Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rob Paulsen, Greg Cipes And Seth Green On Why Their Chemistry Is So Good


Given the way the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles interact during their current animated series, it’s not hard to imagine the actors who bring them to life having a great time together while doing their voice work.

Indeed, that was certainly the case earlier this month at New York Comic Con during the round table interview sessions before the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles panel. While Rob Paulsen (Donatello) and Greg Cipes (Michelangelo) answered questions from the assembled press alongside executive producer Brandon Auman, Seth Green — a relative newcomer to the team, as he only began voicing Leonardo in Season 3 — bopped over to the table and addressed the media while sitting in Cipes’ lap.

From the comfort level these guys displayed, it was clear they have fun working together. But do they get to record their lines for the series as a group?

“When we can,” Paulsen said. “We much prefer it.”

Again, it wasn’t hard to see why. Do the writers and producers let them ad-lib when they’re assembled?

“The show is really well-written,” Green said, echoing similar comments from his castmates before he bounced off to a televised solo interview. “We just have to say it.”

“The scripts are always really solid,” Paulsen added. “But the thing that they also encourage, and because we are who we are, we do go off and bounce around the wall. To use a hackneyed actor phrase, it really does increase the energy on which we all play off each other, and swear to God, it shows up in the product. They encourage the actors to bring something to the party, and it absolutely makes a difference in what you see on the screen, just in terms of the ways the actors act with each other.”

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Even the absent Sean Astin, who was off running a triathlon in Hawaii during NYCC, got in on the action at the panel thanks to a little FaceTime magic supplied by Cipes. It would be silly not to let a cast with this much experience and talent just go with whatever vibes they are feeling when recording, especially with a series that has as wide a range of emotions as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

That line of thinking led one of the journalists to ask the obvious follow-up question, which was which types of scenes the actors enjoy the most. Cipes stayed true to form, picking the comedic moments as his favorites and adding, “I love scenes with Ice Cream Kitty, of course.”

Paulsen said he appreciated all of the times Donnie got some affection from April since “I don’t often work on shows on which I get the chick.” However he also pointed out that even the sequences that don’t require many lines stand out in his mind.

“There are just so many of them,” Paulsen said. “And the thing is, when an episode is in post-production and we can see it on the screen, the action scenes … How many times do we say, ‘Holy s–t? Look at this! I mean, it’s badass! And when you watch that show on a 70-inch flatscreen television in HD, it looks like a movie. And it’s a TV show.”

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