EXCLUSIVE | 'She-Ra' Season 5: Voice actor Keston John says Horde Prime is a 'great villain to go up against'
Talking about Horde Prime in an exclusive interview with MEA Worldwide, Keston John talks about what differentiates Horde Prime from Hordak
'She-Ra and the Princesses of Power' is about to head into its final season, and though Etheria has had its hands full trying to keep the conquering armies of Hordak at bay, they are about to face an even greater challenge with the coming of Horde Prime. Both Hordak and Horde Prime are voiced by Keston John, who spoke with MEA World Wide in an exclusive interview about the final season, and just what makes Horde Prime tick.
John talked about what it was like to finally play the character who's been teased for so long. "It was a lot of fun," he said. "I didn't know that we were going to delve so deep into Horde Prime. In the beginning, the first season, I didn't know that we were going to get into Horde Prime until they teased him."
He spoke of what he did to differentiate Horde Prime from the voice of Hordak. "Hordak, in being a clone is very heavy. He's doing what he thinks the leader should do. I kinda think about Hordak as like...that tiger that's about to strike. But he's gonna growl first before he does it. Horde Prime is that leader that doesn't need to growl. He just does it with a smile. He is ever sinister. He is ever cutthroat and cold, and he's the guy who never lost, and he doesn't plan on starting now," John said.
"When I was placing his voice, I wanted it to obviously be different than what I would consider Hordak's kind of low growl," he said. He revealed the phrase he used to get him into the mindset of voicing Hordak. "I always use my little key phrase to get into it, it's from Season 1 which is, 'And you mean to tell me you'll still down a fourth, Captain.' So he's in a more growly place in my voice. Horde Prime is in a higher register of my voice," John said.
Preparing to voice Horde Prime, however, is a completely different process. "He's the king that doesn't need to yell, so it's just a different thought process that I brought to him. Sometimes I would bring in classical music into the session. I remember one session in particular where I guess my phone service was, like messing with the mics, and they were like, 'Hey do you need to take a call?'"
John said that it's specifically choral music that gets him into that Hordak Prime mindset. "It just informs the peace that's inside of him," he said, describing that peace as being what Horde Prime thinks he embodies. "He thinks that he's bringing his version of the gospel to every planet and they're better for it even if they have to die to receive it."
He spoke a little more about Horde Prime's convictions, and how that differentiates him from Hordak. "It's a great villain to go up against," John said. "He believes to his core that he was designed to win and to put the planet back at peace, and so he has more than an agenda. He has almost a spiritual reason to do what he's doing to the planet," he added.
"It's different than Hordak," he continued. "Hordak is very emotional and I think the times when you see Horde Prime get emotional -- if at all -- it's gonna mean something. Emotion is not something that needs to be put into it. Other than, obviously, just scaring people for, [laughs] you know, when he grabs Hordak at the end of season four. That's for Hordak's benefit. That's for fear. He uses emotion in that way but he doesn't lose his cool the way Hordak does and if he does, it's for a good reason."
As to whether or not there's anything Horde Prime is afraid of himself, Keston John had only one answer: "No."
"I would say that is his weakness. He's not afraid. To use boxing, it would be like going into the ring just with the assumption that you have always won, so you will continue to win, and that can be good or bad. I think Muhammad Ali did that," he said, adding, "He really isn't afraid of anything. He's lived long enough to see that, that he's going to continue to win."
As far as Keston John is concerned, that's the only weakness that Horde Prime has to worry about, making him a formidable villain in his own right. "He's able to continue to move his body or move his mind into other bodies. He doesn't have a lot of weaknesses," he said. "He's like going up against an all-knowing, all-seeing Superman with technology that has no Kryptonite. That has no weakness with Kryptonite. So he's a great villain to go up against."
Season 5 of 'She-Ra and the Princesses of Power' will be available to stream on Netflix on May 15.