Johnny Yong Bosch of many talents. From screen acting to voice acting, he has been a part of my childhood in many forms. Some of his more famous roles include Vash the Stampede (Trigun), Ichigo Kurosaki (Bleach), Shotaro Kaenda (Akira), and Adam Park (Power Rangers). While attending Anime Boston, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Johnny and discuss his acting career.
Over the years you’ve played characters with a variety of different personalities. How do you prepare for the challenges each new character brings?
I usually look it up and do a bit of research if I know what I’m getting into. I try to find any information I can online, just so I’m a little prepared. When I go in to the set I ask a ton of questions, and usually the director or producer will provide me with some insight to my character, such as some backstory that isn’t being revealed. Then I just go from there in character development: find an age and a tone for the character I’m portraying.
What training did you have to go through in order to prepare for voice acting?
Well, I think most people do train for voice acting. But, I think my training came from singing, and being fortunate enough to book a big role in Trigun as my first acting gig. That was like school for me. Learning to work the mic, not to pop my p’s, and all of that. There was a lot of learning going on during Trigun, and Leah Sergeant (director of Trigun) was a great director and very patient with me. She really helped me get into place for Vash every day. So, Trigun was like twenty-six episodes of school for me. That’s how I learned most of what I know.
Vash the Stampede is one of my favorite characters. I really like how he seems carefree and simplistic, but he has a lot of internal struggle. Where did you draw inspiration from for that role?
Going into that role, I wasn’t familiar with the show. I remember in the first couple of episodes he goes into a bar and he’s about to shoot a guy and he says “Rem”. I remember trying to figure out what “Rem” meant, and asking about it. I remember even Leah Sergeant didn’t quite know what it was at the time and told me it was probably Vash remembering something. So, I remember being a little confused and not quite sure what was going on with Vash. As far as inspiration, I was a very shy kid growing up. I went from shy, to kind of a punk, to a class clown. So, I drew a lot of that wild, kooky, goofiness from my childhood to play Vash. But there are those moments that really drew me in about his dark past that I had nothing to draw on from personal experience. So, a lot of my emotion came from me wondering about his experience and wanting to know more.
Humorous and polite, Johnny provided me with a lot of wonderful answers regarding his acting career and the characters he’s brought to life. On behalf of everyone at Mithical Entertainment, I want to thank Johnny Yong Bosch for his time and answers.