[Honey’s Anime Interview] Voice Actress Cherami Leigh Answered Our Questions Before Her Virtual Crunchyroll Panels this Weekend!

V-CRX2021_CheramiLeigh_16x9-700x394 [Honey’s Anime Interview] Voice Actress Cherami Leigh Answered Our Questions Before Her Virtual Crunchyroll Panels this Weekend!

Cherami Leigh, voice actress known for her Englsih dubbing roles as Lucy Heartfilia of Fairy Tail, Shana in Shokugan no Shana, and Asuna from Sword Art Onine, will take part in three panels this weekend at Virtual Crunchyroll Expo. We were lucky enough to have a handful of our questions answered by the talented actress! Read on for the interview and for all the details on her panels at V-CRX!

Cherami Leigh

Interview with Cherami Leigh

Honey’s Anime: Both Lucy from Fairy Tail and Shana from Shakugan no Shana are incredibly dynamic characters but are so different from each other. Which personality would you say was the most challenging to play?

Cherami Leigh: They're kind of on opposite sides of the spectrum. One handles things in a bigger, more explosive way, and the other one is very reserved and focused. I am both of those types of people, so I would say the most challenging would be if I was in a time in my life where I was feeling very high energy, I wanted to crack jokes and wanted to be all over the place, and I had to go do a Shana session, which is like bringing all of that in and veiling it - that would have been challenging. Also, if I was feeling more introspective and focused and wanting to kind of process things in a quieter more introspective way, having to be Lucy, which is very big and bold would have been very challenging. So on their own, they are not challenging. It's just what mental space am I as Cherami going in to do those sessions.

It's actually kind of nice as an actor, if you are not feeling great about life or you're feeling frustrated or you're like I can't be happy and perky today. Sometimes going through those emotions through these characters helps get you out of that funk and explore what life is like on the other side. It can help you feel more balanced and more in tune with your body and more in tune with your emotions, which can be fantastic. So that would probably be the most challenging but, even if it was the most challenging, it probably was the most rewarding and beneficial for me as a human being.

Honey’s Anime: Since you’ve been in a variety of media from anime to video games, do you have a different process to prepare for these various roles?

Cherami Leigh: I don't know if I have a different process. The prep time could vary. When I was working on Horizon Zero Dawn we did get scripts ahead of time and we got to go to the studio and do a table read. Then we got to have rehearsals for blocking and things like that, so there was more preparation. It wasn't like an anime where you show up at the studio. You have no idea what the script looks like and you have no idea what the episode is going to be, especially now where it's being animated in Japan and then it's being sent here, and nobody can see it ahead of time. And maybe the manga is not even written. Maybe that's happening simultaneously so that can be different. But a lot of the time, it's just there's very little prep time.

When I worked on Cyberpunk 2077, we never knew what we were going to be working on because the scripts were being written and would show up overnight. There would be a lot more scripts and we had no idea the direction the story was taking.

That's one of the gifts about working in voiceover - I am a planner. I always like to know what I'm doing. I like to be able to rehearse. I like to be able to be prepared so that I can do my best work and with voiceover that's just not the job. The job is actually being able to show up to be present and to be able to change and adapt as a rewrite is happening or a new script came in, or well the character now has a different redesign so we're going to have to change the way they talk or the way they handle this situation. It's all about being malleable and being adaptable, and that is not the case for on camera. Sometimes if you're doing motion capture it won't be the case and there's more prep time but for most part, with voiceover projects that is not the case.

Honey’s Anime: What sort of challenges did you face as a voice actor during the pandemic?

Cherami Leigh: First and foremost was getting my booth (Well I say my booth but I mean my closet that I use as a recording booth) to a place where it could deliver broadcast quality. Because every actor was doing it at the same time, when we were all placing orders for equipment there was a little bit of a backorder situation. They were like we want to have these preamps, but we have these preamps. We won't have this MIC, but we have this MIC because everybody was ordering. So that was tricky, of course.

We have the common situations of an airplane, a jackhammer, loud motorcycles, or cats. I am very fortunate in that my neighborhood is very quiet. I thank my lucky stars that it lined up that I moved before the pandemic over and over again, because we were right off of a Main Street and motorcycles would love to go down that street in a large conglomeration. It's a celebratory group, and they will go down that street twice a day as they go up into the mountains. So thankfully I had moved and we did not have that because, as much as I love getting to see the parade, it would have ruined many a take. The worst that we deal with is dogs or leaf blowers or my cats letting me know that I've been in their way too long, and they need someone to pet them or feed them.


A Conversation with Cherami Leigh
Thu, Aug 5, 2021 • 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Crunchyroll Stage

English Voice Actor Roundtable
Fri, Aug 6, 2021 • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Location: Crunchyroll Stage

Link Start with Bryce & Cherami (Voices of Kirito & Asuna from Sword Art Online)
Fri, Aug 6, 2021 • 2:00 PM - 2:45 PM
Location: Hime Stage

More info: https://expo.crunchyroll.com/en-us/guests/guest-profile.html?gtID=291056&guest-name=Cherami-Leigh

Final Thoughts

We are grateful to Crunchyroll and Cherami for making this interview possible. And don't forget to check out Cherami's panels at Virtual Crunchyroll Expo this weekend