DC Animation Alum Sheryl Lee Ralph Wants to Play a Superhero

Sheryl Lee Ralph, who had a role in an episode of the Wonder Woman TV series before voicing Cheetah on Justice League Unlimited and then Amanda Waller in Young Justice, says she still hopes that in her sixties, there's a chance for her to appear in a superhero movie. The actress, best known for roles on Moesha, Designing Women, and the Broadway show Dreamgirls, says that seeing Catwoman played by a woman of color was a revelation for her, and that it helped her decide that anything was possible. It's in that spirit that she says she wants to play a superhero at some point -- even if she's older than most people would expect for such a role.

The conversation came up as part of a broader profile piece, which touched on various roles throughout her career and got to ask what she took away from them. It seems Ralph is quote fond of superhero work.

"I loved Wonder Woman," Ralph told The AV Club. "I also loved to see Catwoman portrayed as a Black woman when I saw it on TV. That lit my world up. When I saw those things I thought, 'Anything is possible.' I'm really looking forward to getting the chance to play a superhero. I don't even care if I'm 90 years old. I know it's going to happen because I am a superhero."

Of course, 90-year-old superheroes are not especially common -- but as the market broadens to make room for high-concept superhero fare like The Boys and Watchmen, as well as material like Stargirl, Black Adam, and DC's Legends of Tomorrow, which acknowledge past generations of heroes, it's definitely true that you no longer need to be 20 and in perfect shape to play someone who wore a cape and made a difference.

She also had nothing but kind things to say for the character of Amanda Waller and the powerhouse actresses who have had the chance to portray her over the years.


"I loved Amanda Waller [in Young Justice] because the voice has been played by so many very distinct and powerful Black female actresses," Ralph said. "I mean, Alfre Woodard, C.C.H. Pounder, Angela Bassett, myself...and I had no idea what Amanda Waller looked like, so when I did the voice and then I saw the character, I thought she was very interesting."

Currently, Ralph plays the President of the United States on the alternative-history drama Motherland: Fort Salem for Freeform.

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