The cast for ‘Teen Titans: The Judas Contract’ Landed at Wondercon
I really liked the DC animated movie Justice League v. Teen Titans. When I heard of the newest film Teen Titans: The Judas Contract I couldn’t wait to see it. At Wondercon I was lucky to be able to interview most of the cast and crew. Here is what I learned about this movie.
What do you think has been Robin’s biggest transformation so far?
Stuart Allan: His biggest transformation so far I feel is getting accepted into the Teen Titans. That was a truly identifying point where he has made a transformation towards the lighter side. Focusing on the justice, not vengeance. Before, he was telling himself that but not all the time did he truly believe it. When he first started playing in the Teen Titans in Justice League v. Teen Titans he had begun to accept himself as part of the justice role and learning to become a part of a bigger family. He is definitely more trusting of others now in this one, The Judas Contract. Damian being on both sides he’s now able to easily be perceptible of whose on which side of the spectrum.
He catches Terra right off the bat, the new one in the group. He notices how she is being more isolationist towards the group and not really sharing her feelings. She’s pushing other people away and she is not in control of her powers. And Damian being a part of the Teen Titans he feels more of a duty to try to help her. He sees a bit of his former, more violent self in her. Or at the least the one who was a little more sarcastic. Damian’s still a brat, you cant exactly take that away from him. But at the same time he has learned to govern himself in a sense. He wants to try to help Terra, so does the rest of the Teen Titans. But of course Damian will do something interesting with it like stalking her through the city with his watchful eyes (laughs). But ultimately at this point since that transformation of being a part of the Teen Titans he has always had good intentions in the end.
What has been your biggest challenge in playing the character?
Stuart: I guess was in the beginning was learning how to be a brat (laughs). While it is very fun to play that, there is this conditioning you have like when you are at home and everything where you can’t be a brat. You are supposed to be a good person and share with others. But it was exhilarating stepping out of the comfort zone and learning how to play that character. Because we are actors, we are supposed to learn how to play on multiple sides of the spectrum and learn how to step out of our comfort zones.
How do the experiences in The Judas Contract change him?
Stuart: At this point in the team there are still the occasional power struggles and confrontations between him and the other teammates but ultimately by the end he has learned to become more trusting and accepting of his role in the Teen Titans and stepping down from leadership for once. Because he’s always felt like he is in control. He’s the bad ass, he’s the one who gets things done compared to the rest of them. As he said in Justice League v. Teen Titans ‘The team is a whole bunch of squabbling idiots who don’t get anything done’ which is why he prefers to work alone. But by this point he has learned what teamwork can truly do.
How have you grown into playing these characters?
Kari Wahlgren: Well, I think a lot of that happens just in the writing and story telling of these scripts. This is my third time being Starfire. We’ve definitely seen the course of our relationship and our characters relationship change over the course of the movies. Their relationship is actually a big part of the story line with The Judas Contract. So we get to see how that evolves.
How does The Judas Contract change your characters relationship?
Sean Maher: Well, I think we can say there is certainly romantic happenings, happening. I think the seed was planted a little while ago. And I think we see it come to fruition. I also think in regards to my leaving and then Starfire becoming the leader of the Titans. Then I return, that also adds a certain dynamic. A definite power struggle.
Kari: Well, we definitely see it tested. We seem them trying to take the next step with their personal relationship and that getting a lot more serious. But then also that idea that they’ve been apart for a while and she has become the leader. Now he is coming back and they’re kind of trying to find out their new roles within the Teen Titans. So they are being kind of challenged on both a professional and a personal level in this movie.
What has been you favorite moment playing your characters?
Sean: Oh gosh. I had so much fun pretending to be Batman.
Kari: Because who wouldn’t (laughs).
How has your character evolved from the last film to now?
Brandon Soo Hoo: Well the movie itself has changed quite a bit. It’s not just introducing all of the characters. It’s just an exclusively Teen Titans story. In that way you get to go into a lot of the characters backstories. Beast Boy in particular he does definitely change a lot. He goes through some pretty heave stuff. You see a level of depth of him that isn’t really expressed often.
How did you adapt your performance with the changes he goes through in The Judas Contract?
Brandon: Naturally being in some of the more serious situations it was a little bit of a more grounded performance in some parts. It really felt like some heart shined through, which is what I try to convey. It wasn’t just really goofy and comedic. I really try to make it as real as I could and I hope the fans read that.
How will The Judas Contract change Beast Boy?
Brandon: Oh wow. One of the themes is that your kind of strengthened and your kind of brought up but the hardships that you have to deal with. And it kind of brings all of the team together. The challenges they have shared and can relate with. I think overall the bonds become a lot tighter and Beast Boy matures very quickly due to some of the circumstances in this new film.
How has your character evolved from the last film to this one?
Jake T. Austin: I play Jaime Reyes, and I think the Blue Beetle in the first movie is a comic relief character. Like the characters Beast Boy and Damian, there is a lot of comedy between those three characters. They are the youngest and the tend to get into the most trouble. But in this second movie my character is taking a reserved approach. He doesn’t want to get ahead of himself too much and he doesn’t have that much to prove anymore. So you can say in this film that the comic relief is actually Beast Boy, my character just kind of takes a backseat to that. There is more focus on the end mission.
How did you have to adapt your performance from last time?
Jake: Well obviously, I had less content in this movie. But the first film there were a lot of jokes and little scenes of banter between my character and Damian and Beast Boy. The two of them always seem to go against each other, like oil and water. But I think in this film he learns in order to be a teen you have to work together. You can’t be the opposing force. And I think he just really wants to be a solution and less of a problem.
How does Blue Beetle take the addition of the new team member?
Jake: He takes it at first with naivety. He looks at it and I don’t think he realizes the severity of it, you know. He doesn’t understand that the character, her character, is not who anyone thinks she is. So I think it’s a character growing moment when you have to learn about someone who has ulterior motives and other intentions. And as a young person you have to look at the world less naively. So I think that’s what he’s doing in this film. He’s growing up and having to take a second look at certain people.
What was the biggest challenge for you in bringing The Judas Contract to life?
Phil Baroussa: Hmm, the deadlines. It is always the deadlines. This one isn’t particularly hard, outside of it just being hard to make an animated movie. But it wasn’t like more challenging. I find it a little bit easier to fall into this world because I have so much fun drawing the younger, more vulnerable heroes. There’s a lot of components to it but they tend to lend themselves to more vulnerability, which is interesting. There is more levity and there is a tenderness to them. But they are also buoyant and colorful and a lot of fun. I don’t want to say it was easy but it wasn’t like working on a Justice League movie, which is always super hard.
Do you have a favorite scene or two that you worked on in The Judas Contract?
Phil: You know what I love, the first five minutes of the movie, the flashback. In the core of the movie Dick Grayson as Nightwing is all grown up. But the flashback shows when he was kind of the leader of the Titans and when Starfire first appears. That five minutes would be like the Teen Titans show that I would want to make. That would be my ultimate version to just kind of as a test run of making that show.
Was there any scene you had a hard time bringing to life?
Phil: There is some stuff that is more challenging. There is a transformation that happens towards the end of the film. I don’t want to spoil too much but one of the characters absorbs the powers of the other characters and I had to create a composite. Sometimes that can be tricky to composite it but make it look cool. So every now and then you run into something that is a less obvious path.
How is The Judas Contract different from the other Dc animated movies?
James Tucker: Well, it is something we have been wanting to do for a long time. To just have a solo Teen Titans movie. Justice League v. Teen Titans kind of got the ball rolling. One of our goals was to open up the line to have different franchises. That is what makes Teen Titans special. This is the first one that is solely not related to Justice League or Batman. So I hope we get to do more.
How will The Judas Contract affect the Teen Titans in the future?
James: Well, if you know the story of The Judas Contract, it’s like the most famous Teen Titans story. The repercussions of the fallout from what happens with two characters will resonate in future movies, should we be able to get to them. A lot of that will be dictated by the sales of what this one does. We have a lot of surprises in it, you’ll see tonight. Hopefully those surprises will lead to other movies and other story lines. There’s other stories that could be adapted. I am interested in going to Starfire’s world, taking them off planet and maybe introducing other characters. That is the goal. Now that Teen Titans is up and running, we can take them into outer space. That will cause us to be able to introduce even more characters into their franchise. The idea is to piggyback on each success.