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Vanness Wu is Dr. Grisworld in Animax Asia’s ‘LaMB’

Vanness Wu is Dr. Grisworld in Animax Asia’s ‘LaMB’

Walden Sadiri

who does not know pop-Asian star Vanness Wu?

In the Philippines alone, he became a household name as a member of the Asian boy band F4 whose TV series " Meteor Garden " and Meteor Rain" became phenomenal hits as their shows invaded nationwide Pinoy TV.

While in Asia, the Taiwanese-American artist is also a recording star as well as a movie actor whose most recent movie was "The Three Kingdoms: Ressurection of the Dragon." There’s more to expect from Van Ness Wu as he is working on a number of projects and one of them "LaMB," Animax Asia’s first multimedia, multiplatform (for online, mobile and television) and HD original animation production.

In a phone interview with select members of the Asian press, Vanness said he didn’t know how he was chosen to be a part of a big Asian animated project like "LaMB" but is nonetheless pleased he was cast. Fortunately for him they were looking for someone who could speak fluent English and Mandarin because "LaMB" is going to be dubbed in those languages among other versions.

"I’m just very grateful it fell on my lap...when they approached and asked me about it, I was looking at the artwork and I was looking at the story and I decided it was a great project to climb on board. It was such a big animation project," explained the actor who was handpicked for the role.

His second time in voice acting in "LaMB," it is also his first voice acting in English. So how different is voice acting from regular acting?

"Well, you don’t have to worry about camera angles as much because there’s no camera," he kidded on the phone. "Sometimes the simple lines like I like to get a cup of water. You have to do a couple more takes just to get the proper effect because it is animation. Some of the simple throw away lines instead you have to be a little bit more specific in the way you say it."

He added that one of the biggest challenges for voice acting was that the artwork was not yet finished when he started dubbing for it.

"There were no actors or actresses that were picked at that time. So pretty much the only other sound I was hearing was from the vocal producer at the other room. She really helped me get into the character and helped get me get more details of what’s going on the room and things going around and God Bless her for being so professional," he said.

Vanness Wu plays Dr. Jack Grisworld. "LaMB" is about the protagonists Jack and Eve’s struggle against planet Cerra’s Lamination system of imprisonment — criminals called LaMBs are kept in laminated suits to remain productive. Yet they remain imprisoned inside their laminated suits. Eve is an ex-scientist serving her sentence in the suit having accidentally taken innocent lives in an experiment gone wrong, while Jack is a visiting scientist immersing himself in work to forget his dead wife. Inadvertently, Jack gets pulled into the political system of Lamination and a romance with Eve.

So does he relate to his character being a pop star or a matinee idol?

Vanness Wu could actually relate to his character since he considers himself, like Dr. Grisworld, a nerd.

He expounded, "Growing up, me and my cousins, my cousin is like a big computer engineer guy and we are all into animation and the geeky stuffs that some might say but I find it very cool. I was able to relate with him a little bit and I kinda got my cousin’s personality in my cartoon character."

Though he could not describe how he would like himself interpreted if he was an animé character, he is simply thrilled to be working in "LaMB."

"I am very excited about my involvement in Animax’s inaugural animation production as it looks set to reach out to Asian youths in a big way across multiple media platforms. Jack is a very complex character with many facets and strong emotions, and I am looking forward to meeting the challenges to bring him to life in LaMB," said Vanness Wu in an interview with Animax.

Directed by Ryosuke Tei, from the storyboards Yasufumi Soejima, "LaMB" is slated for a 2009 opening. Other international artists involved in "LaMB" are Canadian pop punk band Simple Plan and American rock band The Click Five. The former’s "I Can Wait Forever" is the show’s title track.

When asked who is Vanness Wu’s favorite cartoon character, he mentioned a lot but what came to mind was Naruto.

"Because of his heart. He has a great big heart and he believes in something he dreams and he pursues and goes after that no matter what and he doesn’t let anyone stand on his way," he concluded.

source: Manila Bulletin Online

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