MI6 caught up with Karly Rothenberg,
who voiced Rosa Klebb and Miss Moneypenny
in the videogame adaptation of "From Russia With
Karly Rothenberg - Voice Artist Interview
26th March 2008
How were you approached by Electronic
Arts to provide the voices of Rosa
Klebb, Miss Moneypenny,
and various Party Guests in "From
Russia With Love"?
My agent called me in for an audition/voice match
for the role of Rosa Klebb. I happen to be quite good at
matching certain vocal tones and inflections and this one
just seemed to fit like a glove.
A few days later, my agent called and
said I had booked the job! It's just that easy sometimes.
producers listen to thousands of submissions and somehow,
miraculously, pick the voice they like for the role.
The rest of the voices were additional
characters done spontaneously during the recording session.
In a lot of video game and animation projects, a producer
will hire you to do more than one voice just based on
they hear with one audition.
Above: Karly Rothenberg was primarily
hired to provide voice talent for the SPECTRE agent, Rosa
When and where the voice-overs recorded?
Was the recording process any different to those of other projects
you've work on?
The session took place at a recording studio in Los Angeles.
The producers usually pick a studio that is conveniently located
can accommodate their particular needs. This recording session
was a bit different than most. It required Mo-Cap, [motion capture]
- the technicians actually
illuminate your face with tiny beads that reflect light. It picks
up facial movement so that the vocals match the animated characters.
Because of the nature of Mo-Cap, there is a bit more of a challenge
with technical recording details. You really have to maintain
your focus to keep the character alive while all this other stuff
is going on.
Would you describe to us the process of recording
a Rosa Klebb sounding voice for the game. How difficult did you
find it to replicate her voice?
Rosa was very detailed. The first thing I did was research Lotte
Lenya herself. She was an amazing film and theatre actress and
getting to know about her life was very important to me. Then
it was a matter of listening to her vocal inflections, her accent,
and watching the movie "From Russia with Love" about
18 times before my audition.
You portrayed the classic voice
of Miss Moneypenny too, how did you go about recreating
the actor's original voice?
I was given a voice match of Lois Maxwell's voice
and for some lucky reason, Miss Moneypenny and Rosa Klebb
just seem to be in my range of vocal tones.
It's really quite an honour to portray
the voices of these talented ladies. I have always loved
the nurturing way Miss Moneypenny looks out for James, and
as far a villains go... Rosa Klebb is the best. I worked
on these characters with the utmost respect for the actors
work in the original film. The more authentic, the better!
Left: The digital version
of Miss Moneypenny in "From Russia With Love" (VG)
Do you feel that the Bond games are now becoming
interactive movies of their own?
I think the Bond game series has been incredibly true to the
films themselves. They took great care to find the perfect voices,
and energy of each character to make the whole experience more
authentic. And, best of all they got Sir Sean Connery himself
to play Bond! I also feel that these days, the companies truly
respect the video game art form. They create a totally interactive
for all gamers.
What did recording Party Guests
I guess you could say I sort of had a "Robin Williams"
moment in the studio. Basically, I improvised myself as
various people at a party just chatting. So I sort of talked
to myself and carried on non descript conversations with,
Were you provided with any art or in-game
footage of the scenes you were creating voice-overs for?
Does having the ability to see the role you’re providing
a voice for improve the quality?
No art was reviewed in the recording studio, but I did
my research and went to the website to get an idea of what
the other games looked like. The producers had the DVD
Russia with Love” as a reference for me when I was
in the studio. I was also very grateful that the producers
had a sincere approach to allowing me to take all the time
needed to authenticate the characters. They were some of
the best producers I've ever worked for.
Above: Concept art for the London party sequence that kicked
off the game's action
How do you feel modern technology benefits
a voice actor when trying to create believable voices?
I think it's truly amazing the technology available to voice
actors these days. I even have my own in home practice studio.
I'm also amazed that I can record a session in one place and
it can be sent to
New York where the producers of a particular project are on
other end directing me. There is so much available to the voice
actor today in forms of education, knowledge, practical application,
that it all makes for better quality performance every time.
Do you feel it is an advantage to have on-screen
acting talent when providing voice-overs for scenes in a game?
I feel that most of the industry looks for "name" talent
when they are casting because it gives credibility to a project.
Unfortunately, it sometimes leaves the "little guy"
out of a job. For feature animation in particular, it can be
frustrating to always be up against a movie star whose name
is more important
than your own. I do believe that every work experience an actor
can gain in, whatever venue they choose, will always benefit
work in voice acting. I've been acting on stage since I was 9,
and from there, my training and experience has just been an
journey. I think learning how to interpret the written word is
of paramount importance in any aspect of the entertainment industry.
How do you train to become a voice actor?
I studied with an amazing voice acting coach that was recommended
to me in Los Angeles, Dolores Diehl. She embraced all aspects
of voice acting and truly cares about educating her students.
I studied with her and various members of her faculty for almost
2 years before I made my demo reel or tried to get an agent.
I had produced my demo reel, I continued to study animation and
narration with her, and I still attend classes when I can to
up. I also have the honour of working privately
with another amazing coach, Ginny McSwain, who offers individual
coaching for working actors.
Is it a profession that anyone can get started
I think that the voice is the most distinct “fingerprint”
we have, and I believe that anyone can explore voice acting if
they have a desire to. The thing you need to remember about any
endeavour is that hard work and dedication are key to being successful
in whatever you choose. With voice acting, you really have a
to find a very unique niche and with the right classes and commitment,
anyone can do it! I do feel that having some kind of acting background
is important but there are a lot of
voice actors who never pursue on camera or stage acting and they
do great in voiceovers.
Russia With Love
(VG) - Game Index
- Character Profile