Vanness Wu: From Meteor Garden to Anime Kingdom
Ex-F4 member is no mild little LaMB
It has been difficult for VANNESS WU to shake off the ‘Just another pretty boy’ tag, especially since he was part of the extremely boyish and good-looking foursome F4 in the popular Taiwanese drama Meteor Garden , but we think that the singer/actor has carved a nice little niche for himself in Asia. He’s definitely talented. Being fluent in English and Mandarin enabled the American-born Taiwanese actor to work with Japanese director Ryosuke Tei in Animax’s first and biggest original production – English anime film LaMB.
As Dr. Jack Grisworld in LaMB, Vanness, 30, is a scientist visiting from another planet who delves into work to forget the memories of his late wife. He meets Eve, voiced by Hong Kong actress Josie Ho, an ex-weapons specialist, who while trying to do the right thing, causes a massive accident and ends up being sentenced to years in virtual imprisonment.
Vanness recently took some time off to speak to hot about his role as a nerdy scientist and how he’s kind of like ‘big dork’ like his character.
How do you feel being part of this film?
I’m very excited about this project. I’ve been a very big animation buff since I was a kid, so to be in any part of an anime project gets me excited. I love the way people are able to create such worlds in different times and explore the imagination. To be part of such a great story is such a blessing.
Can you tell us a bit more about the project and how you got involved in it?
I don’t know how it fell into my lap but I’m very grateful that it did. The producers told me that they were looking for somebody who was able to speak Mandarin and English and luckily enough, my name popped up. I was lucky. I’m just a very big animation buff!
Name us some of your favourite animes.
Let’s see, Ninja Scroll, Apple Seed, Akira, Gun Buster, Robotech – the list goes on and on.
Do you have any favourite cartoon characters?
There are so many! Naruto, because he has a big heart and he has a dream which he pursues no matter what. He doesn’t let anybody stand in his way. From Disney, I like Pinocchio for the same reasons I like Naruto. I liked him as a kid and I still do today. I also like The Little Mermaid.
If you were an anime character, what would you look like and what personality would you like to have?
That’s a hard one. I want to have super powers and ninja-like qualities. To be a shape shifter would be really cool.
Who do you think has the sexiest voice in showbiz?
They are so many! It depends on how they do it. I think one person is the actress from The Devil Wears Prada , Meryl Streep. She’s just so natural playing different characters and the way she plays them exudes sexiness. I have always thought she’s sexy!
What has the experience of doing voiceovers on this anime been like?
It definitely has its challenges but I enjoyed the great experience of working with the people who have helped me with the vocals when I was doing the voiceovers in English. The artwork and animation were not complete at that point and I didn’t have anything in front of me except for some sketches from here or there and there were no actors selected at that time as well. I was just saying my lines in front of the vocal producer and she really helped me get into character by describing every detail. I really appreciate all her help.
How different is regular acting as opposed to animation voiceovers?
[With voiceovers], you don’t have to worry about camera angles because there is no camera. But sometimes it’s simple lines like, ‘I’d like to get a cup of water’, that require multiple takes to get the proper effect because it’s animation and simple lines have to be said in a more specific way.
How did you bring your character to life and how did you feel about him?
I kind of injected my cousin’s personality into the role because he’s a computer engineer.He’s a bit of a nerd and I’m a big dork too so I can relate to that. Growing up, my cousin and I hung out together and we’re all into animation and the geeky stuff but I find it very cool.
How do you personally feel about the future of mankind?
I would love to save the world but I know I can’t and only Jesus Christ can. What I can do is pray, let me be a servant to him and let him to do his work through me and I think that’s the best way that I can do it.