Exclusive! Q&A With Shawn Hawkins, Voice of Mirage in Netflix's War for Cybertron: Siege Series

Exclusive! Q&A With Shawn Hawkins, Voice of Mirage in Netflix's War for Cybertron: Siege Series

Monday, September 28th, 2020 8:29pm CDT

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Greetings Seibertronians! Even though the Earthrise toyline is in it's waning stages, and the Siege cartoon dropped on streaming service Netflix just a couple of months ago, we got a trailer for the upcoming Earthrise cartoon this weekend at Hasbro PulseCon.

That doesn't mean we're done with Siege stories, however. Seibertron is proud to exclusively bring to you an interview/Q&A with actor Shawn Hawkins, who voiced Mirage in the Siege cartoon! Read on to find out what he knew about Mirage prior to voicing him, how he feels about the Transformers fandom, and find out the 'bot he originally auditioned to voice before landing the role of the disappearing Autobot illusionist, Mirage!

Transformers News: Exclusive! Q&A With Shawn Hawkins, Voice of Mirage in Netflix's War for Cybertron: Siege Series


Shawn Hawkins: Taylor! What a great surprise to wake up to this morning! Huge thank you to you and Ryan for having me on!

Taylor: It's our pleasure! So, Shawn, Tell us a little about yourself, your career, and how you came to voice acting. Is it a main focus of your career?

Shawn: Yeah so I’m originally from Upstate New York where I started in music. Ever since I was a kid I had a guitar in my hand and ended up playing in a few bands around New York. Then I went to college in Nashville, TN for music and business and ended up touring with some bands up and down the east coast. But at one point I just knew I wanted to get back in to acting. I had been a part of some theatre in high school but was interested in film and TV. So I ended up joining the theatre department at my college and then moving to Los Angeles right out of school. It was the best decision I ever made but it was definitely a big move. I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of some really fun and creative projects in my time here. A lot of indie film work and some television stuff as well, but voice acting was something I always wanted to do. I would make voices, probably just like everyone else as a kid but for me it continued and continued haha. I did some smaller (voiceover) stuff along the way but finally got this audition for Transformers WFC and I was sold. It was an absolute blast and I’m so thankful to have been a part of it. Sharing it all with the fans has been an incredible pleasure in my life!

Taylor: What was the audition process like for the Siege series? Did you read or audition just in general, or did you always know you'd be playing Mirage specifically?

Shawn: So I originally auditioned for the role of Bumblebee. We weren't told at the time what the project was. It had a code name and character code names but I knew reading it that it sounded a lot like Transformers. Of course, then I found out it was and that I was up for Bumblebee. Then after a few callbacks, they ended up giving me Mirage. And I am so incredibly thankful they did. I feel right at home with Mirage and I love his role in the series. As well as his role with the fans! I’m excited to share the next two seasons with you all and see what unfolds!

Taylor: How much did you know about Transformers before landing the role of Mirage? How much do you know now?

Shawn: Oh man! Well I grew up watching some G1 and saw all the Bay movies but I didn’t dive in until taking on Mirage. Now I’m learning things everyday. And it is mainly thanks to the fans! The Transformers community has been so welcoming and supportive. I am amazed at the interaction we get to have together. I wouldn’t trade it for the world and I look forward to many more meaningful interactions over the years. But yes, my capacity for Transformers material just keeps growing haha!

Taylor: How much interaction have you had with Transformers fans since the series aired? Were you a fan yourself before you got the role?

Shawn: Oh man! A ton!! I love it more than anything. Getting to meet all the fans and hear their stories. I actually pride myself on running a really interactive Instagram account where I connect with the fans on a daily basis, run giveaways and answer questions. If you’d love to connect, hit me up @shawn_hawkins. I was a fan before but not to the extent that I am now. It’s a whole new ball game!

Transformers News: Exclusive! Q&A With Shawn Hawkins, Voice of Mirage in Netflix's War for Cybertron: Siege Series

Taylor: What did you know about the character of Mirage from the original cartoon series? Did you ever listen to the original voice actor to get a feel for his interpretation of the character?

Shawn: Well I knew he was the elite and also walked both sides of the fence. I knew that I was diving in deep because Mirage had such a unique voice in the original cartoon and I wanted to live up to that but also bring my own spin to it. Our sound engineer for WFC brought some great ideas and feedback to the table in a way that made me feel comfortable and confident with what I was bringing to set. For me I envisioned him sounding a little younger and I think the WFC team did as well. It was like watching this spunky rich kid who thought he knew more than everyone else but also sometimes.. he did. Haha! I loved it. And from what I’ve heard so far, the fans have been happy with the interpretation. I can’t ever predict that but I just brought my heart and soul to it and I always said, “There’s a reason I’m here on this mission... maybe this is it!!”


Taylor: What kind of direction were you given for the character? How is direction given for voice acting? Is the director in the studio with you when you record?

Shawn: Yeah so the direction was great. The VO director, Phil Bache, the engineer and the rest of the team had a really great idea of what they wanted already which made my job a lot easier. So we would go over individual lines and what they meant and I would just give a couple takes of each that were my interpretation of that. And we would go back and forth until we got something we were happy with. But yes, the director was always in the room and the guidance was top notch. I felt incredibly comfortable and free to play as well which is something you really appreciate as a voice actor.


Taylor: What's next for Mirage? Do you know if you'll be reprising him in the follow-up series to Siege?

Shawn: What’s next?! Well I’ve got some things on the plate. I don’t know what I’m allowed to say but I believe you’ll be seeing more Mirage in the near future! I am so stoked for the next two seasons to air and to celebrate with the fans. Other than that I’ve got a few smaller projects in the works and I’m also launching a Youtube channel for the Transformers fans and community. I’m incredibly excited to share that with you all. Be sure to check me out on Instagram @shawn_hawkins for when that drops and more cool Mirage stuff!

Taylor: What's next for you professionally?

Shawn: Professionally, I’m going to take a nice vacation haha. We have planned to go visit some family in Sedona Arizona here in October to just relax and reconnect. I keep myself pretty busy all the time so remembering to relax is important for me. But lots of cool things. I’m working on that Youtube channel and I also oversee a couple small businesses as well as audition regularly here in LA. There are a few films and shows on the horizon so I will have to keep you all posted! Thank you guys so much for having me and keep up the awesome work you’re doing at Seibertron! Such a pleasure to chat with you and connect with the fans.

Transformers News: Exclusive! Q&A With Shawn Hawkins, Voice of Mirage in Netflix's War for Cybertron: Siege Series


And as for keeping connected with fans, Shawn has some exciting news for you, Seibertronians!


We wanted to do a special GIVEAWAY with everyone who keeps up with Seibertron. I will be giving away a signed Mirage figure from the WFC Netflix series to one lucky winner. If you’d like a shot at winning this you just have to follow Seiberton (Instagram @seibertroncom) and go over and give a follow to @shawn_hawkins. After you follow me, shoot me a DM with the word SEIBERTRON! So stoked to get to meet you guys and good luck with the giveaway! We will run this for two weeks from the date of posting. Much love to you all and thanks for letting me be a part of your world! :) )


Many thanks to Shawn for your time and talent, and willingness to share with us some fun insights into the world of a Transformers voice actor!


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Re: Exclusive! Q&A With Shawn Hawkins, Voice of Mirage in Netflix's War for Cybertron: Siege Series (2082110)
Posted by aronjlove on September 28th, 2020 @ 8:36pm CDT
Nice! The dude seems pretty cool on Instagram, been following him for a bit. He's done a few art contests and whatnot, definitely trying to engage with fans.
Re: Exclusive! Q&A With Shawn Hawkins, Voice of Mirage in Netflix's War for Cybertron: Siege Series (2082112)
Posted by shawnhawkins101 on September 28th, 2020 @ 9:03pm CDT
Thank you guys for reading and checking it out! So cool to be featured on Seibertron! Check out the giveaway at the bottom of the article and excited to meet you all! :BOWDOWN:
Re: Exclusive! Q&A With Shawn Hawkins, Voice of Mirage in Netflix's War for Cybertron: Siege Series (2082124)
Posted by Quantum Surge on September 28th, 2020 @ 10:43pm CDT
shawnhawkins101 wrote:Thank you guys for reading and checking it out! So cool to be featured on Seibertron! Check out the giveaway at the bottom of the article and excited to meet you all! :BOWDOWN:

Woah! Had no idea you were on the site; that's pretty neat.
Re: Exclusive! Q&A With Shawn Hawkins, Voice of Mirage in Netflix's War for Cybertron: Siege Series (2082141)
Posted by Deadput on September 29th, 2020 @ 3:03am CDT
I thought Mirage was amongst the better performances of the show so it's cool to read this article and to get a better idea of what they were going for.
Re: Exclusive! Q&A With Shawn Hawkins, Voice of Mirage in Netflix's War for Cybertron: Siege Series (2082310)
Posted by PhunkJunkion on September 29th, 2020 @ 11:46pm CDT
I know I'm probably in the minority, but I think Mirage is a much cooler character than Bumblebee. It's also nice to see the voice actor caring about the fanbase.
Re: Exclusive! Q&A With Shawn Hawkins, Voice of Mirage in Netflix's War for Cybertron: Siege Series (2082387)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on September 30th, 2020 @ 3:34pm CDT
D-Maximal_Primal wrote:
Sabrblade wrote:
D-Maximal_Primal wrote:I think I'm just gonna read the TFwiki summaries on this one
At the very least, we know that the writer of Earthrise will not be the same one who wrote Siege.

Really? I didn't even notice that.



Same. I purposely got a Netflix trial for Siege. I won't bother this time.
Re: Exclusive! Q&A With Shawn Hawkins, Voice of Mirage in Netflix's War for Cybertron: Siege Series (2082433)
Posted by Dark Starscream on October 1st, 2020 @ 6:29am CDT
I didn't pick up from the G1 cartoon that Mirage was an elitist, but I know that was in his profile. I'm a little disappointed that the writers and this voice actor didn't point out that what Mirage is REALLY known for isn't that he's a Cybertronian elitist, it's that he can turn invisible!!!

That was one of my biggest gripes: why give Mirage Hound's ability to make holograms when Hound was right there in the show?

It's like if we were watching a new X-Men cartoon and Wolverine was shooting blasts from his eyes and Cyclops had claws. It's just not right.
Re: Exclusive! Q&A With Shawn Hawkins, Voice of Mirage in Netflix's War for Cybertron: Siege Series (2082438)
Posted by Deadput on October 1st, 2020 @ 7:09am CDT
Dark Starscream wrote:I didn't pick up from the G1 cartoon that Mirage was an elitist, but I know that was in his profile. I'm a little disappointed that the writers and this voice actor didn't point out that what Mirage is REALLY known for isn't that he's a Cybertronian elitist, it's that he can turn invisible!!!

That was one of my biggest gripes: why give Mirage Hound's ability to make holograms when Hound was right there in the show?

It's like if we were watching a new X-Men cartoon and Wolverine was shooting blasts from his eyes and Cyclops had claws. It's just not right.

You do know that Mirage's ability has never actually been true invisibility right?

He just uses holograms to cloak himself which is part of his general hologram powers. (Hound had a hologram gun that was simplified in the G1 show as an ability rather then just having a gun for that.)

Not to mention that your talking about his most well known ability rather then him as a character, which his attitude would be in this case.
Re: Exclusive! Q&A With Shawn Hawkins, Voice of Mirage in Netflix's War for Cybertron: Siege Series (2082483)
Posted by Dark Starscream on October 1st, 2020 @ 4:02pm CDT
Deadput wrote:
Dark Starscream wrote:I didn't pick up from the G1 cartoon that Mirage was an elitist, but I know that was in his profile. I'm a little disappointed that the writers and this voice actor didn't point out that what Mirage is REALLY known for isn't that he's a Cybertronian elitist, it's that he can turn invisible!!!

That was one of my biggest gripes: why give Mirage Hound's ability to make holograms when Hound was right there in the show?

It's like if we were watching a new X-Men cartoon and Wolverine was shooting blasts from his eyes and Cyclops had claws. It's just not right.

You do know that Mirage's ability has never actually been true invisibility right?

He just uses holograms to cloak himself which is part of his general hologram powers. (Hound had a hologram gun that was simplified in the G1 show as an ability rather then just having a gun for that.)

Not to mention that your talking about his most well known ability rather then him as a character, which his attitude would be in this case.


Look, ask a number of Transformers fans "What is Mirage known for", and the answer you will overwhelming get is "he turns invisible." Even my wife could tell you that. Before Siege, ask this question and no one would say "he makes holograms." This is Transformers 101 that Siege got wrong.

Most people who aren't hard core fans that read and memorize tech specs wouldn't even know he was an elitist on old Cybertron, as that wasn't evident in G1 at all.
Re: Exclusive! Q&A With Shawn Hawkins, Voice of Mirage in Netflix's War for Cybertron: Siege Series (2082546)
Posted by Decepticon Stryker on October 2nd, 2020 @ 12:22am CDT
Dark Starscream wrote:
Deadput wrote:
Dark Starscream wrote:I didn't pick up from the G1 cartoon that Mirage was an elitist, but I know that was in his profile. I'm a little disappointed that the writers and this voice actor didn't point out that what Mirage is REALLY known for isn't that he's a Cybertronian elitist, it's that he can turn invisible!!!

That was one of my biggest gripes: why give Mirage Hound's ability to make holograms when Hound was right there in the show?

It's like if we were watching a new X-Men cartoon and Wolverine was shooting blasts from his eyes and Cyclops had claws. It's just not right.

You do know that Mirage's ability has never actually been true invisibility right?

He just uses holograms to cloak himself which is part of his general hologram powers. (Hound had a hologram gun that was simplified in the G1 show as an ability rather then just having a gun for that.)

Not to mention that your talking about his most well known ability rather then him as a character, which his attitude would be in this case.


Look, ask a number of Transformers fans "What is Mirage known for", and the answer you will overwhelming get is "he turns invisible." Even my wife could tell you that. Before Siege, ask this question and no one would say "he makes holograms." This is Transformers 101 that Siege got wrong.

Most people who aren't hard core fans that read and memorize tech specs wouldn't even know he was an elitist on old Cybertron, as that wasn't evident in G1 at all.

Except he did have the ability to create illusions. It was present in the Marvel comics and quite a few children's books. IDW even had him use this to disguise himself as Bumblebee. Just because he didn't show this ability in the G1 cartoon doesn't mean Siege pulled it out of nowhere.
Re: Exclusive! Q&A With Shawn Hawkins, Voice of Mirage in Netflix's War for Cybertron: Siege Series (2082555)
Posted by Deadput on October 2nd, 2020 @ 4:45am CDT
Not to mention the invisibility is presented as a hologram ability (with the "body cube" going over him) much like Hounds.
Re: Exclusive! Q&A With Shawn Hawkins, Voice of Mirage in Netflix's War for Cybertron: Siege Series (2082565)
Posted by Quantum Surge on October 2nd, 2020 @ 8:29am CDT
Mirage's powers don't really bother me. I'm more upset about how he doesn't really stand out from the other characters that sound young in terms of voice (this isn't in any way mocking the VA). For all we know, Ironhide would squeeze Ratchet's Siege extremities from his backside, and I'd wonder why he sounds relatively similar to all the bigger male characters that try to sound tough with no real distinction.
Re: Exclusive! Q&A With Shawn Hawkins, Voice of Mirage in Netflix's War for Cybertron: Siege Series (2082645)
Posted by Deadput on October 2nd, 2020 @ 10:24pm CDT
Young Ironhide could be a reference to Animated?

Man this made me think of a cool story idea for a future show/comic where the traditional Ark crash happens but Ironhide (who at the time is more like his Energon counterpart in age/attitude) is left awake but doesn't have the capabilities/knowledge to repair the other Autobots so he has to spend the next several years getting fuel together to boot up Teletraan 1 and by the time the other Autobots wake up Ironhide has become the older grizzled character he traditionally is.
Re: Exclusive! Q&A With Shawn Hawkins, Voice of Mirage in Netflix's War for Cybertron: Siege Series (2082647)
Posted by Sabrblade on October 2nd, 2020 @ 11:00pm CDT
Deadput wrote:Young Ironhide could be a reference to Animated?
He still had a tough-sounding voice in that one.

Deadput wrote:Man this made me think of a cool story idea for a future show/comic where the traditional Ark crash happens but Ironhide (who at the time is more like his Energon counterpart in age/attitude) is left awake but doesn't have the capabilities/knowledge to repair the other Autobots so he has to spend the next several years getting fuel together to boot up Teletraan 1 and by the time the other Autobots wake up Ironhide has become the older grizzled character he traditionally is.
Kinda reminds me of the IDW Ironhide mini-series where he's alone on Cybertron, amnesiac, and has to take care of the Insecticon swarm by himself so that the planet could be habitable again later.
Re: Exclusive! Q&A With Shawn Hawkins, Voice of Mirage in Netflix's War for Cybertron: Siege Series (2082742)
Posted by Deadput on October 4th, 2020 @ 7:37am CDT
Sabrblade wrote:
Deadput wrote:Man this made me think of a cool story idea for a future show/comic where the traditional Ark crash happens but Ironhide (who at the time is more like his Energon counterpart in age/attitude) is left awake but doesn't have the capabilities/knowledge to repair the other Autobots so he has to spend the next several years getting fuel together to boot up Teletraan 1 and by the time the other Autobots wake up Ironhide has become the older grizzled character he traditionally is.
Kinda reminds me of the IDW Ironhide mini-series where he's alone on Cybertron, amnesiac, and has to take care of the Insecticon swarm by himself so that the planet could be habitable again later.

That miniseries was probably in the back of my mind while I was writing the post.

It was a decent story.
Re: Exclusive! Q&A With Shawn Hawkins, Voice of Mirage in Netflix's War for Cybertron: Siege Series (2082807)
Posted by Sabrblade on October 5th, 2020 @ 10:41am CDT


Also, here's a comment below the video from F.J. DeSanto:
Fun video, thanks for watching it in such detail. Few things: 1. Yep thats Scrapface. 2. Jetfire action scenes are new (they are edited here). You'll see. 3. First shot of red eyes is not who we see at the end 4. There's a reason for Exhaust's head. 5. Doubledealer (and his face) came to us direct from Hasbro. 6. Cool you caught the seekers being pre Earth. 7. That's not the nemesis or the merc ship. 8. you are right about what we are showing (barely anything).

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