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Loki's Miss Minutes could have sounded like Siri but went Southern instead

Tara Strong talks about bringing the Time Variance Authority mascot to animated life.

Miss Minutes on Loki's desk

Miss Minutes, voiced by Tara Strong, chats with Loki in the Disney Plus show.

Marvel Studios

Tara Strong's name features prominently in the credits of Marvel Cinematic Universe show Loki, but it might not immediately ring a bell. However, you've almost certainly heard the actor bring boundless energy to countless shows and games in voice roles as varied as Bubbles in Powerpuff Girls, Harley Quinn in several Batman: Arkham games, My Little Pony's Twilight Sparkle and Presidentress in Rick & Morty.

For Loki's Disney Plus adventure, Strong guides the God of Mischief into the world of the chronology policing Time Variance Authority as the utterly delightful Miss Minutes. With a lovely Southern twang, this artificially intelligent animated mascot -- who was inspired by Jurassic Park's Mr. DNA -- reveals the Sacred Timeline, the mysterious Time-Keepers and how Variants like Loki apparently ruin reality by stepping off their predetermined paths. 

Strong (who you can also see in live-action in Canadian comedy-drama Pretty Hard Cases) has played many Marvel characters in animated series and video games, but Miss Minutes is her first MCU role. I had a fun chat with her over Zoom about how she got involved with the show, the options the creative team ran through for Miss Minutes' voice and the responsibility of explaining the multiverse.

Here's a transcript of our conversation, lightly edited for clarity. 

Tara Strong

Strong offered Loki's creative team multiple choices for Miss Minutes' voice.

Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Cartoon Network

Q: How did you get involved with Loki? 
Strong: Initially, I did an audition with the dialogue -- I do all my auditions out of my home studio, which I've done for many years. It was wonderful to have had this setup before COVID because animation, and voiceover in particular, was the only leg of the business that didn't shut down during the pandemic.

I remember seeing the script for the audition and character description, but I didn't know what it was for, or exactly what the character was. I just knew they wanted to play with some particular sound variations on a character that was like Siri, sort of a guide. Normally I'll give two or three different choices for them, based on what's written in the character description and my own flavor. 

It wasn't until I booked the job that I knew exactly what it was -- I had no idea it was going to be this big until I started seeing the explosion of it on social media. My favorite thing in entertainment is when they give imagination a budget and people can really roam free to make something really special. And I think they've done that with this series.

Tom Hiddleston in Marvel's Loki on Disney Plus

After Loki is dragged into the Time Variance Authority, Miss Minutes is one of the few friendly characters he meets.

Marvel Studios

You mentioned you gave Marvel Studios a couple of options for Miss Minutes' accent. How did you land on the one we got?
I think they said, "Let's try her with more of a Siri voice, let's try her more conversational and maybe one with an accent." So it was one of the choices. And then I got into the recording with the director [Kate Herron] she really had a pretty clear vision of what she wanted. 

At that point, the voice actor has to be malleable and go along with "Let's make her a little bit more Southern or a little bit less Southern, or let's make her a little friendlier or more fun in these moments, even if she's talking about something dire." Once you get into that point in production, it becomes a more collaborative process.

Did people recognize your voice before the show aired?
Oh yeah. There was a video that came out right after they dropped the Miss Minutes trailer and they were like, "This is Tara Strong and here's why." I just wasn't allowed to comment in the real world, on the internet or anything. It wasn't until the Loki homepage tagged me that I thought, "OK, I guess I can respond." But it's such a gift watching the fans just delight in her as comic relief, as well as offering knowledge for Loki.

In this role, you explain a lot of high-concept stuff. Did the enormity of the multiverse strike you when you first read it?
I love the concept that there are multiple versions of yourself living out different timelines. It's sometimes confusing -- you sort of have to look at it like a baby looking at a trigonometry book. There's so much that we don't yet understand and it's fascinating to explore.

Part of the show's design is that you're meant to wonder about certain things too; they can't spell absolutely everything out. But Miss Minutes is there to guide you through some of the basic concepts, and thankfully she's so likeable. She could have been one of those characters that people found annoying, but the fans have sort of gravitated toward her and like her elusiveness. They wonder who she really is.

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How big is Miss Minutes' role for the rest of the season? Can you tease it at all?
I can't tell you that, but I can tell you there's still work to be done at the TVA. And she maintains her wit, charm and brains whatever she's doing. But you'll see her again. Maybe.