The actors who brought the Teen Titans to life in the beloved 2003 animated series are also the same ones who voice voice the current incarnation, Teen Titans Go! But even after two movies, six seasons and nearly 300 episodes, they still carry a connection to the versions of the superheroes they played more than a decade ago.
During an interview with CBR, Teen Titans Go! cast members Scott Menville (Robin), Tara Strong (Raven), Khary Payton (Cyborg) and Greg Cipes (Beast Boy) spoke about what it was like to jump back into the earlier versions of the characters in the new movie Teen Titans Go! vs Teen Titans, and why they have such deep connections to these characters.
Teen Titans Go! vs. Teen Titans allows all five actors to reprise their original incarnations of the Teen Titans when they're pitted against their more recent comedic versions by Trigon (Kevin Michael Richardson). But rather than finding the situation difficult, Cipes compared it to "riding a bike." "Those old versions of Titans are just in our blood," Menville said. "They’re part of our DNA, man. So it’s easy to switch into those in a second."
"The cool thing," Payton explained, "is that I think we have just, personality-wise, a very close kinship with these characters. I don’t know if I have ever met anyone more Beast Boy than Greg Cipes in my life... when you’re that close to it, I think it’s just easy to jump back in."
For Cipes and Payton specifically, Beast Boy and Cyborg carry additional meaning to the actors.
"Cyborg was my first voiceover audition," Payton revealed, "and my first voiceover job in Los Angeles. And then I was sitting in that booth, just kind of crazily being like, 'I can’t believe this is happening.' I looked over at this dude I just met, and I was like, 'Hey, man, this is my first job. I’ve never done this before.' And Greg said, 'dude, me too!'"
Cipes pointed out it was also his first voice acting job, leading Strong to quip that he, in particular, was "really green."
"I had an early manager when I was, like, 14," he remembered. "[He said] 'You know, if you’re going to be a soap opera actor, your voice needs to be lower.' So they brought me to a doctor for vocal chords, who was like, 'We can do a surgery to help lower your voice.' I was like, 'Nah.' And then I starred on General Hospital. So did you, [Khary]!"
"I want to hear what a soap-opera version of Beast Boy would sound like," Menville joked, leading Cipes to deliver his very Beast Boy dialogue in a lower register.
Even after playing the Teen Titans for more than 15 years, the characters can still find new ways to surprise the cast.
"It’s a testament to the writers of Teen Titans Go! And the directors, Pete’s one of the creative forces behind the show," Payton said. "I think they constantly surprise us, except for the fact that Robin will always lose his mind over everything. Over everything!"
Cipes quipped that, "Playing these characters for 40 years has been fun," which led Strong and Payton to agree that they would love to see their roles continue for as long as possible. "Let’s hope we can say that," Strong said.
Teen Titans Go! vs. Teen Titans stars Greg Cipes as Beast Boy, Scott Menville as Robin, Khary Payton as Cyborg, Tara Strong as Raven and Hynden Walch as Starfire, with Kevin Michael Richardson as Trigon/Hexagon, Robert Morse as Santa Claus, Grey Griffin as Mrs. Claus, Rhys Darby as Master of Games, Sean Maher as Nightwing and "Weird Al" Yankovic as Gentleman Ghost and Darkseid. The movie is available Tuesday, Sept. 24, on digital release, and on Tuesday, Oct. 15, on Blu-ray and DVD.
KEEP READING: Every Teen Titans Team in Teen Titans Go! Vs Teen Titans