Tails is one of the most beloved video game characters in the Sonic franchise. So you can imagine the joy long time fans felt when they learnt that he would be joining our favourite blue hedgehog on his next adventure, Sonic the Hedgehog 2. To celebrate Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s recent UK release, we spoke to actor Colleen O’Shaughnessy about what it was like being a part of the highly anticipated family movie, and bringing the famous anthropomorphic flying fox to the big screen.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 follows on from the events of the hugely successful 2020 movie, Sonic the Hedgehog. In this all-new adventure, we see Sonic (Ben Schwartz) and Dr Robotnik (Jim Carrey) battle it out again, this time for an ultimate power source – the Master Emerald. However, neither party is alone. The film introduces the red echidna Knuckles (Idris Elba) and Tails (O’Shaughnessy), who enter the fray and race to save the world. O’Shaughnessy is no stranger to voicing SEGA characters; the star has been the voice actor for Tails since 2014.
O’Shaughnessy has also been a long fixture in the voice actor community, lending her talents to anime series such as Digimon and Naruto. In our interview with the star, we discussed the actor’s transition from games to film, and hear the words of encouragement that O’Shaughnessy gives to fans who may be worried that Sonic the Hedgehog 2 won’t live up to the franchises legacy or their expectations.
It was so nice hearing your voice when I saw this movie.
Oh, thank you!
You have been with this character for a really long time, but playing it in a movie must be quite different. What aspects of Tails did you get to explore in the movie versus when you voice the character for the videogames?
So well, since we’re meeting them at the beginning of the relationship, we got to explore that, like how they become friends and how they become buddies. You know, how he becomes Sonic’s sidekick. So that beginning of the relationship was a beautiful thing to be able to, see and figure out.
Speaking of videogames, you know, videogame movies tend to get quite a bad rap.
What would you say to fans of Sonic who may be on the fence and are worried about going to see this movie?
I would say go see it. You have to see it! Because if you love the games, you are going to love this movie. There are so many gems and easter eggs and things for you. So, yeah, see it!
We know that Knuckles is getting his own spin-off TV series.
Yeah, I did hear about that (laughs).
So, you know I have to ask. Do you think we’ll get to hear similar news on the spin-off front from Tails coming up soon?
I hope so! That would be fantastic. I have not heard anything about that. But I’ll do it. That’d be awesome.
Although we saw you in a post-credit scene in the first Sonic movie, you and Tails weren’t in the line-up when the cast was first announced. It was heavily hinted that you might be on board for the sequel, but it wasn’t fully confirmed until quite later on in the production process. What was it like when you finally got the script for Sonic 2?
It’s so hard to put that into words. Because I…It was sort of dreamlike. I was like, ‘Is this really happening?’ I really didn’t expect it. And I’m so grateful, excited, and overwhelmed, and Nah! [shakes hands in excitement].
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Because, you know, typically voice actors get replaced. And so it was so unexpected, but so joyful. I’m so excited.
Like we said earlier, you have been playing Tails for a long time. So what was it like being directed by Jeff Fowler? You know, having someone new guide you with this character you know so well?
It was great. It was easy. He’s so collaborative, and he’s so open. And, because I had worked on the games, he would ask me questions, and, you know, he wants to get it right. He did an amazing job of getting it right. Like he thought of things that I couldn’t have thought of. He’s so open and funny. So it was a really wonderful working experience.
So, in this film, we see more of SEGA in general since both Tails and Knuckles are introduced. The film’s end also hints that ‘okay, maybe more and more characters will be coming into this cinematic world too’. You’re so close to this franchise already, so who, in your opinion, do you want to see from the videogames on the big screen with Tails next?
I would love to see Amy. That would be super fun. Yeah, I think Amy would be a great addition to this world and universe.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a pretty fun movie as well. What was it like watching it back? What was the scene that stood out to you, personally, as the most joyful?
There’s a scene in Siberia that we just had a blast working on, and it was one of the ones I did get to work with Ben [Schwartz], and it’s, it’s so much fun. It was my absolute favourite to work on for sure. I don’t want to give any details because I don’t want to spoil it for anybody, but, yes, look out for the scene in Siberia!
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is out in UK cinemas now, and will be hitting the US on April 8.