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Interview: Catherine Taber, Padme On Star Wars: The Clone Wars

"Padme" talks to Comic Vine about being part of the Star Wars phenomenon.

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Star Wars: The Clone Wars begins its third season on Cartoon Network this Friday at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. We had the chance to ask Catherine Taber some questions about her role as the voice of Padme. Taber made her voice acting debut in 2003, playing Mission Vao in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Since, she has performed numerous other roles including the voice of Princess Leia in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.  
Comic Vine:  First question, how big of a Star Wars fan were you before you got the job to voice Padme on The Clone Wars? 
Catherine Taber:
HUGE. That is why I wanted the role so badly! I seriously wished on pennies, shooting stars, said prayers – you name it, in the time between auditioning and finding out I had been cast.

CV:  How does it feel being part of the Star Wars phenomenon and voicing the mother of Luke and Leia

CT: It’s both an honor and a responsibility. You want to do a good job and be true to the Star Wars mythos.  Its also just pretty cool!  Last year at Comic Con, Matt Lanter and I took a photo with Mark Hamill between us. I was thinking to myself, our “son” is Luke Skywalker!

  == TEASER ==

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CV: How did you land the role? Did you audition or were you contacted?

CT:Well everyone wanted to read on the project.  I was still quite new to voiceover, so the casting director, Andrea Romano, really didn’t know me.  My agent, Sandie, had to call Andrea three times to convince her. She said “No Seriously, She IS Padme!  You must see her!.”  Thankfully, I got the audition and the rest as they say….


CV: You've done lots of other voice work, did it feel different reading for a Star Wars role? More pressure?

CT: In a way, for me it actually feels really natural. It’s a world I know and understand.  And I like to infuse the characters with hints of Classic Star Wars when I can.  For Mission Vao, for instance, she is in the “scoundrel” class so I really wanted to put some Han Solo in there. Her sarcasm, her defensiveness and her bravado, all have a bit of Han as their inspiration.  And oh yeah, she also travels with a wookie, but I didn’t have to add that part, the writers did it for me!


CV: Padme appeared frequently in past seasons, will we see even more of her in Season 3?

CT: The great thing about our series, is that each episode takes on a different perspective – being a series we have the luxury of taking our time to tell the story.  So, sadly Padme can’t be in every part of the universe at every moment, (or so Dave Filoni has tried to explain to me).  Padme is very present in season 3 and getting more and more into the action, which is just fine by me!

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CV: When recording episodes, does each actor record separately or do you guys try doing them together when possible?

CT: We are together, which is so awesome!  It makes the recording process so much fun, but more importantly it adds depth to the performances because you are truly interacting with the other actors in the scene, which always makes for a richer performance.

CV: As you've done lots of voice work, are you used to hearing your voice come out of some animated sort of form or is it still a little weird/cool?

CT: For Clone Wars, the animators have footage of us and our expressions to work off of, so it doesn’t seem too weird, but it is still very cool!

CV: You have quite the number of fans. What have the Star Wars conventions been like for you? Have you met any crazy fans?

CT: Truthfully, there have been no crazy fans, just really great people.  You start to see some of the same faces, which is really fun. Then there are the kids, for whom we are their first and foremost representation of Star Wars and that’s just amazing.  I’ll be hanging out with James and some kids will see us. You see their faces just change and they say “it’s Padme and Obi Wan!”  I know they are excited, but I think we are equally, if not more thrilled by the whole experience!


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CV: What do you do when an episode with you premieres, do you have a big viewing party or watch it private?

CT: I like to have little get-togethers for some, especially because I love to cook and I LOVE to have dinner parties.  But, if it’s a big Padme-centric episode, I like to watch by myself first. Luckily, my parents, who are avid Clone Wars fans and live on the East coast, get to watch them first.  They always call and tell me how great the episodes are so I feel more relaxed watching them…of course, they may be a little biased!

CV: What's been your favorite moment since being cast as Padme? (on the show, with fans, etc)

CT: Wow, there are too many!  The whole thing has been amazing, from the actual work experience to the amazing fun we have going out and meeting fans. We all had such fun at Celebration V in Orlando. Our cast Panel was a blast! I love to watch my fellow actors, James, Ashley, Jamie, Matt and Matt, Tom & Dee, interacting with the fans. You just sit there and kind of have to pinch yourself.  I’m like, “is this really my job?  How did I get SO lucky????”


CV: What else are you currently working on?

CT: Well, there is more Star Wars in my future I am happy to say.  But, sadly, with most of the cool sci fi stuff I am working on, confidentiality is such a big factor that I could tell you, but then… well you know…