Interview with One Piece and Dr. Stone VA, Macy Anne Johnson

Do you remember what you were doing during the autumn of your 20th year? Were you attending classes in college? Maybe taking your niece trick-or-treating? Going to the opening of two movies that you’re in? Okay, it’s probably a big “no” to that last one—that is unless you’re voice actress Macy Anne Johnson. Currently attending university as a theater arts major, Macy Anne has already started to establish a voice acting career with roles in series like That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (Pirino) and Dr. Stone (Ruby), and in two movies that started screening last week in North America—One Piece Stampede (check out the TangleCast review of the film!) and Human Lost, both released by FUNimation. I sat down with Macy Anne recently to chat about all the exciting developments in her career.

Q: I was browsing your Instagram and noticed that you went to a local theater to watch Human Lost.

Macy Anne: I did! I loved it. I was so exciting! I hadn’t seen the film yet and I went with my mom and dad and some friends, so it was a super sweet experience. I’ve never heard myself in a theater before: It was surreal and so loud!

And you such a big role. In fact, Yoshiko, your character from Human Lost, is your first lead role! I saw that you prepared for it by reading No Longer Human.

Yes, oh my goodness, have you read No Longer Human?

I haven’t! I know it’s a classic.

And it’s probably the saddest thing I’ve read. I read another book that Dazai wrote, The Setting Sun—equally depressing.

Did it help you prepare?

There were so many differences between the book and the movie with this whole futuristic environment they created, but the film took the characters and their traumas and personalities from the book and implanted them into this crazy world, so by reading, I felt going in that I had a good notion of who Yoshiko was. There’s this quote in the book and I’ll probably get it wrong, but it’s, “She was a genius at trusting people.” In the movie that became, “She’s a genius at believing in ‘this idea.’” That was kind of how we centered the acting around her.

I think that quote describes her really well.

I know! It’s sad, because it should be a good thing…

Besides Human Lost, you had One Piece: Stampede come out last week.

I went from zero to 100! I’m very excited about it.

One Piece is a big deal! Were you excited to get the role of Ann?

Oh yes. I was an anime fan before I was a voice actor and would never have believed you if you told me I’d be a One Piece character. Crazy!

What were some of the anime you enjoyed growing up?

My first was Sword Art Online, which I realize now that some people have such a problem with! It’s divisive, but I love it! Oh and Fairy Tail. I got to do additional voices for Fairy Tail and that was so exciting!

How did you make the transition into in voice acting?

A lot of voice actors teach acting classes and I took Chris Rager’s—that was my first kind of technical training for voice acting, and it help me meet people and get on lists for different studios.

And you bring a theater background into voice acting, which is pretty common for voice actors—how does that help you voice act?

Voice acting isn’t very different from being on stage except for the complete isolation of the voice, which I think has made me a better theater actor because I have to concentrate fully on that. And I don’t know if other people do this but I feel very physical when I’m in the booth. I play a robot in the video game Paladins and the whole time I did the full body acting [does robot moves]. It felt like I had to do that to make the voice sound right! I’ve always been a very loud person, too, so that’s worked in my favor. I came out of the womb screaming!

So right now, you’re balancing all that—theater and voice acting and school. But where do you see yourself five years from now?

I want to be voice acting. I would love to see what other parts of anime I could involve myself in: Writing and directing are roles I’m very interested in. Doing a lot more of the same would be the ultimate goal!

Q: What’s airing currently that viewers can you watch you in?

I’m working on Dr. Stone right now. It’s exciting being on Toonami! That show is so much fun! And they can watch One Piece!

Human Lost has completed it’s U.S. run (though it premieres in Canada in November), but you can still catch Macy in One Piece: Stampede and voicing characters in many other anime series. And be sure to follow her on Instagram and Twitter!

TWWK

Husband. Dad. Occasionally Korean. Enjoys Star Wars, ASOIAF, and Meg Ryan movies. Tweets before proofreading. Ghibli. Oregairuuuuu. Jesus is King.

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