Eden Sher’s new Disney character is a different kind of princess


“Star vs. The Forces of Evil” 8 p.m. Monday, March 30, Disney XD

The young princess characters in Disney animated films and TV shows are generally a rather conservative and quiet group. You’re not going to find Sofia the First speeding around the kingdom on a sugar rush.

Star Butterfly is about to change all that. And she’ll do it with help from “The Middle” star Eden Sher.

The latest princess in the Disney universe debuts on the new Disney XD animated series “Star vs. The Forces of Evil.” There’s nothing laid-back or demure about the latest addition to the Disney princess world.

“When I heard about the role, I thought about the princess formula where a lot of times they just sit and look pretty. That gave me pause,” Sher says. “Then I found out that this was going to be a fierce Disney princess. I knew I wanted to do it because she would become the new model for what girls can be.”

The character is a pretty kick-asterisk role model. After a few mishaps on her home world, the exuberant Star Butterfly is sent by her Royal Parents to live with the Diaz family on Earth. With the Diaz’s teenage son Marco by her side, this very alien exchange student from another dimension spends her days battling evil villains throughout the multiverse and trying to deal with the even more dangerous world of high school.

Playing a character who is one excited moment away from a stroke is nothing new for Sher. On “The Middle,” her Sue Heck also has boundless energy that often leads to misadventures.

“I really thought when I went in to record the voice for Star that I couldn’t be any crazier than I am with Sue. I was wrong,” Sher says. “I went into the recording session around Sue level thinking I could tone it down.

“But, they wanted more than Sue’s level of energy. I remember that cracking me up because it was as if I had no censor.”

The world of voice work is relatively new to the Los Angeles native. She once did a radio commercial for candy but that was the closest she had been to a recording studio.

“It’s way more challenging because on the set there are other actors. No one teaches you in acting class about acting when there is no one else with you,” Sher says. “But, doing the work by myself ends up being a good lesson in focus.”

It’s probably also a little safer for her fellow actors (including Adam McArthur, Alan Tudyk, Nia Vardalos and Artt Butler), since Sher doesn’t hold back once she’s behind the microphone.

The 23-year-old Sher has been acting since she was 8, performing in school plays, local theater, commercials, TV shows and films. Her credits include “Sons & Daughters,” “Party Down” and “Weeds.”

She picked up the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy for her work on “The Middle” and was nominated for a Teen Choice Award in 2014 for Choice TV: Female Scene Stealer.

Sher recently completed production on the feature film “The Outskirts.”

Animation work is new to Sher but she’s been a fan of the genre for years, growing up watching “Recess,” “Rugrats” and “SpongeBob SquarePants.” It was “As Told By Ginger” that affected her the most: “She revolutionized the way I looked at cartoons. This was the first character I can remember who changed clothes. That took the show to a higher visual and creative level to me. It was then that I realized the general idea you don’t have to follow conventions.”