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SDCC Roundtable: Pauley Perrette Talks the Crimson Witch, NCIS and Her Geekiness

Actress Pauley Perrette sat down with us at San Diego Comic-Con for a roundtable interview for her latest project Scooby-Doo! And Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery, in which she voices the Crimson Witch. In this roundtable, Perrette discusses voicing the character the Crimson Witch, working on NCIS and also talks about her personal geekiness.

Q: Is it creatively different for you doing a project like this versus ‘NCIS’?

Pauley Perrette: What’s super interesting about doing animation is that you’re working by yourself, that’s the biggest difference. On ‘NCIS,’ part of everything that’s awesome about being on ‘NCIS’ is that we have a really amazing dance that we do between us and the other characters and we all kinda work together, with this one with the Crimson Witch, when they called me, I just finished playing Lois Lane for Warners and they called me and literally, I think the conversation was something like this, ‘Hey, do you want to be a part of Scooby-Doo meets Ki-…’yes!’ You’re in there by yourself, they don’t give you a script so you don’t know what the hell you are doing, you don’t get to read the whole thing. I’m in here doing this crazy witch character but by the time I watched it with my fiancé, I didn’t know what I had been doing, and I’m watching it and the movie is so crazy! You can’t put the pieces together of what you are doing until you see the whole film because you’re by yourself.

Q: Do you enjoy hearing yourself in an animation?

Perrette: It’s just kind of weird because I’m used to hearing my voice when it’s attached to my head you know? Especially with Abby, she has a little bit of a different voice than I do but it’s always kind of weird when you see a completely different being with your voice coming out of it.

Q: Before starting this project, were you a Scooby-Doo and Kiss fan?

Perrette: I like them both, I really do. I love Kiss, who doesn’t love Kiss? I’ve been friends with Gene [Simmons] for like fifteen years, we actually did another project together. He produced a TV show and I was his lead actress. We had a blast. We were called the ‘F.O.G.’s’ (Friends of Gene) and everyone was in it. It was me and Gene, Hugh Hefner and Tommy Lee and Mark McGrath and Pat Boone [laughs] we had a blast. Uncle Gene, I would do anything for him.

Q: Can you talk about some of your earliest memories of Scooby-Doo?

Perrette: Well when I was little, I wasn’t really allowed to watch much TV and film. I was literally in church all the time. I’m from the south, very much from the south [laughs] but for some reason, I remember watching Scooby-Doo and I loved it so much, and now with ‘NCIS,’ we are very Scooby-Doo. Pretty much in every episode, we will go ‘this is so scooby-doo right now.’

Q: How did you find your Crimson Witch voice?

Perrette: [Laughs] It wasn’t easy. It had to be so big and powerful. She says her line over and over again and I actually said it that many times because I didn’t want it to be the same one, so I was there for hours with that thing and it was super exhausting but so much fun. Plus, I play out every single thing like all the sound effects. I was sweating to death, it’s exhaustingly awesome.

Q: How do you save your voice for something like that?

Perrette: You have to be careful. I used to be a singer for a punk rock band so that really helps [laughs]. On the day we recorded I was kind of happy that I wasn’t doing something else the next day. When I was in the band, we did Warped Tour and all that and I lost a gap in my range ’cause at the time, I was just like being an irresponsible punk rocker with my voice. Now I’m pretty careful about it. The worst thing for your voice is like speaking or whispering or like when you talk too much and I talk too much [laughs], clearly.

Q: If you could be a superhero or villain in a live-action movie, who would it be?

Perrette: I would take any of them. I love doing it!

Q: You play one of the coolest geeks on TV with Abby on ‘NCIS,’ is there anything that’s geeky about you personally?

Perrette: Oh totally! I always have been. I fell into this career by accident. I studied sociology, psychology and criminal science. And I wanted to be in law enforcement and particularly, a cop and work for the FBI. I was fully on that path and have my masters degree in criminal science and this happened, which is kind of nuts. I’m like a numbers freak, I have a binary code tattooed on me, I’m super obsessed with science in general. I would so much rather be at a science museum than a club. My favorite thing to do at anytime that tops anything is sitting on my couch with my rescue dogs, drinking a beer and watching ‘Family Feud.’ I love watching ‘The People’s Court’ with Judge Milian. I can’t get enough of her. I kind of want to be Judge Milian really bad…she’s my hero.