On this edition of THE INTERVUE, I was able to hop on a Zoom Call with two of the cast from the Hulu/Peacock Original Madagascar: A Little Wild. You can watch both seasons of the show right now on Hulu & Peacock! After having the chance to screen the episodes, I sat down to chat about the premise of story and the challenges of doing voice overs with Jasmine Gatewood who Kate and Shaylin Becton who plays Gloria!
For fans who have seen the first season, what can they look forward to in this second go round?
Shaylin Becton (SB): I would definitely say that our fans would look forward to more fun from the gang, the posse, the amazing four. Definite more adventures around the zoo. Taking care of the baby. You know just getting into a lot of mischief but all the while trying to achieve our dreams. You know, Gloria has dream about becoming a ballerina. Even though we are small, we all have dreams. More of that in Season 2.
Absolutely, Jasmine, you’re going to have to follow that!
Jasmine Gatewood (JG): I can only piggyback by saying that the music. Oh my Goodness, you’re going to have so much fun with the new songs. More new adventures. Its really a Broadway adventure going on here. Lots of fun. Lots of laughs, lots of caring moments to be seen. You just sharing the love and peace and laughter and being able to experience how to go through different life skills with each other. I think that’s a beautiful thing to see as well.
I have to jump on what you mentioned just a moment ago. The music, you’re right the music in every episode has wonderful songs. What is your favorite song in the Madagascar series?
JG: OK, well I am not gonna lie. Coming into the second season, I really enjoy doing The Sweetest Gift. So much passion, so much love and being able to do different things with my voice in this song was absolutely amazing! Alana D, a shot-out to her in writing this music. Awesome, awesome, awesome music this go round.
SB: I really love, its actually from the first season, its Dance from Your Heart from when Gloria was auditioning from Madame Lagrange in the ballet series and just encouraging herself that she could do it and she was able to shine and dance as well. So, its probably my favorite one.
Those are two wonderful songs. Now, we all know that Madagascar is a big franchise in the world of animation and I like to know from the two of you, were you fans of the series before taking on your roles? If so, what was your favorite movie in the series?
SB: So I was definitely a huge fan of Madagascar and its really funny because when I was younger, I used to watch the movie nonstop, each movie nonstop with my grandmother and tht would be our movie night. We always watched the movie. My favorite one when they went to Africa. I love that one! I love “Moto Moto” and Gloria sings and interact like that was definitely my favorite one.
Auditioning for the show was crazy because it was my childhood. Then its really cool because you get to be another child’s childhood. So like some kid will get to grow up and say “Oh my goodness, I love Madagascar: A Little Wild Its just so crazy to me!
JG: I like the Move It, Movie It was one of my favorite songs. Growing up into the Madagascar, I watched all of them as well. I was super heavy into animation and loved cartoons so I was really big into Madagascar when it came out. When they were going to Africa was one of my favorites and as I said “I Like to Movie It, Move It” was my jam!
A super fun series to go into and being able to just experience “Hey, this is something that I used to watch and something I used to be a part of.” Going into it and growing up in it, just to be able to audition for it and be a part of this new series has definitely been a blessing and a joy to see all the quality and different things that are happening with the show. Bringing in different people and different voices to experience the growth in that being a voiceover actress. It’s amazing, its an amazing ride.
Jasmine, you play Kate who runs the habitat at the zoo. She’s one of the very few human characters that we see in the franchise. Was it challenging to bring a new character to life in this already established series?
No, none at all. She was so much fun, getting the scripts, getting the character. Being able to bring to life different things that I was able to bring for myself to this character. I’m super optimistic, nurturing being able to be there for them. All the animals before dinner time. Being able to see them before night time. Not knowing exactly what they are doing throughout their day at all its like “Whoa!” Being able to see that.
It was actually exciting to be someone new and honestly I was able to be myself most of the time and have a good time being Kate.
Shaylin, you play an iconic character. I mean no one could top Jada Pinkett Smith but you did it so well with Gloria. How did you approach playing Gloria since you mentioned you watch the movie when you were young several times. It’s a tough act to follow.
So the way that I approach playing Gloria when I first received the audition, I watch the first movie literally back to back to back and I would copy her voice in the adult form and then try to lighten it up as far as the kid form. I’m like “Ok, if she was younger how would she sound?” That was my approach to it. I really like the sass of Gloria but she’s still a sweetheart.
She has a big heart but she’s confident and she knows what she wants in life and she’s going after it and she just wants to be there for her friends. So that’s how I am in real life and to kind of infuse to two together but then watch the movie and study her vocal changes as far as Jada Pinkett Smith as you know I love you in case you’re watching “I Love You”.
I’m not sure in which of the movies but in one of the series there is a super quick scene when they were babies. I remember watching that and kinda sounding I don’t know who played the younger versions of that but I’m like “Oh well, there’s a little glimpse of them being children. Let me take a little bit of that too and kinda remember that in my audition as well. Just doing a lot of studying with her voice, Gloria’s mannerisms. If was Shaylin but Gloria how would I wakeup and how would I brush my teeth and I would probably dive into my bath tub. Just stuff like that when trying to embody the character.
You both capture the characters so well. Did you all work together in the same recording booth or did you all did your work separately?
JG: No, everything was in passing. I’ll get to meet them on the way in and they meet me on the way out. Its very nice to see them, oh my goodness! Everybody on their grind, doing their work but we all did it in individual times. I don’t know if they work together as well but I’m already getting to meet them in passing.
SB: Yes and to just piggyback off that we did the first couple of sessions altogether as far as the kids we all did it together but then after that we broke off to individual schedules but we came together great. Every time we see each other it feels like we been working together forever. Its always love, always good vibes.
One of the things that I love about the series is that they have wonderful life lessons for families to take home. What is one of those lessons that you reflect on personally?
SB: There’s one in the second season actually when Gloria’s trying so so hard to be nice and then but I don’t want to ruin it for everybody. The storyline is that Marty is giving out badges to everybody and Gloria gets the dancer badge and she’s like “You know I’m kind, I want the kind badge. So then she is trying to so hard to be nice and she is nice but she is doing it over the top.
At the end, she realizes that she could still be nice but be herself. So, I would just say stay true to yourself. Knowing your boundaries as a person which you’re comfortable because in the episode she invites these rats to where she lives, to share her space. She’s trying to be nice but then they touch something of hers and she’s angry about it.
My lesson would be knowing your boundaries, what you’re comfortable with and just staying true to yourself.
JG: I would like to say that a thread that I see through both seasons is learning how to understand who you are and being able to try your best no matter what. Being the best that you can be in what you do and how you do it and also being able to accept a helping hand because these four, they get together and help each other out no matter what. One can be fearful. One be brave. One be cane “Oh my gosh, are we really going to do this?” One can be pushed into a situation and be like “As long as we’re doing this together, we can get it done”.
I just find that to be amazing throughout each episode that they find out through each scenario and each situation that they don’t leave each other behind. They’re your brothers, your sister keeper. You see that quite as bit as well throughout the series. It’s a beautiful thing because when we come into life, we are lifelong friends. You find those people that are your loved ones, your family; those are the people who hold you down the most and these four showed that very well. They are going to hold each other down no matter.
Also being your best self, caring for one another and being able to say “Hey, this is not my day” I know there are some episodes where its like “Hey, y’all are doing too much, ok ok.” At the same time, its like “If we’re going to do this, we got to do it together” and they go for it. I love that about this series, its amazing to see.
If you had to pick three words to describe a true friend, what words would you use?
JG: Friendship: Live, love laugh. That’s something that I live by for me and my friends always. We live to our fullest whenever we go somewhere, whenever we see each other, its always life. We cannot be doing anything just to be in the midst of each other, there’s always life. Love, showing that true love even when you have to correct someone. Yo do that with love. And laugh, oh my goodness, that’s our pastime. We laugh about everything, anything just to keep our spirits up and going. I know over the course of this period where everything is uncertain, we have to find something to laugh about. We have to keep our spirits flowing growing, going. I’m telling you to live, love and laugh.
SB: I like that!
I love it too, Shaylin you’ll have to top that!
SB: I love that live, love and laugh! What I would say is encouraging. As a friend, you should encourage your peers, your friends’ laughter, goals and dreams. No matter how big or small their goals are. if you’re their true friend, you should encourage them and help guide them to the right direction. I would say respectful. You should definitely respect your friends. If you love me and I love you, I would expect to respect a person’s space and boundaries. You know, just have respect for one another as human beings. And loyalty, you know who loves a loyal friend. They are dependable. They are there when you really need them. In friendship, when you’re not at 100% let alone 50, your friend will pick up that extra fifty or sixty just to give that energy or feel that you need to be, that loyal friend is always there for you.
Check out Jasmine, Shaylin in Madagascar: A Little Wild on both Hulu and Peacock!
Until we meet again…. See You, Out There!