Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Would an actor with any other voice sound as sweet?

Certain American actors have unmistakable voices: James Earl Jones, Fran Drescher, the Micro Machine Man. You would immediately know it was them if you were listening to a commercial and couldn’t see their face.

Things in Germany are a bit different. Because so many American films and shows are dubbed into German, there is a lively industry for voice-over actors. Of course this makes great sense, but I had never given it a second thought before moving here. While working at the Ebert Foundation, my female colleagues once discussed how hot certain actors were. I had never heard of any of them, and finally realized that the ladies were talking about voice-over actors and commenting on their voices.

Apparently, with few exceptions, the same German actor does all the voice-overs for the same character from the US program or movie. I remember once reading an article about the German “Friends” and was interested to see that they were marketed as a group, just as the “Friends” actors were in the States.

Anyway, this all gets back to the present because over the weekend Torsten noticed that the actor who does the James Bond voice-over recorded the airport messages at the Cologne-Bonn Airport. He said it was unmistakable. And then it hit me!... when I was in Bonn in May, I was waiting for my luggage when I swore that I heard the welcome message say, “Welcome to Bonn, Cologne Bonn airport” (like “Bond, James Bond.”) I thought I was just going crazy, but apparently not. So next time you are at the Cologne-Bonn airport, pay special attention to the PA announcement if you want to be welcomed to Germany by German James Bond:-)

Since I mentioned Fran Drescher, I should also mention that the “Nanny” is broadcast over here, but obviously loses a lot without her accent. What would “high” German with a Queens accent sound like, I wonder?


At 1:08 AM, Blogger Erica said...

It always drives me crazy when I hear the voice of an actor I know doing a voice-over and I can't recognize who it is -- so glad you figured out it was the James Bond guy at the airport!

At 3:24 AM, Anonymous Lexy said...

I realized that the same actor that narrates "N24 Wissen" performs the voice of Patrick Stewart on "Star Trext: Next Generation." And yes, it's a sexy voice, but nothing near Patrick Stewart's original!

At 8:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

High German + Queens Accent = Yiddish, of course!




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