You probably know and love Jayma Mays as the adorable Emma Pillsbury from "Glee" or Grace Winslow from "The Smurfs" films, and now you'll be able to catch the actress' voice in all its glory on the new Netflix series, "The Adventures of Puss in Boots." The action-packed animated comedy surrounds the swashbuckling heroic feline as he protects the citizens of the mythical town of San Lorenzo against villains after breaking a magical spell and features a stellar lineup of actors, including accomplished voice actor Eric Bauza and "SNL" vet Laraine Newman. You can also expect great guest stars like John Leguizamo, Maria Bamford, and Danny Trejo along the way.
We caught up with Jayma about her foray into the world of animation. Find out what she has to say about her role as Puss's love interest Dulcinea, what sets the series apart, and her involvement in the final season of "Glee." She also shared her five favorite animated children's shows ever, and we couldn't agree more with her excellent choices.
Moviefone: I know it's kind of cliche to say that something is fun for both adults and kids, but after watching "The Adventures of Puss and Boots," I have to say I had a lot of fun with it and, well, I'm not a child...
Jayma Mays: It is a cliched thing to say, but I totally feel the same. When we were in the booth -- I love saying 'in the booth' because this is my first job like this and I've never been able to say this before -- I'm laughing a lot. I'm glad to say it's not just me and I don't have the mind of a five-year-old.
Everyone's probably familiar with this character of "Puss in Boots" because of "Shrek," but what can you tell them about this version? How will it be similar or different?
Obviously I do think people remember him from "Shrek" and from the "Puss In Boots" feature film, but it's very different. It's a completely new setting. There's a grand story that we're just starting to tell in the first five episodes. Eric Bauza plays Puss in Boots so perfectly. What I love about the show -- and it is a Puss in Boots show and Eric Bauza shines so much in this -- is there are lots of other characters as well to introduce viewers to. And Dulcinea, who I play, I'm absolutely in love with her. I'm actually surrounded by my own cats right now... They're just staring at me like, when are you gonna talk about me?
So, I play Dulcinea, who's a very sweet and I think you can say naive character who might be over infatuated with Puss, but I don't think she's sophisticated to understand that yet. As the episodes progress she kind of grows and becomes a little stronger and lively and we learn more about her.
Jayma and her cat Freulein at #NationalDressUpYourPetDay
Is Dulcinea going to get into the action a bit or is she more of the damsel in distress on the sidelines?
Yeah, she definitely gets in there which I love. For kids that are watching, it's fun to kind of explore that character and see where the show's gonna take her. She's definitely not sitting on the sidelines.
Who are the other characters we should know about?
Let's see. Paul Rugg plays this unicorn and Artephius, who is an owl who I'm absolutely obsessed with. What's so amazing about being in sessions -- and again, I'm kind of learning because this is my first job -- you walk in with all these professional voiceover artists who can do all these voices. And I can do two. I've got happy Jayma and Jayma sad.
You have such a unique voice! It's a little surprising that it's your first time in animation.
It's something that I've been wanting to do forever but it's a skill that, at least for me, it's something I'm having to learn and grow and develop. It's just so very different from being an actor. You don't necessarily get to be subtle and every word has so much meaning because you're only using your voice.
Let's talk about "Glee" for a second. We're going to Emma on the final season. What can you tell us about that?
What can I tell you about it? Mums the word on the finale but hopefully I'm a part of that, which is not finished but we're getting really close to completion. It's always so hard because we're always sworn to secrecy over there. I can tell you that I'm coming back and I'm very excited to be back and finish out the show. I was actually really elated when they asked because that show is such a big part of my life and my career and I'm so thankful for being there and it's just really nice for me and for the character to get a little closure. There's just something really special about being at the beginning of a show and then being at the end. For me, I was really stoked that they asked.
Speaking of new shows, there was just an announcement that you're going to be part of the cast of the "Wet Hot American Summer" prequel series on Netflix. So cool! What do you know so far and how does it feel to be involved?
I'm so excited. It's a super teeny part, but I was so excited to be asked to do it. I love that movie. It has such a cult following. All the people in that film... I mean, they were funny then but what they've gone on to do now is just incredible. The cast is absolutely incredible. I have a very small part but I'm very excited to do it. I can't believe they're doing a serialized version of that. It's the coolest idea.
"The Adventures of Puss and Boots" streams on Netflix starting Friday, January, 16th.
Jayma also revealed her five favorite animated children's shows of all time. Check out her picks below:
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