. What am I missing? What do you want to make sure fans know about this show?
TS: I would suggest watching the first five again before you jump into the second five. If you haven't already watched part one, go do it right now because it's so much fun. One of my other favorite things about the show is getting to see families where it was dad or mom talking about, 'I watched this when I was a kid' and now getting to watch with their kids. It's definitely not. I wouldn't say it's like a little little kid show, but it's definitely one of those shows that you can watch together and bring it from you being a fan as a kid to the family.