Q&A with Kiersey Clemons (Dee Dee) – Scoob!
Kiersey Clemons (Lady and The Tramp, Bojack Horseman, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising) plays Dee Dee Skyes in the new animated film Scoob! You can hear her thoughts on the new film below.
What are your first memories of Scooby-Doo?
Kiersey Clemons (KC): My dad loved Scooby-Doo, so my first memory of Scooby-Doo is watching with him, and enjoying it as a kid. And I have a baby brother now; he’s three, so he’s just getting into Scooby-Doo.
Is he thrilled that you’re in the movie?
KC: He doesn’t know yet. I want to see if he recognizes my voice, and then we’re going to tell him, because I think that’ll be fun.
With your dad being a fan, is it special to you that you’re going to be part of the telling of Scooby’s origin story?
KC: Oh yeah, whenever you do something that is a throwback or nostalgic and you see your childhood, it’s cool because you feel like it’s dedicated to the people that were involved in the early stages of your life. It’s kind of owed to my childhood memories of my dad, and he’ll enjoy it – he’ll see it regardless if I was involved in it or not — so I guess that he’ll be proud and excited and it will be all fuzzy and warm for him, too.
The heart of the movie is the bond between best friends Scooby and Shaggy, or simply a boy and his dog. Is that something you can personally relate to?
KC: I have a dog. Her name is Booty, and she shakes her butt when she walks. (LAUGHS) She’s so sassy. Actually, I didn’t know what I was going to name her. I adopted her, and then I had to leave her there temporarily for them to have her spayed. I hadn’t seen her walk yet, I’d just picked her up from her cage and then sat down at the table and filled out paperwork, and then I gave her back to I think it was an ASPCA in Harlem. I came back, I think, about a week later and that’s when we saw her walk. And I was like, “Oh my god, she shakes her butt when she walks.” We call her Boots.
It’s kind of like the story where Shaggy met Scooby and they had that instant connection. You saw her and you just knew?
KC: Well, I really wanted a dog, and I was in New York filming and feeling lonely. So I ran around all day to all the different boroughs and the different rescue places to look at all the dogs. I wanted a small dog because I’d have to be able to fly back with it, and I thought it was just better for my lifestyle. It was getting close to the time that all the rescue places closed, and it was the last place I went to. She was in the corner and very quiet and sweet and her eyes were kind of sad. She let me pick her up, and then when I left she was barking for me. And it was like, “Oh, she’s so needy.” Later, I found out that she wasn’t that calm; it was just that she had bronchitis. She was sick. She’s actually a very hyper dog. She’s a terrier, and she has so much personality.
Your character, Dee Dee, also has a lot of personality. Blue Falcon does the posturing but it’s Dee Dee who actually flies the ship. Tell us a little about that.
KC: I was really excited when they came to me about it. Dee Dee’s the pilot and a real leader, even though Blue Falcon thinks he’s the one in charge and he can be a little difficult to work with. She’s got to put him in check and lead everyone to what she feels is safety. She’s like, “Whatever, you guys can mess around but I’m gonna keep my eye on the prize, and we can have fun getting there but we’ve got to get there.”
Dee Dee isn’t part of the Mystery Inc. gang, but she ends up helping Scooby and Shaggy and making sure that they’re OK, and helps to bring everyone together. I felt really special about it because I hadn’t expected her to play such a big role, but she ends up being an important part of the story.
Your character interacts a lot with Ken Jeong’s character, Dynomutt. What’s that relationship like?
KC: I got to hear a little bit from Ken’s sessions, but it’s such a long process making an animated feature, and things change so much. He might come in and read and then the character goes different directions than you expect it to, so the relationship dynamics change. It’s was constantly changing in a really great way, and it just got bigger and more fun. And Dee Dee got sassier and funnier and it was really awesome. But I think I was always understanding her relationship with Dynomutt, because Dynomutt also has his eye on the prize and is pretty smart himself.
Though he’s not as nice…
KC: (LAUGHS) This is true. He’s a bit more serious and edgy.
What was it like working with [director] Tony Cervone?
KC: It’s fun to work with someone like Tony because we just laugh the whole time. He’s such a good guy and he’s so much fun, which helps because then I feel comfortable to pitch ideas or he’ll pitch ideas and we’ll tell each other like, “That’s stupid,” (LAUGHS) or “That’s not our best.” But it gets us to a place that makes Dee Dee special, and makes the final link between my humour and her humour.
I understand that sometimes actors doing animated roles will do crazy things in the recording studio to get into the character and the action. They might take their shoes off or jump around. Is that part of your process?
KC: Oh yeah! I’d come in and take my shoes off. I’d be putting my hair up and taking it down and taking my sweater off. I mean, I’m always trying to do whatever emotion I can get away with doing that’s in line with what’s happening in the scene. It helps to be able to move, because what you’re physically doing changes how you breathe and the way that you’re saying things. So yeah, I get as comfortable as I can, and take up all the space in the booth. Dee Dee is flying the Falcon Fury a lot so there’s a lot of talking over my shoulder and pretending that I’m piloting this thing, that’s kind of a spaceship meets a jet, meets a submarine.