Crispin Freeman is a man that I am very familiar with, due in part to the fact that a couple of years ago my brother was obsessed with him for, among other things, his role as the voice of Albedo in the Xenosaga series. Crispin's other video game roles include Rude (Final Fantasy 7), Heughes (Baten Kaitos Origins), Setos grandpa (Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon), Helios (God of War III), Setzer (Kingdom Hearts II), Regal Bryant (Tales of Symphonia), and many, many others. He was also the voice director for the North American version of Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin.
On the anime side, some of his biggest roles include Alucard (Hellsing), The Prince/Turnip Head (Howl's Moving Castle), Itachi Uchiha (Naruto), Togusa (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex), Zelgadis Greywords (Slayers), Tsume (Wolf's Rain), and many more. Mr. Freeman has certainly put together quite a resume over the years.
A Chicago native (best city ever!), Crispin originally hesitated with getting involved in anime voice acting because he believed that English anime dubs were mostly terrible, but eventually he relented when he realized that, whatever his feelings on the medium, English dubs played a key role in introducing anime to the West.
During the press interview we learned that Crispin is a pretty big gamer who has put "many" hours into Diablo II and III. In fact, he stated that when asked to do voices for III, the director was surprised at how extensive his knowledge of the series was.
His favorite anime stories are Castle in the Sky (Laputa) and The Cat Returns, and his acting hero is Gene Kelly.
I also got a chance to meet Tia Ballard, a very neat woman from Dallas, Texas. Most of her voice work has been in anime, although she did provide the voice of Priscilla in Monster Tale, as well as a variety of voices for Comic Jumper: The Adventures of Captain Smiley. She is also the voice of Peach for WTMK: Mario Radio, an all Mario all the time radio station, as well as cocreator of the web comic Koopasta, albeit the comic seems to be on a bit of a permanent hiatus at the moment. Whatever the case, Tia is quite the busy lady!
Some of her big anime roles include Hannah (Attack on Titan), Happy (Fairy Tale), Xiao Mei (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood), Porche (One Piece), Kana Jinnouchi (Summer Wars) and more.
Do you want to know how she instantly won me over? When asked about her favorite super hero, she quickly responded "Darkwing Duck". Damn straight! Her favorite video game character is the aforementioned Peach, whom she not only voices for Mario Radio, but has cosplayed as before (it's out there on the Internet if you're curious.) When asked what other games she would like to do voice work on, she mentioned Mario and Sonic. Can't go wrong there.
All in all it was a great chance to meet two cool people whose voices I have heard in the past and can now put a face to.
WEIRD. Thats how she instantly won me over, too! *HIGH FIVE* We're like the same person, brah.
Thats cool about that guy voicing Regal in Tales of Symphonia. I got excited for a second, thinking that he also did the voice of He-Man in the reboot, but I'm pretty sure that was another guy in ToS (Kratos Aurion, I think). Ah well.
What does Tia definitely have coming up? Any other Nintendo (game) stuff? When I look up voice actors for cartoons / games, they always have like A BILLION titles on IMDB. She's gotta have something in the pipeline, no?