Q: How did you get into voiceover work?
A: Ever since I was 4 I knew I wanted to be a voice actor. I sought out voiceover work at a young age. I knew I could do other voices. I was doing Howard Cosell, James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Jack Nicholson. I did a lot of work doubling for celebrities in featurettes or movies or video games, when the needed a line of dialogue replaced.
Q: What’s the difference between doubling and doing an impression?
A: Impressions might turn into a caricature of the voice, and is played more for comedy. Doubling is performing the line as the actor would actually say it.
Q: But you aren’t just imitating Ewan McGregor on the show, are you?
A: I noticed in Episode I that for the first couple of lines, Ewan sounded just like Alec Guiness (who played Obi-Wan in the original trilogy), only younger. So I started doing Ewan doing Alec Guiness. Now, though, I don’t even think of it as another actor’s voice. I just slip into it as Obi-Wan’s voice.
Q: You aren’t from England obviously. Do accents just come naturally to you?
A: I was born in Santa Barbara. Accents were just something I had an ear for. I would just be hanging out with someone from England or Texas, and I would pick up the twang in their voices. Usually my agent sends me a 10 second sound clip and asks if I can match it, and usually I can just tune into it.
Continue reading: Obi-Wan Speaks: A Conversation With James Arnold Taylor.
Related post: Star Wars: The Clone Wars Cast Interview Round-Up.