Moira Kelly, OTH Alumni – Karen, had played the voice of Adult Nala in the Lion King and two sequels.
Moira Kelly has a warm, distinctive voice that “The Lion King” fans will instantly recognize as the voice of adult Nala. Kelly returned to voice Nala in two straight-to-video sequels and is excited to experience “The Lion King” in 3D with her own children in theaters before the highest-grossing hand-drawn animated film in history makes its Blu-ray debut.
Over the years, Kelly has made an impression in various TV and movie roles, such as figure skater Kate Moseley in the fan-favorite romantic comedy “The Cutting Edge.” We sat down with Simba’s main lioness and had a candid, “hakuna matata” chat with her about her own lion-like qualities, “The Lion King”‘s enduring impact on her family, her prowess on ice skates and why David Lynch showed her dead things in his refrigerator.
After three films, what special connection do you have with Nala?For me, it’s just being able to take part in a Disney animation. Having grown up with them, it’s so nice to now know that I have this connection and, throughout the years, it will always be. My children and my children’s children will watch “The Lion King” and know that I was a part of it.
Has anyone ever heard your voice and recognized you from “The Lion King?”No one has pegged me as Nala, but I do get recognized by my voice. People will say, “Your voice sounds so familiar. Were you in that ice skating movie?” I don’t know what it is, but I suppose there’s something about my voice that stays with people.
You have two children of your own. Describe your lioness qualities in real life.I’m very protective and—I’ll put it this way—I’ve been called “Mean Mommy” by my son a number of times. As my mother once told me, “If you’re not called Mean Mommy a few times by your children, you’re not doing your job right.” I’m a survivalist and will do whatever it takes for my kids. I wouldn’t say I make high demands on them as far as what I would want them to be in life as much as I want them to be responsible people. I think that’s at the core of Nala when she tells Simba that as much as he wants to run away from things, he has to rise up and take responsibility.
When you watch “The Lion King” with your children, do they know that mommy is Nala?Yes. They are seven and nine now. When they were younger, they were a little scared of some of the action scenes, but now they’re very excited that mommy is in a Disney movie.
Read More Here! Q&A: ‘The Lion King’ Lioness Moira Kelly | NextMovie.