Who Voices the Scene-Stealing Dragon in ‘Damsel’?

Netflix’s new fantasy action film stars Millie Bobby Brown — and an actress known for her one-of-a-kind voice

Split image of a snarling dragon on the left and a woman being pinned down by a dragon's talon on the right
"Damsel" (Netflix)

Netflix’s “Damsel” has one of the most inspired casting choices of 2024 so far — and the actress never even appears on the screen.

“Damsel” stars “Stranger Things” star Millie Bobby Brown as Elodie, a young woman who accepts a mysterious prince’s proposal to save her impoverished people. But when her wedding day arrives, Elodie’s betrothed tosses her into a pit with a giant fire-breathing dragon to repay his family’s ancient debt, leaving Elodie to fight for her life and uncover the dark truth behind the kingdom.

The fantasy action movie is soaring up the charts after a big streaming debut, so naturally there are a lot of folks wondering who provides the voice for the film’s scene-stealing dragon. And credit to the casting department, they found one of the most commanding, smokiest voices in Hollywood.

Here’s everything to know about the Emmy-winning actress who plays the dragon in “Damsel.”

Who plays the dragon in “Damsel”?

The dragon is voiced by Shohreh Aghdashloo. The 71-year-old is an Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning actress, who audiences might recognize from her TV roles as Chrisjen Avasarala on “The Expanse” and Dina Araz in “24” Season 4, or from her Best Supporting Actress-nominated performance in “The House of Sand and Fog.”

Aghdashloo hails from Iran, where she began her career with films like “Desiderium” and “The Report.” More recent credits include “Renfield,” “Star Trek Beyond,” “The Flight Attendant” and Netflix’s “The Punisher” series.

Where have you heard Shohreh Aghdashloo’s voice before?

It’s also entirely possible you might recognize the actress even if you’ve never seen her. “Damsel” isn’t the first project to harness the power of Aghdashloo’s singular speaking voice. Gamers will recognize her from the roles of Lakshmi-2 in the “Destiny” franchise, Admiral Shala’Raan vas Tonbay in the “Mass Effect” games and, most recently, Roshan in “Assassin’s Creed Mirage.”

In animation, Aghdashloo has lent her voice as Grayson in “Arcane,” Forouzan in “Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight” and Queen Janna in “The Lion Guard.” She also voiced Gozer — the character physically portrayed by Olivia Wilde — in the 2021 “Ghostbusters” sequel “Afterlife.”

Is that Shohreh Aghdashloo’s actual voice in “Damsel”?

Yes! If you recognize the actress from any of her previous works, you know that her deep, resonant voice is part of her signature appeal. However, as the actress revealed in a recent behind-the-scenes featurette, she certainly employed some of the vocal techniques in the actor’s toolkit to bring the voice of “Damsel’s” dragon to life.

“I decided to use a diaphragm voice for her, because as you know there are different kinds of voices, depending on the character: head voice, chest voice and diaphragm,” she explained. “The dragon is all diaphragm because she’s been wounded badly, deeply and that’s why the voice does not come from the head. It comes from the mansion full of pain.”

Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo said he was looking for a voice that “shows the intensity and power of this creature,” and, “Shohreh has that voice.”

“It feels like we use a lot of sound effects on her voice, but we didn’t,” the “Damsel” director continued. “It’s her voice. Her voice is completely broken and profound like you’re hearing in the movie. It’s so well connected with this creature. And the way that she literally reflects that pain and that grief that she’s suffering, I think she really did such an amazing job.”

“Damsel” is now available to stream on Netflix.


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