Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Interview With Anjali Bhimani Voice Actress of Symmetra

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For those who don’t know, Anjali Bhimani is the voice actress of Symmetra from the hit game Overwatch as well as Nisha from the Fallout 4 Nuka World dlc. Bhimani hasn’t been just a voice actress, she actually got her start from the theatre. “I’ve been an actress since the dawn of time, since like 1802”, she joked. She studied acting in college and has been in the industry ever since.

Bhimani attended Northwestern University for Theatre. For her the jump from being a theatre actor to being a voice actress wasn’t as big of a jump as one might think it would be. Bhimani stated, “You train your voice so much as a part of your work and your voice is such an important part of the portrayal of any character on stage.” She goes further to explain how in theatre you need to know how to adjust your voice for each particular character so doing voice acting just seemed like a perfect fit for her.

But before she even started that she had a rich background in acting. After finishing school she decided to start acting in Chicago, then she moved to the Big Apple New York City! Where she was able to perform a show that went from Chicago to Broadway, as well as some opera. So needless to say she knows how to use her voice quite well. All of that lead to her working in TV, and now she resides in LA and will travel where work is needed.

Bhimani believes that one major key for her successful career is sleep. “If you’re not getting good sleep you can’t manage your time”, she said. She then goes to explain how sleeping is a key part of time management. She went on to say, “Don’t ever plan on multitasking, it’s a terrible idea; no one who multitasks can give anything 100% of their energy at the same time

Overwatch was her first major voice acting job, prior to that she had work in other minor jobs even doing the disclaimer in Tosh.o. When she was auditioning for her job at Overwatch she had no idea that the game would be as big as it got today. As a matter of fact she didn’t even know who she was auditioning for in Overwatch and even Fallout! “You generally don’t know who you’re auditioning for”, she said. They put you on a need to know basis when trying out for the part. When she had auditioned for Nisha she had no idea how she’d even look like. “I was actually thrilled I didn’t know what she looked like because I think I would have voiced her differently.”  

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Working on a game like Fallout wasn’t as much as big shift as opposed to working on Overwatch, even though Fallout is known for all the different dialog options. The one major thing that she found different was the character she voiced. “Nisha is a blood-thirsty psychopath and Symmetra is not”, she said. Overwatch was more understandable to her due to her life experiences but when she saw the trailer for Nuka World it was a step outside her comfort zone that she loved.

Bhimani is a gamer, but as she describes herself as a gamer, she goes on to admit, “I am terrible at first person shooter.” A big reason why is because she currently plays on console, but she grew up gaming on PC so the change is a bit difficult for her. She did seem to love the new battle royal mode in Fallout 76 Nuclear Winter. She said, “I just played the new battle royal mode they have for Fallout here and it was crazy it’s awesome!”

When she happens to play a game that she’s in, it’s easy for her to forget that she’s actually in it. When playing Overwatch she often feels like Symmetra is taunting her because of how well put together she is as a character. For example when Symmetra says “I will correct my mistakes” Bhimani responds “No I won’t I don’t know what I’m doing please for the love of god please stop telling me to do better.”

One of Bhimani’s aspirations is that she would love to work in anime. She’s often fond of how much of a positive impact it has on peoples’ lives. She said, “I really love how much anime can really touch people emotionally and how many great messages there are out there.” She hasn’t gotten around to it yet but one anime she has on her que is My Hero Academia.She grew up watching anime and has a deep love for it.

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She finds it incredibly rewarding when people come up to her, and explain how her work helped them out or inspired them to do something in a positive way. One thing she loves about Symmetra is that she’s an empowering role model, “Both because she’s indian and she’s in a stem field and a female and a great example of a person on the autism spectrum who is able to harness their talents for the greater good while overcoming and adjusting to her difficulties as well.

She wanted to let ladies and gentlemen all over know in order to succeed in any field that they should “Spend more time on focusing on what you are and cultivating that and less time limiting what you aren’t and can’t change. Because so many of us, but I think so many of us across the board men and women wishing they were something different. Wishing you were tall , if you’re short, wishing you were from a different background, have a different set of skills, more or less athletic. Sure that can sometimes be an inspiration to work had to become something but sometimes it’s you beating yourself up for something you really don’t need to

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