Kimberly Brooks has seemingly voiced it all. From Dexter’s Laboratory to Scooby-Doo, Steven Universe, and Voltron: Legendary Defender, she has an eclectic repertoire of voice roles animation fans may recognize. We were fortunate enough to speak with her at Dragon Con 2019. Uniquely, she has a vast variety of voices at her disposal.
“In my bag of tricks I have all kinds of voices that I do,” she said. In a press room of outlets that included But Why Tho?, Kimberly spoke about her career and the characters she’s voiced, like Princess Allura (Voltron: Legendary Defender), Bumblebee (DC Superhero Girls), and Jasper (Steven Universe).
When asked about her favorite part of playing Allura, one of the main protagonists of Netflix’s Voltron: Legendary Defender, she said it was coming to conventions. Allura has offered representation to many Black fans, and Brooks feels gratified to meet them whenever she goes to a con.
She also elaborated on how she’s able to speak with many fans who find representation in the booksmart Bumblebee, whom she currently voices on DC Superhero Girls. She loves voicing the character and “working with the best voice over people,” with the likes of Tara Strong, Nicole Sullivan, Kari Wahlgren, and Grey Griffin.
Representation was at the forefront of many of the conversations in the press room, as well as Brooks’ overall experience as an African-American voice actress through the years. Often, she said, she would be cast because she was Black, but she has been fortunate to have a large repertoire of roles as well.
She spoke on how the voice acting community has changed for underrepresented groups, and how she felt that with more diverse roles and more diverse people in the voice acting industry, we are getting more towards a point where it is simply the norm to have that representation.
Spoilers for Steven Universe Season 5 follow beneath the image
Brooks loves working on Steven Universe and working with the show’s creator Rebecca Sugar, referring to her as a “goddess” she gets to work with, putting her in that category DC Superhero Girls creator Lauren Faust The villainous corrupted gem Jasper seemingly reconciled herself to being one of the good guys at the end of Steven Universe Season 5, but Brooks said she felt like there was so much more to explore with this character.
“I’ve gotten asked so many times about her redemption. When is there going to be a redemption arc, and I keep asking Rebecca [Sugar] that.” Even though she is a trained singer and Steven Universe is a musical show, she still hasn’t sung a song yet! What about country music [for Jasper’s song]? What if she’s a Patsy Cline fan like I am?”
If there is a Season 6 of the show, she’ll hopefully get the chance to explore more of this quartz soldier’s facets.
For the entire interview, hit play on the audio above. For an upcoming role, you can hear Kimberly Brooks voice Cheetah in the upcoming DC original movie Wonder Woman: Bloodlines.