Interview with Patricia Summersett, the Voice of Zelda

Since it’s release, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has mesmerized fans of the series with its innovative gameplay and engaging story, and a significant part of that reaction has been because of the character of Zelda herself, packing a few surprises as she’s once again reinvented. She is also voiced in English for the first time, by Canadian actress Patricia Summersett, who is known for her on-screen acting as much as voicing in video games. At the 2018 Wizard World Austin convention, I spoke with the Summersett about voicing this iconic role.

Zelda is a little different from the characters you usually voice, and you also had to employ an accent for the role. Was it a challenge to voice her?

It’s true, I don’t usually get cast in those kinds of roles, but I made an effort for the princess role—or what I thought would be the princess role…

You didn’t know this was for Zelda.

Right. I went into the audition without the pressure of knowing what it was. I just wanted to make a good impression with the casting director and I actually used a friend of mine from England to sort of help me tweak what I was going to do.

And now you’re Zelda! What’s it like attending conventions as the voice of such an famed character?

It’s been a dream! I always wanted to travel for work, and now I am. I’m over the moon about it. I couldn’t have foreseen how large the community is and how similar the communities are as you go around the world, and how warm the fans are as well.

We asked our followers if they had questions for you, and one submitted this: Is there a scene in Breath of the Wild that you’re especially fond of?

A lot of people haven’t played the game yet, so I won’t get too specific, but, I like frogs. And I also enjoy that wonderful moment when Zelda accesses her powers.

Shifting to your life before acting—you were a figure skater. How did you choose between figure skating and acting?

In high school, it was a toss-up. Figure skating has a shorter shelf-life and it was what I decided to try first, and in fact, it was what brought me to Canada. I probably would have continued to do it but my career ended abruptly due to the logistics of representing a country (Canada) in which I didn’t yet have citizenship. About a year after that, I went back into acting.

Do you miss figure skating?

I did for a lot of years, though not as much anymore. But every once and a while, I get back on the ice. I’ve actually considered doing a Legend of Zelda program just for fun.

Fans would LOVE that.

I would need to get back into skating shape!

And you’re really busy, too, between voice acting, your singing career, and acting in front of the camera. You were in Mother! by Darren Aronofsky. What was it like working with him?

It was fascinating and wonderful. He does a lot of takes and is very particular about what he wants. It was very exhausting, but I also got to sit and observe Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Javier Bardem for five days—it was like a master class. I loved every minute of it.

You can see Patricia on the big and small screen and hear her as the titular character of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Featured art by yomiya (reprinted w/permission)

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