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MomoCon Exclusive Interview with Ben Diskin

Ben Diskin is an American voice actor. He is known for his roles as Numbuh 1 and Numbuh 2 in the animated series Codename: Kids Next Door, Sai in Naruto Shippuden, Joseph Joestar in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Humphrey in the Alpha and Omega sequels, Eugene in Hey Arnold!, and more recently, Ban in The Seven Deadly Sins.

What’s your favorite game of all time?

A Zelda game, Legend of Zelda 2, because of the action and the graphics.

Can you tell me how you were cast as Eugene Horowitz from Hey Arnold!?

It was one of those things where they had a ton of kids audition because they wanted real kids for it. I tried out for it, but I didn’t get, so I was like, “oh that sucks.” They went with another guy and his voice changed. Then they went with another guy and his voice changed too. So they had me come in, and I got it! But I had auditioned for it a year prior.

How was the experience of working on Hey Arnold!?

It was good! It’s a bunch of kids, so every day was like hanging out with your friends, even though we were working. It got to the point where they had to install these moveable walls in between the kid actors because we would just talk to each other instead of doing our jobs. (laughs). Once they installed the walls, we would just lean back and talk to each other anyway. The cast and crew were great. All the kids were great, it was a really positive experience.

If you could recreate a voice in a live action adaptation would you?

I would probably be down for that. It depends on what you mean?

For like KND?

They should probably have kids for that. But I’d love to be a random guest villain. Maybe if I shaved, I could pass for a teen. (laughs).

Or you could do Joseph Joestar (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)?

I would have to lift a lot and get jacked for that.

You could do CGI?

(laughs) That might work.

What’s your most vivid memory from working on Hey Arnold!?

That was a long time ago. I think it’s probably getting into an argument with Jamil (Gerald). I don’t know why, but I got really mad at him for something and that sticks out to me for some reason. (laughs). It was probably about a girl or something.

Have you found any difficulty between working on Japanese vs American animation?

Japanese animation is dubbing, so you have to match mouth flaps, that’s really the only thing. You have to have good rhythm and timing to pull that off. I did my first one and had to learn on the job. Now it’s gotten pretty easy and I’m good at it, so it kind of all blends together.

What would you say were bigger shoes to fill, the role of Char Aznable (Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin) or Joseph Joestar (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)?

Joseph Joestar, because I felt a lot of pressure from all of my friends who are huge Joestar fans. They were like, “you really, really, really don’t want to blow this.” (laughs).

Did you have any lines that you ad-libbed?

My ad-libs are very disgusting and I probably shouldn’t repeat any of them. (laughs). The “over 9000” meme from Dragon Ball Z, I got that into Sailor Moon. My character was talking about Sailor Mercury and I was like her IQ is over 9000. That one actually got in.

How did you get involved in voice acting?

My parents are both actors, so they were like, “we’ll put you in the industry and you’ll make some money for college and then you’ll go get a real job.” Then this wound up becoming my real job. It started slowly through my agency. I was six, when my agency asked me to try out for a voice over commercial, it was for McDonalds, I think. I didn’t know how to read yet so they told me what to say and it went well.

I liked it because no one knows who I am. I could just walk into a supermarket and no one gives a damn about who I am. (laughs). I still get to perform and be an actor for roles that I might not get to play otherwise.

How do you prepare for roles when you go for auditions?

I should do something, but I have nothing. I usually yell in the car on the way to a job, just to warm up my voice.

What show do you want to be on right now?

I want to be on the CW’s The Flash.

What anime’s are you watching right now?

Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood, DBZ, YuYu Hakusho, and DeathNote.

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