Interview with Greg Chun: Fire Emblem’s New Ike

Written by | Interview

For May, I interviewed voice actor Greg Chun, who dedicated Fire Emblem Heroes collectors and players will recognize as the man behind such beloved and coveted characters as Ephraim, Eldigan, Lukas, and most recently, the legendary mercenary Ike!

Greg has lent his voice to a variety of projects in video games, cartoons, anime dubs, and commercials, but I learned that music production is also one of his passions, and you might be surprised to learn of his many contributions to the music you hear on television and podcasts!

  1. How did you first become involved with Fire Emblem Heroes and Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia? Did you audition for one or several characters? All at once or did they continually call you back in?                                                                                                                                                          
    I actually auditioned for a couple at the same time, and it may even have been the case that I auditioned for other characters that weren’t the ones for which I was ultimately cast.  But I guess they heard something in my audition that made them think of Ephraim and Eldigan.  For Lukas and Ike, there wasn’t so much of an audition as there was an initial exploratory period during our sessions to find the voice and settle into the character.Greg Chun
  2. Between Ike, Ephraim, Lukas, and Eldigan, you’ve voiced several classic heroes and a noble villain. Who has been your favorite Fire Emblem character to voice?                                                          
     Well, I must say my favorite has been Lukas, but that’s largely because I’ve been blessed to follow him through a much longer story arc than the others.  The more moments and emotional beats I get to experience with any given character, the more I tend to get attached to them. Greg Chun
     
  3. Did you know that Ike was such a beloved character within the franchise? People are going crazy for him right now. Did you have a favorite line to record for him?                                                          
    I was told at the beginning of my session for Ike that he was a big deal, haha.  It was a lot of pressure, but at the same time it was an incredible honor.  The most important thing to me was doing a good job so that the fans would be happy, and since Ike was released the fans have been wonderfully supportive, and I’m so grateful for that.  My favorite lines that I recorded are definitely the Special Skill lines, because I can imagine those moments where Ike is hopefully helping out the player with some strong attacks.  If Ike is able to be there for the player when they really need him, that’s a pretty cool thing to be a part of. Greg Chun
     
  4. What have been some of your favorite non Fire Emblem roles in either video games or animation?      

    I definitely had a wonderful experience voicing Adam in Nier: Automata.  A lot of what he felt was fascinating about humanity are things that I myself have also pondered from time to time.  It was strangely gratifying being given the opportunity to explore the darker side of what such rumination might lead to, if one lost all sense of morality and empathy.  Plus it was super cool having Ray Chase play my equally psychopathic brother.  I also loved voicing Dr. Harold Winston in Overwatch.  For whatever reason, I normally play a lot of villains and crazy people, and they’re usually pretty intense.  Harold Winston is someone who is much more like me in real life.  I would hope that anyone who knows me would consider me a really nice and caring person! Greg Chun

    Now which one of these guys looks like the crazy murderer?

  5. Has there ever been a voice acting project, character, or scene that you found taxing? Either physically or emotionally? How did you get through it?                                                                    
     Oh wow, yes…I remember after voicing (or screaming I should say) some of the street thugs in Tom Clancy’s The Division, I actually tasted blood in my throat for a couple days afterwards and lost my voice for a bit.  TMI, I know, but you asked!  Lots of Throat Coat tea with honey, globs of pei pa koa, and a couple days of vocal rest got me back on my feet Greg Chun
  6. Have you ever voiced something and had people you know not be able to tell it was you?                        
    Funnily enough, yes.  I narrated a show for WWE called The WWE List that was kind of a highlights show about pro wrestlers, and in it I had to be super high-energy and really snarky, making sarcastic remarks and generally being over-the-top and dramatic about the goings on in the World Wrestling Entertainment organization.  It was truly one of the most fun jobs I’ve ever had, but definitely sounds completely different than anything I’ve ever done in video games.   Greg Chun
  7.   Can you tell us about your experiences in performance and comedy outside of VO?                                    
    I was an a capella nerd back in college, where we would perform songs and skits as part of our shows throughout the year.  It was actually there that I had my first opportunity to start developing some acting chops.  I also did some stage performing when I first got to L.A., but as far as comedy goes, my experience working as a music producer, writing and producing songs with collaborators like The Lonely Island and Scott Aukerman of Comedy Bang! Bang! fame has definitely been the most educational.  These guys are masters of their craft, and it’s always fascinating working with them.  You wouldn’t think it, but making good comedy can actually be quite a serious process, and I’ve learned so much from them about how the devil is in the details.   Greg Chun
  8.  How did you find your way into voice acting? How did your extensive background in music play a role in your journey?       
    It was a very interesting journey, indeed.  I’d have to say that it all dates back to when I was in high school, and my friends and I became big fans of Arnold Schwarzenegger.  We watched Conan the Barbarian and for whatever reason found the noises Arnold made while he was in pain completely hysterical.  There’s a scene where Conan is fighting in a pit with some guy who starts biting him and he just starts making this sound that we became hell-bent on learning how to imitate.  From there, we worked on our Arnold impressions, using actual words and not just screaming in pain, and afterwards took to developing impressions of our teachers, much to their delight, I’m sure.  So that was the origin of my interest in VO, but I actually got my first VO job because of a composer and music producer friend of mine.  He ended up being the audio producer for a Korean company called Nexon, and he had heard me do voices just when we were hanging out socially (probably my Arnold impression).  One day he called me and asked me to come audition for their casting director.  So, I spent a couple years cutting my teeth on Nexon localizations.  I guess you could say that my background in music simply put me in the right place at the right time.  Greg Chun
     
  9. Do you have any advice for people looking to get started in VO?
    Definitely!  First of all…as you will hear from any professional voice actor, VO is not about sounding like a muppet, or doing some crazy accent, or changing your voice in any way.  Those things are useful ultimately, but the heart of it is all about the acting.  If you want to be a voice actor, become an actor first.  And I don’t mean get your own hit sitcom…take classes, do scene work, do improv, get super comfortable with your emotions and expressing them in an honest and real way.  Do theater, get rid of any and all inhibitions, become super aware and comfortable with yourself and others.  After that, there’s a million and one ways to go about trying to tackle the logistics of the VO industry, but it’s gotta start with you becoming an actor first. Greg Chun
  10.  What sorts of pop culture do you consume? Do you have any favorite movie or TV scores?                      
    I’m all about movies and video games.  The games that have probably ruled my life the most are Final Fantasy 8,  Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, Gears of War, Mass Effect, Fallout, Dead Rising, Dead Space, and Skyrim.  I love movies of all kinds, even really terrible ones because they can be so entertaining in their own way.  As far as movie scores, there are so many…masterful works by John Williams, Michael Giacchino, Thomas Newman…the list really goes on and on.  It’s hard to have a *favorite* of anything in my world, but some of the top scores in my book – Superman The Movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Shawshank Redemption, The Incredibles, and of course, Star Wars. Greg Chun

 

Last modified: July 3, 2018