By Shannon McGrew
In Prime Video's HAZBIN HOTEL, we follow Charlie, the princess of Hell, as she pursues her seemingly impossible goal of rehabilitating demons to peacefully reduce overpopulation in her kingdom. After a yearly extermination imposed by angels, she opens a hotel in the hopes that patrons will be "checking out" into Heaven. While most of Hell mocks her goal, her devoted partner Vaggie, and their first test subject, adult-film star Angel Dust, stick by her side. When a powerful entity known as the "Radio Demon" reaches out to assist Charlie in her endeavors, her crazy dream is given a chance to become a reality.
For the release of Prime Video's HAZBIN HOTEL, Creepy Kingdom's Shannon McGrew spoke with actors Jessica Vosk and Daphne Rubin-Vega who voice the characters Lute and Carmilla Carmine, respectively. During the interview, they discussed everything from bringing these characters to life, the excitement about voicing unapologetic characters and more!
Thank you both for taking the time to speak with me today! To kick things off, for those not familiar can you tell us a little bit about your characters?
Jessica Vosk: I have been lucky enough to voice the character of Lute who is, for all intents and purposes, antagonistic. She's Adam's right hand and she is going to surprise you in a really big way. She is not who you think she is, but she's a villain and she's not so nice. I'm excited for the rest of this season and what's to come because I'm now slowly starting to remember being in the studio and all of the things that are to come.
Daphne Rubin-Vega: I play Carmilla Carmine and I am a weapons dealer and I'm the overlord in Hell. But she's a good guy, though [Laughs].
What was the process like in connecting with your characters and bringing them to life?
Daphne Rubin-Vega: I connect with ruling Hell really easily, that's a low hanging fruit [Laughs]. Doing voice work for animation is a first for me. Being from Broadway theater/New York theater community, which is really small, is not Hollywood. But, here we are in this Venn diagram with these amazing people that we know and love. It's really good to put the voice into a character that is hella awesome.
Jessica Vosk: It's all of the things that Daphne just said alongside what we don't normally get to do which is come in and create something, at least with me and Lute, with such darkness, such grit. I remember it getting grittier, darker as my recording sessions went on. It was a really amazing thing to do because a lot of the characters that I've had the honor to play on stage are beltresses and they have their own arc, but they're usually the protagonist and they bring everybody together and that's amazing in itself. But to get to do this in such a way and watch something come to life on screen that has already had such a fan base behind it, to get to voice that is many, many layers of cool.
Daphne Rubin-Vega: You get to play a character that's unapologetic about being pissed off and wanting revenge. I think that if it weren't an animation, we wouldn't really have the opportunity to get real wide and broad with it.
What has been the most enjoyable part about being part of this project?
Jessica Vosk: We recorded this so long ago that to have that mentality of also being a fan of the project while being associated with the project is very cool because I'm also like, "Ooh, what's going to happen next?" "Ooh, what's my character going to do next?" It's these amazing things that are getting rolled out in front of our eyes. We all got to experience this for the first time with each other at the premiere. We were so disjointed in recording this that half of us didn't know who our scenes were with. It's a very cool thing to watch and to get to see your colleagues and friends have their songs come in certain places and to hear Daphne wail only in the way that she can is so cool.
As mentioned previously, HAZBIN HOTEL has quite the built-in fan base. What do you hope the fans and newcomers will take away from the series?
Daphne Rubin-Vega: I hope they love it and enjoy it so we can keep doing it!
Jessica Vosk: This series comes with a built-in fan base just from when Vivienne created this years ago, which is such a triumph for her and really for this entire team to be able to make something. It inspires me so much to know what you can do when you have an idea and you want to create something and it comes to fruition. I said to them at the premiere, I hope you guys are so proud of this because the fans that have already come out and even have started to cosplay and do incredible Comic-Con status things with this particular series is so cool.
As voice actors for this particular new season of this show we know that we're coming in after something that was already created. There's a part of myself that wants to make sure there's homage to everything that has come before and been created, but we also get to put our mark on it, our spin on it. We get to create this world with an amazing backdrop of characters and it's pretty damn awesome.
The first season of HAZBIN HOTEL consists of eight-episodes with four episodes premiering on Prime Video January 19, 2024 and two episodes rolling out weekly through February 2.