The Final Fantasy 7 remake has ignited a fire of passion in the hearts of those who fondly remember the 1997 original. Beyond just a shiny new lick of paint, there have been a host of dramatic changes and improvements. There is a new combat system, quests, and secrets. But there are also new voice actors for the many character. We recently had the pleasure of speaking with John Eric Bentley about bringing to life the character of Barret Wallace. Please check out the video below!
John Eric Bentley on voicing Barret Wallace
In our conversation with John Eric Bentley, the incredibly talented actor dove into his love of the Final Fantasy franchise. When his agent originally called him about the role of Barret, they did not reveal the title of the game, but from Barret's name alone, Bentley knew it was Final Fantasy 7.
Bentley also talked about how he brings a character like Barret to life. For Bentley, the only difference between portraying someone in a movie and voice acting is that he doesn’t appear on screen, everything else behind the scenes remains the same. He puts in the effort and time to fully research the role and think about the person that’s being played.
One of the difficulties of doing voice over work for games or anime is that the lines are often out of order. Luckily for Bentley, the translators for the Japanese version of the game were there to assist in helping him understand the context of the scene. But again, because Bentley is a fan of the original game, he was able to harness that memory and marry it together with his research and talent.
One of the biggest points of pressure for Bentley during the process was representation. Bentley says there was “Huge pressure. I wanted to represent my culture and my peeps, I didn’t want to let anyone down”. Bentley wanted to ensure Barret’s journey saw him end in a different place than he started, that he had dynamics and was more than just a one-dimensional character.
The entire interview with John Eric Bentley is an eye-opening look into what it takes to bring such a beloved character from such an important franchise to life. For more interviews with voice actors, developers, and more, be sure to check out the Shacknews and GamerHubTV YouTube channels.