FemShep Unedited – An Interview With Voice Actress Jennifer Hale
Posted by janhutchings
You’ve probably heard her voice in your favorite videogames/anime and you never even knew it was Jennifer Hale. Known in the entertainment industry for her amazing voice and her portrayal of popular female cartoon and videogame characters, Jennifer Hale has been in hundreds of games, cartoons and anime over the last 20+ years.
She’s voiced Naomi Hunter in Metal Gear Solid, Electra in Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, Bastila in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Samus Aran in the Metroid Prime Trilogy , more recently Female Commander Shepard in the Mass Effect series. If they’re strong, independent, female characters, you can bet your bottom dollar that Jennifer Hale is the voice behind the curtain.
We recently had a chance to chat with Ms. Hale about some of her more famous projects. We talked about her experiences, what she learned from her previous work, and what she intends to bring unto her next projects.
Check out our full interview with Jennifer Hale after the break.
JTM Games: You worked on Cowboy Bebop: The Movie; how was that experience and could you tell us what your favorite part about it was?
Jennifer Hale: Working on Cowboy Bebop was a blast! I love the director, (Mary Elizabeth Mcglynn) she’s brilliant and working with her was incredible. Also, working with Daran Noris and Steve Blum was awesome.
I loved the story of Cowboy Bebop. It was very very forward thinking at the time; and I love the style of acting because its very realistic, very true. It’s a little bit pushed now when I look back on it, but for the time it was cutting edge in that genre and I loved it. Loved it! Loved it! Loved it!
JTM Games: You’re also famous for playing Dr. Naomi Hunter in the Metal Gear Solid series. How was that experience and could you tell us what you found difficult about the project?
Jennifer Hale: Metal Gear was an incredible experience; I love the director – again I’m a director’s girl – Kris Zimmerman. She’s responsible for some of the most incredible talent and voice casting in gaming today. And in cartoons today. People have no idea what she’s done.
Working with Dave (David Hayter – Solid Snake) was a blast. That was a really an especially great experience because we got to occasionally work in pairs; which we don’t get to do often in other projects. And so to work with another actor for a game is just a delight. Dave and I got to record together with Chris Randolph (Hal ‘Otacon’ Emmerich) and it was just great.
JTM Games: Mass Effect and FemShep; You get asked about it often because it’s one of your (if not the) most popular voiceovers in gaming. Could you tell us how it was working on the franchise? What did you learn from the experience and what you would bring into your next project?
Jennifer Hale: That’s a great question! I learned an incredible amount from Mass Effect. I think partly because of the sheer length of the project; it was over a few years and I got to go to a depth with that character that I think only time can bring.
You can do all the preperation in the world but when you get to spend that many years as a single character, you can take it to places as an actor – for myself – that I didn’t even realize were there. I think it made it an even better project; and for me it made it one of my favorite experiences ever.
I have to personally thank Jennifer Hale for taking the time to talk to us despite her extremely busy schedule. It was quite an experience meeting one of the most celebrated and well-known female voice actors of our time. Being able able to spend time with her at Vancouver Fan Expo and the Canadian Videogame Awards to talk about her past and upcoming projects as well as her various experiences in the videogame and cartoon industry was an honor that I’ll never forget.
One of her more recent projects is the upcoming Diablo III for the PC. See if you can figure out which character she voices in the game.