The Fire-Breathing Voice of Damsel: Unveiling the Actress Behind the Dragon

Netflix’s 2024 film “Damsel” took a refreshing swipe at the damsel-in-distress trope. Princess Elodie (played by Emilia Jones), instead of passively awaiting rescue, finds herself trapped with a fire-breathing dragon. This formidable creature, a key character in the film, left viewers not just impressed by its visual effects but also by its captivating voice. So, who brings this dragon to life with their vocal talents?

Netflix's 2024 film "Damsel"

The Emmy-Winning Voice: Shohreh Aghdashloo

The powerful voice behind the dragon belongs to the accomplished actress Shohreh Aghdashloo. Aghdashloo is a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood, boasting an impressive career spanning film and television. This Iranian-American actress has garnered critical acclaim for her diverse roles, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in “House of Sand and Fog” and an Emmy win for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for “House of Saddam.”

Those familiar with Aghdashloo’s work will likely recognize her signature voice – deep, resonant, and imbued with a strength that perfectly embodies the imposing dragon in “Damsel.” In a behind-the-scenes featurette for the film, Aghdashloo revealed that while she used her natural voice for the role, she employed specific vocal techniques to amplify the dragon’s power and presence.

Aghdashloo’s Dragon: More Than Just Roars

Aghdashloo’s portrayal goes beyond the typical dragon growls and roars. She infuses the character with a surprising range, showcasing moments of cunning intelligence alongside raw power. This complexity adds a layer of intrigue to the dragon, making it more than just a monstrous obstacle for Princess Elodie to overcome.

Reviews for Aghdashloo’s voice acting have been overwhelmingly positive. Critics have praised her for bringing a sense of gravitas and even a hint of humor to the character. Some viewers, upon recognizing Aghdashloo’s voice, have expressed delight at the unexpected casting choice. This unexpected element adds another layer of enjoyment for fans familiar with the actress’s previous work.

A Career of Diverse Roles

Aghdashloo’s filmography is a testament to her versatility as an actress. She has seamlessly transitioned between dramatic and comedic roles, captivating audiences with her talent.

House of Sand and Fog (2003): Aghdashloo received widespread acclaim for her portrayal of Nadira Behrani in this powerful drama. Her performance opposite Ben Kingsley earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

24 (2005): Aghdashloo played the shrewd and ruthless Dina Araz in season 4 of the hit television series “24.” This role solidified her reputation for portraying complex and captivating characters.

The Expanse (2015-2022): Sci-fi fans know Aghdashloo best as Chrisjen Avasarala, the shrewd and ambitious leader of the Earth Martian Coalition Navy in the critically acclaimed series “The Expanse.”

Star Trek Beyond (2016): Aghdashloo lent her voice to the role of Commodore Paris in this installment of the Star Trek franchise.

The Punisher (2017): She appeared as Madani’s mother in the Netflix series “The Punisher,” showcasing her dramatic range once again.

Aghdashloo: A Genre-Bending Force

Aghdashloo’s career path demonstrates her willingness to explore various genres. From the harrowing drama of “House of Sand and Fog” to the space opera of “The Expanse” and the fantastical world of “Damsel,” she brings a level of dedication and talent that elevates every project she’s involved in.

This willingness to embrace diverse roles makes her a valuable asset to the entertainment industry. She consistently delivers nuanced performances that resonate with audiences, regardless of the genre.

Beyond Damsel: Aghdashloo’s Upcoming Projects

Aghdashloo shows no signs of slowing down. She recently appeared in the horror-comedy film “Renfield” alongside Nicolas Cage and is slated for upcoming roles in projects like “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Bricklayer.”

With her immense talent and impressive career trajectory, Shohreh Aghdashloo is sure to continue captivating audiences for years to come. And who knows, perhaps she’ll lend her voice to another captivating creature in a future project, further solidifying her place as a force to be reckoned with in the realm of fantasy and beyond.


So, who voices the dragon in Damsel?

The powerful and distinctive voice behind the dragon belongs to the accomplished actress Shohreh Aghdashloo. Aghdashloo’s impressive career spans film and television, and her voice acting adds another layer to her diverse talents.

Why Does the Dragon’s Voice Sound Familiar?

If you’ve been a fan of sci-fi, fantasy, or even thrillers, you’ve likely heard Aghdashloo’s captivating voice before. Here are some of her notable roles:

Chrisjen Avasarala in The Expanse: A shrewd and powerful leader in the critically acclaimed space opera series.

Dina Araz in 24: A cunning villain in the action-packed counterterrorism drama.

Gozer in Ghostbusters: Afterlife (voice): The iconic demonic entity that returns to threaten the new generation of Ghostbusters.

Aghdashloo’s ability to command attention with her voice makes her a perfect choice for a character like the dragon in “Damsel.”

How Did Aghdashloo Bring the Dragon to Life?

In a behind-the-scenes featurette for “Damsel,” Aghdashloo revealed that she utilized a technique called “diaphragmatic voice” to create the dragon’s powerful and resonant sound. This technique involves using your diaphragm, a muscle below your lungs, to project your voice with more strength and control.

Aghdashloo also likely incorporated her signature deep and rich voice into the performance, adding a layer of regality and intimidation to the dragon’s character.

Is the Dragon Just a Voice in Damsel?

While Aghdashloo brings the dragon to life vocally, the creature’s physical presence is created through a combination of CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) and practical effects. The filmmakers likely used a combination of motion capture technology (where an actor’s movements are recorded and used to animate a digital character) and animation techniques to create the dragon’s movements and appearance.

Aghdashloo Beyond Damsel: A Career in Spotlight

Aghdashloo’s career achievements extend far beyond her role in “Damsel.” Here are some of her accolades:

Academy Award Nomination: She received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role in “House of Sand and Fog.”

Emmy Award Win: Aghdashloo won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for her performance in “House of Saddam.”

Aghdashloo continues to be a sought-after actress, with recent appearances in movies like “The Flight Attendant” and “Renfield.”

Shohreh Aghdashloo: More Than Just a Voice

So, the next time you hear Aghdashloo’s powerful voice, whether it’s coming from a cunning politician in space, a villainous mastermind, or a fire-breathing dragon, you’ll know the range and talent of the actress behind it. Aghdashloo’s impressive career and her ability to breathe life into characters, both human and mythical, solidify her place as a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry.

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