Friday, 13 November 2009

MEREDITH SALENGER AS BARRISS OFFEE

First, how did you find yourself voicing "Dependable Barriss," as Ahsoka calls her, in the Clone Wars series?

Although I started acting in film when I was only 10 years old, I never even knew about voice-over acting until three years ago. I was so thrilled once I finally understood how the whole voice-over thing works and started loving playing animated characters! I also have been obsessed with accents and foreign languages since I was little...and always practiced my English accent and my Australian accent incessantly. So when the audition came up for Barriss Offee I was ready to put my skills to use! And I feel so grateful to be part of the cast and more importantly the Star Wars universe!

So far, our exposure to Padawans in The Clone Wars has been pretty much limited to Ahsoka. In "Weapons Factory," we get a rare glimpse of the relationship between a different master and apprentice. How would you compare the Barriss/Luminara relationship to that of Ahsoka/Anakin?

Well, Barris Offee's Jedi Master is Luminara Unduli who is very by the book and ordered. As her loyal student, Barriss tends to be just as ordered in her approach to dealing with situations. There is a great amount of respect that Barriss affords Luminara. She is definitely her subordinate and their relationship is very formal. Whereas, there is a lot of familiarity between Ahsoka and Anakin. He even calls her by a cute nickname, "Snips." I think he allows her to give a lot of input. I don't think Barriss would ever presume to tell Luminara what she thought was best. However, I think that the more time Barriss spends with Ahsoka -- she learns to improvise a bit more and trust her own instincts as opposed to always having to follow the rules exactly.



What do you feel Barriss needs to learn before becoming a Jedi Knight?

Well as we find Barriss in her first episode, she already displays a lot of the core values of being a Jedi: she respects her master, she is always ready to increase her knowledge and continue her training, she defends and protects the good of the galaxy, she even has healing powers. I think the main thing she is learning is to trust her personal instincts and let the Force work through her. And not worry so much about doing things the "right way." A Jedi has to have the confidence and the courage to act, and that is how Barriss will grow the longer she is in training. I think she has the skill and is gaining the knowledge -- she just needs to trust the spirit.

Do you know if we'll see more of Barriss as the season unfolds?

There are definitely some very interesting scenes coming up with Barriss that will surprise a lot of people. I of course keep envisioning a best friends side story scenario between Ahsoka and Barriss...like Bettty and Veronica but not adversarial! Just for fun!

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