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How Loki's Tara Strong Brought Miss Minutes To Life - Exclusive Interview

Though the part is small, Miss Minutes is one of the more intriguing elements of the Disney+ original series "Loki." The anthropomorphic clock (voiced by Tara Strong captured the imagination of fans from the second she appeared on a poster, and has been cause for much speculation as the series has gone on.

Tara Strong is voice acting royalty. Even trying to narrow down her most well-known voices is a daunting task, but here's our attempt: Timmy Turner in "The Fairly OddParents," Dil Pickles in the "Rugrats" franchise, Bubbles in "The Powerpuff Girls," Raven in multiple "Teen Titans" series, and Twilight Sparkle in "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic."

Looper spoke with Strong on the eve of the final episode. She told us about the unusual way in which she was cast, how acting against live action is a unique experience, and which of her characters could have helped out Loki and Sylvie. She also offers advice for aspiring voice actors.

Theories, fan support, and acting/reacting

There are a lot of theories that Miss Minutes is going to be the big bad, or have a big role in the final episode. Is there anything you want to say about that?

[Timmy Turner voice] I wish I could tell you.

Yeah, I had a feeling. How does it feel to be the source of all the speculation?

It's really fun. I'm so grateful to all the fans, that they've fallen love with her and taken to her and care about her and are curious about her, making art about her and speculative story ideas. You never know when you're doing a new character, particularly a character that's animated on an on-camera show, how the fans are going to react, and they seem to have fallen in love with her before the show even started. So I'm really, really grateful that they like what I'm doing with her. And I'm so grateful for Kate and the rest of the MCU for trusting her with me.

I read in Entertainment Weekly that you actually got to react to Tom in real time because one of the scenes featuring Miss Minutes was already shot. Was that true for later episodes too?

Yeah, the show was completely finished before I came on board. So I got to watch every scene, completely done, finished, beautiful lighting, music, all the acting beats, which was great. Because of course, acting is about listening and really being in those moments of the fact that, especially in that scene with Tom, when we're on the desk, that I could watch him and interact with him and play off his facial expressions was such a gift. And they didn't have that advantage when they were working. They didn't hear me or what I was going to do. And if I'd had to do that just in a studio without watching the other actors, I don't think you would have had quite the magic. So it was done really perfectly for this purpose of this process. And it was completely finished before I saw anything.

Blind auditions

You and other actors found out you were doing "Loki" in an unusual way, which was a blind audition. How common are blind auditions for you?

It never happens. It's very rare that I'm auditioning for something that I don't know. Often, I'll be doing a show that they don't want people to know about. So in communications, they give it a code name, particularly for a DC video game, or something like that. But it's very rare that I'll have an audition that I don't know what it is.

I often have to sign NDAs, but I still know what it is. So this is a pretty unusual circumstance. And normally, you get a drawing of the character, you get a character description, or a show bible. You maybe even get the whole script. That was not the case. I got pretty limited information and just the sides, which I did initially at my home studio. And then I didn't really know what it was until I booked it. And then I didn't know the depth of who she was until I started working with Kate and the rest of the cast on Zoom.

Did you find out your character's role in real time? Or once you got the role, was everything just given to you?

No, I definitely found out in real time, as we went along and learned of her arc, day by day, as we did it. And it was extraordinary and fun and exciting and surprising and so rewarding to see people loving her. I'm so happy.

Making the voice of Miss Minutes

So you've done, what, thousands of voices? Do you know the number off the top of your head, how many you've done?

There's like a voice chaser site that says something like 1,400. But there's really no way to clock that. Because often people say, "I have a really funny voice. I want to do voiceover." But in the voiceover world, the Screen Actors Guild contract it. They can pay one actor for up to three different voices. So it's actually better for longevity in your career if you can be versatile and change your voice. And there'll be many times where the studio are like, "Oh, can you just throw in like this cheerleader? Can you do this mom? Can you do this thing?"

So there's so many things that aren't even documented, of voices that we've all done in this crazy fun world. But I work almost every single day, and I feel so blessed and so lucky, because there are tons and tons of very talented people that never get a shot. And I've had so many fun, magical shots.

And how do you land on this kind of Southern '50s instructional video voice for Miss Minutes?

I had tried a few different versions for the audition, and they said to try one with an accent, and they just liked what I did. And it's funny that it wasn't decided before, because it seems so well-suited to this character, that she'd be saying some pretty scary information, but with this sweet Southern belle voice, it just sort of fell into that pocket very collaboratively while I was working with Kate.

So what other voices did you try that didn't make the final cut?

There was probably a version of my own voice, and then one with a little bit more AI. I've done AI voices where she's definitely a Siri type character. And I can manipulate my voice enough in an audition that people will wonder, "Oh, did she stop and start?" So I'd say one version was probably more AI, one was my own, and then one was with an accent.

Any chance I can hear the AI voice?

Let's see. I'm trying to remember one. [In stilted robot voice, similar to that of a digital assistant] "Welcome to the TVA. Don't hesitate to let us know how we're doing." Maybe something more like that, something a little more mechanical.

Is there any particular influence you drew on besides just doing a funny accent, any particular character you've done, or a movie you've seen? Anything like that?

Not really. Miss Minutes is a completely unique new character in every sense of the word. And she's nothing like we've ever seen before. When I'm voicing a new character, I don't think, "Oh, this is going to be like Bubbles or this is going to be like Timmy." It's going to be its own entity. And I could make it its own entity. So I don't confuse it in my head. Because once I create a character, they live up there, and they come down when it's their turn to play.

So creating her, like I said, was very collaborative. And then once we had the character established, I knew in my mind how she'd respond and how she would do different things, just by innately becoming her.

Collaboration and live action hopes

You've been saying it was collaborative. So besides the voice, did you have any input on how the character was portrayed, vocal mannerisms, lines, anything of that nature?

We did play around a little bit. There was some improv going on. I'd say the most we got to improv is a scene with her and Tom on his desk. And we played around with different exit lines and different things and how pissed off she would be or how impressed she'd be. But every step of the way was give and take and listening to each other and trying different things. They had a lot of different versions to slide in and play with.

You've mentioned Kate. I'm sure you've worked with Michael Waldron. How often did you get to work with Tom Hiddleston himself?

I've never met him. I've never worked with him. I'd love to, I think he's extraordinary. I'm literally blown away. Everything he does is ... I'm so intrigued and enchanted by this cast. I think they're also extraordinary, and I'd love to work with Tom one day, but I didn't get to meet him at all.

Would you ever like to do a live action role in the MCU?

Of course!

Do you have a dream role for that?

Ooh, well, I think they should bring Miss Minutes to life. Don't you?

Oh, I absolutely think the same.

I'm ready.

Advice for aspiring voice actors and closing thoughts

Do you have any advice for up and coming voice actors?

I always tell people to take as many acting classes you can, singing lessons, improv. I did Second City in Toronto, and I think that really helped to build confidence in coming up with characters and just jumping in and being organic.

I always tell people, never pay to audition. I really despise the part of the business that takes advantage of hopefuls. Because the truth is, much of this business is timing and being at the right place at the right time and suiting a part. So I never ever pay to audition. No one in my world ever got there because of that.

Take lots of acting classes. And then after that, after you know how to break down scenes, then you take a voiceover class from someone who's worked or someone who casts shows. Really do your research, so you're not throwing away money. And if it's something that you really, really want to do, you have to work at it, and you've got to not give up.

Is there anything you can hint at for the "Loki" Season 1 finale? Anything at all?

Yes. Ready?


It's really good!

I kind of set that up for myself, didn't I?

Yeah, you did. Sorry. [Laughs]

No, no. That's on me for asking. [Laughs] Okay. Here's a goofy one. Are there any characters that you've played in the past that you think would have been very helpful to Loki and Sylvie?

Oh, my gosh. All of my characters would have been very helpful to Loki and Sylvie. Yeah. I mean, any of my characters. Timmy could have wished them to be somewhere else. Twilight could have done some magic. Raven could have done some magic. Bubbles could have kicked some butt with them. Pretty much everyone in my head could have helped them along the way, and maybe they did.

Maybe they did. Is there anything you want to bring up that I haven't asked about yet?

I just want to tell everyone thank you so much. I see you on my social, and I see you sending all the love, and I'm sending it right back too. I'm so grateful.

"Loki" is streaming on Disney+.