We ComiConverse With Susan Eisenberg
August 18th, 2015 | by Ryan Mayer
Recently, I had the absolute pleasure in interviewing voice actress Susan Eisenberg, who is most notably known for her work as Wonder Woman. Throughout her career she has voiced many amazing characters like Viper from the Jackie Chan Adventures series; a series that ran from 2000-2005. She has also lent her voice to a plethora of video game characters; like Jak 2 and 3, Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, Skylanders, DC Universe Online and many more.
As stated earlier, one of her most notable and iconic role is that she is the voice of Wonder Woman. She has played that role since 2001 when she joined the cast for the Justice League animated series, which ran from 2001-2006. She has voiced Wonder Woman not only in the animated television series, but also in animated movies like Superman/Batman: Apocalypse and Justice League: Doom.
ComiConverse: Hi Susan. What made you start up your career in voice acting?
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Susan Eisenberg: Well, I started my career in acting, but realized soon into it that I did not love being in front of the camera. I had some experience in front of a microphone as a child, because I used to do some advertising for my Dad’s business. He would write the commercials with my sister for his department store and we would go to the radio stations, so that when they cut to commercial I would read the copy for the business. I knew I loved that, and so when I was acting I was lucky enough to work for some generous people, who knew I was pursuing a career in acting and allowed me to do some work for them in their movies and television shows.
That kind of set me up to start. I was able to obtain a good agent and started auditioning and auditioning and auditioning and auditioning and auditioning… and finally could stop being an assistant and support myself with my voiceover work.
ComiConverse: Wonder Woman is now in the cinematic universe. As her voice for so many years, how do you feel about her finally appearing on the big screen?
Susan Eisenberg: I have to say, I hear from so many fans and I read what so many fans feel and think about her (Wonder Woman) and I am overjoyed that she is getting a chance to be portrayed by someone in a live-action movie. The fans have wanted this for so long and it is long overdue. If you are a fan of hers, like I am, you can’t help but be excited for her getting her shot and chance. I’m hoping beyond hope that the movie is a huge massive mammoth success, because then that would guarantee more movies with her and more solo movies with her.
ComiConverse: It has been rumoured that Chris Pine will be announced as Steve Trevor for the standalone movie. With you knowing the voice actor who played Steve Trevor for Justice League how do feel about Pine being cast?
Susan Eisenberg: My friend actually tweeted out a picture of me (Wonder Woman) and Steve Trevor from Justice League and we joked around about the still, as Steve Trevor in the series was played by Patrick Duffy, who is most known for his time on the show Dallas. I grew up watching Dallas and grew up adoring Patrick Duffy.
Someone teased me on Twitter saying it must have been easy to play the romance with Patrick and I wrote back “You bet!”, because he’s adorable and we recorded that episode together in the same room. He’s a lovely guy and it was perfect. As for Chris Pine, it’s like everyone asks about the castings of these characters and I am more in the school of wait and see. Let’s wait and be hopeful that they will be awesome. That’s what I am hoping for. I am hoping that Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) is awesome, Chris Pine is awesome, that Ben Affleck is awesome. I want everyone to be fantastic and until I see otherwise I am going to wait and see. I just don’t believe in muddying the waters before they have a chance to play the character.
ComiConverse: In an interview you gave on IGN you commented about how you will always love the Batman and Wonder Woman romance portrayed in the Justice League animated series. Recently Warner Bros. released a image of Diana Prince (Wonder Woman) and Bruce Wayne (Batman) dancing with one another. Would you want the new DC Extended Universe to play that romance out?
Susan Eisenberg: I think that still intimated that they would be. The still that you mention matches so closely with a scene from one of the episodes in the Justice League animated series. Somebody sent me a picture of the scene from Justice League and the still from the Batman v. Superman movie and it was just amazing how well they matched up. The Batman and Wonder Woman romance was written into our show so it’s not something I just ran with. The writers loved that spark and they played with it and then fans really took to me and Kevin Conroy’s voices together and really took to our spark that we created. It was there and then I went with it because I loved it so much.
ComiConverse: What was your favorite project you have worked on?
Susan Eisenberg: Thats a very hard question to answer. As an actor, honestly, every time you get a job you are thrilled that you got it. When people ask me in interviews “Well, when did you decide…”
As an actor you don’t really decide to to do this part or that part. You are so grateful for the work. So, it’s hard for me to say I liked one project over the other because I have enjoyed all of them. The biggest thrill is being able to continue to play as Wonder Woman on all the games like DC Universe Online or the Injustice game. I enjoyed doing the human female voice for the game Destiny because I got to go in and have Peter Dinklage’s voice in my ear-piece during recording. Each one has been special, it’s like asking a parent if they have a favorite kid.
ComiConverse: One of the voices you have done was Viper on Jackie Chan Adventures, how was it working on such a fan favorite show?
Susan Eisenberg: The actor that played Jackie Chan was James Sie, who is a lovely man and an incredible voice actor. He nailed Jackie so well that you would be sitting there with him and start think “oh my god I am acting with Jackie!”, but of course you would look over and it would be James sitting next to you.
That show was such a gift, to be able to play her for five years. To be able to come in and play her and then go off and do something else and then get to come back and play her again. I knew the cast and felt comfortable in the room recording. Because when you do a guest star role, you don’t know the cast well, while they are in there all the time recording with one another. It’s like the first day of school, where you don’t know anybody and you don’t want to go in and feel like a loser. They were a dream to work with and I just loved the scripts because they were funny. Viper was an amazing character and her repartee with Jackie was phenomenal. She is one of my favourites!
ComiConverse: For your work with the Justice Leagues series and the follow-on projects, did you start to the read the comics to acclimate yourself with the material, or did you go off what you knew already?
Susan Eisenberg: I went off what I knew and what was on the script. I didn’t grow up with comics except for maybe Archie Comics. If I am working on a project I read the script and listen to what the writer has to say and what the director has to say and kinda go from there. Twitter has really opened me up to the culture through fans and other artists and what people are loving about the character right now.
ComiConverse: Do you have many family members or people that run up to you and ask you to do the voice?
Susan Eisenberg: The irony is, when I was doing the show (Justice League) my nephews were all about the Flash. Although when their friends would go over to their house and I happened to be visiting and my nephew would introduce me they would be like “Dude, do you know who she is?” and my nephews would respond, “Yeah, thats my aunt?” .
For their friends it was exciting, but for my nephews I was just their aunt. I try not to do the voice to often because I don’t want people to look at me when I do the voice. I don’t want them to see me when they hear the voice with my blonde hair and green eyes with no tiara…on a weekday. I don’t want them to be disappointed. It such a fragile thing when someone loves a character and I want to have the kids keep their idea of the character.
ComiConverse: One of the big things DC is doing is making Wonder Woman their top merchandising focus, along with Batman and Superman, for the Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice movie. This is big deal for many because you finally get to see is a female superhero being properly promoted.
Are you excited for the merchandise to finally come out?
Susan Eisenberg: I am excited and I think it’s important for these girls, when they go to the store, to be able to get the merchandise of their favorite heroes and heroines. There was a lot of outrage about the lack of merchandising for the women heroes (i.e. Black Widow) with Marvel. It’s a good thing that Wonder Woman will be merchandised so that these girls and boys can wear their favorite heroines like Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman was created to be a strong woman to stand alongside and be the equal of Batman and Superman.
ComiConverse: With this big era of comic book movies and television shows. Would you like to see a television adaptation of her.
Susan Eisenberg: I think she belongs anywhere people’s creativity could take her. I just think we need that creativity and intelligence so that Wonder Woman is well taken care of. To put a woman in a Wonder Woman costume and say here we have her and she’ll be on television. Well than who cares? It needs to be a great script, it needs to have someone that truly appreciates her origin and the aspects about her. If we could get that than I am for her to be everywhere and anywhere she can be. I have said this before I would love for there to be a Wonder Woman game à la the Batman: Arkham series. Something that is driven by her and her alone. I am so curious on why that hasn’t happened yet, but it would be awesome to see that happen. She is one of the top heroines out there and I think a game with her would be hugely successful but not only for men but for all the women gamers out there.
Susan Eisenberg is a renowned voice actress, whose work has featured in three different films, nine unique television series and over a dozen video games. To most fans she has been, and remains, the iconic voice of Wonder Woman in the DC Animated Universe.
Follow her on Twitter: @susaneisenberg1
Ryan Mayer is a Contributor for ComiConverse. He can be followed on Twitter: @RMayer94