‘Titans’ – Minka Kelly Interview on Playing Dove, the Costume, and the Comics

Minka Kelly plays one half of the superhero duo Hawk and Dove on DC Universe’s Titans. The new live-action series debuted on DC Universe’s new streaming service on October 12, 2018 and is based on the popular Teen Titans franchise.

Minka Kelly joined her fellow Titans stars at the 2018 New York Comic Con to discuss the first season of the dark and gritty drama. In our roundtable interview, Kelly talked about getting into the character, Dove’s fighting style, and wearing the wings.

Alan Ritchson mentioned you did a deep dive and read 80 comic books to prepare to play Dove.

Minka Kelly: (Laughing) “I didn’t read 80 comic books. Maybe 10.”

Were there any particular storylines or moments that stayed with you or that helped inform the character?

Minka Kelly: “Yeah. We really stayed true to a lot of that, too. In episode 10 is Dawn and Hank, it’s their origin stories. It’s before they’re Hawk and Dove, and you get to see them when they meet. And true to the books, there’s a little resistance from Hank to her becoming Dove because it was her brother. I was so excited. I was like, ‘I read this! This is in the books! I’m so excited!’

That was a really fun episode to do. Akiva Goldsman and Geoff Johns wrote that episode and Akiva directed it. It’s beautiful. Every episode is beautiful. Each one is a little movie.

It’s just been so much fun. I’m so drawn to the world that Akiva and Geoff have been able to create, the balance between making it the most grown-up, real, raw, violent version of a superhero show you’ve ever seen while also still keeping the superhero aspect of it. I think they’ve done such a beautiful job and I feel so lucky to be on board and be able to bring this character to life for the first time.”

Hawk and Dove are a tight unit before the team meets. The Titans are known as a big family, so where do they fit within the family dynamic?

Minka Kelly: “That’s a good question. They do feel a bit isolated a lot of the time. But, there’s a history between Hawk and Dove and Robin. When they were kids they used to fight together. They were a team, so we reunite and find our way again. We flow in and out of the Titans team.”

Titans star Minka Kelly
Minka Kelly as Dove in DC Universe’s ‘Titans.’

Alan was saying the costume was pretty rough on him.

Minka Kelly: (Laughing) “Oh, is it rough on him?”

How is the costume treating you?

Minka Kelly: “His rig of wings, he’s probably got six wings which probably weighs 10 pounds. So, yeah, it’s rough on him.

Mine are about 30 pounds. We have supersuit teams that come in and will lift up and hold the weight of the wings for us. I wear a huge harness underneath my suit that can hold and distribute the weight of the wings, so I can fight with them and use them as my shield.

Yeah, it’s fun though. As soon as you put it on you’re like, ‘Wow, I’m ready to fight!’”

Speaking of those fights, did they give you a different style to learn as Dove?

Minka Kelly: “Yeah. That’s also what’s so great about this show. They’ve given each of us our own particular, specific way of fighting. So, my character’s history is she was a ballerina, she was in jiu-jitsu, and she was a gymnast. Her fights are more that of a dance.

Hawk is a brute and just blows stuff up. And, Robin has his cape and his staff. Everyone has their own specific way to do things, which I think is really cool. But it’s frustrating in the rehearsals because he gets his choreography in 10 minutes. He’s just throwing a bunch of punches. I’m like ducking and diving and dancing and throwing legs, but it’s so much fun.

Our stunt coordinators are incredible, and I have an amazing stunt double. She teaches me how to fight. I insist on doing all of it…it’s mostly her, but I do my part.”

Do you have a favorite fight moment or move?

Minka Kelly: “Yeah, my favorite so far is in episode two when Hawk uses Dove. I love it when we fight together, and he uses me and throws me around.”

Like a figure skater.

Minka Kelly: “Exactly. I think that’s so cool. When they brought that to us and they’re like, ‘This is what we’re going to do,’ I was like, ‘That’s so cool! I can’t believe this is my job!’ It’s so fun. I just thought it looked so cool.”

How was the show originally pitched to you? Did you know how dark it was going to be?

Minka Kelly: “That’s exactly what they said it would be. They said it was going to be different from any other superhero show you’ve seen. It’s going to be more real and more dark and more grounded. I think they’ve stayed pretty true to that.”

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