'She-Ra': Lauren Ash Teases Season 5 and Scorpia’s Major Transformation (Exclusive)
By Emily Krauser
The fifth and final season of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power will be upon us on Friday, but luckily, it's the perfect show to binge amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The Netflix animated series is all about finding your inner strength and empowerment. Sure, it's also about teaming up and friendship, but that's what Zoom is for right now!
The beauty of the show is that despite the sci-fi elements, every character is extremely relatable. If you need one person to channel right now, look no further than Scorpia, who is voiced by Superstore star Lauren Ash. The enthusiatic new Rebellion member would be the perfect quarantine buddy. "She's very supportive. She wouldn't get annoying. She really cares about other people and I feel like she's very powerful and resourceful," Ash muses. "And if things ever went wrong, that's who you want to be having in your house. I mean, she's gonna defend you!"
ET caught up with Ash ahead of season 5 to find out more about Scorpia's growth, what it's like to work with She-Ra's fabulous female creators and what Scorpia's self-affirmations would look like during self-isolation. Plus, we've got two exclusive photos from season 5 for you!
ET: Scorpia had a very unique character arc last season. Can you tease what trouble we'll see her get into as the series comes to a close?
Lauren Ash: The kind of growth that you're describing, that continues. It was really a cool season to get to voice and play. I just love Scorpia so much, and I love how we've allowed her to have this journey into recognizing her own worth and value, and that's really a credit to the writing. I think that that's something that viewers have really responded to, because it's wildly relatable. The human condition involves us in many ways in coming to self-acceptance and self-love, so getting to see her take that journey and continue in that direction was really cool. I'm really excited for people to see it. There's some really cool Scorpia scenes in season 5 that I think fans are gonna really love.
Scorpia was always the nicest one in the Horde, but now she's fighting with in the Rebellion with the princesses. Is she feeling torn between alliances?
People will say to me, why is Scorpio, who's so kind and so loyal, even in the Horde? Like, why would she make that choice? And the answer to that is she didn't have a choice. She was born into that world and because she is intrinsically wired to be someone who is loyal, literally to a fault, she became loyal to that group because that's all she ever knew. Where that started to lie in her heart is, of course, the journey that we get to see her go on over the course of this show. So to that point, when she is exposed to something else and realizes that there is an alternative to that life and there is value in who she is and has found other people that value her just for being her, that's a huge, huge thing. And so, definitely, seeing that kind of adjustment and what this new world looks like for her, that's prevalent and exciting about the season.
She was so close to Catra during their time in the Horde. Do the two still have a relationship or will Scorpia be completely dedicated to helping Adora and the princesses?
She devoted basically her entire life to a one-sided relationship [with Catra]. I think most humans have experienced a time in their life where they were deeply in love, whether it's romantic or familial or friendship love, with someone who didn't feel the same way back. That's such a relatable situation. I don't think anybody's so cool that it's like, "I've never had my heart broken." Like, c'mon, that's crap. Of course you have! And I think that that's what's so heartbreaking about Scorpia but also is so satisfying when we get to see her come through that and get to the other side in the season. I don't know how much I can say but that was such a huge part of the story, there is going to have to be at least some touching on Scorpia and Catra because it would be odd not to. There is an episode in season 5 with a specific scene towards the end, and you really get to see her come into her own, outside of Catra's shadow. I feel it's really such an iconic moment for the character, I'm really excited for people to see it. Like even the way it was animated and drawn is so breathtaking -- I get goosebumps. You'll know it as soon as you see it. When I was recording that scene, I was in tears... It was just a powerful moment for her and it was so satisfying to get to see Scorpia have her moment.
The original She-Ra was so important to so many young women growing up in the '80s, but the new version has an even more powerful message of female empowerment. Why do you think it's so important to have that expanded viewpoint today?
She-Ra was truly my favorite cartoon growing up. The woman was the powerful one -- that was so exciting! I'm just so proud of how She-Ra and the Princesses of Power has taken what in the '80s was interesting and rare -- seeing the female be the protagonist and the one in power -- and we really amped that up to [meet] what the current climate is in the world. It's so cool to get to be a part of something representing a huge cross-section of women and people. Double Trouble is a great character, too. Like, when have we seen a nonbinary character? I personally can't think of any -- I apologize if there's ones that I'm overlooking. And definitely the body stuff is amazing. I didn't realize that I wanted to see something with different female bodies until I literally saw the first episode of this show, and I was like, "Oh my god, this is amazing -- they're all drawn differently!" In the '80s, it was one body and you just put different heads on it. I didn't think about it until I saw this and saw the difference, and I was like, wow, I'm so proud to be a part of something that is drawn in a way that is far more reflective and representative of what female bodies are and that they're all different and powerful and strong and beautiful in all of their own ways. That's just really great for young kids -- well, for all ages, but especially young kids -- to get to see something like that and see that representation. It's really powerful.
How is being a part of an all-female cast and crew different than other sets you've worked on?
I love the company of women. I love collaborating creatively with women. I feel like in general, women get stuff done. [Laughs] It's a joy getting to go into that environment -- I always feel at ease when I'm in a room full of women at work. I feel like it's a subconscious thing almost, where there is a shared female experience. I remember trying to explain to a male friend once, but they just couldn't understand. I was describing this very harrowing cab ride I had with a driver that was being very aggressive and really scary, and my friend was like, "Well, it's your responsibility to speak up in that moment and explain that to him." And I said, "It's actually not my responsibility." Trying to just explain the female experience was, on one hand, truly infuriating and, on the other hand, it made me realize that women from basically birth have a very specific experience. Obviously, it's different in many ways for many people, but I feel like there is ultimately some threads that we all share that are very different from the male experience.There is always such a feeling of being understood or seen in a way when it's a room full of women, for me anyway.
One of my favorite Scorpia quirks is her self-affirmations. What do you think her self-isolation affirmations would look like?
I mean, listen, I think Scorpia would thrive in this situation because she's going to be the one organizing all the Zoom calls. She's gonna be the one posting some Instagram Live videos of her cooking. Scorpia has the ability to literally find light in darkness. That is one of her gifts, and she's somebody who values connection and values other people in her life, so she would have probably a similar wake-up to the one we saw in that episode. It would probably be like, "I can do this. I'm a good friend. I'm bringing people together." I could definitely see her going through a very similar jest with this.
Without giving too much away obviously, how are you feeling about how the series wraps up?
It's a cliched answer, but it's completely true, which is that it's bittersweet. It's nice when shows have a plan from the beginning, and this was a very kind of overseen storyline. That's always interesting and it's sweet in the sense that I really love the stories we got to tell on this show. And I think Noelle [Stevenson, executive producer] did a really good job of creating very in-depth characters and storylines, and the series does a good job of telling a beginning, middle and end to all those stories. The bitter part of the bittersweet is that I love Scorpia so much. She was such a joy to get to play and to voice and so that's the part that's sad. I just want to play that character forever! But alas, in film and television, it's very rare that you get to play one character forever. Unless maybe you're on one of those long-running daytime soaps, then you really can be one character forever.
Season 5 of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power begins streaming on Netflix on May 15.