Mars Fire Ignite!
Sailor Mars is known for her everlasting passion, and she was voiced by Katie Griffin in the original English dub of Sailor Moon.
Griffin has always loved acting, but it wasn’t until high school that she became 100 percent sure about wanting to pursue acting as a professional career.
After doing a play at Ryerson theater an agent who was impressed by her performance, came up to Griffin and asked if she wanted to give acting a shot professionally and from there Griffin ended up booking commercials.
Griffin said she fell into voice over work completely by accident, and Sailor Mars was her very first voice over role in an animated series.
Griffin currently lives in Toronto with her husband and two boys, and while being a mother keeps her busy she loves to sing and play hockey whenever she gets a chance.
Griffin was encouraged by Rino Romano who was the first voice of Tuxedo Mask to audition for Sailor Mars.
“Going in to audition for Sailor Mars was insane! Because it was dubbing, it was almost like karaoke. It was chaos. We walked in and we really didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t know anything about the series. They showed me a little bit of the Japanese, and basically I just got in the booth and started reading the lines and in the beginning when I first started my voice was much higher than Rei ended up being,” Griffin said.
Since landing the role of Sailor Mars, Griffin had voiced the character for 20 years throughout the four seasons of Sailor Moon, with the exception of ten episodes due to her being in Los Angeles. When Griffin came back to Toronto, she picked up from where she left off and continued the series.
She also expressed that she didn’t really get settled into the character until about four episodes in, because she was nervous and voice over work was brand new to her.
Griffin kept a few things in mind as she voiced Sailor Mars on a technical level.
“At the very beginning I was really trying hard to go in there and grasp the concept of the dubbing system. I really didn’t go in there instantly saying, (Rei\s voice) ‘Okay! This is what Rei is going to sound like, and she’s going to be all business!’ I wasn’t thinking anything like that.
I was thinking: ‘Okay Katie, we’re just gonna go in there, do our best and hope for the best!’ Then when I started to record with Karen Bernstein [Sailor Mercury] we sounded very similar, because she has a very high pitched voice, and that’s initially what I did. We had to separate so I went lower, so that’s how it all sort of transpired. By the seventh or eighth episode I was really getting a feel for who Rei was,” Griffin said.
As fans know Serena and Rei argued through out the series, and Griffin felt this symbolized a sisterhood between the two girls.
“I know that there are people that aren’t big fans of Rei because Rei was very bossy, and kind of strong. I have a sister, and she is my best friend in the universe.
So I always looked at Serena as sort of my sister. With the Rei and Serena thing I never really looked at it as Rei not liking Serena I thought she loved Serena. I think just because their personalities were slightly different, it didn’t change the fact that Rei always had Serena’s back. I always felt that Rei and Serena were super close even though they fought. In the long run it didn’t really matter. They could bicker all they want and then all of a sudden when they were in trouble they had each others backs.”
All of the characters in Sailor Moon experienced a period of growth during the course of the story, and Griffin shares what changes she saw occur for Rei/Sailor Mars.
“So from the very beginning she was just kind of bratty. There was a lot of fighting over Darien, and they fought throughout the series anyway but I feel like Rei really matured as the series went on, and it became a little bit more about the friendships and staying strong,” said Griffin.
Sailor Mars is very important to Griffin, and she explains how the passionate Sailor Scout empowered her as a human being.
“I was very empowered by her because I felt really close to her. I felt like she was very similar in personality, and I am very loyal to my friends and family. I’m probably not as serious because I am a bit of a goofball. But I do feel like Rei liked to take things seriously and her friends meant a lot to her. Rei was ME so it was perfect!”
In addition to being empowered Griffin said that Sailor Mars changed her life, because of the fact that she has been a very successful voice actress.
“I still do on-camera stuff and that’s great, but it’s not nearly this big. I’m working a lot right now with voice over stuff So I feel like every single bit of that I owe to Sailor Mars, because she was my very first voice over role. Plus all of her personality. I really do relate to her in a lot of ways- with her strength, her loyalty and everything, but I think I had all those things before her. So if anything I will just say I owe my career to Sailor Mars.”
The show Sailor Moon has a special quality and means a lot to Griffin.
“The show means so much because Rei started my career. But I will also say that I really had no idea of the success of Sailor Moon until recently. We started doing these conventions and we had the 20 year reunion and the fans were coming out, and there are tons of fans. That’s when I realized how important Sailor Moon was to so many people. We hear this all the time, about how ‘Sailor Moon was their childhood or Sailor Moon got people through some tough times, and I just feel like wow. That is a pretty great show to be a part of. That our show affected so many lives.”