All images courtesy of Funimation.

Thanks to Funimation, we got the chance to sit and talk with some of the stars of “My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising” before the red carpet premiere. Timothy Rosales of Anime Diet, Josh Jackson of Geekscape and Jose Balderas of The Rage Gamers took part in the round table interviews.

Our first interview was with the new characters of the movie, Mahoro played by Dani Chambers and Katsuma played by Maxey Whitehead.

I do apologize in advance to certain parts of the interview due to the poor audio quality of the room.

Faith Orcino: So how does it feel joining the My Hero Academia universe? I’m sure you guys have probably seen some bits of it, but how does it feel being part of the movie?

Maxey Whitehead: It’s been really exciting
Dani Chambers: Yes
MW: Very exciting. I mean, to be a part of a show that lots of people love, it’s really really exciting and an honor to voice along with such voice actor veterans. It’s really cool.
DC: I’m very excited.
MW: Absolutely and it’s always great to join a cast of actors who have already built the world so well. It makes coming in a lot more- a lot easier. You know, because their relationships are already so established that you just get to come in and play. You’re the new guy. It’s been great.
DC: Yeah, really fantastic.

Josh Jackson: Did you guys follow along prior to the movie or were you guys just jumping in blind and kinda picking it up as you went?

DC: I watch the show. Right now, I’m not watching Season Four yet because I wanna binge it ‘cause I’m very impatient. But you know it’s really good. Like you [Maxey] said, the world in it is very very fantastic and listening to everybody and like “Oh my gosh! This is so good!”, I feel like I’m sever again watching, you know, anime on Saturday morning. It’s so great. But yeah, I’m more familiar with it and like I have my ships and my fan [favorites]-(laughs). I’m like talking about it. But no, yeah, it’s- I love this show and it’s really really cool to finally be a part of it.
MW: I came in blind. I knew it was very popular and it’s kinda the big hero show right now. But I have been kinda in and out of working recently. I have a two year-old son so I’ve kind of been mommying full time. So I haven’t had a chance to watch that much but I’m so excited to see the movie tonight and pick it up more when I get home.

JJ: Nice, so what there anything that stood out while you were recording that made you understand why this is why it is popular as it is?

MW: I think I’m always drawn to the animation and it;’s so beautiful. Like that automatically that drew my attention and also you know what Cliff (Bakugo) and Justin (Deku) have built already. It was apparent- it’s apparent in the writing. It’s apparent in the animation and how you know how i was saying about the relationships that they’ve already built and have that- what’s that word?
DC: Chemistry.
MW: yeah, chemistry. Yeah, that’s hard to deny.

Tim Rosales: Do you see yourself being in the actual continuation of the series for maybe in the future?

MW: Oh yeah, I would love that. Like as our characters?
TR: Like a hero?
DC: I would love that.
MW: Yes. I don’t know.
DC: There’s this one [character] recently that I really like that I love her, but it’s too soon. Too soon. But it’ll be awesome to be a hero. I feel like it’s every kid’s dream to be a hero so to be an anime, especially an anime hero, that would be like the dream.
MW: Yeah
DC: But no, I-I would love to. But if not, it’s cool. I love Mahoro. She’s adorable.
MW: Absolutely. Well and I’m pretty used to the young boy, I don’t know, genre. So I- those don’t come along in these kinds of shows so it’s fun to be able to do Katsuma and live in that sort of my comfort zone as far as my voicing does. But it would also be cool to branch out you know and do someone older if that [opportunity] presents itself.

Jose Balderas: I got one for our fanbase. What one quality from your character do you identify yourself with?

MW: Oh, that’s a good question.
DC: Oooh.
MW: Katsuma has this sort of-he gives everyone the benefit of the doubt and I definitely try and do that in my life as well. Just in the movie, he really thinks everyone has the best intentions.
DC: Yes
MW: I try and do that.
DC: Aw, that’s so sweet. Mahoro, she’s very stubborn but it’s because she’s very protective of the people she cares about. And so I feel that’s how I am in all honesty. I’m very stubborn when it comes to people that I love because I want the best for them but sometimes I’m not the person that knows what’s best for them. So I can be protective of them as much as I can but I can’t really control where they should go. And I have to learn to let that go and just in Mahoro, I feel Mahoro’s like that most of the movie.
MW: Yeah
DC: And so I feel like I relate to her on that level because she comes from a place of love and I just don’t have to see anybody else get hurt.

TR: So can you tell us a bit about that Nine character from your guys’ perspective?

DC: He is scary as fudge.
MW: Yeah
DC: When I recorded it for that first time, when he came on screen, when it kinda went up on the time code and he came on screen, I kinda went “AAH!!” He’s just very intimidating.
MW: Very and it’s especially weird when you are recording and you don’t have context for what’s happening because it jumps. You know, like you do your part, it jumps to the next part that’s yours and the next part. So you don’t have all of the context that goes with it and it just felt like for two hours he’s just looming and definitely intimidating.
DC: Yes, especially with the no-context part, you just jump to it and he’s just hovering over you. You’re like “Hhh-okay…” like this is really scary.
MW: Yeah, seriously. So yeah, definitely scary.

JJ: Were there any characters in the movie that while you were recording, you were hoping to interact with that you ended up interacting with them?

DC: I really wanted my character to interact with Froppy. She’s my favorite. But she doesn’t really and I really wished she would but maybe in the future? Maybe?
MW: Maybe. I have a serious crush on Deku. And so any chance that Katsuma gets to interact with him is like the best day of his life again, all over again. There is thankfully a lot of that.
DC: Yes! Cute!

JB: What is one of the funniest moments when you were recording? Was it when (Chris) Sabat came in and shouted?

MW: I don’t know. I don’t know how to answer this. I think one of the most ridiculous things is, and you’ll see tonight how ridiculous it is. But there’s this whole sequence of battle and fighting and screaming action and all of these. And you get through it recording and it’s like “Whew, that’s the hard part. It’s over. We did it.” And then the whole last ten minutes, my character yells the entire time. He just screams the entire time. And I’m like “Really? Really? This is how we end this? Okay. Okay. Thank you anime gods for that little voice actor gift.”
DC: (Laughs) Oh that. I think there’s one part of the film where I had to like scream but also be hurt. So the funny thing was trying to emulate this sound for like if you fall down or something.
MW: Right.
DC: So it- like I had to kinda jump and do the “Uuugh!!” It was so weird.
MW: Physically?
DC: Yeah, and I almost fell but Coleen (director) didn’t see it so I was like, “Good, I didn’t embarrass myself.” I think I just outed myself but I think that was the funniest part.

JB: I got a second part on that one. Sabat is All Might and Vegeta from “Dragon Ball”, like did he give you any pointers on the cream and yells?

DC/MW: No.
MW: Because the way we work is we’re in there by ourselves. So we go in and we have- I’m sure you guys know this but in case people don’t, there’s two screens. There’s one with the Japanese and the one with the script on it in English. They play the Japanese so that we can see the context of what we, our characters, will be doing and saying and they take it out and we dub it in English. So a lot of times we don’t even get to see each other. We were just talking earlier about how nice it is. Like Luci (Ochaco), I have been in Funimation for 12 years and we worked on the very first show together but we didn’t meet until today in person. So you can work like- I feel like I’ve worked with everybody working with but getting to meet in person is so rare that it’s a really nice treat to get to be out here and doing it and doing it together.
DC: It’s like seeing a longtime friend. Like, “Oh? It’s so nice to finally meet you!”
MW: “I’ve heard your voice for years!”
DC: Exactly.
MW: Getting to see each other. It’s a very interesting business. So to answer your question, we don’t get to see each other. We’re kinda in our own little bubble.

FO: By any chance, did you have any childhood superheroes? Since we’re in the My Hero Academia universe and everyone’s into heroes, did you have any when you were a kid?

MW: That’s a really good question. You (DC) go first so I can think.
DC: Growing up, I watched a lot of Sailor Moon. Sailor Jupiter’s my favorite sailor scout. So Even though- well no, they’re heroes. I can say that. And also Static Shock. I loved that show. Oh my goodness.
TR: Very realistic.
DC: Right? Yes! Especially for where it was in the 90’s. It was so- I used to watch that WB every morning, every Saturday morning. Yes and I was like “That’s a cool power, man!” Talking a random trash can disc and his friend Richie was a super nerd. Like “Whoa!” Dude, that was so real and I related so much to him. So yes, Static Shock and Sailor Jupiter and Wonder Woman. My mom was a huge fan of Wonder Woman. And I’m like, “Oh yeah, she’s cool.” She showed me some of the old TV shows. The turnaround.
MW: The spinning! I know! That I watched too. I was a bit of a He-Man and She-Ra fan as far as animation.
DC: Did you see the remake?
MW: No.
DC: It’s really good.
MW: I “saw” it but I didn’t see it.
DC: It’s really good.


We thank Maxey Whitehead and Dani Chambers for taking time out of their busy schedules to talk with us.

For more information on “My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising”, head to Funimation Films and find the nearest theater showing.