When it comes to Anime dub voice actors, there are very few who are as well known as Vic Mignogna. He has starred in series’ from Street Fighter II to Fullmetal Alchemist, as well as having contributed his voice for video games, taken part in fan films, and produced several albums and tracks for Anime and adverts. I was lucky enough to be able to have a chat with Vic about his future plans, his love of the UK’s MCM fans, his music career, and rumours of homophobia.
Laura: For those who don’t know, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Vic: Well, I have been involved in all sorts of creative pursuits ever since I was very young. Acting, singing, filmmaking, drawing, music, sculpting, etc. Then about 13 years ago I was encouraged to audition for a tiny company in Houston, TX called ADV Films. I did, and got cast in an anime called Street Fighter II. Since then my voice acting career has just grown and become my main job.
Laura: In terms of your voice acting, many people have commented that you use similar voices for many of your characters, to which you replied your job is not to hide your voice, but to act with it. With this in mind, how do you get into the right mindset for your different characters?
Vic: While there are certainly characters that I have played who sound similar, there are also many others that are less well known that sound nothing like me. People are often surprised to find that I play some roles. The same can be true for most voice actors. Changing your voice is not the goal… the goal is to play the character honestly and convincingly. The difference is in the attitude and personality of each character.
Laura: In terms of your song writing you have comedic songs like Soldier A, more serious (yet still Anime inspired) tracks like Nothing I Won’t Give and even worked on Anime theme songs. What is your favourite type of music to work on and why? Do you have a favourite track you’ve been involved in or created?
Vic: I have always loved soft rock and ballads. I’ve challenged myself to write all types and styles of music, especially when working in the advertising world. But I just love love songs! I don’t think I could pick a favorite… I’ve written too many!
Laura: In October last year you appeared at the MCM Expo in London, hosting panels and performing at the Saturday night Party. What differences do you see between UK and US conventions? How do your fans at both differ?
Vic: I had the best time at last year’s MCM Expo. The fans are awesome and just as enthusiastic as those in the states. Anime fans are brilliant all over the world!
Laura: Several years ago you began showing a short fan made movie called Fullmetal Fantasy at conventions. Could you tell us a little about it, and how it came to be? What sort of reception and feedback do you tend to get on it?
Vic: Shortly after starting the recording of Fullmetal Alchemist, I toyed with the idea of making a fan film where a normal guy starts turning into an Anime character. I invited several of the voice actors from FMA to be part of it and they agreed. We all got together in Houston one weekend and shot this little film I wrote. It very quickly became pretty popular in the convention circuit. I think the fans enjoy knowing that some of us voice actors love the shows as much as they do :).
Laura: It’s known that you’re a fairly big Star Trek fan. Could you tell us a little about Star Trek Phase II (New Voyages) and your involvement in it?
Vic: I played some roles and even directed several episodes for Phase II. But I came to be very disappointed in some of the behaviour and attitudes of that particular production, and have since directed an episode for a fantastic group called “Starship Farragut“. We had such a great time that I partnered with them, and am very excited to announce that we are launching a brand new web series called STAR TREK CONTINUES where I will have the privilege of fulfilling a childhood dream of playing Captain Kirk! The entire cast is an amazing group of actors and I think the fans will really enjoy it.
Laura: You’re very open about being a Christian voice actor (Vicsworld.net quotes 1 Corinthians 9: 19- 27 on its front page and you reportedly turned down the role of Gojyo in Saiyuki due to the character’s level of swearing). This and some quotes you made referring to your dislike of Yaoi of your characters have led some to believe online that you are homophobic (if you search Vic Mignogna on Google it’s one of the suggested searches). How would you respond to the suggestions that you are homophobic?
Vic: That is absurd and not in any way true. I have never spoken or expressed one word to support such a horrible rumor. I find it funny that the people who start and spread such lies do so because they assume that because I am a Christian I must be homophobic. How judgemental… and wrong.
Laura: I’ve put a little video below of you at a panel discussing those rumours below.
Laura: What is the greatest experience you have had since entering the entertainment industry?
Vic: The fans have been so enthusiastic and supportive of my work and I am grateful beyond words. I never imagined when I started voice acting that it would grow into the career that it has for me, and I will never cease to be humbled and thankful for the privilege to do what I do.
Laura: Lastly, do you have any final words?
Vic: I just want to thank the fans. Voice actors don’t get paid much money, and that’s just fine with me. Because the love, support, kindness and encouragement that I receive from fans all over the world is PRICELESS. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
You can keep up to date with Vic Mignogna at his official fan club website.
Vic Mignogna will be at the MCM Expo Birmingham Comic Con, which takes place on Saturday 31st March and 1st April 2012. Tickets are available from the MCM Expo Store.