With over 100 roles in the animation and video games industry, CRISTINA VEE is without a doubt one of today’s popular voice actors. Landing her first major role in 2008 with the role as Kanaria (ROZEN MAIDEN), she went on to voice Hawk (THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS), Homura Akemi (MADOKA MAGICA), Mio Akiyama (K-ON), Rei Hino (Viz Media’s SAILOR MOON and SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL), and Killua Zoldyck (HUNTER X HUNTER).
And luckily for us, CtrlGeekPod recently chatted with Cristina Vee at Madman Anime Festival! Check out the interview below!
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Cristina Vee: I feel very grateful to be invited to conventions, especially for a first year convention like Madman Anime Festival. I feel very lucky that they have faith in me.
CGP: Are you surprised by fans’ passion for manga and anime in general?
Cristina Vee: Definitely! It’s very interesting to see. I travel to many anime conventions, especially the ones in the States. I’ve noticed there is a lot of Love Live! love here in Australia — you don’t see much of that in the States. It’s very Shonen heavy over there.
CGP: When you were young, you wanted to be an animator. And when you saw Sailor Moon, you wanted to be a voice actor. What was it like, watching Sailor Moon for the very first time, and thinking to yourself “I want to be a voice actor”.
Cristine Vee: When I first watched Sailor Moon, I didn’t know what to make of it. Partly because I didn’t know what ‘anime’ was. Sailor Moon was something that I have never seen before so I just went with the flow. From there, I remember making a group of friends based on the Sailor Scouts. It was kind of weird how things happened because my focus soon became voice-acting. I suppose watching Sailor Moon as a kid makes me want to be in it.
CGP: What was your favourite character in Sailor Moon?
Cristina Vee: When I was a kid, Sailor Mercury was my favourite because I was always shy and nervous as a kid. I liked Sailor Venus too — she’s pretty cool!
CGP: You’ve played many roles including Madoka Magica‘s Homura and Sailor Moon‘s Sailor Mars. What is your memorable role to date and why?
Cristina Vee: Not too sure. At this stage, I’m just working and working… I feel like I will know the answer in a few years. However, Homura has definitely left a big impact on me. And also, being the voice of Sailor Mars… I feel like that will follow me forever. And also, I’m currently working on a show called ‘Miraculous Ladybug‘. Despite the show being a year old, the show has been a huge success so far — I’m excited to see where that leads for me.
CGP: What is it about Homura that you like? Are you able to do what Homura has done for Madoka?
Cristina Vee: I feel many animated characters don’t have great character development. Homura is different — she’s got fantastic character development. I’ve never seen a character like her before so I’m glad that I was able to play her. You’ve asked a difficult question [laughs] — I’d like to believe that I’m a good person. Hopefully I’m able to do something like that for my best friend just like Homura!
CGP: As a voice actor, what are some of the challenges in bringing the characters to life?
Cristina Vee: With anime, it is very restricted in what we can do. When you look at it, the mouth flaps already, and there are high expectations from the fanbase to sound similar to the Japanese version. With that in mind, that already limits everything we can do, creatively. The role of voice-acting soon becomes like singing. It’s like, you have a music in front of you, and you have to follow the notes and patterns. Another challenging part about voice-acting is to make the voice sound organic as much as possible under the constraints.
CGP: When voicing a character, do you try to imitate the Japanese voice, or do you create a whole new voice based on your interpretation of the character?
Cristina Vee: I think the Japanese voices are a great jumping off point. However, it sometimes doesn’t translate well for the Western audience. This really lies in the casting director and also the director who is in the voice-acting sessions.
CGP: When you look at your portfolio, your roles are very different to one another. How do you usually choose your roles?
Cristina Vee: I just keep auditioning. The casting directors usually pre-pick the actors that they want to audition as they already know who is best fit for that mould. I’m just really lucky to get auditions in general. I’ve only had to turn down one role because it was a role that I wasn’t comfortable with [back then]. Other than that, I try to audition everything and see what works for me.
CGP: Is there a particular role that you’re hoping to experiment with down the track?
Cristina Vee: I want to do more original animation. Perhaps something that will be shown on Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon.
CGP: You’ve done a combination of voice-acting for anime and gaming. Which medium do you prefer?
Cristina Vee: Oooh! I suppose they both have their challenges. With voice-acting for gaming, it is not restrictive because it goes by a lot faster. However, sometimes I feel that there is less of an interaction and personal connection with the characters. For a majority of the time, you’d only have to do one or two sessions. With anime on the other hand, you get to keep coming back for your characters.
CGP: And finally, we would like your opinion — For those aspiring to be a voice actor, what kind of qualities make a good voice actor?
Cristina Vee: It is all about the attitude. You have to be positive and humble because you work with the same people over and over again. Three main rules: be professional, be on time, and be ready to work!
Special thanks to Madman Entertainment for arranging this interview with voice actress Cristina Vee!