Great Hera! Susan Eisenberg voices a goddess.
Since 2000, one woman has been the voice Wonder Woman, the most iconic female superhero of all time. That voice belongs to Susan Eisenberg.
When the Justice League animated series first aired on Cartoon Network, it was the latest addition to the DC Animated Universe, which had already seen the likes of Batman: The Animated Series, Superman, and Batman Beyond. Superman and Batman had been on the contemporary small screen for years, but it wasn’t until Justice League did fans get to see and hear the iconic Wonder Woman. To this day, when you ask a fan who their Wonder Woman is, Ms. Eisenberg’s portrayal is the one that comes to mind.
I was fortunate to gain some insight into what it is like to voice a legendary character like Wonder Woman.
Robin Gray (RG): Susan, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me.
Susan Eisenberg (SE): My pleasure!!
RG: How does it feel to know that you’re part of the 75-year-old legacy of Wonder Woman, arguably the most famous female superhero of all time?
SE: It feels extraordinary! I’ve met a lot of Wonder Woman fans during this anniversary year, and to hear how much they adore her, and how much she’s meant to them in their lives, well, it’s been a very humbling and amazing experience!
RG: I, like many people, see, or rather, hear your voice as the definitive voice of Diana from your work on Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. What was the casting process like?
SE: I first auditioned for the part of WW at my agent’s office, and then I got a callback at Warner Bros. with Bruce Timm and Andrea Romano. Needless to say I was excited, thrilled, nervous, all of it, and I went in and read for them. Bruce showed me a drawing of Diana, and I loved her at first sight. I believe I read the sides (pages of the script), and Andrea gave me some direction, I read again, and that was it. I went home, hoped and prayed, and then I got the call, a call that changed my professional life forever! And, no, that isn’t being too dramatic. :)
RG: Who was the first person you told when you found out you would be the voice of Wonder Woman?
SE: My parents. They are, and always have been, my first call on any job I’ve ever gotten.
RG: In researching for this interview I noticed that you’ve not only voiced characters for animation, but also for video games and, recently, Suspense radio plays, as well. How is it different working on radio versus animation versus video games?
SE: Well, the first thing is that with radio dramas and animation projects, you’re usually in the studio with other cast members, while with a video game, you're usually in the booth alone. Doing animation allows for a lot of camaraderie with a cast, but with video games, you’re primarily working with only the voice director, and maybe the writer. And often with video games, you don’t get to see the script in advance, and may not even know what the game is, or who you’re playing in the game. There has never been an animated show or radio drama I worked on where that was the case.
RG: Justice League was an introduction to the superhero genre for so many people. For others, it was a re-imagining of their favorite characters. Were you aware of the impact you’d have on fans when you took the job?
SE: Not at all. It really wasn’t until I started meeting the fans at comic cons and hearing from them on social media that I really understood the impact the show had had on so many people! I’ve been told over and over (and by the way, it NEVER gets old hearing it) by so many fans, that it was through the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited shows that they got introduced to Superman, Batman, WW, and the other members of the League, and that the show was a huge part of their childhoods. It’s just the best hearing that!!
RG: Were you a comic book reader when you were younger? What was your exposure to superheroes, be it Wonder Woman or any others prior to taking the role?
SE: I wasn’t a big comic book reader, but of course I knew who Wonder Woman was through the television show with Lynda Carter. And I grew up adoring Christopher Reeve as Superman!
RG: How did you get into doing voice over work in the first place?
SE: I studied acting in college and after I graduated, and very early on I realized I wasn’t comfortable in front of a camera. I had done a bit of radio voice work for my Dad’s business when I was still in high school, so I already knew I could use my voice for advertising. Anyway when I decided not to pursue on-camera acting, I opted to learn about voiceover work. I studied it, put together a demo reel, got an agent, and started auditioning. And I was very, very fortunate to have had some wonderful bosses along the way who knew about my voice over ambitions and helped me get my start.
RG: Any fun stories from the booth you’d like to share?
SE: Besides getting to voice WW, the best part of being in the studio during JL and JLU was showing up and meeting the guest stars who would appear on our show. There were so many talented actors who worked on the show, and I’d be absolutely star struck. There was Ed Asner, who I had watched and loved in Mary Tyler Moore. There was Alfred Molina, who had never worked on an animated show before, and was so sweet and dear about it! There were Fred Savage and Peter McNicol whom I had watched on the Wonder Years and Ally McBeal respectively. And, with all of them, these incredibly talented actors, I couldn’t believe I was working with them on a show, AND a show where I was lucky enough to be voicing Wonder Woman!!
RG: Susan, thank you SO much for taking the time out to chat with us. We look forward to all your upcoming projects.
You can follow Susan on Twitter: @susaneisenberg1