Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

You Sound like Dora

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

You Sound like Dora

Article excerpt

FATIMA Ptacek's name might not sound familiar but her voice certainly does to millions of children around the world.

The 14-year-old actress is the voice of beloved bilingual preschool adventurer Dora, in the Dora The Explorer series and the new show Dora and Friends: Into the City.

The child actress, who also models and is a competitive gymnast, landed the role in 2010 and has spent the past four years balancing her studio recording sessions with her film work.

The talented teen starred opposite Catharine Zeta-Jones in The Rebound and received critical acclaim for her lead role in the Oscar-winning short film Curfew.

Ptacek plays a slightly older, 10-year-old version of Dora in Into the City, which sees the young problem solver move to the city of Playa Verde and form a new group of friends.

Q: Dora is known and loved around the world; do you find people recognise your voice? And if so what are their reactions?

A: Sometimes! I am mostly recognised by younger kids and when they discover I'm Dora their reaction is priceless. It's always positive (everyone loves Dora).

They come up to me and say, "You sound like Dora...are you Dora!?" and when I tell them I am, they just get so excited, their parents do, too!

However, most of the time I usually fly under the radar. I'm never being chased down by paparazzi or anything like that.

The best experience is when celebrities recognise who I am. They tend to ask me to record a video message for their kids and later give me a huge hug, saying things like "You're the reason why I could spend five minutes to take a shower!" and "My son/daughter loves Dora, you've brought so much happiness to our living room!"

It's such a great feeling when those moments happen.

Q: What was it like taking over a role which is so iconic and has been previously voiced by other actresses?

A: Voicing Dora is a very fun experience and I love what I do. Stepping into the role was a little daunting - audiences have known Dora so well for such a long time, so I was a little nervous to carry on that legend.

Q: Dora's a little older now. Tell us how she has changed or grown up in the new series Dora and Friends: Into the City? …

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