We are here at Wizard World Las Vegas with Sean Schemmel who voices Goku in Dragon Ball Z!
Yes I do!
How did you first get the role of Goku?
Well, there was an open casting call in 1999 because Funimation had moved production from Canada to Texas. I happened to be living in Texas at the time and they wanted to voice match the original Canadian cast; and apparently I successfully did so and got the part! So I was very lucky.
I’ve noticed that Dragon Ball Z has gotten increasingly popular over the last several years.
Yeah, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. We’re thrilled with it.
As far as the show and movies go will you be doing all of them going forward?
I’ve done all the movies and all of the video games. We just did Resurrection F Battle of The Gods, I did all 13 other movies, and I’ve done every video game so far except the original Playstation One (Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout) back in the 90s which Steve Bloom did the voice for.
You mean GT?
Final Bout, which is GT, so yeah! Steve Bloom, I just saw him in my agents office since we have the same one. He mentioned that (the GT voice work) to me and I told him I knew that. I couldn’t think of a better guy to have played Goku before me than Steve Bloom because he’s possibly the nicest guy you’ll ever meet. He’s far nicer than me for sure! (He laughs)
How many of these types of shows (conventions) have you done?
You know I never keep track, but when I first started I tried to do one a weekend, which I don’t think I did. Then last year was very busy because of the Resurrection F promotion and this year as of right now I have 14 scheduled.
Maybe more. I’m doing Wizard World, Fan Expo, I’m actually doing 3 Wizard Worlds (Las Vegas, Minneapolis, and St. Louis). I’m also doing Supernova in Australia and I’ll be at Bristol UK in a couple of weeks. But I love coming to Wizard World, it’s great!
Now, out of all the shows you’ve been to, I’m sure you’ve a really crazy fan or two…
Ha! More than that.
What’s the oddest story you have about fans?
Well, I’ve been asked to sign diapers, birth certificates, and breasts, which doesn’t happen enough. I think the weirdest and the thing that’s most uncomfortable for me is signing a body part and them telling me they’re going to tattoo it on them. And I’ve only let two people do that, but the only reason I did was because I was in a good mood that day. It’s very flattering, but it’s also very weird for me.
I can imagine!
I try to keep it to a minimum. I mean you’re going to have my name on your leg forever, that’s kind of freaky. What if you find out that you hate me later? I know it’s about Goku and my work but if they find out I did something morally reprehensible, which I haven’t, and they’re like “I hate so and so now because he did the bad thing!” But I’m like it doesn’t mean his art isn’t any good, so you know. Wagner was a Nazi sympathizer I think, or one of those composers was and we still listen to the Ring Cycle. I’m just saying separate it from the artist if you can. Unless they’re using that art to promote their evil agenda then you shouldn’t. But it they just happen to be an asshole privately and you find out about it, try not to throw out the work.
Aside from Dragon Ball is there anything else that you’ve worked on?
I’ve worked on probably 100 different characters over that last 17 years. I did about 40-60 different voices on the previous incarnation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I worked on Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Yu-Gi-Oh GX, the recent Fallout 4 game, the recent Halo game, there’s a bunch of stuff I’ve been doing the last two years. I’ve got a bunch of new exciting projects I wish i could talk about but I can’t just yet; I was also Hawkman in a DC Super Friends short.
Where can people follow you online?
I’m @SeanSchemmel on Twitter. For some reason Twitter doesn’t think they have to verify me, which I think is hilarious. Maybe it’s because I keep tweeting “I don’t need no stinking verification!” I mean they verify people that pry shouldn’t be verified, but I am @SeanSchemmel. I don’t have a Facebook account right now so if you find a Sean Schemmel on Facebook they’re lying. I had a Facebook account, I just shut it down about 3 months ago cause I’m really sick of Facebook. I don’t think any of the social media is really healthy for us, you know it has some healthy effects, but if you want to look at pictures of me you can sit next to me on the couch and I’ll show you my photo album or whatever. Instead of voyeuristically random people see into my life that barely know me. It’s very creepy for me so, I’ve always had issues with Facebook. Also because people will troll you and say shit to you on Twitter and Facebook that they won’t say to your face, and I don’t think that any celebrity should have to tolerate that. It’s total bullshit. It’s not like I’m going to show up at your pizza delivery job and go “You suck at delivering pizzas douchebag!” You know what I mean? You can criticize art without being a jerk about it. I try to avoid it but my agent and other people, even casting directors, think it’s necessary. They want to know how many Twitter followers you have. What happened to the art of acting? What happened to you trusting your instincts as a casting director or as a producer, and saying “I’m going to gamble on Sean or gamble on XYZ Actor and not worry about how many Twitter followers they have.” So I’m a little annoyed with it.
That’s completly understandable.
I don’t think whether I’m cast or any other actor is cast should be based on Twitter followers, but apparently that’s the way the industry is moving and I think it totally sucks; and I don’t care if you print that because I think they need to hear that it sucks. Anyway that’s my rant about social media.
Thank you it was great talking to you!
Thank you so much you guys were great!