Interview by Cole Groth
BD Wong is an acclaimed actor who's known for his roles as Dr. George Huang on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Father Ray Mukada on Oz, Dr. Henry Wu in the Jurassic Park franchise, and Captain Li Shang in Mulan. Brianna Bryan is the voice actress behind Rainbow Puppy, a role from Blues Clues & You! that she's reprising in Blue's Big City Adventure.
We at disappointment media got the opportunity to speak with Wong and Bryan about what it's like to be a part of the Blue's Clues franchise, and to inspire children everywhere.
disappointment: What's it like to join the cast of a beloved franchise like Blue's Clues?
Wong: It is so great. I've had the experience a few times over my career where I get to be a guest star on a sitcom or a television show that’s very important and well-revered. When a franchise like this is so beloved, you feel special to be a part of it. It's a unique experience. I felt like I was aware of the importance of this, and I had my investment in what the show means to people. I was not let down by how the crew created this movie; how they behaved, thought, and collaborated was so wonderful, so I loved that part. It made me realize that, yes, you can meet your heroes. From the top down, the whole cast and crew have created a tone of exceptionally positive energy and mindfulness that I think you can feel when you watch the show. We’re doing something fundamentally important, and I don't like to overstate it, but this franchise has done so much good for kids worldwide.
disappointment: Brianna, you've voiced the character of Rainbow Puppy on the Blue's Clues & You! and now you're playing her in a movie. BD just mentioned the environment around the production; what was that production experience like for you?
Bryan: For me, the production was more similar to the regular show, whereas it was very different for Joshua. I got to be in the studio again, so it all felt like a natural progression from Rainbow Puppy being introduced and going through smaller adventures. Now she gets to be seen in a new light. The experience behind the scenes was in the studio; I was solo, just like I usually am. In this film, I sang my heart out and danced around the studio. I'm very animated, so I enjoy being in that space. But who knows? I mean, we don't know what the future holds. Someone mentioned a potential cameo at one point.
Wong: Haha, in a Rainbow Puppy costume?
Bryan: Yeah, in that costume. It was pretty similar for me on the production side, although it’s just a different experience to be in the magic of making a movie. Delivering Rainbow Puppy to this big screen was such a great time.
Wong: Shooting the movie on location, let alone locations in New York City, makes this a new experience than the show. It's a vastly different enterprise for the filmmakers, and that must have been wild, especially for Josh.
disappointment: BD, I mentioned I had this interview with one of my friends, and as a gay man, he excitedly asked, “You're interviewing BD Wong?!” Which reminded me that you’re already such an inspiration, especially to those in the gay community. How do you think this movie will inspire kids of every background?
Wong: Well, thank you, because I wanted to be part of it because I've felt very comfortable and trusting of their understanding of diversity and inclusion. Throughout the show's history, their commitment to inclusion has grown, especially in the Josh version of the show, and they have a fundamental understanding of representation. For this new generation, there are clues they will take with them through their lives of how important it is to accept all people. It’s important to show them to have open hearts and minds and be optimistic about differences. So, I am aligned with this whole mission. Because the kids are so young, I think getting this message across is super important.
Bryan: Yeah, and just to add to the awareness of it all, I think placing these messages where they’re meant to be seen is very important. If you don't get the message, you don't, but it's intended to give you an awareness of differences in the world the way you might see it in the classroom.
Wong: ...which is exactly what representation is. That's all it is. It's got to be there for a person not to be invisible.
Blue’s Big City Adventure releases exclusively on Paramount+ on November 18th.