Since 2014’s Justice League: War, some of the titular publisher’s most iconic heroes and villains have fought to save the day in the DC Animated Movie Universe. With its fourteenth film, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, this shared cinematic universe comes to a thunderous end, with the DCAMU’s biggest teams coming together for one final battle to defeat Darkseid. Among them is Raven, a prominent member of the Teen Titans, voiced by Taissa Farmiga in her third portrayal of the fan-favorite superhero.
In an interview with CBR, Farmiga discusses reprising Raven for what may be her final appearance as the Teen Titan to close out the DCAMU and how the film and character helped inspire her personally.
CBR: This maybe the darkest DC Animated Movie ever and Raven is such a conflicted character herself; how was it navigating that?
Taissa Farmiga: You know, you kind of just have to go with it and, for me, I feel like I just wing it when I’m in the room. You can do as much prep as you can and, for me, one thing I really loved about this script is that it felt just so big and fast in a good way. There’s so many heroes and villains switching sides — willingly and not — that the script kept me on my toes so, for me, it was like “Okay, who’s Raven in this film?” It’s funny because you make your plans but when you’re there in the recording booth, with Wes Gleason — who is the voice director and he’s always there and so supportive — you just figure it out. You don’t realize how dark everything is until you’re screaming to Trigon and I realize how exhausted I am emotionally at the end of it.
This certainly isn’t your first time voicing Raven. How did your approach change with this film and who is Raven, personally, to you?
It’s interesting this time because Raven takes on quite a leadership role in this film. Clark Kent kind of finds her in the nick of time and they join together to get John Constantine, and he finally behaves, and they have to come up with a plan. One thing that I really love about Raven is she kind of has a black-and-white outlook on life: Things are the way they are; if you want things to happen and get this outcome, there are things that you have to do. And I appreciate that realist outlook that she has and, who she is in this film, the attractive thing was to have her take more power in and more control over who she’s going to be.
She’s got Trigon in her head, in that crystal, and he’s always affecting every aspect of her life since two movies ago. And I looked forward to her finding some sort of freedom from that and that could be the dark path of having things maybe not working out and, because of who she is, to make sure the world doesn’t get worse because of Trigon or Darkseid. Is there a way for her to move forward without Trigon?
Was that something that surprised you in the recording booth, with her direction in that?
It’s funny because my experience reading the script versus being the recording booth, they’re almost two different movies in a way because you have your expectations and you have what actually happens and what you’re feeling the moment. You just kind of have to let it happen and be in the moment. So, sure, I was probably surprised but I think I just have such an admiration and respect for Raven that seeing her taken on a leadership role was comforting in a way for me.
Without going into spoilers, how did it feel to get one of the movie’s f-bombs?[laughs] It’s great! It’s fun to see a DC Animated Movie throw real-life stuff in there. It was fun! Wes, the voice director was like “Alright, you get this f-bomb!” and I was like “Alright, I hope I do it justice.” It was fun!
What were some things that you were really happy to bring to the character, three movies in, this time around?
You know, Raven’s always had her sarcasm to fall back on and that’s always around, but it’s nice to see her kind of just not give a shit [laughs]. Like, she never gives a shit but it’s the end of the world: everything’s ruined, the Earth has been decimated. I feel like there’s barely any hope and once Superman finds her and they get back on the path and start to find a path, you just do what you have to do, no matter what. And that level of understanding, just being willing to commit to what needs to be done, is not something that’s easy to do but Raven just kind of steps up and does what she needs to do.
I do think, in this movie, it is this sort of black-and-white outlook, “This is what’s ruining everything, this is what’s bad. We’re the Justice League and, Constantine, if you’re going to be an asshole, be an asshole that at least helps out.” She’s kind of there to push everybody forward and see what has to be done.
Do you find that determination and dedication inspiring, especially nowadays?
Oh, absolutely! I was saying that in another interview, in this day and age, to finally have leaders that are doing what’s right for the overall good of everybody with what’s going on, it’s hard to come by. There’s so many things that could be said but it’s nice to see the ones in charge doing the things that are right for everybody. I think that’s incredibly important, especially nowadays.
Without going into spoilers, this really does end on a staccato note. What are your hopes for the character and would you be open to coming back to Raven in the future?
Absolutely! Raven is so endearing to me, she’s so special. You know, we were talking about her sarcasm, quick wit and candor, it’s something me, as Taissa, can appreciate after I’ve had a whiskey or two. So it’s something I appreciate to play Raven as someone that just gets to be and be who she is. So I’d love to come back and, as for the audience, I hope they enjoy the movie and the ride. I got to watch the film last weekend and it’s just so fun. I know there’s a lot of dark shit and a lot of people die [laughs], but it’s a really, really enjoyable film and I love being able to be part of that.
Justice League Dark: Apokolips War stars Matt Ryan as John Constantine, Jerry O’Connell as Superman, Taissa Farmiga as Raven, Stuart Allan as Robin, Tony Todd as Darkseid, Jason O’Mara as Batman, Rosario Dawson as Wonder Woman, Shemar Moore as Cyborg, Christopher Gorham as the Flash, Rebecca Romijn as Lois Lane and Rainn Wilson as Lex Luthor. The film is available digitally now and on Blu-ray May 19.
With Justice League Dark: Apokolips War ending the DC Animated Movie Universe, Taissa Farmiga reflects on voicing Raven in the film.