The Legend Of Vox Machina cast interview: We chat all things season 2, as well as what it is like for them to voice characters they created.
The Legend Of Vox Machina season 2 kicks off on Prime Video January 20th and trust us, you don’t want to miss it. If you thought season 1 was an emotional roller coaster, get ready for this ragtag group of mercenaries to put you through it all over again.
Mama’s Geeky sat down with the extremely talented cast and creators of The Legend Of Vox Machina (Liam O’Brien, Marisha Ray, Sam Riegel, Ashley Johnson, Travis Willingham, Matthew Mercer, and Taliesin Jaffe) to talk all about this incredible series. We touch on voicing characters that they created themselves, when they think fans should dive into the Critical Role Vox Machina campaign videos, and even tips for those starting their personal Dungeons and Dragons journey.
Should Fans Dive Into The Critical Role Campaign Videos Before The Series Ends?
We aren’t the only ones that immediately fell in love with these characters and their journey. So for fans that have not yet watched the Critical Role Vox Machina campaign videos, what does the cast suggest they do. Should they wait until the series is over in an effort to avoid spoilers? Or dive right in between seasons to catch up?
Sam Riegel (Scanlan) says you can’t go wrong. “If you if you got a glimpse of some characters and the world in season one that you really liked and you want to know more about, boy, do I have good news for you! There is a lot more. There are hundreds and hundreds of hours of live play. There’s also comic books, if you just want a little shorter blast of origin stories. There are T-shirts, there’s all kinds if you want to get more into the Vox Machina love. But that’s the great thing about this show. You don’t have to know any of that stuff to just enjoy the show. You don’t have to know what roleplaying games are. You don’t have to know anything about fantasy. You can just be a person who likes stories. And that’s that’s fine, too.”
I had admitted that while I was completely hooked on these characters, I like the element of surprise when it comes to what is going to happen next. Because of this I started watching Critical Role’s third campaign, which is currently running. This offers completely new characters and a completely new story.
Marisha Ray (Keyleth) thinks that this is a great way to do things. “I think you have a very good idea, Tessa and I’ve seen a lot of other people mention that they’re doing this as well. Where instead of jumping into campaign one, they’re jumping into either campaign two or three. Because campaign one will still be there once The Legend of Vox Machina wraps up if you don’t want to have any spoilers,. Then you can go back. And campaign three, no spoilers, has little hints, little flavors of Vox Machina if you are feeling a little thirsty.”
Liam O’Brian (Vax’ildan) opts to argue the opposite. “There is a lot that’s not in the series that is in the campaign. Plus things change so you’re not going to get the exact same experience. Sometimes I end up going back into to find something or look at something in campaign one and it’s pretty watchable.”
Travis Willingham (Grog) immediately jumps in. “My opinion is if you’re not familiar with the live stream, just go into the show and let that experience be your first brush and then if you want to know more, if you want to know how it differed, then you can go check it out. Obviously the time commitment is a little bit less with the animated series. So we really thought about the delivery of season two for people that may have no idea what’s coming next. So I would say that first.”
Taliesin Jaffe (Percy) jokes “it’s the world’s longest director’s cut. You don’t go in first.”
Ashley Johnson (Pike) adds “I would agree with Travis. I think jump in with the series and if you’re wanting to, then jump into the stream.”
Matt Mercer (multiple voices and Critical Role Dungeon Master) agrees as well. “As part of the adaptation process, some things get moved around. Some things get trimmed. Some things are left in the original campaign as they are and so you can always go back for that and experience it for those who have already watched it. Then it’s also getting to see the fresh take the animated series with slight tweaks. There might be certain unexpected shifts or changes that occur. But to everyone else’s point, jump in, enjoy it for what it is. Because it is its own unique wonderful thing.”
What Is It Like To Voice A Character You Created?
This cast is made up of incredibly talented voice artists who have made their careers in acting. But in The Legend Of Vox Machina they aren’t just voicing a character, they are voicing characters that they literal created and developed. When asked what that was like they all immediately describe it as “the best”.
Taliesin goes on to say that nothing compares to it. “It’s extremely peaceful. I don’t want to say I don’t have to think too hard, but what would Percy sound like and how Percy’s going to react to things are not hard to reach for. Whereas normally going in for something, there’s an awful lot of who am I? Why am I here? What do they want? What is the expectations of the six people in the room? In here? It’s just like, I know what’s going on. I know where I am.”
Ashley seconds those thoughts, adding that “it’s a unique experience to be able to stand behind the mic and say things that we’ve created and tell the story over again in a different way. And it feels wonderful. As a performer and as a creator. That’s the feeling that you strive for. So the fact that we get to get to do it is very, very special to all of us.”
Travis explains that “when you get to play outside characters, you’re just a momentary custodian of that character, right? You’re going to try and do your your thing with it. But you find oftentimes in those sessions, you’re trying to, like if you’re Thor, if you’re Batman, if you’re Superman, whatever it is, you’re trying to be all the Batman, you can be in every single line, because there’s a finite number of lines. There’s also a little bit more patience with this, because we know where the story goes, we know where they are in that arc, and you can just really let it breathe and hopefully sit in a more natural place as you’re watching it. And so that’s how we hope it comes across. It’s how it feels at least from a performance perspective.”
Matt makes a great point that there is no greater authority on Grog Strongjaw than Travis Willingham, there’s no greater authority on Percival de Rolo than Taliesin Jaffe. “So it also means that the voice director, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, gets to not necessarily focus on getting us to know the characters but instead on the tapestry of the story and how it all comes together and how to plus our performances beyond just our comfort with it. And the collaboration makes it even that much more wonderful and unique. Because everyone knows these characters so well, because there’s a part of them in each of us and they live with them for years. It means that all the energy that would go towards trying to get everyone to a point of believability instead goes to just making it that much better.”
Sam explains that “to voice a character that you created in a show, that you and your friends came up with during our free time, and get getting to voice it a field that you’ve been practicing for your whole life — there’s just nothing like it. It’s the culmination of all of our careers and all of our life goals. We wanted to make things, we wanted to create things, and we wanted to do voices. And we get to do all three of those all at once.”
Marisha agrees, saying that Sam really hit the nail on the head. “We reminisce all the time about all the weird little events and choices that we all made throughout our entire lives, that somehow ended up bringing this weird band of misfits together. And trying to think about that butterfly effect, if any one of us would have maybe just decided to stay in New York or go on a different path, would any of this have turned out the same way? So I think it really does just speak towards trusting your gut and following open doors and opportunities when they are presented to you and improv rules. Just say yes.”
Liam finishes us off with a nod to The Legend Of Vox Machina season two, “those golden Threads of Fate really feel real. It could be coincidence, but it feels like fate sometimes.”
The Legend Of Vox Machina Cast Interview Videos
Be sure to check out our full interviews with Liam O’Brien, Marisha Ray, Sam Riegel, Ashley Johnson, Travis Willingham, Matthew Mercer, and Taliesin Jaffe to get even more insight on Vox Machina, Critical Role, and tabletop games.
NEXT: 50+ of the Most Hilarious The Legend Of Vox Machina Quotes
About The Legend Of Vox Machina Season 2
After saving the realm from evil and destruction at the hands of the most terrifying power couple in Exandria, Vox Machina is faced with saving the world once again—this time, from a sinister group of dragons known as the Chroma Conclave.
The Legend of Vox Machina Season 2 is streaming on Prime Video now.
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Tessa Smith is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic. She is also a Freelance Writer. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Critics Association, and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association.