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The Surprising Reason Why Ice Age's Justina Machado Enjoys Voicing Animated Characters - Exclusive

Justina Machado may be best known for her roles on "Six Feet Under," "Jane the Virgin," and the "One Day at a Time" reboot, but in recent years she's also been dabbling in animation, including voicing characters in "Elena of Avalor," "DreamWorks Dragons: The Nine Realms," and "Scoob!"

Machado's most recent animated role is as the skunk-like adventurer Zee in "The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild," which is now streaming exclusively on Disney+. As the female counterpart to Simon Pegg's Buck, Machado may have just stepped into her biggest voice role yet, as the 20-year-old "Ice Age" franchise includes six feature-length films, seven shorts, and two television specials — and shows no signs of stopping.

In "The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild," Buck and Zee embark on an action-packed escapade to help save the thrill-seeking possum brothers Crash and Eddie, who have had enough of living under the watchful eye of their older sister Ellie and set off on a risky journey to the Lost World to find a place of their own.

It's a role Machado has been waiting to play, as she has been an "Ice Age" fan for years. In general, the actress has been gravitating towards more animation the past few years — and there's a specific reason for that. She exclusively revealed it during a recent interview with Looper.

Justina Machado likes that she doesn't have to get 'dressed up' to do animation

There were several reasons Machado was drawn to the character Zee in "The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild." First, she says, "I'm a fan of what [the 'Ice Age' movies] stand for. And I love that Zee is a very strong female character, and she is adventurous, and she is out there solving problems [with Buck] ... It's great to see a female and a male, fixing the world together."

She adds, "It's really great to use another instrument of your body [your voice], and just use that one instrument, and relay everything through that."

There were other equally important personal and professional reasons that made Machado inclined to take the role. "It's a lot less pressure than live action," she says. "You get to go dressed up any way you want to. [You don't need to be] dressed up crazy-looking in a booth. You don't have to worry about what you look like. You're just there to do the work, and I love it ... It's such a sweet gig."

So, expect to see — or, more specifically, hear — Machado in more voice roles in the near future. "I've actually had more projects come about," she says, "and it's something that I definitely want to continue to do."

"The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild" is now streaming exclusively on Disney+.