Robbie Daymond is an incredible actor whose career spans both Eastern and Western cultures. As a prominent main and background voice actor, Robbie has notable roles, such as Gilthunder (The Seven Deadly Sins), Prompto Argentum (Final Fantasy XV), Mumen Rider (One Punch Man), and Mamoru Chiba (Sailor Moon). While at Anime Boston I had the opportunity to sit down with Robbie to discuss his career, his continuation of the legacy of Tuxedo Mask, and his love of acting.
Tuxedo Mask is such a heartthrob for Sailor Moon fans. What do you think you bring to the character to continue this legacy?
Besides my stunning good looks?! On a more serious note, that’s my first ever anime role, and one of my favorites. I’m still working on it. We’re into [Sailor Moon] S now, and we just finished Sailor Moon R: The Movie, and we’re doing part three of Sailor Moon Crystal. He is a character that’s fun for me because he has two of the bigger personality traits: he’s kind of an over-theatrical goober, and also a flirty jerk. Those are two of my favorite things I get to do in real life, so bringing it to a character is really fun. I love Mamoru, he’s great. He’s a stand-up guy who loves the people around him, he’s a hero, but isn’t afraid to be funny. I don’t have any control over the heartthrob part; I just play him the best that I can. If people happen to fall in love with him, that’s not my fault. I love him, he’s one of my favorites.
What are some of the differences you’ve noticed between working on American animation versus anime?
I get into this a lot because my career path is weird. I’m still doing western animation, just as much or more than anime, but I went and did anime after. It’s usually a little bit different. A lot of people will start with anime, and then they’ll move out of it and into western animation. From an actor’s standpoint, there are some beneficial things that happen with western animation that you just don’t get with anime. You get to record with the cast, your interpretation is the first interpretation. You have other actors to play off of in the room, you have room for improvisation. Those things aren’t all that present in anime, unless you’re doing a blooper or something. I love anime, but I could see where someone could get jaded on it and want to move on, and a lot of people do. But then, a lot of people are faithful and come back to it. I hope that because my journey has been a bit different in a way, that I’ll do both for as long as I can do both. Now, if someone were to come to me at some point and go “Hey, anime is hurting your career”, then I would have to think about it. But, it hasn’t so far, and I hope it doesn’t. I don’t think it will. There’s a stigma against some actors in anime, and it’s tough to get out of it. Some of it’s rightfully so, and some of it’s not. I think if you can manage to do both though, you become one of those voice-over actors that people really like. Those are the differences in a career sense and a creative sense, but they exist in the same world.
You have played main characters and background characters. Where do you find the most creative freedom in these types of roles?
I find more creative freedom in the side characters for sure. You’re allowed to be a little bit different, a little bit off. One of my favorite characters is from Ran Izumii from Durarara!! He’s just one of those creepy, weird guys, who is a little bit Jokery and strange. He has on episode where he just says “asshole” like 50 times, and then just curses the whole time. That stuff is really fun, just to play those off the wall characters. You don’t get too much of a chance to do that when you’re a shonen, or even some of the various bad guys. I play a lot of stoic characters too – which is weird for me – because some of the stuff that I’m best known for are those kind off out there characters. I definitely feel like you have more fun as a side character, but you’re not as well known. You want to be the title or main character; it’s good for your career. But are the side characters more fun? Absolutely.
You’ve been an actor since you were young. What inspired you to go into acting?
I had a creative family. I grew up a country boy, running around, playing sports, hunting, fishing, stuff like that. When I got to be about 10 or 11, I realized I had a creative side. My mom’s side is very musical, so I started playing music. When you get into the arts, you basically diddle around with whatever feels right until you fall into something. Once I fell into theater when I was 10 or 11, and started doing professional plays when I was around 12, that’s when I was like “Okay, I think I found it”. I got to do everything. I was able to express myself through acting, but I could also do musicals, carpentry, lighting. It really is a collaboritve form of art, a lot like film and animation. I’m not exactly surprised that’s where my path went, and I went to school for it. I got my Bachelor’s in it, and my Master of Fine Arts, so I was pretty committed.
I made a deal with myself when I decided to go to grad school. I said to myself “If I’m going to spend seven years in college pursuing this, I’m going to spend seven years after college pursuing it professionally”. If I was still bartending into my thirties, I would have to go back for something else. Thankfully, by my mid-twenties I was making a full-time living, which is good because I don’t know if I’ve got the skills for anything else.
Between stage acting and voice acting, which one do you prefer the most?
Theater will always hold a special place in my heart. I loved it; it’s where I got my training, it’s where I came up. It’s one of my first loves. It’s never not going to be part of my life. However, I’m kind of over it. I’m just not the viable as an on-camera actor. I’m brown, and that hurts you a little bit in American theater. There’s not too many roles for us. There’s some colorblind casting, but not that much. I did a little bit of on camera when I came to Los Angeles, but I really love what I’m doing right now. Talk to me again in 8 years, and we’ll see. Maybe I’ll be jaded on this the same way I’m jaded on theater, but I don’t think so. I think this is where I’ve always belonged. I’ve always been a nerd at heart, so I think I found where I’m supposed to be.
Charming and insightful, Robbie provided a lot of information about his passion for acting and the characters he has brought to life. On behalf of everyone at Mithical Entertainment, I would like to thank Robbie Daymond for his time and answers.