Home Arts & Culture Jacobs featured in new animated series 

Jacobs featured in new animated series 

Ark: The Animated series debuts with the first six episodes, featuring an all-star voice cast including Michelle Yeoh, Russell Crowe, Gerard Butler, David Tennant, Jeffrey Wright, Vin Diesel and more. Courtesy Paramount+

When Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs began recording for Ark: The Animated Series, it was the height of the pandemic in the summer of 2020. 

With studios shuttered, she managed to set up a makeshift recording booth in her closet – with sound equipment shipped from Los Angeles all the way to her Toronto apartment – where she recorded her lines for the role of Alasie.  

“It was definitely a bit chaotic of a process filming it. But I think we were all just so happy to be working and recording,” she said.  

Adapted from the video game Ark: Survival Evolved, the series follows protagonist Helena Walker, a paleontologist, after her initial awakening on The Island.  

“I thought that the story they were able to craft for all of these characters, some who are familiar from the video game Ark and some who are brand new, was something that was really beautiful,” she said. 

Alasie, who is Inuk, is a character Jacobs described as comic relief, straying from Jacobs’ usual roles, which tend to have a more serious slant. “She is like a little kid sister who can sometimes be annoying, but is really silly,” she said. 

Jacobs records lines for the role of Alasie from her apartment in Toronto during COVID-19 shutdowns. Courtesy Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs

The series was long-awaited by the video game’s fanbase, she said, which only helped propel them into the momentum before the first episode aired on March 21 on Paramount Plus.  

All six episodes of the first season’s part one are now available, with part two set to be released later this year.  

Working on this project also opened her eyes to different avenues within the acting industry. “I really fell in love with voice acting,” she said, noting she had recorded most of Alasie’s part before she began voicing Kahhori for the What If…? season that debuted last December.  

“I think I was able to, especially because there’s some of those lighter moments, play with different kinds of inflections and just really have fun with the role with letting myself be free,” she said. 

With this project, Jacobs’ name was listed beside those of high-profile figures in Hollywood – a highlight she’s not soon to forget. 

“I had a chance to work opposite some actors who I’ve admired for so many years, legends like Michelle Yeoh, David Tennant, and Elliot Page, so many different people. It was really incredible to be a part of that process,” she said. The lineup of actors also includes Russell Crowe, Gerard Butler, Jeffrey Wright, and Vin Diesel.  

Jacobs also got a taste of what goes on behind the scenes from a whole new perspective.  

The team in the studio was very willing to share their creative process, she said, something she appreciated since she got to witness the production of the work at a closer level; she heard different versions of the score – which was recorded by a live orchestra, a rarity in the industry – and got a glimpse of certain animations before they were complete.  

“They have to create everything from scratch in animation. So, for me, the best part is seeing it all come together because I had no idea what it was going to look like,” she said, adding that a significant chuck of the production process happens solitarily. 

It’s a different dynamic than filming a live action movie where actors and crew members alike share the set together.  

“I just had to be in a dark room using my imagination the whole time, while acting out these lines. But then to see it all come together, it makes me geek out,” she said. 


This article was originally published in print on April 5 in issue 33.14 of The Eastern Door.

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Nanor is a reporter and copy editor with The Eastern Door. She was previously the managing editor and creative director at The Link.

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Nanor is a reporter and copy editor with The Eastern Door. She was previously the managing editor and creative director at The Link.