First, thank you for taking the time to talk with me during the Comicpalooza and going through this process with me. You will be the first voice actor I will be interviewing. I’m happy to jump into this with you as you have been one of my top five favorite voice actors. While I fangirl internally, let’s go ahead and start!
Paul Castro Jr: PCJ
AW: Belle was a wonderful movie with a beautiful message of moving on and navigating through trauma. You played Dragon and the person behind Dragon, Kei, was being abused alongside his brother, Tomo. For me, this movie related a lot to me as I came from an abusive household when I was young. How did you prepare for your role as Dragon/Kei? Did you have any difficulties doing certain scenes because of the element of abuse in them?
PCJ: The subject matter that Kei/Tomo deal with is something really hard to watch, but it’s something that many children, unfortunately, experience every single day. I’m no stranger to a childhood that included some of the elements touched upon in this movie. For me, it was easy to relate to the feeling of wanting to protect a brother because I do have one in real life, and I would do anything for him, like Kei for Tomo. It was a hard scene to watch, but like any role, I’m lucky enough to get cast in, I wanted to do the moment justice and hopefully create an authentic performance to really depict what it’s like to go through that kind of trauma.
AW: I saw you on The Rookie the other day while I was binge-watching it again for the 100th time, ha-ha. Do you enjoy acting in live shows or do you prefer voice acting?
PCJ: I love all forms of acting! I’m very fortunate that I get to do a lot of voice-overs in all the various genres, and on the other hand, I’ve been able to act across TV, Film, and Theatre. They all have things I truly enjoy about them, and at the end of the day, I just want to be a part of telling good stories. I would love to work on a single-camera comedy or a contemporary sitcom. I love comedy and being able to act in front of a live audience, just like in the Theatre, would be a delight.
AW: I would love to get into voice acting, I believe the aspect of just the beauty of bringing to life a character that you’ve once read is wonderful. I see here that you do coaching sessions. How has the experience of being a teacher to the next generation of voice actors been?
PCJ: While I don’t consider myself a teacher, I’m very aware that a lot of what I do in life falls under that term. I want to help the next generations have the best opportunity to pursue this career because a decade ago this seemed impossible to me. There were limited resources and I really had to work my butt off to get a foot in the door. I hope the mistakes and lessons I’ve learned can help others make more informed choices in their careers. I also mentor students every year, which has been really enjoyable. Getting to work hands-on with individuals every year and seeing them climb their own ladders brings me so much joy.
AW: You have a large list of voice acting roles under your belt, but I would like to know whom would you dub in an anime? I think for myself, you would do so amazingly as the voice of Tsuna from Hitman Reborn.
PCJ: That’s very kind of you! I would love to play a character in the Naruto universe since it was so inspirational to me growing up.
AW: While the world is moving forward with animation and the amazing things that they have done with Demon Slayer and My Hero Academia. Can you tell us which of the newer generation of animes you enjoy watching?
PCJ: I agree with you. Demon Slayer and MHA are so dang good. They’ve really raised the bar in terms of what anime can achieve both visually and storytelling-wise. Their dubs are also phenomenal! I also really like Black Clover, Attack on Titan, Chainsaw Man, Jujutsu Kaisen, and Vinland Saga.
AW: What is next in store for you in the world of gaming and anime?
PCJ: There are so many things I’m beyond excited to share as soon as I’m able. I’ve been working on a ton of video games, anime, and animation that will hopefully be released sometime soon. I think so of my best work is to come so stick around!
AW: Your podcast, Points of eXperience (PoX), is climbing up and bringing in more people, I enjoy watching you and all your guests. Who is next on your docket? And who would you enjoy interviewing that hasn’t been on your podcast yet?
PCJ: The podcast has been a passionate love letter to my younger self. It’s the podcast I wish I had. There were shows like Crispin Freemans Voice Acting Mastery that I was obsessed with, but I’ve always had a thirst for all things in the entertainment world. I would love to have more guests on the series from FILM/TV like Mark Hamill and McElhenney – people who work on the nerdy side of things in various capacities. We’ve got some really cool guests coming up this next month to co-inside with some really cool releases in the gaming sphere. But next on the list is Alicyn Packard who also has a voice acting podcast of her own, Darren Dunstan, who voices Pegasus from Yu-Gi-Oh, and Todd Haberkorn who’s best known as Natsu from Fairy Tale.
AW: When I was younger the first anime I ever watched was Dragon Ball Z but, I was in Mexico when I first saw it so it’s hard for me to watch it in English Dub. I need to watch it in Spanish for some reason. What was the first anime you started to watch?
PCJ: The first Anime I ever watch might also have been DBZ. I watched a lot of Adult Swim as a kid and shows like FLCL, Cowboy Bebop, Bleach, Outlaw Star, The Big O. Inuyasha, and Gundam Wing, were on every night for me. I fell in love with Trigun really quickly and it became one of my all-time favorites along with Full Metal Alchemist.
AW: How did you get into voice acting? Was this something very spontaneous for you to do or was this a career path you wanted to take?
PCJ: I was in college and found my way into an Intro to Acting class. I’d always wanted to do something with video games or anime and the thought came to me: “Oh! I could become an actor for those things!” That set me on a path to pursue learning how to act. From there I fell in love with everything around acting and Theatre, and after years of working in NYC, I found my way back to voice-over and eventually decided to take it seriously and move to LA in 2020.
AW: I will end with this question because I am curious about this. You produced Madonna and the Breakfast Club. How was that experience jumping into a producer seat again? Are you in the works of moving forward with being a director?
PCJ: My partner Aly Miller and I have a production company, Lynx Point Pictures, where we write and produce a lot of our own work. I love telling stories, and what better way than by
making them yourself. Madonna was a great experience for me to work with high-pressure stakes and little to no money. We eventually sold that film to Hulu, so it taught me so much about Producing. Now I want to focus on directing more of my own projects. We’ve got a few projects in the works right now, namely a horror movie, and horror/thriller series we’ve been co-writing. Hopefully, we will be getting into production for that sometime this winter or next year.
And with that, the questions have been asked and the answers have come through, the dreams of going forward with encouraging words. Paul Castro Jr. has been such an inspiration for me and many others as he has stepped forward in acting and voice-over. He was such a delight to speak with at Comicpalooza and have a moment to step away from my media time. PCJ was so sweet to my little family as well as the many other people that came up to him to talk about his life and his roles. The world of anime and gaming is expanding and with so many taking up roles we can’t wait to see how PCJ will take on these roles. All we do know is that we will be rooting for him. Good luck to you, Paul! We hope that your dream of voicing a character from the Naruto universe comes true!
The World of Voices: Interviewing Paul Castro Jr
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