Culture //

Nothing is Kim Possible for Christy Carlson Romano

The Disney Channel icon talks all things nostalgia

kim possible

As a stan of a) Kim Possible b) conspiring about what happened to early 2000s Disney Channel stars and c) actresses with three names, speaking to Christy Carlson Romano was like Christmas 2005 (objectively the best one).

The first thing I learnt is that Christy Carlson Romano is not dead.

“I’ve gotten [that] a couple of times” she tells me. “It’s like well, okay, why did you come up to me?” Which is a fair question to ask people who approach you assuming you’re dead.

The second thing she says is that “it’s OK to Google me.” For people who don’t know, Christy Carlson Romano voiced the titular character of the Disney Channel animated series Kim Possible for four seasons and two movies, starred in Even Stevens and Cadet Kelly as well as my favourite video game Kingdom Hearts.

Lots of people know Christy Carlson Romano and her three names. “They know my face, they know who I am, they know my three names,” she says.

“They know all that stuff but they just love Kim Possible so much that they prefer to talk about that.”

And why wouldn’t they. The show was wildly popular, a smash hit for the Disney Channel which even received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Animated Series. But Kim Possible wasn’t only successful, it was quality.

“It came out at a time when I don’t think anything like it was out,” Christy Carlson Romano says and she is right. Female driven action comedy-adventure cartoons were (and still are) few and far in between.

But Kim Possible wasn’t just good because it was different. What made Kim Possible good, was the work of voice actors like Christy Carlson Romano who brought the show’s sharp and witty script to life.

Christy Carlson Romano thinks Kim Possible’s dynamism stems from elsewhere however. “I think that the drawing had something to do with the iconicness of it … the aesthetic of Kim Possible is really special,” she says.

The show’s creators and animators gunned for an Art Deco style but Christy Carlson Romano sees it as even more. She tentatively puts forward that “it’s got sort of a Japanimation feel to it.”  

Her conflation of Kim Possible and anime rocks me a little bit. But like Monkey D. Luffy of One Piece, Kim Possible redefined heroism and utilised questionable chewing gum, proving maybe the comparison of Kim Possible to anime isn’t so unforgivable.

Kim, with her brightly coloured hair and all-rounder prowess, is an anime protagonist of a different ilk. Her heroism is what counts, and it’s especially important for Christy Carlson Romano. “I think that Kim and I kind of fused together just like I did with other parts that I played on Disney Channel.”

“To this day, in my mind, I think of Kim Possible if I’m feeling doubtful about something and I’m like I can do anything, I can do it.”

If she weren’t playing Kim though, Christy Carlson Romano thinks she’d like to have a go at playing Shego.

Because it is essential that I know, I ask Christy Carlson Romano if she is aware of KiGo—a romantic ‘crackship’ within the Kim Possible fandom that puts Kim and Shego together.

“I think at the end of the day it’s fandom and it’s fan written literature and I think that’s really cool,” she says.

Unlike me and other KiGo shippers, Christy Carlson Romano “[doesn’t] think there’s a conspiracy there” but like me and other KiGo shippers, Christy Carlson Romano “[does] think that KiGo is a very fun ship.”

In February this year, Disney announced they’d be filming a live action Kim Possible film. Christy Carlson Romano will be in it, sadly not as Kim, but in a role she said she enjoyed.

Because the passage of time is omnipresent and your childhood is well and truly over, Christy Carlson Romano now has a beautiful baby daughter with a second child on the way. On raising her own children watching Even Stevens and Kim Possible? “I would like it if they could watch it just to see you know that chunk of my childhood!” she laughs.  

“I wouldn’t make them watch it! But if they thought it was funny, that would be really rewarding to me.”

Perhaps the most important thing I gleaned from this interview is that Christy Carlson Romano is happy to be here. She’s excited to be in Australia, meeting some of her international fans for the very first time, and I’m excited for her.

Before leaving, Christy Carlson Romano tells me to say hello if I see her at Comic Con on the weekend. I leave the interview satisfied knowing I’ve received the single most important thing I could obtain from this interview.

What R&B icon Christina Milian prepped us for as kids watching the Kim Possible opening on a Saturday morning: firsthand assurance from Kim Possible herself, that I can call her, beep her, if I want to reach her.