photographer: Scott Bradley of Pulse Studios
make-up/hair by: Natascha Jones
In addition to starring as Maris Brood in the fan-favorite video game The Force Unleashed back in 2008, actress Adrienne Wilkinson recently returned to the Star Wars universe when she voiced the Daughter in three very popular episodes of The Clone Wars. Our reporter Chris got a chance to chat with Adrienne about her Star Wars experiences.
How were you selected to be the voice of Maris Brood?
"It was a hybrid audition - a cross between a normal voiceover and a theatrical audition. It was set up initially as a voice audition but I was asked to audition in person which is unusual for a voice project. I met with about 5 people from the creative team and they were looking for someone who not only could perform the character the way they needed, but also someone who looked like the concept art that was already created. I was lucky that they felt I encompassed the character physically and in my delivery."
Did voicing Maris in The Force Unleashed help you secure the role of The Daughter or did you go out again for the role?
"Sam Witwer and I were hired together for The Clone Wars...so I am sure it was at least partially due to our prior Star Wars work and our history in Star Wars projects."
The Mortis arc was a big change in the direction of the Star Wars universe. Did you know how different it was going to be when you signed up?
"I knew absolutely nothing about the story when I was hired. Everything was very secretive. All I knew was that everyone involved was very excited about this arc. Sam and I didn't receive our scripts until we showed up to record the episodes (we didn't even know we were working together until then). The plot and all of the specific detail of the characters were very protected. Needless to say, we were both thrilled when we read the scripts and realized how juicy the roles were. I feel honored to have been part of such epic episodes and such a unique part of the story."
Which character was more fun for you to play?
"The were both amazing experiences. The Force Unleashed was far more complicated as it was not only voice work but motion capture and that was a pretty intense process using various forms of technology to create all of the effects they wanted. But I loved every second working on both projects and would jump at the chance to do more work in the Star Wars universe."
How was working on The Force Unleashed different from working on The Clone Wars?
"The Force Unleashed was a much longer process. I was part of that project for about 18 months or so before the game was released. I recorded The Clone Wars about a year before the episodes aired, but my work was done very quickly.....then I just had to eagerly wait to see the finished product. One of the things I loved about both projects was having the cast work together. I was able to work directly with the other actors which was fantastic...and also unusual for many voice projects. It was a luxury....and so much fun. Not only such a sweet group of people to work with (cast and behind the scenes)...but also so much delicious talent in one room."
You were at CIV, did you enjoy the convention scene? Are you looking to get back out?
"I had a great time at CIV. I'd love to go back to another Star Wars Con. At the first appearance we had very little interaction with the fans - just a quick meet and greet as our project hadn't been released yet. I'd love to attend a future event where I had the full experience."
How has your family reacted to your inclusion in the Star Wars franchise?
"As you might expect there are many Star Wars fans amongst my family and friends. They were tremendously excited to hear about my involvement in the project(s)."
Maris Brood has an action figure. How does it feel to have a toy made out of your likeness (not to mention the other collectibles that are out there)?
"I love it. It's the coolest thing ever - having an action figure. I just missed out on having an action figure when I worked on Xena. They stopped making them just a few months before I joined the cast, so I was thrilled to finally have one when The Force Unleashed came out."
Your website has a page for all of the charities you support. The main one seems to be covering devastating medical expenses. How did you get interested in the charity work?
"I think everyone has a duty to help where they can. There is always someone who needs support and there are many amazing charities that provide great results and are also fun to take part in. When you have attention coming your way, it is sometimes easier to reach a larger group and make a bigger difference, so that led me additional organizations and charitable projects. You're right, I list a lot of charities on my website that I support and believe in, but my personal charitable project has been supporting families dealing with medical expenses. I host a charity auction each year where I offer props, scripts, wardrobe, collectibles and other items from my work and work of other actors who have donated to the auction. I also sell signed photos on my website that support the cause. For anyone wanting autographs, please visit www.AdrienneWilkinson.com/shop - it will take you to a large selection of photos. All proceeds go to charity."
A quote of yours starts with: "I want to do work that is memorable. To portray interesting and different characters and avoid boring stereotypes." Do you feel that your Star Wars roles have offered that to you?
"Luckily, yes. I hope they are only the beginning of the characters I am able to play in my career. But I know that I am supremely lucky to have worked on the projects and characters I've been part of. Both Maris Brood and Daughter were unique female characters that had complicated layers...they both had epic journeys that balanced lightly upon intimate details of their circumstances. They are the most exciting types of characters to play...where they keep you guessing, and you aren't sure what they could do next."
Where can we look for you in the future?
"I'm currently part of two exciting web series that are getting a lot of attention: Goodnight Burbank, which you can watch on Hulu, and Venice, which can be seen at www.VeniceTheSeries.com. Both have wonderfully talented casts and we've gotten a lot of great feedback. Venice was even nominated for a daytime Emmy. The awards are about a week away and we are on pins and needles awaiting the results. I'm also part of an episodic retro 'radio' anthology series called As Darkness Falls. We are just now finishing a full season of episodes that should soon be available in multiple formats including iTunes.
In the Star Wars universe I am also part of The Old Republic, which is looking fantastic and should be released later this year. I can't wait to see the finished product!
I have a few more things that I hope to be able to talk about soon. And you can always check my website for updates.
"Thanks so much for the interview. For anyone interested, you can keep up with me here:"