FAN NEWS

Anna Diop on Igniting Starfire

Joshua Lapin-Bertone

Joshua Lapin-Bertone

Oct. 30, 2018

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In the first episode of DC Universe’s Titans (watch it here) we saw Starfire struggle to learn who she was, while surprising the audience (and herself) with her strange abilities. How similar is the show's take on Kory Anders to the comic-book character fans know and love? We had a chance to sit down with actress Anna Diop who plays the very first live-action incarnation of Starfire. Here's what she had to say...

 

On critics calling her the breakout star of TITANS...

 

I don't read the reviews, but thanks. That’s awesome!

 

What inspires her take on Starfire...

 

I just loved the idea of being alien, and that means so many things to me, personally. I was born in Senegal in West Africa, and I moved to the States when I was six years old. So, when we first came, I had to assimilate, and I learned the language in two months. I was in school two months later and assimilating to this culture. Sometimes I just feel like an outsider too, right? I think a lot of people can relate to that. I love being able to embody what being alien feels like, if that makes sense. Because I think that's something I do understand. 

 

On researching the source material...

 

I watched Teen Titans Go! just to kind of see. [Laughs.] I think what people really love about Starfire [is] she has this really innocent, naive, pure, fun, curious thing about her. I tried to bring as much of that as I could into it. I know the producers wanted a really badass strong character, but I really, really did want to bring aspects of that bubbly, kind of love of life.

 

On whether it's especially hard for Starfire to connect with her teammates because she’s an alien...

 

Starfire, naturally, is already a little perplexed by humans sometimes, and, added to the fact that she doesn't remember anything, it's very confusing. But I don't know. All four of us struggle with finding ourselves and connecting with each other as characters. So, I wouldn't say any more than any of the other characters.

 

On what members of the team Kory feels the most connected to...

 

I think it varies. Sometimes it's Robin. And then sometimes she has to call Robin out on his stuff. She's very protective of Raven. She just finds Beast Boy completely quirky and hilarious and she's just tickled by him. It just depends. Starfire is kind of the one that gets leaned on, I find, in our season. I think a little bit by Raven. There are definitely some moments that she opens up and is very vulnerable with her.

 

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On how much she knew about Starfire’s season 1 journey when she got the role...

 

We only got the pilot episode when we first got it. That was enough for me. It was only 12 pages, but it was so well-written. She was just so interesting to me that I was hooked. She was my favorite part of that pilot.

 

On speaking German in the show's first episode...

 

I did my best, and then they added lines on the day, and I'm like, "Don't do this to me." [Laughs.] That was fun. I actually kind of fell in love with the language after learning it a bit. It's a lot more beautiful than I realized. 

 

On whether she will be she speaking any other languages…

 

Yes. I do, and it's the best language because it's made-up. It's fucking awesome. It's so good. [Laughs.] 

 

On the fight scenes…

 

We had an amazing stunt coordinator, Larnell Stovall. We actually brought him on mid-season because the fights that we already had weren't as gritty and hitting as hard as the producers liked. He came in and just... I mean, you saw it. Starfire definitely has a lot of fighting, which was fun. She doesn't just lean on her powers.

 

On her favorite Starfire moment from the comics…

 

There is this one quote that I read that was just so sweet. I don't want to mess it up because it's so good, but she's basically talking about how our purpose here on Earth is to love one another and include everyone. She just doesn't understand why people fight and why they do this, that, and the other. She's just such a warrior for inclusion and justice. That, in general throughout the comics that I read, stood out to me the most. 

 

On seeing herself in her costume for the first time…

 

I was like, "Who is this chick?" [Laughs.] I didn't think that the costuming was going to go there. And the hair. I had ideas that I did introduce, and it ended up being something different, but something that is still really out of this world. It's Starfire's way of trying to fit in. It's what that looks like to her. I thought that was really funny and cool. That helped me too with the character. Just thinking, "Okay, this is how I would dress..." That kind of fed into how I walked in the world.

 

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