Naruto: Ninja Destiny :: Voice Actor Interview (pg. 2)
Click Here for the first part of the Naruto Voice Actor Interview.
Announcer: What's the difference voice acting the Naruto anime vs the Naruto video game?
Maile: Well, obviously the voices for me don't change. Once in a while what's weird is you have to go back to a time when you were either older or younger, y'know? So, you have to remember what you were feeling at the moment if it parallels the series.
Other than that, it's, just um... In the video games you have to do a lot more hits and punches and grunts. And, um, landings and fights and so it's more strenuous on your voice and more repetitive.
It's kind of fun to see them, because it's a different medium but y'know it's just more. It's a lot more stuff. And, sometimes in a way it's easier because a lot of the stuff you don't have to think up so you're not working on getting that lip-flap correct.
Yuri: Yeah, and it's um, on one hand when you're working on the show it's nice to be able to see what's going on but you're sort of working in a vacuum when you're recording for the video game. But that's where you really have to trust the director and luckily we have a great director in Mary Elizabeth. She gives us the background that we need because we can't see it. We don't know what the context is or what's going on.
Yeah, the video game sessions are really slam-bang. We knock through a bunch of stuff and it's very high energy - it can be tiring.
Brian: I'm merely a punctuation point because I'm going third every time. However, I will say this *laughs* With an exclamation point. I bank on Mary Elizabeth and the director. She's phenomenal and if it wasn't for her really truly spacing things out. Particularly with the video games because they can be, as you guys have already mentioned, they can be a little grueling to the degree that you are yelling and screaming a lot. Which I know some of the people that are on today have mentioned.
And, uh, it's true so Mary Elizabeth, one of the things that she does, which is brilliant, is save all the hi-yahs and the yelling and screaming to the end of the session. So that saves it quite a bit. She's also instrumental in making sure that [we have] the right tension because it is out of context some times. And, I don't know, in some ways the pros and cons. With the series you get more of a story arc and more of an opportunity to act a little bit more in that story arc. Where, in the games, it's riddled with energy and these short punctuated yelling, screaming, statements etc.
What goes through your mind when you see people enjoying the series and your characters in particular? And, since Brian's been complaining, how about you answer the question first?
Brian: Wow! Aw man, I didn't mean to complain! *laughs* Well my momma always said...
Brian: No I would, uh, well you know, it's funny. I had the great fortune of living as a roommate with Molly Shannon who's on SNL, or was on SNL. And she did Mary Kathlyn Gallagher the schoolgirl and some of these historical characters. I remember that someone dressed up as her character on Halloween and I thought "Oh my god! That is truly success." So, this last Halloween I'm walking down the street and lo and behold someone is Rock Lee. I was like "I made it! I made it! I really made it!" I felt like Sally Fields on the podium at the Oscars "You really love me!"
It was awesome, it really was. I was thrilled. And, it's a funny thing because you want to go up to that kit and go "I;m the voide man, I'm the voice!" But he probably won't believe you or he'll think you're a complete freak. And it was Halloween so I suppose that would have been fitting. But, yeah, it was awesome.
Yuri: I love that, well I've worked on a lot of anime type shows and usually it's for a very narrow specific sort of audience and to see people dress up as people that I've played at conventions it's one thing. But, when I go to the supermarket or I'm at the movie theater and I see a kid run by with a Naruto headband on... That's success, I mean as far as the show is concerned. And yeah, I run into the same thing, like I want to run over and go "Hey! Hey! You like the show? Yeah? Who's your favorite character? Oh, Naruto. Well, who do you like second?" But, it's the same thing - you run over to those people and if they're young enough they may not even grasp that there's an actor behind the character so it can be kinda awkward.
Maile: Yeah, I had a kid that came up to my door at Halloween and he was dressed as Naruto. And, I had to tell him, well he was at my house! I said "Oh, are you Naruto?" He was like "Yes." He was kind of surly, a surly 11 year-old boy. *laughs* I was "You know, I play Naruto." And he went. "No you don't." I said. "No, seriously, I do." And he was like "Mmm... no you don't." So I was like, I'm gonna let this go.
Yuri: Maile, you've got to let that go. You know why? If you convinced him well enough your address would be on the internet and kids would be visiting you every day!
Maile: I know! I know! Well, it's funny because I sort of wanted him to know but I kinda was like "You know, I'd kinda like you to know because I was just kinda thrilled." But then again I was like "What am I doing?" But, yeah, it's fun. I love seeing people. I saw a real hipster family - guy was in his 30s with his wife and baby. I was at a stoplight and I looked over and they all had Naruto headbands on.
Yuri: That's awesome!
Maile: That's when do you want to scream out the car at them but then you look like the idiot. It looks like you're a lunatic.
This question is for Yuri: Apparently your wife plays a character in Naruto.
Yuri: That's true.
Announcer: Tata Platt? What's the character again?
Yuri: She plays Naruto.
Yuri: No, no... She plays Temari which is really kinda cool because when she's first introduced she has this crush on Sasuke, which seems only fitting.
Maile: Or kinda creepy.
Yuri: Or kinda creepy, depending on how you look at it. *laughs*
Announcer: Did you joke around about it at all?
Brian: They dressed up for each other.
Yuri: And not just at conventions!
Maile: Weren't you asked that at a convention Yuri? Someone asked you a kind of randy question about that.
Yuri: Yeah... I think it was one of those after-hours panels.
Yeah: No, but it's kind of nice because we end up on the show fighting a lot and it's nice in a way to be able to take out your aggressions at work and then you don't have to bring them home with you.
Announcer: We have another question - How many hours do you end up spending in the studio to record your lines? Can you tell us how many lines you need to record for a video game?
Maile: Well, it varies on the video games. I usually do two-hour increments for the series and depending on the length of the episode I can get through one episode maybe, unless it's long, sometimes one and a half. For the video game I can only do three hours and then my voice gets too fatigued. And it depends on the video game, one of the ones we did recently, and they just changed the title so forgive me if I don't know it, I had close to.. I had 1200 loops I think, which is an insane amount of loops. I don't know how many days I did on that, I think I did five three-hour sessions, which is 15 hours.
Announcer: I think that Ninja Destiny, for this one, it's fairly short because it's a lot of short sound-effect type things. So, I think it was a fairly short session.
Maile: Right, sometimes it's hard to remember. You know, there are a lot of games and a lot of episode. I just recorded... what are we on guys, 156 or something?
Yuri: I don't know, Sasuke wandered off and locked himself in a barrel and disappeared for the rest of the series until Shippoden so I don't know what you're talkinga bout.
Announcer: Is there a big difference between recording lines for a video game than in an anime? Do you record your lines together or separately?
Yuri: You mean are the actors recording together or separately?
Yuri: We always record separately.
Brian: And we miss each other!
Yuri: We do miss each other but every now and then we'll pass each other - one person will be finishing and another person will be starting. But, I've seen Brian once or twice since we've started the series.
Maile: Yeah, me too.
Yuri: I mean, I love to record with other actors and on some shows we do that, but on this show it's just not efficient, it just doesn't work well.
Maile: Sometimes I'll be in the booth and I'll be "Who's doing this voice again?" and they'll tell me and I'll say "Who's that?" Especially right now there are a handful of actors I've never met, never laid eyes on, because they were just recently put on the show.
Yuri: I mean, there are some times when I wish I'd never met Maile. *laugh*
Maile: There are a lot of times I'm sure you wish you'd never met me! *laughs*
Brian: I hope you guys notice as you're listening that the fighting doesn't just happen in the studio or by ourselves, we live and breathe our characters! *laughs*
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