- Are you looking forward to coming to Australia? Have you been here before? Are you looking forward to it?
I have been, a long time ago, I’m coming out in November. Oh yeah, I’m very excited. I can’t wait to meet the fans out there again.
- How does one achieve such an illustrious career as a voice actress? Where did you get your break?
I started actually in anime working on Dragonball Z as Kid Trunks; the little boy with kind of a big punk attitude. And I just moved on from there, I started working on video games and other cartoons after that.
- What’s it like playing boys, with your voice?
It’s funny, that was the voice acting I ever did and I didn’t really think anything of it. But it actually, I think, helped me out a lot, because it helped understand more of my range right from the very beginning. I tend to play little boys that are like little jerks, who always talk back to authority and everything. So it’s always a blast to play them. I have a great time with Trunks and Shin Chan.
- With over 384 credits to your name on IMDB what has been your favourite project to work on and why?
oh jeez really! Oh that’s difficult, there’s been so many years of recording. O gosh! I’m having a blast working more in motion capture lately, because you get to fully embody the characters you know. So some of the stuff I’ve had a lot of fun working on with that is uncharted 4, which is so much fun, and making such an amazing character. Fetch and Infamous Second Son and Infamous First Light was an amazing character to play as well. And there’s some really fun stuff coming up that I working on right now, that I can’t talk about just yet, but…
- What do you love most about your work?
I love that my imagination gets sparked every single day, you know. I know that I’m incredibly lucky to get to do what I do because when I go into work it really feels like play time, you know. Every day going into a different studio and getting to see friends, it’s just a freaking dream job, I’m so I love with what I do.
- In comparison to regular scripts for tv and film, how long does it take to record for video games, and how taxing is it?
It can be, it definitely can be. Usually there’s quite a few sessions dedicated just to idle chatter or you know dialogue you would have as you were getting attacked or fighting or anything like that, so physically that can be very draining, because for four hours straight screaming at the top of your lungs, dying in different ways. But for the most part, the studios that I work with are so generous and careful to not spend too much time on those super draining lines.
It depends on the video game how long it takes to actually record the entire process. Usually if I’m filming on the mo-cap (motion capture) stages, it can take, you know a year to two years to film a game. And then after that we’ll have the in-game dialogue recording sessions, so then having another few months on top of the actual filming. So it can be a really long process.
- There’s no doubt about the success of some of these games, Uncharted and Injustice are absolute cult favourites, and the characters you voice are just as popular. Do fans of the games know who you are? Do you get stopped on the street?
You know, ever since I started working and filming Critical Role, which is the show I do with other voice actor friends of mine where we play dungeons and dragons online, I get recognized for that because it’s actually our faces out there, so people know what we look like more often now.
- Nadine Ross is one of these iconic badass characters, what’s it like voicing someone like her? And do you incorporate any of yourself in the way she speaks?
Well we did film that, so her mannerisms are my mannerisms which is pretty great. And I did a lot of dialect training and everything to make sure the accent was as good as it could be. So yeah, I mean it was very physically taxing that role.
- With the DC Universe taking off in the last few years as well, how much fun is it voicing such a well-known and much-loved character like Supergirl in Injustice?
It’s crazy being Supergirl. I was a fan of injustice already, so we recorded that game and we actually did the face-cap (facial capture) for it. So every time we would have this amazing battle lines and intro to the battle and everything. And they’re so giving to the fans and to the DC fan base. They write those characters so well. The response has been amazing online. I haven’t seen, I haven’t been to many conventions since the game has come out so I haven’t gotten to see the fan reaction in person, so I’m really looking forward to coming to supernova. I’m really looking forward to it.
- What advice could you give anyone hoping to make it in this industry?
I would say, pursue it like you would any other career. So really seek out training. You know one of the things I always say is if you wanted to be a doctor you wouldn’t just show up at the hospital and say hand me a scalpel I can do surgery now you would train for years and really understand what you were doing, and that’s what you have to do to be an actor as well, you know. Especially voice acting because so much of it is very technical, so, study and study and study, because acting is so much about getting that lucky break, that once you do get that break you have to have the ability and the technical capabilities to back that lucky break up, so you can continue to work.
- Your husband Travis (Willingham) is also a voice actor, do you ever work on the same projects?
Yeah, we’ve actually worked on a lot of projects together. The first one, I think, one of the first ones we ever worked on was Fullmetal Alchemist, which was an anime we did back in Texas. We’re both in Avengers Assemble, so I play Black Widow and he plays Thor in that cartoon series, and so many others. Actually, Infamous Second Sons, one of the other video games I talked about, he played Reggie, one of the other leads in the game.
- And do you ever record together?
No, we actually filmed together on that, and you know, the Avengers Assemble cartoon, records as a group, so every Wednesday afternoon I record with my husband, which is pretty awesome!
- What’s next for Laura Bailey?
Well, Shadow of War, released today which is a video game I worked on that I’m really excited about, and we’re working on the DLC context of that right now, my character has the DLC for that game, so that should be really exciting. And gosh, so many other things coming up that I wish I could talk about, and it kills me to not be able to say it. But keep on the lookout and you can check my twitter which is @LauraBaileyVO because I usually post the new projects as they’re coming out.
Interview by Isabelle Aswad