Strike’s Lizzie Waterworth talks to Movies4Kids
Her face may not be familiar, but millions of children would instantly recognise Lizzie Waterworth’s voice (or one of them, at least), as she’s the actor who speaks Horrid Henry’s cheeky words in the animated cartoon series based on the popular kids books.
Currently voicing Mungo the mole in the British animated adventure Strike, talented voice actor Waterworth recently chatted to Movies4Kids about her career and her latest leading role as a young mole that works as a miner but secretly wants to be a footballer.
“Working on Strike was lovely, because Mungo has such a likeable character,” she says. “He is very relatable, and wants to do the right thing for his family even though he has a dream to be a footballer.”
“What was nice about Strike was that, rather than a few solid days of voice work, it was spread over a period of around a year and a half, so I would work a few hours one day and then go back a month later and do some more – and over that time you really feel the character developing.”
Waterworth skilfully develops different voices for every character she plays, which has also included multiple roles on CBeebies Alphablocks, Clifford in Clifford: The Puppy Days and Uniqua and Austin in The Backyardigans. Some of her inspiration for new voices comes from people she meets, as she explains:
“I do copy voices I have heard – I find it really fun to listen to people’s voices, especially when I come across quite wacky accents or voices.”
While some voice actors begin as drama school students, Waterworth’s career started in a different way. “Growing up, I was the class clown and did impressions and that sort of stuff,” she remembers. “I studied English and language and communication at university and got really interested in how we use our voices and linguistics. Then a friend of a friend heard me messing around, doing silly voices and accents and said that I should really think about doing it as a career – I auditioned for a Nickelodeon cartoon and I got the job!”
Lizzie has been working in the extremely competitive industry ever since, often voicing young boys like Mungo and, of course, Horrid Henry. “It’s quite common for female voice actors to voice boys,” she explains, “because the register works well when a woman voices a boy, whereas when a man does it, it can sound strained and quite forced. There is something about a woman’s voice that just lends itself well to boys’ voices.”
While Mungo the cuddly mole will be adored by little children, Waterworth’s most loved role has to be is Horrid Henry, who she has voiced since 2006. “Very young children can be quite shocked when they find out I am the voice of Horrid Henry,” she laughs. “Meeting primary school age children is wonderful and very sweet – when you speak in Henry’s voice they get so happy and give such a positive reaction.”
So will fans hear her voicing some new adventures of the headstrong tearaway any time soon? “There could potentially be an exciting Horrid Henry project but I’m not allowed to talk about it – all will be revealed later in the year,” she teases. Watch this space…
Strike is in UK VUE cinemas from May 11, 2019.
Click here for Movies4Kids’ Strike review.