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The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

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Celebrity voice casting is ruining the voice acting industry

Reporter+Haley+Maharry+argues+that+roles+filled+by+celebrities+should+instead+be+given+to+talented+new+up+and+coming+talents%2C+not+names+people+will+recognize.%0A
Midway Staff
Reporter Haley Maharry argues that roles filled by celebrities should instead be given to talented new up and coming talents, not names people will recognize.

“Leo” and “Trolls Band Together” are two recent animated box office releases and hits. In the past movies like these would have characters voiced by actors trained in voice acting, not stage or film actors trying out voice work. But both of these movies are filled with A-list actors: “Leo” with Adam Sandler and Cecily Strong, “Trolls” with Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick and Kenan Thompson. Already established actors being cast in voice acting roles is called “celebrity casting.” The voice acting field has been long used well-known film and TV actors in their casts. These people weren’t cast because of their voice acting talent, they were hired because we already know them. 

Roles filled by celebrities should instead be given to talented new up and coming talents, not names people will recognize.

Professional voice actors who have put the time and effort into learning voice acting aren’t the problem. A production suffers when people who have never done voice acting before are solely cast for major roles just because of their other fame from being a singer, comedian or actor, not their voice acting talent.

Casting decisions could be justified by explaining that big-name celebrities bring more attention to the release of a movie or show. 

The problem is that the independent studios that could use extra publicity from celebrity casting can’t afford to cast celebrities. And studios like Disney, Pixar and Netflix that feature countless movies and shows with characters voiced by celebrities, don’t need this extra publicity. People will watch those productions anyway.

When a movie becomes more focused on who’s in it rather than the actual story and animation, what’s the point in watching the movie?

Voice acting is a skill that needs to be honed and worked on. Acting for film and voice acting require separate metaphorical toolboxes, and some of these celebrities just don’t have that. The problem for me stems from a voice actor being easily recognized because it’s just some celebrity speaking normally into the mic. No voices, no personality, it’s just their voice. When I listen to Mario’s voice in the “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” I should be able to hear Mario, not voice actor Chris Pratt’s regular voice“Epic: The Musical” is a concept musical based on “The Odyssey” that has a truly unique way of casting its members. The creator, Jorge Rivera-Harans, posts TikToks and YouTube shorts inviting people to audition by duetting the videos with a clip of them singing a portion of one of Rivera-Haran’s songs. From the audition pool, Rivera-Harans can pick who he wants purely based on tallent, not fame or follower count.

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About the Contributor
Haley Maharry, Reporter
Haley Maharry is a member of the Class of 2024, and serves as a reporter. Her favorite piece she has done is an audio story called “Fencing team members find new opportunity in fencing P.E. elective.” Outside of journalism, Haley listens to horror podcasts and acts in U-High's theater.

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    JasperFeb 21, 2024 at 10:44 am

    I said this decades ago. Remember movies increased drastically in price 30 years ago. The actors got paid enormous amounts. That is what keeps them in line and to do as their told. They are minions, as most people have finally realized. Hollywood is a disgusting place all around. If you go into this field nowadays you really can’t complain.

    I felt bad for the people way back when but now – sorry, you chose to align yourself with the filth of Hollywood.

    I never watched movies when I was younger, very rarely as I got older. If I do now – it’s some sort of independent, low budget or a story about the corrupt government that we all now have ruling over us. And as you can also now see politicians and actors are the best of friends.

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