How would you describe your new movie?
Tinker Bell And The Great Fairy Rescue is a wonderful animated movie featuring everybody’s favorite fairy: Tinker Bell. The story is filled with fun adventures and it highlights the magical moment when Tinker Bell meets a human for the very first time.
Tell us about your character in the movie…
My character is called Iridessa and she’s one of Tinker Bell’s fairy friends. Iridessa is grounded and loyal, but she’s also a little sassy. She’s just like me, except she’s a fairy.
How did you get involved with the Tinker Bell franchise?
I was approached to play Iridessa a few years ago, but I’ve been a fan of Tinker Bell ever since I was a little kid. When I was 18 years old, I was working on a Disney Channel show called That’s So Raven – and someone placed a Tinker Bell pop-up book on the doorstep of my dressing room. The book examined the fabulous world of Pixie Hollow – which is where Tinker Bell and her fairy friends live – and on the very last page was a drawing of Iridessa.
What was your initial reaction when you first saw a picture of Iridessa?
I fell in love with the character as soon as I saw her picture – and then I was told that she was going to be the first African-American fairy in a new franchise of Tinker Bell animations. I immediately knew I wanted to be involved. It was the perfect role for me.
How did you come up with the voice for Iridessa?
I experimented with different voices before I started work on the first Tinker Bell movie. I had a cute fairy voice ready for my first recording session, but the directors said to me, “Don’t do anything different… We just want your regular voice.” So Iridessa’s voice is just me. I don’t change anything for the movie.
How much time do you spend in the recording booth for a movie like this?
Recording the voice of Iridessa is a lot of fun. I do four or five recording sessions for each movie and I’m in the booth for two hours, but we don’t play any games or anything. We just get the work done.
Is there any room for improvisation in the recording booth?
I usually say the script verbatim. There is a wonderful team of writers that have poured their heart and soul into these scripts, so I leave all of the writing up to them. There are moments when the director asks me to change a line or two, but we don’t want to mess with it too much because everything is already golden.
Why do you think Tinker Bell is such a popular character?
I think Tinker Bell is popular because she is a very cool character. Everyone loves Tinker Bell. She can hang with the boys, but she’s also friends with the girls. She’s pretty, but she has her own mind – and she speaks it, too. She calls on her friends when she’s in need, but she’s also adventurous and fun. She’s amazing.
How would you describe Tinker Bell?
Tinker Bell is cute, sassy and cool. She’s the kind of girl who wears lip-gloss, but not lipstick. She goes out and plays football with the boys, but she’s also best friends with the girls. She’s a huge bundle of fun.
What would you do if you had some of Tinker Bell’s magical powers?
I’d use Tinker Bell’s pixie dust to help me fly into the trailer of my favorite movie director. Who is my favorite director? There are so many great directors, but Quentin Tarantino tops my list right now. I’d love to fly into his trailer to find out what he’s working on next – and then I’d check out the script to make sure that I was right for the role.
You started your career on The Cosby Show. Do you still get recognized from your time as the toddler named Olivia?
Most definitely. People always say to me, “Don’t you get sick of being called Olivia from The Cosby Show?” No, I don’t. It’s great to be remembered from such a popular show.
Are you still in touch with the rest of the cast from The Cosby Show?
I see them every now and then. I am creating a relationship from scratch with some of the cast because I was only three years old when I started to work on the show. Back then, there wasn’t too much I could talk about because I was only interested in my lines and candy – but now I’m starting to gain proper friendships with everyone. They are even better people than I remember from all that time ago.
Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue arrives in stores on September 21st.
Clips | Rosetta's Garden Box Game (JPG - PDF) | Meet the Fairies of Pixie Hollow | Fairy Fun