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Exclusive Interview with Marcy Lannan. English voice actress for Nao Yuuki and Juliet Nao Zhang

Posted on 15 April, 2013 at 13:05

Welcome to another edition of Mai-Multiverse Interview series with the English voice actors from Bandai Entertainment's English dubs of Mai-HiME and Mai-Otome!


MM: Meeeeeeow! Don't answer those texts! You could be the next victim of next Mai-HiME voice actress from the English dub - Marcy Lannan! She's voiced the sexy Nao Yuuki in Mai-HiME and Juliet Nao Zhang in Mai-Otome! We have her with us today, thank you for joining us!

Thank you so much for interviewing me and for the snippit of Nao (from her Mai-HiME Omake that I provided for Marcy before the interview) it was definitely a trip down memory lane!

MM: How did you get started in voice acting?

I started voice acting when I was just finishing my acting training at university. I had the opportunity to audition for Mai-Hime and was cast as Nao and the rest is history!

MM: Share some of your experiences as an actress in general. Did you perform in theater?

I work mostly in theatre, both as a performer and a theatre educator working with young people. I work a bit in film and television too though I would say that theatre is my first love.

MM: What were your most fond memories of working in any recording studio?

I have a lot of great memories working at recording studios, one of my favorite things about this work is how specific it is, working with a director who really is only directing my voice can at times be a great challenge.

MM: What was the casting call and audition like for you when My-HiME surfaced?

The casting call was really great, I was still pretty new to voice acting so when I went in to read I just really relied on what the director told me to do and luckily that worked!

MM: Your thoughts on Nao Yuuki's character in Mai-HiME?

I loved playing Nao, at first she was so mysterious - even to me! I was really excited to play a character with a bit of a darker side and an unexplained past it made the role quite rich.

MM: Nao Yuuki and Juliet Nao Zhang were both very laid back girls. Do you consider yourself laid back? LOL!

I like to think I'm laid back, but like Nao I like to have control of the situation every once and a while!

MM: Nao was involved in a lot of fight scenes throughout the entire series. Was it fun doing what voice actors nickname "foley". The recording of grunts, grrs, and panting during fight sequences and running scenes.

Nao had a lot of fight scenes it's true, doing foley is a lot of fun and again it's a situation where I really rely on the director who knows what they want for the tone of the fight and what they are asking from the other actors. I quite enjoyed myself.

MM: Was Nao the only role you auditioned for or played in the series? Just in case you did additional voices here and there.

When I originally auditioned I believe it was more of a general audition where I was putting my voice out there to be considered for different roles, they had me try a range of voices, emotions and accents! In the end I was cast as Nao and every so often I would voice incidental characters (characters who are just in one episode) or I would do background for large group scenes.

MM: What was it like for the first few recordings, after getting to know the character of Nao better? Did things just click from the start or did it take a while to slip into her twisted mind?

For the first few recordings of Nao I just tried to have fun with the concept of who Nao was and what she was up to! It was definitely fun to talk with the director and hear what Nao was up to this time, and as I continued to learn about Nao and her past I tried to incorporate some of that into my work as well.

MM: Many voice actors say they never meet the rest of the cast since recordings are done individually. Did you end up meeting the rest of the cast like Cheryl McMaster (who voiced Natsuki) or Melanie Risdon (who voiced Shizuru)? You voiced many scenes with both. Canada's finest brought these characters to life.

It's true I don't often get to meet other voice actors in the studio I would say I am more likely to meet them doing other theatre shows! And I never did meet Cheryl or Melanie so it is interesting to actually have done a lot of scenes with them!

MM: Do you have any funny recording stories during work on Mai-HiME and Mai-Otome?

The most unusual thing that ever happened to me while recording was once we lost visual feed during a really active session. It was exciting and challenging to then try to record the voice with proper timing with the director basically having to describe every action and scene! we had a few laughs but we got it done.

MM: What was your favorite moment in the entire series? For both Mai-HiME and Mai-Otome.

I think my favorite episode was in Mai-Hime when we finally learn Nao's back story, it was so emotionally different for me and for Nao and I love getting that sort of insight into a character.

MM: Nao Yuuki is a character that loves to text and bait men into her spider-like traps. Are you a text freak too, in addition to being popular with the guys?

I don't know that I use texting in the same way that Nao does! I can safely say I prefer talking face to face but I do text a lot. And in terms of boys, I dunno, I'll have to let them decide!

MM: One of Nao's signature traits is that she loves to lick her fingers. Is that something you secretly do?

Nao has some strange quirks! though I got to voice her finger licking antics, I left those habits in the studio with her!

MM: Have any of you read the manga or watched the original Japanese anime of the Mai-Series (HiME and Otome)?

I have watched some of the original Japanese anime, actually sometimes we would use the originals in recording sessions to help get a feel for the emotion or intention of the scene.

MM: Do you own anything of My-HiME? There is plenty of cool merchandise out there, especially for both Nao.

I don't own any My-Hime merchandise, I did look a lot of it up when I was working on Nao to help get a better sense of her!

MM: In Mai-Otome, Nao's character became Juliet Nao Zhang. An incarnation of Nao Yuuki that isn't evil or hold any malicious grudges with anyone. Did you notice the change during record? Like "Gee, she's tamer than she used to be!"

I did notice the shift in Nao's character between series it was interesting to play the change, I like to think Nao still had some of her old incarnation...

MM: Do you still keep contact with any of the other Mai-HiME/Otome voice actors/actresses?

As I mentioned I do see some voice actors that I've worked with when I work with them in other shows.

MM: Any advice for anyone wanting to pursue a career in voice acting or acting in general?

I think if you are pursuing an acting career it is good to always continue training, and work with people and companies that really interest you, it is a great way to learn and deepen your abilities.

MM: Are you a cat person or a dog person?

I have two cats that I love! but I love dogs too. I love them all!

MM: Name 3 words that describe you best.

3 words that describe me best...kind, quiet, silly!

MM: Favorite hobby?

My favorite hobby, is actually now a part of my work: I have been training for some time now as an aerialist, so someone that does trapeze and silks like in the circus. At first it was a great challenge and way to get fit, but now it is a passion of mine and something I love to perform.

MM: Favorite food of all time?

I love sweets! So while I advocate healthy eating, chocolate is my weakness!

MM: Favorite Tv shows and movies?

Right now I really love the show 'Smash', but I love going to see plays those are my favorite shows.

MM: Thank you for joining us on this exclusive interview. Please finish this interview off with a shout out to the fans of My-HiME and Mai-Otome who continue to support your work today?

Thank you so much for all the questions I had a lot of fun! And thank you so much to everyone that enjoys the shows, I know that there are a lot of actors out there that love doing this work for you so thank you for watching! - Marcy

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