Hello there Hero-Club, this is ZeltraxMillennium returning again, and today I have a new interview for the site. Surprisingly, this time our guest is none other than voice actress and ADR director, Lia Sargent. Whereas, for those unaware of Lia’s roles, she has been part of the English dubbing industry since the 80’s. However, most of Lia’s notable work occurred throughout the 90’s and early 2000’s like being Street Fighter’s Chun-Li anime voice. Now, Lia does not do video interviews, so the following is specifically text based and was conducted through e-mail. Anyway, with the introduction out of the way, I suggest that we should just leap into our interview.
Question 1: I apologize for this multitiered question, but what was the reason that you got into voice acting, along with voice direction and script adaptation?
Answer: As a young actor I dabbled with dialects and character work. When I went to college, I enrolled in a radio broadcasting class, out of sheer fun and curiosity. The teacher at the time said I would be good for dubbing movies. She introduced me. First one I went up for I landed. It was a Jackie Chan film. And I then was recommended to work on other foreign projects, including Anime. Animaze producer Kevin Seymour hired me ALL the time. And asked me to direct and write for the shows. And it snowballed from there. Into games and extended series, etc.
Question 2: I have attempted to play the .Hack games, but never managed to progress far enough to get to your character. However, I did see an ex-friend’s video on the series, and was introduced to the character, Aura. I had no idea that you were the voice of her, so what was it like creating Aura’s voice?
Answer: Simple: I listen to the original Japanese voice actor and I to the best I can to emulate that. They are my inspiration. Unless the producers want something different. Rarely do they. And btw, I have never played any of the games. So you’re way ahead of me.
Question 3: It was kind of nuts looking up your roles for this interview because you have voiced 3 different versions of Chun-Li for Street Fighter. Specifically, the Street Fighter 2 film, Street Fighter 2 V Animaze Dub, and Street Fighter Alpha The Animation. So, do you have any good memories of voicing these different versions of this iconic fighter?
Answer: Yes. The fight sequences. And yelling things like: Spinning Bird Kick – who doesn’t love that.
Question 4: A few years ago, Nway partnered with Capcom to bring Street Fighter characters into the Power Rangers Legacy Wars game. Specifically, the collaboration featured characters like Ryu, M. Bison, Guile, Akuma, Cammy, and of course Chun-Li. Surprisingly, the collaboration even presented Ryu and Chun-Li their own Ranger Forms, while others got toy exclusive forms.
Personally, I found Ryu’s and Chun-Li’s forms more unique, as the others relied too heavily on the Mighty Morphin’ aesthetic. But, what did you think of the Power Rangers Legacy Wars/ Street Fighter collaboration, and the forms overall?
Answer: I’ll be honest with you I have no feeling about it. Companies are always creating bigger and more fantastical product. Teaming up gives them more – forgive the usage – power. And any part that I played in adding to that creation is fun for me. As far as Chun-li – she kicks ass no matter what.
Question 5: As many people know Trigun has returned with a new series titled, Trigun Stampede. Additionally, Johnny Yong Bosch is reprising his role as Vash the Stampede, following rumors that he was not returning. Sadly, Milly Thompson is not in the anime, but if she was, would you have returned to reprise the role?
Answer: If it works Union and has a good contract then I might – but only in L.A. And not directing the show would be hard for me, that was one of my favorite series to direct. But with Johnny, it should be great no matter what.
Question 6: Months ago, I spoke with Julie Maddalena, regarding this same question – How did you develop the voice for your performance as a Tachikoma in Ghost In The Shell’s second season?
Answer: I am so sorry, but I do not remember voicing Tachikoma… too long ago and a smaller role compared to the bulk of the others I was working on at the time. And I cannot find a video of it to hear my voice, where it may refresh my memory. Again, I probably just emulated the Japanese.
Question 7: Apologies in advance, but this is a loaded doubleheader question pertaining to the tokusatsu Android Kikaider’s anime adaptation. But how did you learn about the series, and were you aware it was based on a live-action tokusatsu property? Also, what was your experience like voicing Mitsuko in the Kikaider anime?
Answer: I am pretty sure Kevin Seymour recommended me. And Joe Romersa and I worked together all the time. Not one of my more memorable roles, to be honest.
Question 8: So, onto one of the biggest questions, and I wanted to have out before the show’s anniversary. However, with scheduling we missed the show’s Japanese and American premieres, which we are referring to is The Big O. Specifically, we wanted to discuss your role and performance as the android, R. Dorothy Wayneright.
Now, I will admit that I am a sucker for androids in anime who have their own independence, and desires. So, The Big O’s Dorothy became one of my favorite characters apart from Steve Blum’s as our protagonist, Roger Smith. Whereas, in regards to your performance, I assume it was an interesting experience to record Dorothy’s lines. Like when Dorothy had bouts of legitimately being scared, you were able to sell the emotion without fully applying it. As a result, was it hard for you to maintain that deadpan-like speaking voice similar to Transformers’ Soundwave when recording?
Answer: One of my most favorite. Most memorable. Loved playing Dorothy. A huge, but fun, challenge. And thank you for that glorious compliment. Having a melodious voice, for the most part, I worked extra hard to find her voice and subtle emotion.
Question 9: Do you own or collect merchandise pertaining to characters that you have voiced throughout the years? And if so, which item is your favorite piece in the collection?
Answer: I was gifted by the producers of Trigun, a model of Vash, with movable parts, mostly for his arm. And The Black Cat sat nearby. But I regifted it to someone who was a far greater fan. And well deserving. He had assisted me in some work I was doing. I had three posters; El Hazard – The Wanderers, TRIGUN and Battle Athletes. Again, I regifted them. I have a key chain of Milly and one of Chun-li, and a scroll-cloth poster of Chun-li. I kept those.
Question 10: Finally, for our last question, what can the readers of Hero-Club expect from Lia Sargent in the future?
Answer: Hoping to have a fan website real soon. With compilations of my work and a chat forum. Where the likes of these and many more questions can be asked.
So, this concludes our interview with voice actress/ director, Lia Sargent, who we also have to thank for this opportunity. Originally, as mentioned previously, we tried to interview her last fall before The Big O’s Japanese broadcast anniversary. However, scheduling was an issue, and things were delayed until sometime after the series’ American anniversary. Anyway, as anyone reading this can see though, the entire interview is now available for everyone to enjoy. Nevertheless, thanks again for visiting Hero-Club.com, and please make sure to follow us across social media using @HeroClub4Life!