Gax – Alright, you’re a voice actor so we have to get all of the dumb questions out of the way that your going to be asked until the day you die.
CR – Great, lay it on me.
Gax – Did you enjoy playing that one character you did for the past 13 years? (asked in a dumb stilted voice)
CR – Yes.
Long pause, and then we both laughed
Gax – How did you get into Anime?
CR – When I was a kid it was called “Japanimation” and that’s what I knew it as. When I was 18, 19 years old I decided I was going to be an actor much to the dismay of my parents. And I began taking classes doing workshops and things like that. At the ripe age of about 26, I had a friend of mine Mike Mcfarland, who told me “Out in Fort Worth, Texas they are doing these cartoons you should audition”. So when I get there and see the sides (voice acting script) I realized what I was looking at and that’s Japanimation, but I had never heard about Dragon Ball Z or anything like it. But I guess I was a fan of this type of thing as a kid, I mean I used to watch “Star Blazers”, “Robotech”, a big favorite of mine was “Battle of the Planets” But at the time it was just another audition that day. But I got the part and I’ve been doing it ever since.
Gax – Battle of the Gods?
CR – I just recorded it about three days ago. I don’t want to give anything away, Hercule doesn’t have a big part in the movie but it all takes place at Bulmas birthday party. But on the DVD release I’m really hoping that the play this deleted scene. I don’t want to give to much away but Hercule gets drunk and starts some stuff… We had a lot of fun recording it.
Gax – Have you had any voice rolls that you would call difficult?
CR – Difficult? Difficult voice wise or difficult content wise? A lot of Anime sometimes has some very questionable content, and I have participated in such “content”. I remember one Anime there was ‘sodomy’ involved. It was a period piece and this was just something present in Japanese culture at the time. These men would go to these bathhouses and sodomize a boy and be on there way to do there business or whatever. I even remember being asked by Funimation “do you want your name in the credits”
Gax – Did you have them take your name out.
CR – No, I had them keep it in. I’m not really worried about that kind of thing.
Gax – Any good story’s from the recording booth you want to share?
CR – A good story? the character of Majin Buu is actually in real life my best friend Josh Martin, so it’s kind of a cool thing that Buu and Hercule became little buddy’s and were cooking eggs together and giving each other baths… Also the scene in which Bee gets shot, the guy who played the part Mark Orvik, is another good friend of mine. So we were all three in that little scene together and we’ve all been in comedy working together for a long time.
Actually that’s how Josh got the part, we did a live stage show and we have a character in that show called the “Pillsbury Home-boy” We made the “Pillsbury Doughboy” a rapper…
CR – Ya, Josh could do a really good Doughboy, so that’s why Chris Sabat, cast him as Majin Buu because Buu looks like the Doughboy.
Gax- Stranger than fiction, that’s what that story is…
Gax – If I remember right you had to do extra scenes on Dragon Ball Z because your character “Mr. Satan” has two different names because of TV. censorship.
CR – We had to record it both ways, anytime “Mr. Satan” was said we had to go back and say Hercule and vice versa. Any time Anyone! had a line with “Mr. Satan” they also had to rerecord it. Kind of a pain in the ass.
Gax – I’m guessing you were very familiar with your lines by the time you were done.
CR – Ya somewhat. There was a writer back in the day, I don’t want to say his name, not that he works for Funimation anymore… But I guess he being somewhat of a “religious man” did not care to write out the word “Satan” for whatever reason. He would write in “Mr. Mao Mao”.
Gax – Mao Mao..?
CR – I looked it up recently to find out what it meant and I was kind of shocked to find it was somewhat related to Hercules situation. I felt bad about being irritated over it for all of those years, but at the same time I always had a hard time reading the script, instead of seeing “Mr. Satan” it would say “ Mr. Mao Mao” and I knew I had to say “Mr. Satan”, for some reason it just bugged me…
Gax – That’s an interesting bit of trivia. Why didn’t he just use “word replacement”?
CR – I know right. The thing is he was just doing it for himself and nobody’s benefit. I was the one who had to read the damn thing and do the lines!
Gax – Tell me about Arlong, I love me some One Piece. :3
CR – Arlong was a lot of fun, I still have these fantasy’s that hes going to come back. People do tell me that there are some flashback scenes of Arlong coming up, so I will get to voice him again at some point.
Gax – You will, I just got done with that arc.
CR – I’m convinced that he will come back at some point. Because you don’t see a body, Luffy just brings the whole palace down and then everyone assumes hes dead. But he was a big Shark-man… a few bricks and lumber shouldn’t kill him.
Gax – You may be on to something, most fans think hes still alive.
CR – That’s why I have the fantasy that he’ll come back around. I really liked playing him it was my first chance to play an irredeemable bad guy. Some of the story’s I’ve heard about him he was a very, very bad Shark-man, just really awful with no remorse. It was fun playing someone who was just flat out evil.
Gax – why yes, yes he was.
Gax – Going over some of your older roles I was shocked to find you did the voice of Yuri, on “Baki the Grappler”.
CR – That’s been awhile and a day ago.
Gax – That was probably about 9 years ago.
CR – Feels longer, it really does… I think that it wasn’t too long after we got Dragon Ball Z started. I got cast the part because I could do a Russian/Mongolian accent, I guess most of the people at the studio couldn’t do one at the time. Which was fine with me, I like to do accents and big characterty type things. So when I get a chance to do an accent, and when I can do it well, I’m always excited about it.
Gax – That was the role I was really shocked to see you play.
CR – It’s been so long I couldn’t even tell you what happened in that show. I think I taught Baki how to Box?
Gax – You punched Baki a lot and then taught him how to box.
CR – That sounds about right.
Gax – And then later in the Manga Baki fights a thawed out Caveman and an imaginary Preying Mantis.
CR – Huu…
Gax – Ya, I know… Gax puts his face in his hands
Gax – How do you think your work differs from the Japanese voice acting process?
CR – I don’t fully know the Japanese process I was kind of surprised to hear that some of the sessions are done together.
Gax – It depends on the studio and the show, but sometimes they are done together mostly to get the actors to emote on the same level. Which to me as an American viewer speaking English I don’t understand the subtleties of Japanese emotive language very well.
CR – Well see, I think that’s what it is two. I don’t understand their nuance and subtlety of language like your saying and how they would react to something in every capacity. But the thing for me is that characters on the screen aren’t just Japanese, the characters on the screen are multicultural.
So my ear wants to hear that multicultural vastness whether the characters is Asian or Caucasian, Hispanic, Black, what ever. I don’t want to see them speaking just plain Japanese, I want to hear what helped form the roots of that character, and the Japanese track doesn’t do that for me.
I know some fans get really angry about this and they only want to hear us do things “the way It was meant to sound” but what I like to ask is, what if you could make it better? But at the same time I like to tell my voice actor friends not to get a big ego, because your the second guy to play this roll. Because at any given time in Anime we’ll never be the first…
Gax – I think more than a few times a lot of actors like you have made a show much better in the dub. Thanks for spending so much time with me Chris.
CR – Any time man, see you at the next Con.