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Catherine Taber Interview

Voice of Padme Amidala in 'Star Wars: Clone Wars'

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Catherine Taber as Padme Amidala in 'Star Wars: Clone Wars'

Catherine Taber as Padme Amidala in 'Star Wars: Clone Wars'

Photo Credit: Winston Kerr
Catherine Taber stars as Padme Amidala in the Star Wars: Clone Wars movie, released on August 15, 2008, and the following fall TV series. Catherine Taber has provided voices for many characters in video games and animated shows. Recently she talked with me about her career and her amazing experience with Star Wars: Clone Wars.

Animated TV, Nancy Basile: This is exciting because we are big-time Star Wars fans in my house.

Catherine Taber: Me, too!

N.B.: Were you a Star Wars fan before you got involved with Star Wars: Clone Wars?

Catherine Taber: I was a Star Wars fan. And actually, my very first voiceover job was Star Wars related (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic video game). I have a lot of Star Wars stuff. I often laugh and say, well, if everything in my career from here on out is Star Wars, I'd be okay with that.

N.B.: That's how it goes for a lot of people who get involved with Star Wars.

Catherine Taber: Definitely, and a lot of the people working on the show are big fans, so it makes the whole thing a lot of fun. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic was actually my second audition for voiceover, ever, and when I actually got the job, my agent, Sandy, said, "When you go into work, don't tell them it's your first job." It ended up going well, so she let the cat out of the bag.

N.B.: You've been in other Star Wars video games since then.

Catherine Taber: Yes, let's see, what am I working on right now... Obviously I'm doing stuff that's related to Star Wars: Clone Wars. Then lots of other video games as well. There's some stuff coming in the future, too.

N.B.: Did the video game lead to getting the job on Clone Wars?

Catherine Taber: No, it had nothing to do with it. What was funny was that Force Unleashed, which is the game that's coming out about the same time [as Clone Wars], I was doing the voice of Princess Leia for that, and they did not even know, at the time, that I was doing Padme [for Clone Wars]. So it's a mother and daughter thing, which is pretty cool for me. The different departments [at Lucasfilm], they talk but they're really pretty separate. LucasArts, the game department, is separate from Lucasfilm animation. There is some overlap, but not as much as you might imagine. They ended up finding out. (Laughs.)

N.B.: Have you seen the final cut of the film?

Catherine Taber: I haven't seen the final. I've seen a lot of it and actually we will be going to the premiere here in L.A. August 10, a few days before the rest of the world. I've seen a lot of it, but I haven't seen the final cut.

N.B.: The trailers look great. How do you feel about it?

Catherine Taber: I'm thrilled. And I've gotten to see some episodes, too, and I'm so proud of what we've done and it's really in the vein of the classic Star Wars that a lot of people like. It has all of the action, but it also has some humor, and it's just really fun.

N.B.: Are you ready for the attention of rabid Star Wars fans?

Catherine Taber: People ask that, and they tell me it's going to happen. I have fans who I get really great letters from, and I've met some at Comic Con last year. But Star Wars fans, in my experience, are so nice, so I think it would be exciting.

N.B.: Speaking from one fan to another, I'd say that Star Wars fans are fairly respectful.

Catherine Taber: Absolutely, and they just really love Star Wars. I'd say the only problem you run into, working on Star Wars stuff, is that Lucas is very good at the way they release information that they want to release. You want to be able to talk about everything, and you can't. That's what's really exciting, to share what it's about and what happens and that kind of stuff. It will be even more fun after Clone Wars is actually out there.

N.B.: Does the film directly segue into the TV series?

Catherine Taber: Yes, it does, but they've also said that each of the episodes is designed to be a mini-movie in and of itself. You could tune in, and really enjoy it that week, or you can hopefully be one of the people, like I will be, who watches it every week. The movie definitely, and I know that this is already printed so I know I can say it, will be introducing the exciting new character of Ahsoka Tano, who people are just going to love.

N.B.: And she's the young Padawan?

Catherine Taber: Exactly.

N.B.: What was your day-to-day experience, working on Clone Wars?

Catherine Taber: Usually, what they try to do, is have as many of the characters as possible. It's not always possible to have everyone there because someone may be off doing a movie, and some people don't live here, but they have as much of the cast there as possible, and we actually go through the script as if it were a radio serial that we were doing live. It's so much fun that way. It really just makes the performances that much fuller, when you have the people next to you. If it's a heated argument scene, or one of those scenes where it really helps to have the other person there. The person playing the other character often times brings something different than anyone else can imagine. It really just brings a magic and energy to it. It's also, for the actor, so much more fun. I come from an on-camera background where you're really working with the other actors, you get to look in their eyes. For me, it's the greatest job in the world when you're with other actors. Some of the people on this show are legends, such amazing actors, that I learn a lot just being in the same room with them.

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