How YouTube Stars Grace Helbig And Hannah Hart Made A Female-Driven Superhero Movie: BUST Interview

by Kailey Thompson

YouTube superstars Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart, who have a combined following of more than 10 million fans across social media and more than 430 million views on YouTube, star in the movie Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, the female-driven superhero action comedy remake of the ’70s cult classic with the same name. The movie puts a modern twist on the original, which starred Sid and Marty Krofft.

The film, released worldwide on June 7, follows superheroes Electra Woman (Helbig) and Dyna Girl (Hart) as they move from Akron to Los Angeles in hopes of making it big in the crime-fighting world, only to find competition with other vigilantes and fighting amongst themselves.

Kailey: What role did you have in forming your characters?

Grace: For the series as a whole, we were executive producers, and we take that job really seriously. We want to make sure that we’re involved from start to finish and obviously very hands-on and very involved in the personalities and crafting of the characters. We really wanted them to feel like people that we could relate to off-camera and that the audience who knows us and people who don’t know us at all could relate to.

Kailey: What makes you most excited about the project?

Hannah: I’m just excited for people to finally see this! We’ve been working on this since back in 2014, and it’s awesome to see it finally come to fruition for people to watch.

Grace: We’re really proud of the quality level. It’s different than anything Hannah and I have done before, and I think we pulled it off well. Everyone involved is really talented and put a lot of time and energy and focus into this project. It’s been an amazing collaborative effort from a lot of different parties, and I think it’s fun! I think it’s funny, and it has something for everyone. It can appeal to a lot of different people — people who don’t know anything we do.

Kailey: What does it mean to you to play powerful female superheroes?

Hannah: Grace and I both happen to be women, so that’s really been the number one contributing factor to that. In these interviews, people keep bringing it up, like wow, “As women women women women…” but we have this radical concept that women are people, and that’s really it. So for us, it’s really just about the characters and the story they tell. Yes, we are women, but that’s just the experience in our lives.

Grace: Hannah and I create content across all platforms coming from our own perspectives and personal experiences with the world, and the fact that we happen to be ladies in the universe is something that can be relatable to other ladies in the universe but it isn’t the way we try to skew the content we create. We didn’t set out to create strong female characters. We set out to create strong characters.

Kailey: I love that. Can you share some of your favorite parts of creating Electra Woman & Dyan Girl?

Hannah: One of my favorite parts was learning all the stunts, meeting the stunt coordinators, stunt team, our stunt doubles. We worked with an incredible crew up in Canada. Designing the costumes was — oh, it was amazing. It was so fun to think about what a superhero would need to wear in their active lives. It was a lot of fun.

Grace: There were so many layers to this. We really wanted to make sure that everything felt as professional as it could be and we put as much energy and effort into it as we could while also maintaining the YouTube presence that we have and working on a lot of other projects. It was difficult at times, but it was really worth it. It was worth the lack of sleep and excessive caffeine.

Kailey: Speaking of YouTube, what do you make of the fact that it’s now possible to create a career out of YouTube?

Grace: It’s incredible! It’s an amazing opportunity for people who are hungry to create things and are hungry to get their message out there and share it with other people. I started my career on the traditional side by auditioning for TV and film and commercials, and you’re constantly encountering gatekeepers who tell you no and that you’re not good enough and that someone else is. When YouTube became an opportunity for a career, it felt so fulfilling because it was a platform that I could get a message out that I had no opportunity to do in any other field.

Hannah: I second that wholeheartedly. I’m glad that we have a more diversified media space, and I’m thankful for what the Internet has provided.

Kailey: So now you’ve done books, podcast, TV, movies, YouTube… What’s next?

Hannah: I think it’s important to stay present and stay thoughtful in your actions and your choices and then be ready to take what comes next and try to stay centered and let that guide you in the direction you need to go. I’m all about planning, but I also think that considering how many factors are out of your control, it’s important to be flexible in those plans.

Grace: The idea and evolution of media is so fascinating to watch right now that I want to experiment with creating content in different formats on different platforms for different audiences. I want to work on projects that I really enjoy, too. Working with Hannah on this project has been awesome, and we want to continue working with each other and have other projects happening in the future. It’s amazing what you can create when you work with great people.

Hannah: Awww!

Kailey: You two are great. And of course, the people want to know: Who is your favorite superhero?

Grace: I love Iron Man. That is to say I love Robert Downey Jr.

Hannah: I also love Iron Man. I love the Christian Bale Batman a lot. The Dark Knight was really, really cool. Also, I have to say that I enjoy the occasional AntMan. Wait! You know who my actual favorite superhero is from when I was little and actually read comic books?

Grace: Who?

Hannah: I loved Rogue! Rogue was my idol because she could fly, but she couldn’t be touched.

Photo courtesy of Legendary

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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