I’m excited to be bringing you this next interview which is part of my yearly series of video game articles in preparation of Game On Expo. You may know Darin De Paul as the voice Reinhardt from Overwatch. Perhaps you’ve played Final Fantasy XV and enjoyed the performance of Ardyn Izunia, who was also voiced by Darin. Are you a fan of Critical Role from Geek & Sundry? Darin has also appeared on it recently.
I met Darin last year at the San Diego Comic-Con Unofficial Blog party then met him again a month later at last year’s Game On Expo where we got to have a long chat, and recently he was a guest on an episode of the SDConcast where we got to have him on as a part of the show. He has graciously agreed to answer a few off the wall questions just for you guys, so enjoy! Make sure to follow Darin on Twitter as well!
Legion of Sand: WHAT’S YOUR DRINK OF CHOICE WHEN DOING VOICE-OVER SESSIONS
Darin: Water gets you thru every time. Most sessions are four hours, so I will go thru about three or four bottles of water during that time. For creature or exertion sessions I will have hot water with Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa mixed in. It’s a honey/loquat syrup that performers use to help protect your throat. Fred Tatasciore (voice of the Hulk, Soldier 76 and many others) found that it really worked and most studios now have it on hand. It has come to be known as “Fred Juice”.
LoS: WHO WOULD WIN IN A FIGHT: MARIO, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG OR PAC-MAN?
Darin: First of all, why are they fighting? Come on, imaginary game things, can’t you just get along? It’s about Ms. Pac Man, right? Did Sonic get all flirty? It’s probably over something Sonic did. I don’t think Mario would cause a fight. He just wants to be noticed. “Hey, it’s me, Mario.” Sheesh. We get it. He’s plumbing for attention, that guy. So … all that being said, who would win in that fight? The audience.
LoS: YOU’VE DONE QUITE A BIT OF WORK IN THEATRE AND COMMERCIALS. IF YOU COULD WORK WITH ONE ACTOR/ACTRESS IN EITHER A LIVE PERFORMANCE OR VOICE ACTING, WHO WOULD IT BE?
Darin: Remember, in voice-acting today, we pretty much work alone. Group records are fewer and fewer. Which is sad because it is so like a table read of a script when I was doing theatre. I have done a couple group recordings in the last several years and got to work with Tom Kenny, Larraine Newman, Erica Bauza, Carlos Alazraqui and be be directed by Andrea Romano. That was a thrill. In theatre, I would want to work with Mark Rylance. His work is simply stunning. I saw him on Broadway in “La Bete”, “Boeing Boeing” and went twice to see his work in Jez Butterworth’s “Jerusalem”. His work and acting choices are brilliant, inspirational and just jaw-droppingly wonderful.
LoS: WHAT’S BEEN YOUR FAVORITE FILM OF THE SUMMER?
Darin: Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon’s “The Big Sick”. It’s a perfect film.
LoS: HOW WILD OF AN EXPERIENCE HAS IT BEEN AT FIRST ATTENDING CONVENTIONS AS A FAN AND NOW CONVENTIONS BRINGING YOU IN AS A GUEST?
Darin: I live in New York and I hadn’t really been going to any conventions. Then in 2011, I had some friends in Artist’s Alley at NYCC and I attended and just thought it was incredible. Then in 2013 I went to my first SDCC. I adored the offsites like NerdHQ and later Nerdist Conival and adored how SDCC transformed a city into everything I love. Then in 2013, EA and Lucasfilm asked me to make some appearances at SDCC and GamesCom in Germany, and that was totally amazing. I played a big role in Star Wars:The Old Republic and meeting all the people that enjoyed the project was such a thrill. Everyone was so kind and it meant a lot. The difference recently is that with my schedule I don’t have as much time to actually be a guest at some of the conventions. I pick two or three a year and it is lovely meeting people and hearing how much these characters have meant to them. People just sharing their joy – what’s better than that?
LoS: WHAT’S BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE AS A CONVENTION GUEST?
Darin: At this year’s SDCC, Blizzard put together a Make-A- Wish for two wonderful young boys and their families. They attended the Overwatch panel, got lots of Blizzard gifts and then Anjali Bhimani (Symetra), Charlet Chung (D.Va), Jonny Cruz (Luico) and myself got to spend time with them. It was my first Make-A- Wish experience and it was so meaningful. Making them smile, knowing that these characters had touched their lives in such a wonderful way – that is something I will carry with me always. It is pretty overwhelming knowing how much these amazing Blizzard characters mean to people. During the panel, I was sitting behind one of the boys and I would lean forward and talk to him as Reinhardt. It was a small thing, I know, but I hope it brought some joy. That’s why we do what we do.
LoS: IF THE OVERWATCH CAST GOT TOGETHER TO PLAY OVERWATCH, WHO WOULD WIN?
Darin: The audience. Wait. I said that already. Okay. Who would win if we all played? I’m going to go with Pac-Man.
LoS: WITHOUT GIVING ANY NAMES, CAN FANS EXPECT TO HEAR YOU IN ANY MAJOR VIDEO GAMES OR ANIMATION IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
Darin: Yes. Yes they can. That’s a big bowl of YES.