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Kimiko Glenn Talks Disney's New Animated Series "Kiff"

Kimiko voices the main character in this new series that follows the adventures of best friends Kiff and Barry, an optimistic squirrel and a mellow bunny.

You may know her as "Dawn" in Broadway's "Waitress," or as Brooke in the Netflix series "Orange Is The New Black," but now actress Kimiko Glenn dives into the animated world as the voice of "Kiff." Read more about her role in the upcoming Disney Channel Original animated series, Kiff."

You played Dawn in "Waitress," a sweet and kind role that can overlap with Kiff's spirit. How was the experience of performing in a booth versus on a stage?

It's different, but similar. I'm still singing my heart out as though I'm on a stage, so it's fun. It's a different kind of fun because on stage, you're fully expressing yourself in the moment, but you can kind of perfect it a bit when you're in the studio and get several takes and be like, oh, I wasn't great on that line and I can redo it. And so I don't know, it's just a different type of energy, but I love it equally. It's so fun.

This isn't your first time bringing a Disney character to life. What made "Kiff" stand out to you as a project, as well as the reason you wanted to voice this character?

Well, I think that the script itself is just so funny. Just reading it, it's hilarious. And it's not just like a cartoon. A lot of this stuff is like children's programming geared towards children, and it feels that way, but this very much feels like just anyone can enjoy it. Like you said, this is going to be on my weekly watch list. I will definitely be tuning in and watching this myself. Not because I'm in it, but because it's really funny. And also when I auditioned for it, I had a little illustration of Kiff and it just helps bring the vision and the energy to life for this character. I think that was just so easy because I think a lot of children's programming these days feels computer generated somehow, like three dimensional or something. There's something classic about the aesthetic of this show that I love and I loved as a kid.

Photo: Disney

There is something for everyone in this series. Especially the friendship between Kiff and Barry, who is voiced by Michael Croner. How would you define this friendship?

Well, I think that they're just natural best friends. When you're a kid, it's so easy to become best friends with someone because the enthusiasm is met. As adults, it's a little like, you have to play it cool. I think with them, the passion and enthusiasm draws them together. And there's something about Barry's willingness to go along with Kiff's antics that Kiff loves, and vice versa. Kiff is just so down for anything, and that makes her really lovable. I think that's why Barry loves Kiff.

It felt so natural and genuine, which is awesome. Were there any particular pieces of their story that resonated with you?

Yeah, I think that there's a little lesson learned at the end of every episode. What's nice about this in particular is that it doesn't shove it down your throat. It's sort of a lighthearted lesson that you naturally get. It's hard to explain, but it's sweet and can naturally resonate with an adult. It think because there's a true heart to the whole story. You just feel it. It's not all light and airy and fluffy. They truly feel passionately and care.

I definitely got that when I was watching, and I wanted to ask you, what's the intersection between Kiff and Kimiko?

I'd like to say I'm pretty adventurous in the same way that Kiff is, and pretty down to just sort of go full throttle into things. And I love that about Kiff, and I love that about me in this era of my life. Kiff always has good intentions. And I swear I have good intentions always. We're not perfect as human beings, but I always try and lead with my heart, and I think Kiff does the same.


"Kiff" will premiere Friday, March 10, on Disney Channel (8:00 p.m. EST/PST) and on Disney+ shortly thereafter. Make sure to follow MUD on Instagram for the best conversations with your favorite TV show stars.


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