GUILD WARS 2, BUGSNAX, & BLACK OPS Exclusive: Actress Julie Nathanson Discusses The Versatility Of Voiceover

GUILD WARS 2, BUGSNAX, & BLACK OPS <font color=red>Exclusive:</font> Actress Julie Nathanson Discusses The Versatility Of Voiceover

Julie Nathanson voices numerous characters in older games like Guild Wars 2 as well as the recently released Call of Duty and Bugsnax games, and she recently told us about her voice acting versatility!

With the recent release of the Playstation 5, many brand new titles keep video game fanatics happy during the quarantine lockdowns. Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Assassin's Creed: Valhalla are both fresh on the market, as well as Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Zombies and Bugsnax.

Both of the latter titles feature voice actress Julie Nathanson, who we recently chatted with exclusively to learn about her roles in the brand new games. While on the subject of her voicing numerous characters in a singular game like Bugsnax, we touched on her work with Guild Wars 2, for which she has played well over thirty characters.

Initially, Julie was more involved with on-camera acting and writing, but once she discovered her voiceover work's versatility, she dove headfirst into the industry. She explained that she learned that she could play characters that didn't look like her, which helped her open her perspective.

Nathanson has returned to the Call of Duty franchise with Black Ops Cold War Zombies to play the adult version of Samantha Maxis, a character she voiced the child version of years ago. In Final Fantasy, she has voiced so many characters that she has credits for several titles, with Chocolina being one of the most well-known in the series.

Click the podcast player to hear our full conversation with Julie. Voice acting fanatics can also get their fix with our Joshua Seth (Akira, Digimon) chat embedded along with the written transcript below!

Young Horses, the developers behind Octodad, just released Bugsnax, and it is entirely different from Call of Duty. It is extremely colorful and quirky. I voiced six different Bugsnax. They are Banopper, Sprinklepede, Peelbug, Aggroll, Baby Cakelegs, and Bombino. Aggroll is a little aggro. (Laughs)

I have to tell you about this experience doing the recordings for this. I laughed so hard. I have never laughed so hard in a game session, and I've been doing this for a long time. I doubled over laughing because it's so silly, goofy, and fun. We mostly say our names over and over again. It has that kind of Pokemon feel to it.

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As a performer, it's playtime. I've been voiceover coaching a little bit lately, and I try to focus on like if we haven't found that joy, that fun, that connection, you probably haven't found the character yet. That's how I experience it.

Even if it's a serious character to me, there's joy. If there was a moment that I felt connected with the character or that reminds me of why I do this, then that feels good enough that I know I've got it. I know I figured out the character.

My favorite thing about being a voice actress is that I get to do a variety of voices. I did start in on-camera acting. I never thought I would leave on-camera acting, but for several reasons, not the least of which is that voiceover started heating up for me, and I started working professionally as a writer.

I ended up leaving on-camera, and I was surprised by how much more I loved voiceover. I do love doing mo-cap performance capture. It's somewhere in the middle of voiceover and on-camera, but I was stereotyped as an on-camera performer.

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I've been working with Arena Net for Guild Wars 2, and I've done well over thirty characters for them at this point. I have a character called Cinder Steeltemper, and she's a Charr. If you know that world, the Charr are a race of gigantic creatures with claws and spiky things. And you would never look at me as a human person and say, "You know who would make a great ferocious-tiger-like-spikey-thing? Julie Nathanson."

It never occurred to me that that was something I could do until the visual was taken away. I was standing in my way as a performer because I imagined myself in roles and embodying characters that would match my visual appearance. But in voiceover, I get to do anything that my voice can do. I play everything from little kids to creatures, to ingenues to older characters and lots of different accents. It's the variety that makes me so happy.

*This interview has been edited for clarity.*


 

From the minds behind Octodad: Dadliest Catch comes Bugsnax, a whimsical adventure game.


Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Zombies and Bugsnax are both available now.

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