Yuri Lowenthal Interview

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Included with the release of Shonen Jump's "Naruto Collector", were interviews with the (English) voice actors for: Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura and Kakashi. Several weeks earlier to promote the book Shonen Jump released an additional question not included in the interview. This interview (including the bonus question) for Yuri Lowenthal (voice of Sasuke), can be found below:

Microphone Masters
We interview the voice actors behind the Naruto anime!

How is the anime different from the manga? That isn’t a riddle to test your psyche, nor is it a trivia question to earn you a copy of the box sets of uncut Naruto DVDs. There are many differences, key among them: sound! And we got a chance to talk with four individuals who have a lot to do with making the anime come alive: the voice actors who portray Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura and their mentor, Kakashi. We asked them about how they relate to their characters – and for career advice, in case any Naruto Collector readers wanna become voice actors themselves one day.

Yuri Lowenthal
The voice of Sasuke

1. How are you most like the character you portray?

I guess we both place a lot of weight on personal honor. It’s important to Sasuke since he’s going to the mat to avenge his clan. While I’m not quite that vengeful, I do believe in making things right.

2. If we met you for the first time, what would surprise us most about you, given our preconceptions based on the character you portray?

I talk a lot more. I’m a lot funnier than he is, in real life. He’s the quiet one on the show. He’s much cooler than I am. While I have my moments like that, I am really more of a goofball.

3. What have you learned about the character you play, the deeper you’ve gotten into the role?

It would be the pain that he carries around all the time. In the beginning I knew he was a serious guy and dedicated to his training, but I didn’t appreciate where that came from. Unfortunately, he’s only introduced to more and more pain as the story unfolds, so it seems.

4. In Japan, the voice actors record together. In America, the voice actors record their lines separately – what do you think of the contrasting formats?

I think there are strengths and weaknesses to recording separately. Given a choice I’d record with the rest of the cast. I have that opportunity sometimes on original animation shows, and it’s nice to be able to play off of each other. On the other hand, you can really get into a character and you don’t feel self-conscious when it’s just you alone in the booth, especially with a character like Sasuke, who’s very internal. Perhaps, in that sense, it helps me that I’m tucked away in a room by myself. I mean, the engineer and director can still see me, but they already know I’m crazy.

5. Is the voice you use in the anime your “real” voice, or is it very different from how you’d sound if you just called a friend to say hi?

In everyday conversation, my voice is a probably little more high-pitched. Sasuke’s is a deeper, harder voice. You’d still probably be able to tell it’s the guy who does Sasuke, though, were I to leave you a voicemail message.

6. If one of our readers wants to pursue voice acting, what recommendations would you have for them?

First, study as much acting as you can, whether that’s community theater or at your school, in drama class, whatever. That training will always end up serving you and will surely give you confidence and set you apart from people who just do “funny voices.” As for voice-acting training, depending on where you live, that may not be so easy to get. There are training CDs you can order online, though I don’t know what the best ones might be. And eventually you’ll have to go to where the voice acting is being done, whether that’s Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Vancouver, Toronto or wherever else. While the technology these days allows you to do voice acting from anywhere, being able to meet the production-house people in person helps, to put in that face-time, to be close by and to be available for auditions.

BONUS QUESTION:
SWITCHING ROLES

The voice actors who perform the roles of Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura and Kakashi in the Naruto anime bring everything they’ve got to the task. When you hear Naruto say “Believe it” you know it’s Maile Flanagan playing ninja. We asked those four actors who they’d play if they could be any other characters in the anime. For more insight, read the full interview in the Naruto Collector, on sale May 16.

Yuri Lowenthal, the voice of Sasuke: “Well, Naruto has a lot more lines that I do. I’d certainly earn more if I played Naruto. It’s tough to say because I like Sasuke a lot; he was my first choice.”

END
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