'No Strings' Interview
Natalie Portman

Thor: Love and Thunder
Jurassic World Dominion
The Menu
Bullet Train
Clerks III
Doctor Strange 2
The Matrix Resurrections
Spider-Man: No Way Home
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
The French Dispatch
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Clifford the Big Red Dog
Jungle Cruise
Gunpowder Milkshake
The Water Man
The Vast of Night
She's Missing
Angel Has Fallen
Nobel's Last Will


Contact Us

Anna Kendrick
Alexandra Daddario
Antje Traue
Lindsay Sloane
Angela Sarafyan
Saoirse Ronan
Teresa Palmer
Hailee Steinfeld
Odette Yustman
Grace Park
Ashley Bell
Kristen Stewart
Bridgit Mendler
Danielle Panabaker
Helena Mattsson
Carla Gugino
Jessica Biel
AnnaSophia Robb
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Emmy Rossum
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Angelina Jolie
Keira Knightley
Alison Lohman
Hilary Swank
Evan Rachel Wood
Nicole Kidman
Piper Perabo
Heather Graham
Shawnee Smith
Kristen Bell
Blake Lively
Elizabeth Banks
Camilla Belle
Rachel McAdams
Jewel Staite
Katie Stuart
Michelle Trachtenberg
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Jessica Alba
Famke Janssen
Elisabeth Shue
Cameron Diaz
Shannon Elizabeth
Salma Hayek
Emily Perkins


Interview by Michael J. Lee, Executive Editor for
August 28, 2010

While most Disney Channel fans know her best as Theresa Russo, the family matriarch raising a trio of spellcasters-in-training on Wizards of Waverly Place, our fandom for actress Maria Canals-Barrera goes back slightly further to her work on the animated series Justice League, on which she lent her voice to Hawkgirl, the mace-wielding, head-bashing Thanagarian warrior babe who--along with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, and the Martian Manhunter--served as one of the founding members of DC Comics' signature alliance of heroes in their animated universe.

While covering the outdoor world premiere of Disney's Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue, we had the opportunity to speak to Maria, who was in attendance. In this exclusive interview, she talks about her stint in the DC Universe and previews what's in store for Wizards of Waverly Place.

Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue makes its Disney Blu-ray/DVD debut on September 21! Hi, Maria. Nice to meet you.

MARIA: Hi, nice to meet you, too.

With the DC Universe cranking out the new animated series Young Justice, is there any chance we'll be hearing you on TV as Hawkgirl again?

Oh, I would love that. Let me tell you, doing Hawkgirl was one of the highlights of my career. It was a wonderful experience. Incredible writing...Bruce Timm, the whole team, Andrea Romano, the director, the cast...I would love to be part of something like that again.

And it wasn't just the writing: Justice League also had some fantastic talent...

Thank you. Yeah, we had an incredible cast [and] top, top guest stars.

Did the actors on that show typically record in the same booth, or was everyone separated?

In the same booth. Andrea Romano, our director, and several of our cast members really enjoyed recording together. There's something about that chemistry that happens when you are physically in the room with the other characters that you just can't match. So it was wonderful to be able to do that.

Hawkgirl obviously had that signature grunt/battlecry when she was slamming people with her mace...

[Maria does the battlecry]

...Exactly! Was that just a limited series of takes that they would use over and over?

No. Fresh...Fresh and new and live and in the moment! And I really enjoyed doing those. And I was glad I was able to deliver it, because a lot of females, sometimes...You know, we're supposed to be nice and quiet and ladylike, and it's harder for a lot of women (not all women!) to get to those warrior grunts. And what was great is Andrea would catch me whenever I'd get a little too dainty and go, [lets out a weak, wimpy grunt]. And she'd go, "Uhhh...She's a warrior? Shayera Hol is a warrior!" So I'd have to go, [lets out a real Hawkgirl grunt]! It was great.

As an actor, what does voiceover give you that, perhaps, live action sometimes doesn't?

Well, it really develops and broadens your imagination. You have to see it in your mind's eye, these things that aren't really in front of you. So it totally has expanded my imagination. And the challenge of making everything alive and real only with my voice is a wonderful learning experience. I loved doing it.

On the live action side of things, fans obviously know you from Wizards of Waverly Place. What can we expect for your character Theresa in the upcoming year?

Well, last night was a great episode. I don't know if you guys got a chance to see it yet. It's called "Uncle Ernesto," and there was a lot of drama in there where I had concerns about my brother not knowing that I married into a wizard family. So there's a little bit more dramatic elements coming up--for the kids as well, and for the parents as well. Which I think makes those jokes and the humor pay off even more. There's going to be, of course, more wonderful, crazy, fantastical wizardry. And the way that they blend that in with family concerns and responsibilities of raising teenagers is just terrific.

You recently got to play a different version of Theresa in a mirror universe episode. Is it refreshing when things like that come along, and you get to do an alternate take on someone you've been playing for a while?

Yeah, it's a lot of fun to be able to do that. We have terrific writers that keep it fresh and interesting for all of us. Wizards, again, has been another career highlight--just a terrific experience. I'm having the time of my life. And we're going to do another Wizard movie.

...A Disney Channel Original Movie like the first one?

Yeah. You know, the last one just won the Emmy a week ago. Did you know that? [laughs]

Sadly, I'm kind of oblivious when it comes to award shows...

Let me tell you...We won last year, the Wizard show, for outstanding children's programming. And that was just an incredible honor. And then last week, the Wizard movie won for outstanding children's programming...The Emmy! And it was incredible--just incredible what that means.

Well congratulations! You know, the first movie already had the big wizard competition showdown between the Russo kids. Can they top that in a sequel?

You know they will, dude! You know they will because they have to! [laughs] They have to, and they will. And I'm excited to see what they come up with for the next Wizard film...They haven't written it yet. They're creating their magic right now.

Looking forward to it! Thanks very much for your time!

Thank you, a pleasure!

Related Material

Interview with Michael Sheen (voice of Dr. Griffiths)
Interview with Raven-Symone (voice of Iridessa)
Interview with Pamela Adlon (voice of Vidia)
Interview with Rob Paulsen (voice of Bobble)


© 1997-2010