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Catwoman: Hunted's Kelly Hu Reveals Why Her Cheshire Is Similar To The One She Voices For Young Justice

Cheshire fighting Selina Kyle in Catwoman: Hunted
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment)

Along with being known for roles like Lady Deathstrike in X2: X-Men United (which saw her working with Hugh Jackman) and China White in The CW series Arrow (who she’s game to reprise elsewhere in the Arrowverse), Kelly Hu has also been voicing Jade Nguyen, a.k.a. Cheshire on Young Justice for over a decade. Now fans of the actress can soon hear her voicing the supervillain in a different kind of DC Comics project, as she’s part of the Catwoman: Hunted cast. That being said, expect the Cheshire in this upcoming animated movie to be pretty similar to the one that’s on Young Justice.

During my recent interview with Kelly Hu, I brought up how Catwoman: Hunted has a different vibe compared to Young Justice, both visually and tonally. As such, I asked if these differences led to the actress making any tweaks to her Cheshire performance for the animated movie, or if she just followed the same beats that she does for the TV series. Hu answered:

I think I just wanted to stay true to the Cheshire from Young Justice. Because first of all, I didn’t know how different this was going to look. Because I didn’t have to audition, I didn’t get to see a mock-up of what the character was going to look like. I mean, she kind of looked the same because she wears a mask, but a little bit different with the eyes and stuff. I didn’t realize it was going to be so different until I saw the film, and it was a really pleasant surprise. I loved seeing this anime sort of take on it.

This makes sense. Since she didn’t know about Catwoman: Hunted’s anime style when she was brought in to reprise Cheshire, she was only working off of what she read in the script. So with all those years of voicing Cheshire on Young Justice under her belt, Hu felt it was best to just stick with what she knew rather than make any drastic changes to her performance. The result is a Cheshire who, while not the exact same version seen on Young Justice, is definitely familiar and still quite formidable.

Outside of the work she put into the performance itself, I also inquired with Kelly Hu about if there any other major ways voicing Cheshire on Catwoman: Hunted differed compared to voicing her on Young Justice (you can watch new episodes of the series by signing up for one of the HBO Max subscriptions). Because Catwoman: Hunted was written by Greg Weisman, who also showruns Young Justice with Brandon Vietti, the two experiences basically flowed the same way, with the actress saying: 

No, I think she stayed true to the sort of Young Justice character, because Greg [Weisman] was the same writer. So I think he wrote her like the typical Cheshire that you would see in that sense. This fight was extra long though, and getting to fight with a different character was fun. I think he played pretty sure to the Cheshire from Young Justice.

As seen in the Catwoman: Hunted trailer, Kelly Hu’s Cheshire is one of the many adversaries that Elizabeth Gillies’ Michelle Pfeiffer-inspired Selina Kyle clashes with after stealing a priceless jewel, resulting in both a powerful criminal organization and Interpol putting her in their scopes. Rather than Batman being thrown into the mix, Hunted sees Catwoman being paired with Stephanie Beatriz’s Batwoman, while the other major players include Jonathan Banks as Black Mask, Steve Blum as Solomon Grundy, Lauren Cohan as Julia Pennyworth, Keith David as Tobias Whale, Zehra Fazal as Talia al Ghul and Nosferata, Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Barbara Minerva/Cheetah and Jonathan Frakes as King Faraday and Boss Moxie.

Catwoman: Hunted will be released by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on February 8, and keep your eyes peeled on CinemaBlend for coverage on other DC movies.

Adam Holmes
Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.