Interview: Kimiko Glenn & Megan Hilty Dish on CENTAURWORLD!

The animated musical series is now available to stream on Netflix.

By: Jul. 30, 2021
Interview: Kimiko Glenn & Megan Hilty Dish on CENTAURWORLD!

Broadway stars Kimiko Glenn and Megan Hilty star on Centaurworld, a new animated musical series that premiered today on Netflix!

BroadwayWorld had the pleasure of catching up with Glenn and Hilty over Zoom. We talked about the new series, the joys of voice acting, and how working on Centaurworld surprised them in the best way.

Watch Glenn and Hilty's duet from Centaurworld here and read the full interview below!

Glenn played Dawn Pinket in the original Broadway production of Waitress (2016). Other theatre credits include: Love's Labour's Lost (2013, Delacorte Theatre); Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (La Jolla Playhouse, 2012); and Spring Awakening (National Tour, 2008-2010).

She is best known for her work as Brook Soso in the award-winning Netflix series "Orange is The New Black," as well as her recurring role on FX's "Married". She also made a cameo on Comedy Central's "Broad City" as the evil hipster store clerk at Beacon's Closet. Films include: Can You Keep a Secret? (2019); Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018); and Like Father (2018).

Megan Hilty is most recognizable for her portrayal of seasoned triple-threat Ivy Lynn, in NBC's musical drama "Smash." Most recently she starred as Patsy Cline in Lifetime's original movie "Patsy & Loretta" earning a Critics Choice Award Nomination for her performance.

She received critical acclaim for her role of Brooke Ashton in the Roundabout Theater Company's revival of "Noises Off." She earned nominations for a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and Drama League Award and won a Audience Award for Favorite Featured Actress in a Play. Her television credits include recurring roles on "Girlfriends Guide to Divorce", "The Good Wife", "Braindead", and "Louie", among many others.

Can you tell me about Centaurworld and what made you most excited to be part of this project?

Megan: Kimiko, do you want to take this or do you want me to launch in?

Kimiko: Launch in! Go for it.

Megan: I'm gonna launch in! So, Centaurworld is basically the wacky, animated version of The Wizard of Oz. It's about an outsider trying to find her way home and find herself, and along the way, she finds this amazing, wacky, makeshift family, and really finds out who she is along the way. And there's tons of amazing music, and, my goodness - I've never seen or been a part of anything like this, and I'm so excited for the world to see it.

Kimiko: Yeah, it straddles five different genres. And I was like, how is this all going to fit together? But it actually really, seamlessly does in a really beautiful way. I don't know - you said it so beautifully. But my character, Horse, kind of comes from a war-torn world, which is so drastically different from where she plops into in Centaurworld. It's like this goofy, silly, colorful, ridiculous world.

And I think it's so amazing, because it does straddle the line of levity - having amazing heart and levity - and then going into kind of a darker place where you feel really, incredibly invested in the characters and what they're going through. So it's really cool.

And the music!!!

Megan: Music!!!

Kimiko: Yeah! It's got insane Broadway legends in it! My Broadway fangirl heart is just screaming over this. Like, when I saw the cast list and the people involved and the people who were gonna be there that day, I was literally dying. I was texting my sister, like, "Oh my gosh, do you know? Do you know Lea Salonga is in this? Do you know Brian Stokes Mitchell is in this? Do you know Megan Hilty is in this?" Oh my gosh, I've been dying the whole time.

Tell me a little more about the music! What was it like to create these characters and then create music for them?

Megan: I didn't anticipate the music being as intricate and as nuanced as it was. And it really is like a musical, where all of the characters have their own style. And it's really crystal-clear in the storytelling through everybody's individual songs.

I got all of these really fun classical things! I hesitate saying classical, but it does have those aerobics.

Kimiko: Well, you're the mama bear. You're the maternal one, you know?

Megan: Right! It's so funny, because we kept picturing it as The Wizard of Oz. And I was like, so who would Wammawink be? And I was like, she's totally Glinda. She's, like, guiding them along the way. But it's its own thing at the same time. It's very much its own story. I don't know - I can't say this enough. You haven't seen anything like it.

Kimiko: Yeah, yeah. It's true! But it works! I'm just so surprised at how easily you jump into the world. But, yeah - the intricacy of the music is a thing, which I noticed while I was doing it. Like, gosh - for animation, this goes everywhere. Every character has its own style. And I think what's cool is it really jumps from being incredibly hilarious to being incredibly serious and heartfelt so well. So, in a moment, you can be laughing so hard and then be like, I'm tearing up! Why?

And I think it pays homage to certain musical theatre moments as well.

Megan: Yeah. When me and my family watched the first ten episodes, what I really loved - and the reason why I really love that this is on Netflix - is because the viewer will have control over going back and seeing it again. Because there's so many layers to it.

Kimiko: So many layers!

Megan: You're gonna be laughing so hard at certain things that you might actually miss some things because you were laughing so much. But with Netflix, you can go back and rewatch it! And just keep getting more and more with each viewing.

Kimiko: And you can binge it! I was expecting - I'm not a big watcher of my own shows. I was like, I'm gonna watch the first couple episodes and get a vibe, see what it's like. And then I just binged. Like, without even realizing I was at the end, I was like, "No! This is the tenth episode?!"

Megan: "No! I know! But I need to see more! I need to see more!" Me and my husband and my kids were all the same way, which really speaks to how many this people will reach, I think. The audience can span, like - I had my four year old and my six year old watching, and then me and my husband - who are in our forties - we were riveted.

Kimiko: It's a really fun thing that I think is for us AND kids to enjoy.

As voice actors, you have this opportunity to live outside of your body in animation. What do you love about it?

Megan: Don't tell anybody, this is just secrets between us, right? But I think voiceover and animation is my absolute favorite thing to do. Because there are no limits. There are no boundaries. You can try just about anything and the worst that's going to happen is they delete it, or maybe pass it around to other friends and say, "Look at this silly thing Megan did. Isn't that ridiculous?"

But! It's not in front of thousands of people. You know? So there's a certain amount of freedom going into the booth. And what I really loved about Centaurworld is we did most of our stuff as a group. This was pre-pandemic, so we were all together. We got to play off of each other. And it was really inspiring and really fun. So, I don't know - as far as, like, building the character, I don't know how to speak to that, except for that I think they were so solidly written and created by Megan Nicole Dong. She just had such an amazing vision for all of these characters - I think it was right there on the page. And they created such an amazing environment for us to really try anything. Because that's kind of what this thrives on - how unique all of these different characters are.

Kimiko: Yeah. I mean, I love voice. Especially during the pandemic, when theatre isn't really an option - I got my singing out! I got that expression, thankfully. It's so expressive. It feels like you're onstage, it feels like you're a kid again. You can really go for it, and be insane, and do something that probably doesn't work. And you can be so small, and it's so intimate. The options are endless. And it's really exciting to me. And especially when it's something like this where it's so bizarre and also so grounded sometimes.

And the music brings you - you tell the story, but you come back to the heart of it. It's just really so much fun.

And finding Horse was interesting for me because I normally play, like, the crazy, kooky, dynamic, insane ones in cartoons, but Horse was a challenge to play kind of the straight man. Like, "Guys, we have to keep going on the path!" Just really straight and on a mission - a war horse! Kind of more serious. So that was a challenge for me, especially when you're doing a cartoon. I really appreciated that they felt I could handle that, and gave me this job. Because my voice is so, like - the timbre is specific. So I was like, wow. I'm playing a war horse! This is insane.

But I think I can't totally speak for it, because I'm me, but I think it all comes together.

Megan: It does! I'll say it for you - it works! It's so fantastic.

I was just fangirling over her before you joined the Zoom - her voice is just so insanely beautiful, and powerful, and grounded, and exactly what that character needs. I'm a huge fan.

Kimiko: Thanks! Stop! I'M a huge fan!

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