| Backstage - Marg
Helgenberger & David McCallum Interview
|CSI, NCIS STARS
MARG HELGENBERGER & DAVID MCCALLUM BRING GREEK MYTHOLOGY
TO ANIMATED LIFE IN DC UNIVERSE MOVIE “WONDER WOMAN”
Criminal investigation meets Greek mythology when
current primetime television stars David McCallum and
Marg Helgenberger assume the voices of Zeus and Hera,
respectively, for “Wonder Woman,” the next entry in the
popular series of DC Universe animated original PG-13
Warner Premiere, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation
are set to release the all-new “Wonder Woman” on March
3, 2009, distributed by Warner Home Video. The animated
original movie will also be available OnDemand and
Pay-Per-View as well as available for download day and
date, March 3, 2009.
McCallum, known to current TV audiences as Dr. Donald
“Ducky” Mallard in the hit CBS series “Navy NCIS (Navel
Criminal Investigative Service),” adds “Wonder Woman” to
an animation resume that already includes the DC
Universe movie “Batman Gotham Knight” and TV series “Ben
10” and “The Replacements.” Animation is but a side gig
for McCallum, though, the actor having achieved
legendary status for his two best known roles – in film
as Lt.-Cmdr. Eric Ashley-Pitt in “The Great Escape” and
on TV as super spy Illya Kuryakin in “The Man From
U.N.C.L.E.” During his 62-year career, McCallum has
played many notable characters in fanboy TV favorites
like “Jeremiah,” “The Outer Limits” (1963-64 & 1997),
“Babylon 5,” “SeaQuest DSV, “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,”
“The A-Team,” “The Invisible Man” and “Night Gallery,”
to name a few.
Helgenberger is an anchor for the patriarch of CBS’
current crime lineup, “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.”
The actress is approaching her 200th episode as
Catherine Willows, the series’ female lead. Helgenberger
, remembered for her breakthrough, Emmy Award-winning
performance in “China Beach,” is no stranger to the
sci-fi genre, having starred in “Species” and its sequel
on the big screen. The 2005 People’s Choice Award winner
as “Favorite Female Television Star” has been seen in a
variety of roles ranging from feature films (“Erin
Brockovich,” “Bad Boys,” “Always”) to top-rated TV
series (“ER,” “thirtysomething,” “Frasier”).
And now, McCallum and Helgenberger get to play gods. The
two highly-regarded performers answered a few brief
questions during their recording sessions for “Wonder
Woman.” Here’s what they had to say …
QUESTION: You’ve played a number of interesting roles,
but what’s your take on voicing a god?
MARG HELGENBERGER: Well, as the saying goes, behind
every great man is an even greater woman. I guess
playing Hera means that I’m, well, not only Queen of the
Gods, I’m better than he is! [she laughs]
DAVID MCCALLUM: I played Julius Caesar in a Central Park
version of the Shakespeare play, and just before that I
was the emperor in “Amadeus” on Broadway. So when my
acting friends heard I was Zeus, they said “Ah, you’re
following your New York career.”
QUESTION: You’re fairly busy with a hit TV series,
so what made you say “yes” to recording for an animated
MARG HELGENBERGER: I think the cast was enticing. Not
that I was going to be playing opposite most of them,
but just to be in their company. And being married to
Zeus was kind of fun – he is the god of all gods in
Greek mythology. Voicing acting is usually fun, though –
I’ve even asked my agents about narrating books on tape.
I’m very curious about that world. I’m a fan of
documentaries, as well, and the voice kind of makes it
right. Mostly for me, though, it’s all about the acting
–you don’t have to get hair and makeup and the whole
bit. You just can have fun with the acting.
DAVID MCCALLUM: Radio has always been my first love, and
this is as close to that performance as you can get. One
of my favorite things when I was younger was to listen
to radio dramas, and there are none now. They would do
three-hour plays on radio – this was before television,
of course. So doing these films is a lot like those
I love doing animation – mainly because you get to
over-act. They’re always saying “more,” “louder,”
“bigger,” “huger” and you just turn it lose. Andrea’s
(Romano) reputation proceeds her as Numero Uno so it’s
always good to work with her. Plus, doing animation
voiceovers, I have learned so much, and it’s always good
in your career to discover something you didn’t know,
and to learn to do things differently. So it’s been a
Most importantly, though, I have a grandson who thinks
this is the greatest thing I’ve ever done. When I did
“Ben 10,” I really didn’t know anything about “Ben 10.”
But when I went back to visit my son Pierre and told him
what I’d just done, he said “You did a Ben 10?!?” and
then he started yelling out to my grandson, “Luca, Luca,
come here, Granddaddy did a ‘Ben 10’ show.” You suddenly
discover you’re gratte-cul with a five-year-old, and
that’s pretty cool.”
QUESTION: Are you or were you a comic book fan?
MARG HELGENBERGER: The comic books I read when I was
much younger were the goofy ones like “Archie” and
“Betty & Veronica.” I think there was one called “Nancy
and Sluggo.” I did actually date a comic book artist
briefly during the 1980s. I was living in New York and
he lived in my building. I’d bump into him in the
elevator and he’d been (awake) for three days straight,
hovering over his drawing board. He had this whole odd
world in his mind, and it was pretty fascinating. I was
DAVID MCCALLUM: I think the comic books that I grew up
with, The Beano and the Dandy and Desperate Dan, I
really loved those back in the day. And during World War
I, there was a detective comic I used to read in the
Daily Express or Daily Mail. And of course, I loved
going to the local Odeon on Saturday mornings for the
show and they always had a cartoon. Those are my
memories of comics as a kid.
QUESTION: "Wonder Woman" offers a pretty strong female
role model. Are females represented enough on screen
yet, or are we still building that foundation?
MARG HELGENBERGER: Television is a medium that’s
incredibly strong for actresses – far more than feature
films. There are so many opportunities for all of us to
portray all different types of women – particularly
women of great strength, real women with wonderful
souls. But in terms of the action heroines, there’s not
enough of them. When I think about all the action
heroines in film, the ones that stand out to me are
actresses and roles and films like Sigourney Weaver in
“Aliens,” and the French film “La Femme Nikita,” and
certainly Linda Hamilton in the “Terminator” movies. I
guess my son would probably point out the “Resident
Evil” films. But I think we need more of those
characters. Maybe now that we’re into the 21st Century,
there will be a lot more of them.
QUESTION: Does working in this medium have any other
special significance for you?
DAVID MCCALLUM: It’s fascinating for me because when I
did “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” it was over at Metro
(Goldwyn Mayer). Right next to where I had my little
dressing room suite was MGM Animation, and just to sort
of walk by there every day and know that all those
incredible characters came from them was fascinating.
I’ve always appreciated the work that goes into animated
productions and I enjoy being part of that creativity.
Please visit the film’s official website at www.wonderwomanmovie.com.
Zeus issues his commands from the clouds in the all-new
DC Universe animated original movie, “Wonder Woman.”
Zeus is voiced by “Navy NCIS” star David McCallum.
“Wonder Woman” is slated for distribution March 3, 2009
by Warner Home Video.
Hera offers a compassionate compromise from her lofty
throne in the all-new DC Universe animated original
movie, “Wonder Woman.” Hera is voiced by “CSI” star Marg
Helgenberger. “Wonder Woman” is slated for distribution
March 3, 2009 by Warner Home Video.
David McCallum records his lines as Zeus for the all-new
DC Universe animated original movie, “Wonder Woman,”
which is slated for distribution March 3, 2009 by Warner
"Wonder Woman" (c) Warner Bros. Ent Inc. "Wonder Woman"
and all related characters and elements are trademarks
of and (c) DC Comics. All Rights Reserved.
The direct-to-video Wonder Woman animated
features hits DVD and Blu-ray on March 3rd, 2009.
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