Renée Elise Goldsberry interview
(Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for dcp)

Interview: Renée Elise Goldsberry Discusses Fast & Furious Spy Racers Season 5

Dreamworks Animation’s hit Netflix series Fast & Furious Spy Racers is back for a fifth season in the South Pacific.

“It’s a race against time as the Spy Racers rush to rescue a kidnapped Tony only to discover that he has inexplicably lost the ability to do what he loves most – drive!” reveals the synopsis. “The crew bands together on a mission traversing land, air and sea in the South Pacific to foil the dreaded arms dealer Sudarikov’s dangerous plans. But will Sudarikov’s secret weapon prove too powerful for the Spy Racers and ultimately succeed in endangering the world?”

ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief spoke to Renée Elise Goldsberry about the latest season of Fast & Furious Spy Racers, her other endeavors, and what she enjoys so much about voice acting. Check out the interview below.

Tyler Treese: Ms. Nowhere is such a fun character, especially being part of the organization. What initially attracted you to this role?

Renée Elise Goldsberry: Well, I’m, I’m just a huge fan of the franchise and, God, that writing team is amazing. I was a fan of the showrunner, the writing team, and Dreamworks.

It’s quite the combination. Like you said, being a part of the Fast and Furious universe is so cool. Do you want to see Ms. Nowhere go on screen into live-action in the future?

Are you kidding me? That would be probably the greatest dream come true. What’s amazing is that that franchise isn’t going anywhere, you know what I mean? Based upon their recent success, I think it’s clear. I just can’t imagine it without making movies, so yeah. Who knows maybe one day they’ll start finding ways to merge those two worlds. They’re both pretty wonderful, and I can’t imagine anything more fun to do.

Spy Racers too is just having so much success and we’re in the fifth season now. Did you expect the show to be so long-running when you joined it?

It’s funny when I started voicing the character, I remember feeling like, oh my gosh, I don’t know how long I can keep having these vocal outbursts of rage and frustration. I just remember being like, oh my gosh, I wonder how long this will continue. I wonder how long I’ll be able to do it. Now after five seasons, my feeling is I hope this goes on forever.

Voice acting can be very different from traditional acting. Is that something you kind of had to learn over time, how to have those outbursts and it not do any damage or strain your voice?

It’s interesting. Yeah. What I’ve learned as a singer is that kind of aggressively yelling or talking or any of those things can be more trying on the voice than singing all night long. So you do learn how to do it in ways that don’t hurt but what I found the more intimately you understand the character and the more grounded all of that yelling is, and in relationship in what’s happening in a character that you really have ingested the less you have any concern about any vocals, pain, or damage. I haven’t thought in that vocal booth about any worrying about my voice in a couple of years.

What’s your favorite part of playing Ms. Nowhere? Has her story arc surprised you? We even had some romance late last season, which was a surprise for me.

As a woman, as I get older and I’m taking on roles, I’m always looking for people that really know how to dream for women at different ages. What I’m most excited about when I’m playing Ms. Nowhere is that these people, these writers did not have to develop her in the way that they have. She could have been sitting in central station somewhere, just barking orders. So often that stock character really does not go out into the field with the teenage kids and, and kick butt. They just typically don’t do that. That’s not the trap that these writers got stuck in. They actually dream for her. I mean, I’m flying through the air, I’m causing trouble, and I’m saving the day I’m I’m right there in the thick of it with them.

They do all these wonderful flips. Like she hates something, and then she falls in love with it. She seems really prickly, but there’s this core of her that loves these kids so much, right. They’re just great writers. They know how to write really wonderful characters. Always my favorite part of actually playing her is the surprise I get when I read whatever is coming next, I’m always delighted.

This season is in the South Pacific. It’s very fun that the locales are always switching, and the show’s scope over time has also grown as well. Do you think this international aspect is one of the reasons why the show has been able to stay so successful over time?

We live in a global world. It’s a global economy. Our entertainment really needs to be that. That’s something I’m sure that is what was so attractive about this franchise branching off into this animated series is the ability to be global in the way that it’s cast in the locations. What is universally appealing in terms of storytelling and action and thrills, just around the globe. I mean, this show really understands that, and it really has to because that’s the magic in the franchise.

It was recently announced that there’s a Spy Racers video game coming out. Do you know if you’re involved in that?

Oh, I hope so.

What’s the recording process like for Spy Racers?

Recording has been an interesting challenge over the last year. We started off doing what I thought was remote in that I was recording in New York City and the producing and directing team was in Los Angeles. I thought that was what remote meant until COVID happened. Then what I discovered is that there was a whole new level of remote, and honestly, I’m on a few animated series, but Fast and Furious figured it out the fastest, no pun intended.

But yeah, they had a kit that’s in my house with a bunch of recording equipment because the Fast and Furious series does not slow down even for COVID. I’m not gonna lie a couple of months in my closet, under some blankets doing some pickups because the show goes on for an animated series and that’s really been a wonderful gift to me as an actor from the theater in particular. There’s certain mediums that had to stop and because they were quick on their feet, we got to keep going.

You’re also starring in Girls5eva, which just got renewed for a second season. That seems like such a fun set to be on. Especially performing those songs. How enjoyable is it? The songs are so funny in that show.

I have to say that I get to go to work every day when it comes to Girls5eva and even recording the Fast and Furious series. What they have in common is exactly what I said about being an actor of being a woman at this age, who gets to do things that most people don’t dream of for women my age. I’m on set with three other women that I love immensely, and we’re singing through the wonderful songs that are hilarious and biting at the same time. We are doing choreography dance numbers, and most importantly, we’re trying to make a dream come true, which I don’t know that people allow women of a certain age to dream about being popular, but we get to do that in Girls5eva and it’s magic.

You’re so diverse with your skills and you have a great rap in Hamilton on the song, “Satisfied.” You also got to be in that BET cypher a few years ago, which was so cool. What was the creative process when you were writing that rap and were you inspired by any other rappers?

I was scared to death. I was in a dressing room at Hamilton riding around with Daveed Diggs and Lin Manuel Miranda. This was a bucket list item for them. I mean, they had waited their whole life. They couldn’t believe we were going to get to do a cypher and all they do is write rap all day long. I started off kind of feeling very intimidated in the room and really like trying to see whatever I could get them to write for me. Then I went home and I thought about really what the nature of and the history of rap music is and the great legacy of women rappers and how ridiculous it would be if I didn’t use my own voice. So I just started telling my own story, one life to live, two children. I just started talking about what was uniquely me, even though that seemed perhaps strange in the world of rap music. I think the reason why the cypher went so well for me is because it was really honest.

I’m sure you can’t say too much, but can you say anything about She-Hulk coming up and joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

I can’t talk at all about the Marvel series, unfortunately. I can’t even confirm that I’m a part of that universe, but when I think about a franchise, like Fast and Furious, when I think about a franchise like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the opportunity to play any part of it is, the legacy is so great. Honestly, I think the thing that I love the most about franchises, like that the appeal they have to audiences of all ages. That’s what was so surprising about Hamilton. That’s what’s so wonderful about Fast and the Furious. I know because I’m such a huge fan and so our my children. That’s what’s so great about the Marvel universe.

You had a really fun role in Centaurworld, which just came out on Netflix. I love Megan Nicole Dong’s designs that are so wonderfully weird. How’d you get involved in that show?

I just got a phone call one day, right around the same time as the Fast and the Furious to come in and record that wonderful character. What’s wonderful about voiceover acting and animation specifically as an actor from the theater specifically as a thing or from the theater it’s one of the few times where so much of our craft is taken advantage of. I mean, you can do anything with your voice. So I get to sing a lot on Centaurworld, and it’s also incredibly creative and strange. I’m excited because these are things that we go into the studio and do months and months and months before they come out. We get to see how they work. We get to see them at all. There’s so, so much of the magic, something that we don’t know about until it comes out on television. So, it’s been exciting and I’m glad that one’s out too.


Marvel and DC