You may have saved the galaxy with her in the Mass Effect trilogy, or maybe you let her taunt you while you grappled with alternate realities in BioShock Infinite. Maybe she made you laugh with cartoon villains like Princess Morbucks. You might not have heard of her, but you most certainly have heard her.
A superstar of the voice acting industry, Jennifer Hale boasts a stunning array of credits across video gaming and animation. As a guest at FANEXPO Canada this weekend, her Q&A panel was rich with anecdotes on her own career as well as insights on the state of the world.
Venturing into the world of podcasting, Jen is working on a series called The Art of Money. Admitting that she is “tired of seeing people be taken advantage of,” her goal is to impart knowledge on topics not touched on in standardized education, such as finance. Although an actor by trade, she takes her participation in democracy quite seriously and encourages the same of her fans: “It used to be enough to do the right thing, now you have to step up and tell the power structures that you expect the same. One termite can’t take down a house, but a colony can.”
On How She Became a Voice Actor:
“I had a moment where I realized, ‘I could get paid for talking?’ I had to run it like my own business, there weren’t agents in the town where I got started. I was cold-calling and doing demos.”
On the Current Voice Actor Strike in the Gaming Industry:
Sadly, there hasn’t been much budging from the game studios to reach a compromise, but Jen provided a brief reminder of why their requests are significant: “We asked for four things: A secondary payment, if a game does well. For now, we never see another cent regardless of how much a game sells. More transparency, because we never know if we’re demo-ing for a big Triple A game or an indie one-off. We also want safer working conditions, because people have wrecked their voices in the booth before. And, a stunt co-ordinator present for motion capture. The game developers said no. Our visible members [of SAG-AFTRA] are holding to the strike so far.”
Favorite Projects She’s Recorded:
On Mass Effect, “The ending of Mass Effect…wow. There are moments as an actor where you completely disappear and that was one of them.”
On BioShock Infinite, “I was in the booth with Oliver [Vaquer, voice of Robert Lutece], it was one of the few games where I got to record in booth with someone. And it was a particularly joyous experience.”
Does She Play the Games She’s In?
“I’m sorry, but actually I SUCK at video games. I get motion sick. I watch my friends play.”
Paragon or Renegade?
“Paragon is who I wish I was. Renegade is what I wish I could say.”