Voice Behind the Mask – Special Interview with Eunjo Lee, the Voice Actor Who Reimagined Kim Tae Young’s Voice in the Korean Language
Q. Voice actor Eunjo Lee, can you please introduce yourself?
A. Hello! My name is Eunjo Lee and I just recently became a freelance voice actor in November of last year. I started my voice actor career in 2019. Nice to meet you all!
Q. Are you interested in games?
A. I frequently go to IGRs (Internet Game Room) and play Overwatch, however I increasingly gravitate towards mobile games.
Q. What was your first impression of Operator Kim Tae Young, the character that you recorded the voice-over for?
A. Right off the bat, I was happy to see the character’s name, like, “Wow, a Korean!” I believe it’s very rare for global games to have Korean characters, so it was very surprising!
I found from her character bio that she is set as a North Korean woman who had just recently come to South Korea while concealing her true self behind the mask. I understood her as a character with a complex background story and deep wounds from the war.
After getting to know her, I really wanted to bring the character to life.
Q. Please tell us about the preparation process and if you remember anything unusual or unique about the day of recording.
A. I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare. However, I wanted to emphasize the tense atmosphere of the war as much as I could, so I watched war movies. I thought a lot about what it would be like to fight in that situation and how I would say certain lines.
Additionally, Kim Tae Young ’s character had just come from North Korea, so I really wanted to sell the North Korean dialect. So as soon as I got the script, I kept searching for and listening to North Korean words and dialects on YouTube until I got used to the sound. As a result, I ended up speaking with a North Korean dialect even when I was recording for a different project.
Oh, and I was fascinated to hear the English lines on the day of recording. There were familiar Korean words in the English lines, and they were even skilled at cursing in Korean.
Q. What did you focus most on when voice acting for operator Kim Tae Young?
A. When I first read the script, I thought she was a character who hid behind an intimidating mask while sarcastically teasing others.
However, while working on the recording, I ended up acting more like a soldier – stronger, and rougher, like the intimidating face on the outer part of her mask. Looking at a character in her 20s, who can put on a mask and rush into war with a gun in hand, I thought a strong portrayal would suit her better. As the character has had a difficult life, I wanted to express the feeling of having gone through all the ups and downs that life has to offer.
Also, it was not easy to express Tae Young’s speech tone properly.
North Korea has different dialects from region to region, so I didn’t quite know what to study.
I worked with several people on the Call of Duty team as well as recording studio who prepared the recording with me, and we ended up going with the Pyongyang cultural language, as it would sound most familiar to players.
I also studied the North Korean dialect by watching the recent drama “Crash Landing on You.”
I thought the drama would be helpful since there were many actors playing North Korean soldiers. Additionally, if there was a video in which there were a lot of comments from North Koreans living in South Korea, saying, “This actor speaks the North Korean dialect very well!” I took note, watched the video, and practiced the intonation.
Q. Any final words to the Call of Duty fans who will soon play as operator Kim Tae Young in Call of Duty?
A. The Call of Duty team, the director, and I worked very hard together on the recording! Thank everybody for helping me analyze the character. Due to those efforts, this has become a meaningful project and character for me while recording. It was such an honor to participate!
Please show the new operator Kim Tae Young a lot of love and playtime!
Let’s go Call of Duty!