I got a chance to speak with voice actress Barbara Goodson at this year’s MomoCon. Barbara sports over three hundred roles in voice acting and on-camera work. Most people my age know her for being the voice of Empress Rita Repulsa from the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers television series. Check out what she had to say.
It was a way to get my dad to laugh. He was a moody fellow, and when I mimicked him he would crack up.
What is it like having a recognizable role for children on up to adults?
It’s kind of surreal. In the beginning, doing these conventions right after Power Rangers no one knew who I was, and I thought I’m never going to do this again. So I took a ten-year break and someone convinced me to go to an anime convention. I did and I was blown away. The kids that grew up with my voice were adults now and that’s when it started to be something that mattered. I became recognizable.
What are the most memorable roles that stand out to you?
I would say Rita (Power Rangers), Doris (Vampire Hunter D), and Takashi & Kaori (Akira). I’ve done over 300 and something roles, so I guess the one that I’m doing now is usually my favorite.
What’s it like working on FLCL?
FLCL is rather interesting because at that time they wanted it different. They said, “We want you to study the story.” And they definitely gave us history to work with. I was matching every line. We didn’t used to have to match every line of the original voice, but they wanted the same sort of flavor. They took it very seriously. We actually recorded during 9/11, and they wanted to cancel, but we were a family and people wanted to hold each other and record. So we came in and we worked.
I’ve heard from other voice actors that they would audition for a part and tell the casting agent that this part would fit better for another voice actor. Have you ever referred anyone or been referred?
No, never. I want all the parts (Joke). Yes, sometimes they’ll say, “Audition because someone wants more money,” and they can pay me less. I’ll never do that if it’s something I don’t think I’m right for, like teenage girl voices. I never get them; I never got them in my twenties. I’ll say something like, “Cristina Vee or Wendee Lee.” That’s too cute; I can’t do that one unless she’s wacko-cute. I refer people and I try to get people in the business I think are good.
What’s something you’re passionate about outside of acting?
I’m a bit of an activist. I’ve been to the Women’s March a couple of times. I’ve been to gun rallies. I’m not happy with what’s been going on in the schools. I’m heartbroken and it’s not about the second amendment to me, it’s about safety. What can I say; I’m an LA liberal. Sorry. I want people to get past that scared being inside, because we’re not different. We’re blood and guts. You know, my heart is about being connected as human beings.
Can you talk about any future projects?
I’m in Elder Scrolls. I don’t think I can say who I am, because I don’t remember, but it was a big part and a more challenging role. I’m also on Sailor Moon Crystal. I just did a movie called Before the Thunder. I hope that gets some play somewhere because it’s a good movie.