It’s not often you get to speak to someone whose as versatile and multitalented as Kristen Li. After spending nine years as a competitive figure skater, Li found her niche as an actress and voice over artist.
Li is best known for her role as the voice of ‘Bubbles’ in Cartoon Network’s reboot of the Emmy-nominated “The Powerpuff Girls”. The show, which originally ran from 1998-2005, centers on three girls (Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup) who use their superpowers to defend their town from villains while dealing with normal issues that young children face.
Li’s additional voice credits include Disney Pixar’s “Monsters University” and the video game “Broken Age”. She’s also appeared on such shows as Nickelodeon’s “Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn” and “Days of our Lives”.
I recently spoke with Li about her role on The Powerpuff Girls and more in this exclusive interview.
You began your career as a competitive ice skater. What made you decide to transition into acting?
I was a competitive ice skater and also did modeling from an early age. I did print ads and commercials which expanded into theatrical/commercial roles. I made the transition when I had to choose between the two because of my hectic schedule. It was a hard decision because I love both. Both were competitive but I love acting because I love to be many characters. It is fun to entertain and meet actors and actresses that give me inspiration.
What did you enjoy most about competitive ice skating?
I love to win! The thing about ice skating is not just practicing the moves on the ice, but the technical part of it. There are techniques that involve the height of the jumps, spins and the moves with the music. It was challenging! I practiced from four to eight hours a day, which taught me to be disciplined. I loved to dance all over the ice with the music, and I love to entertain.
What are some of the differences between doing voice-over work as opposed to typical acting or doing a video game?
There are similarities and differences between acting and voiceover work. For voiceover, you can perform different voices and characters without actually dressing up for the part. For on-camera roles, you can only be one character for the show or a movie. But for both acting & voiceover, you have to study and be knowledgeable about the character and the project!
How would you describe Bubbles? What’s she like?
Bubbles is sweet, gullible and the most sensitive of the group. She is also really smart! She knows how to code, talk to animals and loves helping others. She is powerful.
Did you have to do research to take on the character?
Yes! I researched the show which took several hours. Then I had to study Bubbles and the emotions that she has. After listening several times, I practiced to see how I sound doing it. I keep doing that over and over again. With auditions, it takes hours of studying and practicing.
Are there any other projects you’re currently working on?
I have some things in the works that I can’t talk about just yet….but stay tuned!
When you’re not acting, what are some of the things you enjoy doing?
I like to spend time with my friends, go ice skating and skateboarding. I also like to do Tae Kwon Do for self defense and Pilates for my core. I like to be active!
What excites you the most about the future and the next phase of your career?
Going forward, I am excited to pursue theatrical roles and perfect more voiceover characters. That’s my goal!