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COLUMN

Live Active Cultures

The voice-over artist will appear at Florida Anime Experience 2012, May 25-27

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Hawkes left the series in 2000 while pregnant with twins, and though she has said she would be open to returning to the role, her life has moved on. She's featured in live-action films like Cube Zero and wrote the 2002 movie Book of Eve, but more recently her focus has been on the academic world. Hawkes recently completed a master's degree in women's studies, and is embarking on a Ph.D. in theater; as a “feminist, activist artist” her passion is “theater for social change.”

While confessing to “a level of discomfort around the sexualization” of her nubile adolescent heroine, she's glad the American version was edited from the more-explicit original, and says, “In the end I felt the benefits of the representation of girls being empowered and working for social change outweighed the less-than-perfect aspects.”

Proud of the show's enduring legacy, Hawkes opines that “there weren't a lot of shows on at the time for preteens that celebrated girlhood. … It filled a niche [as] a hopeful symbol for little girls, and gave [them] a voice and a sense that they too had something to contribute.”

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