Ava Morse

June 2022 View more

Growing up in Naperville, Ava Morse, 16, had many local opportunities to perform, like at Last Fling. Now the singer-actor adds voice artist to her résumé as best-bud Miriam in the Pixar release Turning Red, streaming on Disney+. We caught up with Morse to chat about her role, much of which had to be recorded during the pandemic at her Naperville home—specifically in the closet (for the best acoustics, naturally).

That’s Morse’s character, Miriam,
in the green shirt.

Q: Voice work is a lot different from theater or film work. How did you like acting with just your voice?
A: When you’re on-screen acting you also have to focus on how you look, and that’s another big part of it. [Voice acting] is much more open ended, more up for your interpretation to change things and improv—it’s very fun. So you get a much more authentic character that’s very you. It’s a blast.

Q: What was it like when you first saw what Miriam looked like?
A: I didn’t see until really late in the process. They’re like, “Oh yeah, by the way, here’s what she looks like—here’s your life fully animated.” I just freaked out, I was like, “That’s so cool!” It is so weird to hear your voice on somebody else. Oh, this is what somebody pictured my voice to look like. It’s cool.

Q: Do feel like you and Miriam would be friends?
A: Yeah, for sure. She’s very skater-y. I feel like I could keep up with her though. We’d have a good time.

Q: Do prefer film work versus voice work versus singing?
A: Definitely doing a mix of all that. They’re all so important to me, and I enjoy them way too much to have to pick one. 

A lot of people [ask], “How did you become this huge actor overnight?” It really wasn’t overnight. I’ve doing this since I was 5. Everything I’ve done has led up to this moment and will continue to lead up to different things, and I’m excited to see where it takes me.

Q: Any advice for kids who want to do what you do?
A: Just be yourself. Put yourself out there. Stop caring about what other people think. I feel like the one thing that holds a lot of people back is themselves and the idea that people are going to judge you. Do it for yourself. People will say stuff, no matter what, so it doesn’t matter.   

Photo courtesy of Ava Morse. Turning Red Image © 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.