News culture Space Jam New Era: Interview with the French voice of Bugs Bunny, The Duke (Resident Evil Village)
In 1997, NBA star Michael Jordan and the Looney Tunes teamed up in the movie Space Jam for a basketball game that will be remembered forever. Almost a quarter of a century later, the animated troublemakers of Warner return to the stage with another basketball icon … LeBron James. JV’s editorial team spoke in writing with the French voice of Bugs Bunny – Gérard Surugue – about his work on Space Jam: New Era (2021) as well as his other roles in cinema and video games (Bioshock Infinite, Mass Effect 2, Resident Evil Village, etc. ).
What have been your personally most influential dubbing roles in film and television? For whatever reasons? What about video games?
Together with Jean-François Kopf and Phillipe Ogouz I wrote a series of sketches for C + “The Frog Show” and performed them in English. It was fun repeating ourselves in French. It was my very first dubbing that made me persistent in this profession. In “GUNMAN” I had the pleasure of titling Mark Rylance in the role of COX as a compositional, treasonous, devious role. And of course BUGS BUNNY. I was proud to have been selected 26 years ago. We have met. We are inseparable, a real pleasure! In other cartoons, the voice changes to double multiple characters (example in Wakfu: Rubilax, Vargass, Ratafouine, Chambellan Toufdru, Dieu Enutrof, and Baltazar!)
As for video games, I had a lot of fun telling Spider-Man 2. It was very fun to encourage the player to progress. I also liked the role of Colonel Hoffman in Gears of War, very calm, calm strength. In Kingdom Hearts, I played Philoctetes, half human, half goat. Totally insane character who gives advice to Hercules on how to win his fights. In Mass Effect 2, I played the role of Harkin. Another bad guy. I also sometimes do multiple voices in the same game (The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings: Yarpen Zigrin and the Flotsam Troll).
You replaced Guy Piérauld as Bugs Bunny. How do you relate to this cross-generational character, a true pop culture icon?
As I said, 26 years together is not nothing, I know this joker well! He also asked me if I would like us to calm down … I think!
How did you approach the character of Bugs Bunny in Space Jam: New Era? What changes in the character of Bugs Bunny between Space Jam (1997) and Space Jam: New Era (2021)?
As always with a smile because I knew it would be fun. It has to be said that we hadn’t really split since 1997 as I kept doubling it up very often (for the Looney Tunes series and films, Bunny and his friends, What’s new Bunny, …) Question character Bugs is still the same , Joker, cheeky. Only the graphics have been changed to give it a touch of modernity.
What are the main differences between dubbing a character in a movie and in a video game? Between Space Jam: New Era (Bugs Bunny) and Resident Evil Village (The Duke), for example?
The work is not the same at all. For the cinema we watch the film and underneath is the so-called “rhythm strip” on which the text rolls. Depending on the openings and closings of the character’s mouth, a vertical bar tells us when to pronounce the words. For the video game we have two screens. On the upper screen the text and on the lower screen the ghost of the strange voice. The goal is to start and end with the voice at the same time. We therefore have greater freedom of expression, but the timing is tight. We customize our game from the photo of the character and the original voice. The only similarity is the respect for the actor’s play. You must be in the service of and enjoy the character you are playing. Whether it’s a quirky or a creepy character, what matters is the fun of playing!
Can you briefly describe your work with Capcom on Resident Evil Village?
We rarely see each other at Capcom because we have agents. They chose my voice for this character and seem to appreciate it.
Space Jam: New Era will be released in France on July 21, 2021.
By Silent_Jay, Journalist igamesnews.com