Before she hits Supanova, we talked Dragon Ball Z, Dungeons and Dragons, and superpowers with voice actress Laura Bailey (Dragon Ball Z, Avengers Assemble, Skylanders, World of Warcraft)! Check it out, YAKs!
MANIA: How did you get into voice acting?
LAURA: “I started right out of high school. I was doing some local theatre in Dallas, Texas, and one of the people in the play with me was doing voices for Dragon Ball Z. They asked me to go in and audition for the role of Kid Trunks. It all took off from there!”
MANIA: Do you have a favourite role?
LAURA: “That’s so hard! I was pretty excited when I was cast of Black Widow in Avengers Assemble. I’m a huge Marvel fan. My husband, Travis Willingham, was cast as Thor so it was a real fun project to be a part of.”
MANIA: What’s the best thing about playing a superhero?
LAURA: “That you feel like you can accomplish anything. It makes me realise that things are doable and I feel stronger.”
MANIA: Do you prefer playing the good guy or the bad guy?
LAURA: “I usually like playing the villain because their lines are so delicious, but villains don’t tend to stick around for as long as the heroes do!”
MANIA: If you had superpowers what would they be, and would you be a hero or a villain?
LAURA: “I’d definitely be a hero. The best answer would be Superman’s powers, because he has everything. At the very least I’d like to be able to fly.”
MANIA: If you could hang out with any of the characters you’ve voiced, who would it be?
LAURA: Tohru Honda from Fruits Basket.”
MANIA: How does recording voices for a videogame differ from anime and cartoons?
LAURA: “The biggest difference these days is that a lot of the videogame work I do involves motion capture. In those projects I get to put on a motion capture suit and film the scenes and gameplay. I really get to embody the character. With cartoon and anime, you don’t get to do that. The benefit of animation is that you record with a group, so you get to play off so many brilliant and zany voice actors. You’re always in a room full of funny improv people!”
MANIA: You’re a big tabletop RPG fan – what’s do you think of the recent resurgence of Dungeons and Dragons’ popularity?
LAURA: “I love it! It’s the coolest thing! I’m so happy that nerdy things that people were embarrassed about in the past are no longer seen as embarrassing! Role-playing games really allow people to embrace that imagination we used to have as kids. It unlocks so many different aspects of your self.”
MANIA: Is there a character you haven’t voiced even or a franchise you haven’t been a part of that you’d like to be part of? A dream role, maybe?
LAURA: “I love role-playing games in general. It’d be cool to be a voice in some of my favourite game series, but I also wouldn’t want to know the story because I’d be spoiled before I got a chance to play them!”
MANIA: Do you have a secret talent not a lot of people know about – like you can like your elbow or burp the alphabet backwards?
LAURA: “I can pop my pinky out of its socket. I can twist my tongue so it looks like a flower. I can hum and sing at the same time. I can sing with my mouth closed! I had a lot of free time when I was a kid.”
MANIA: What are your favourite hobbies?
LAURA: I love reading fantasy novels and I love arts and crafts.”