Sophia Bush is a young actress and activist best known for her role as Brooke Davis in the drama series One Tree Hill (2003–2012). She joins the cast of Incredibles 2 as Voyd, a young superhero who fangirls over Elastigirl.
First, the big question and something we like to know from everyone is the process of how she got the part. Sarah explained, “I was sitting at lunch with a friend of mine, and I got a text message that said open your email because people know that I do not email. I opened my email and there was this letter from my agent, and I sort of started having an outer-body experience and like couldn’t figure out what I was reading, because I got very emotional. I opened the PDF, and the scan that was attached to it was the actual letter from Brad Bird on Pixar letterhead offering me the part, telling me who Voyd was, asking me to come and join the Incredibles family. At the bottom of the page are all of the Incredibles family in this beautiful 2-D drawing.
I was like what?! And I screamed so loud the whole restaurant turned and looked at me. I was morbidly embarrassed and also very excited. I said I don’t understand how this happened and he said, well, you know, years ago you came up here to learn about animation, and I did. I spent a day like asking all of the animators crazy questions about code, like a total nerd. It was the best day of my life. And he said, you know, what we started to do was look for something for you knowing how excited you are about this whole universe. They take samplings of your voice from other jobs. So, they basically cut generic enough sentences of your dialogue and then cut it together with the other actors in Pixar films and figure out who’s voice they like the sound of your voice with and they liked me and Holly’s voices together. I was like she’s a queen! I am dead!
Working on animated films you sometimes get to work with the other actors but most of the time it is just you and maybe the director or producer in the room. For Sophia, and just like the other actors, Brad was in the room with her. She explained how “Brad is in the room with me and I have to start guessing obviously knowing that Holly and I are gonna be having a conversation in the way that you and I are, but I have no idea how she’s talking, how fast she’s talking, how loud she’s talking, what her intonation is. So, I have to think about what’s going on in the scene and kind of guess.
Playing a young girl she also had to get into the mind of the young girls she spends a lot of time speaking with in real life. She elaborated, “The way that I related it was this, I thought a lot about being a young girl in this world of the Incredibles, who has powers, who thinks it’s the coolest and then you see people like you become illegal. Your parents tell you that you have to hide who you are because you could be jailed. You could be killed. You could be subject to harassment. But you grew up looking up to Elastigirl. She was on your TV. There’s no one in your town like you.
But you had an idol and you knew that she got to shine. The way that came into a specific idea for me when I think about what intersectional activism, what I think about being a woman for all women looks like, when I think about what my level of relative privilege is, ‘because when we’re women we don’t have enough privilege, but as a white woman I have more privilege than a lot of other women. I also think about what the struggles are in society for people who are not accepted or people who are bothered because of their race, because of their gender, because of their sexual orientation.
I thought about listening to my sweet superhero friend herself, Debra Messing talk about what it was like when Will and Grace was on the air. She would meet these young gay kids from small towns where they maybe were the only gay boy or lesbian girl, and they were shunned and they were judged. They would meet Debra or Eric McCormack and over and over again these kids would say, I grew up in a place that didn’t accept me, and I saw you on TV and your character taught me that everything was gonna get better for me and that someday I’d get to be who I am.
Elastigirl girl is Voyd’s, Debra Messing.
She is that idol who made this girl, who had to dim her light for so long, feel like eventually everything was gonna be okay.”
Sophia is heavily involved in activism for women, and Incredibles 2 is very women-centric. When she learned of this, she joked that Brad was “clearly psychic, because this was three years in the making. So, this was pre the Time’s Up conversation being had. This was pre a lot of these studies about gender parody and even current stages of pay disparity, our lack of paid family leave in this country.”
In reality, Brad is all for women, and according to Sophia, “this film was ahead of its time, in a way, when it was written and when it began. And I think it’s so smart, because a lot of these conversations when we talk about the data around gender, people are like, oh, my God, you know, especially people who don’t agree with us, who don’t wanna hear about race, who don’t wanna hear about sexual orientation. It makes them tense. This movie manages to talk about identity and empowerment with not an ounce of tension, with so much humor.
This movie “welcomes everybody to the table.”
Of course, being a strong powerful woman on screen as Voyd and off screen as Sophia, we had to ask what her superpower would be. “I would love to have Voyd’s powers. They’re really badass. But I think about convenience, and whatever the power is that would allow me to teleport, I’d like that.” Seems like teleportation is a popular superpower among the women in this film, and who can blame them, I would love to have it too!
Sophia has a HUGE interest in Tech, as stated she did spend a day at Pixar getting a behind the scenes look at the animation process. She went to tell us that she has been investing in tech companies for about 10 years. She discussed how taboo it is to talk about women making money and investing, “I think that when we talk about parody, for example, I think we have a problem in that women when they make any money at all — and I’m not talking like you don’t have to be Warren Buffet and be a billionaire and be 65 before you can be charitable or before you can start investing. That is a lie. Like, you can invest a couple hundred dollars here, a couple thousand dollars here. There are ways to get women in the financial game that we don’t talk about because we don’t talk to women about money.
Oddly enough we don’t talk to women about their healthcare or their bodies either. So we really don’t talk to us about anything but like makeup and hair products. So, we need to change the conversation. But when women make any money at all, they’re encouraged to donate to charity, which is something that I do. Men, when they make money, are encouraged to become investors and this is a major point of disparity in our society.
I started writing like very small checks. I’m still not writing huge checks. I realize that even getting the game in small ways changes who’s on board calls, changes who’s on advisor calls. We need more women having seats at those tables.”
Sophia is so into supporting tech and women in general that she lends her support to Reshma Saujani who created a company called Girls Who Code. She said, “Voyd is a woman in STEM, she literally manipulates space-time. So, to talk to women about how science, technology, engineering, medicine, these are fields that they should be in. They should be owning. That is very exciting to me!
She wanted us to do the “Voyd” hands in this second photo.
INCREDIBLES 2 IS IN THEATERS NOW!
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Disclosure: I was provided with an all-expense trip to LA by Walt Disney Studios to attend these events. All opinions are 100% my own.