Chris Sabat has managed to make a name for himself not just with his iconic voice in the roles of Dragon Ball's Vegeta and Piccolo, along with arguably the biggest super hero to ever exist in the world of anime, My Hero Academia's All Might! Recently, we had the chance to sit down with Chris and ask him whether there were any other comic book heroes that inspired his portrayal of the "Symbol of Peace".
Chris Sabat: "That's a good question. You know, when we're working on an anime, we do have this luxury of being able to hear the Japanese. It can sometime be a crutch, and it can sometimes be at a disadvantage, especially if you don't like the original voice. But in this particular case, I love the original voice of All Might, and so I tried to bring that same experience that Japanese fans would have to American fans. And so to me, All Might represents kind of-- He's like this combination of all these skills I've developed playing all these other characters over the years. I worked with Colleen pretty extensively. Colleen Clinckenbeard directed it, and still directs it, which is amazing, because she could just sit in her office at Funimation, and just do her day job, but she chooses to direct the series, which is-- that's a lot to take on. Yeah, we went back and forth on that voice, because when I auditioned for it, she was like, "All right, you are in my top two candidates, but I want to hear some more things for you." And then she goes, "All right, you're my top candidate, but I want to hear you a little bit deeper this time, little bit broader, little bit more super hero-like."
So really, she is responsible for kind of getting All Might into the place that he was at the beginning of the show. I don't know. A lot of us who are voice actors-- I mean, I'm not the best at doing impressions of things, so I never look at something and go, "I'm going to do, you know, a Walter Matthau impression!" For you kids, he's a very old actor, who's probably not alive any more. But yeah, I don't really do impressions. A lot of us who do this for a living have this innate ability to be able to just look at something and say, "I think that should be its voice," and you just commit to it. And a lot of being a voice actor, especially when you're working with clients in video games, and cartoons, and things like that, a lot of it is going into the studio, and I tell this to every new actor who comes in to record with our clients, if they haven't recorded with us before, I'm like, "Your job today is to go in, and sell them on this concept that you're doing. And if you're confident, and you've got it together, they will usually kind of go with what you like."
So there you have it. Chris Sabat based his performance on the superhero that is Walter Matthau! We kid, but it is still interesting to hear about the thought process that goes behind bringing a character as big and boisterous as All Might to life.
What do you think of Sabat's methodology in portraying the larger than life hero? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and UA Academy!