Anna Diop (Bosch, 24: Legacy) takes on the role of Starfire/Koriand’r in the DC Universe series, Titans. The series is based on the popular Teen Titans franchise and has the honor of being the first show to premiere on the newly formed DC Universe digital service.
At the 2018 New York Comic Con, Anna Diop took part in roundtable interviews to discuss the show’s first season. Diop explained how she approached playing Starfire, the comics, and the costume.
How did you come up with your take on Starfire?
Anna Diop: “I just love the idea of being alien, and that means so many things to me personally. I was born in Senegal, West Africa, and I moved to the States when I was six years old. When I first came I had to assimilate. I learned the language in two months and I was in school two months later, assimilating into this culture. And sometimes I just feel like an outsider too, right? I think a lot of people can relate to that.
I love being able to embody what being alien feels like, if that makes sense. I think that’s something I do understand.”
Did you find yourself drawing inspiration from the comics at all?
Anna Diop: “100%. I watched Teen Titans Go just to kind of see. I think what people really love about Starfire is she has this really innocent, naïve, pure, fun, curious thing about her and I tried to bring as much of that into her as I could. I know the producers wanted a really badass, strong character, but I really, really did want to bring aspects of that bubbly (personality).”
Does the fact Starfire’s an alien give her a harder hill to overcome when relating to the rest of the team?
Anna Diop: “I think it does because I think Starfire’s already naturally a little perplexed by humans sometimes. Added to the fact that she doesn’t remember anything is very confusing.
I don’t know. All four of us struggle with finding ourselves and connecting with each other as characters. So, I wouldn’t say any more than the other.”
Who among the team does she really lean on? Who will she have the biggest connection with?
Anna Diop: “That’s a great question. I think it varies. Sometimes it’s Robin and then sometimes she has to call Robin out on his stuff. She’s very protective over Raven. And she just finds Beast Boy completely quirky and hilarious. She’s just tickled by him. It just depends.
Starfire’s kind of the one who gets leaned on, I find in our season. But, yeah, I think a little bit of Raven. There’s definitely some moments when she opens up and is very vulnerable to her.”
There’s a lot of mystery surrounding Starfire’s origins at the beginning of the show. How much of her arc did they map out for you when you got the role?
Anna Diop: “So, we only got the pilot episode when we first got it and that was enough for me. It was only 12 pages but it was so well written. She was just so interesting to me that I was hooked. She was my favorite part of that.”
How’s your German?
Anna Diop: (Laughing) “You tell me! I did my best and then they added lines on the day. I’m like, ‘Don’t do this to me!’ No, that was fun. I actually kind of fell in love with the language after learning it a bit. It’s a lot more beautiful than I realized.”
Do you speak any other languages besides German in the show?
Anna Diop: “Yes, I do, and it’s the best language because it’s made up. It’s really awesome. It’s so good.”
Having read the comics do you have any favorite Starfire storylines or versions of Starfire?
Anna Diop: “There’s this one quote that I read that was so sweet and I’m totally going to butcher it. She’s basically talking about how our purpose here on Earth is to love one another and include everyone. She doesn’t understand why people fight and why they do this, that, and the other. Yeah, she’s just such a warrior for inclusion and justice. That just in general throughout the comics that I read stood out to me most.”
What went through your mind when you saw yourself in the costume for the very first time?
Anna Diop: “I was like, ‘Who is this chick?!’ I didn’t think the costuming was going to go there and the hair. I had ideas that I did introduce, and it ended up being something different but something that I think is really out of this world kind of. It’s Starfire’s way of trying to fit in. This is what that looks like to her. I thought that was really funny and cool. That helped me too with the character just being like, ‘Okay, this is how I would dress. Okay.’ That kind of fed into how I walked in her world.”
More on Titans:
- Interview with Brenton Thwaites (“Robin”)
- Teagan Croft (“Raven”) Interview
- Ryan Potter Interview
- Minka Kelly Interview
- Alan Ritchson Interview