'Dragon Age: Inquisition' Voice Actress Laura Bailey Talks To iDigi About Her Career Highlights

Dragon Age: Inquisition

Laura Bailey is one of the most in-demand female voice actresses in animation and gaming today. Bailey, 34, landed her first acting gig straight out of high school as the voice of Kid Trunks on Dragon Ball Z. Her time at Funimation opened the door to more opportunities in voice-acting for animation and video games. Bailey has come a long way in her voice-acting career bringing characters from your favorite franchises to life.

iDigitalTimes chatted with Bailey about her experiences in the gaming industry. Bailey's passion for games spills into voice-acting work because she plays video games and knows the characters before auditioning. She still geeks out pretty hard when she gets to work for studios whose work she admires, like EA. When she had the opportunity to work on Dragon Age: Inquisition, Bailey couldn’t say no.

“I’m a huge fan of BioWare and have been for years. I geeked out pretty hard the first time I met [Mass Effect voice actress] Jen Hale. When they called and asked if I would come in and play Bianca- she was the original role I went in for when they asked if I would play Dagna- I geeked out super hard I was a fan of the series so I knew who Bianca was going in. I totally loved [working with EA],” Bailey said.

You may've heard Bailey’s work in some of the more popular video game and animated series out now, but it's not always that way. Sometimes you take a job because a nice paycheck is too enticing to pass up. While characters like Infamous First Light’s Fetch is a source of pride for Bailey, she does have some characters in her career credits she couldn’t believe she talked herself into voicing.

“Everyone that is an actor has had that moment where they’re like, ‘What am I doing?’ The most recent thing I can think of was so funny because it was right after Infamous: First Light was released; actually it was the day it came out,” Bailey said. “It was around the time all of that stuff was coming out about women’s roles in video games and I was so proud of Fetch because she’s such a well-rounded character and exists outside of the fact that she’s a female. I was really, really happy that day. And then I went in for a recording session on a game and my role was 'Prostitute number one.' It was a humbling experience. I’ve had that experience several times in my career [laughs].”

Laura Bailey
Laura Bailey, voice actress. Photo: Laura Bailey

Bailey also enjoys living forever in the projects she takes on. Sometimes the actress will go into a recording studio for four hours and her work on a project is done, but other times she’ll work on a project for years. She cites her work on the Saint’s Row franchise as some of the most memorable, in large part due to the amazingly fun and absurd plotlines.

“With Saint’s Row, honestly I think that was one of the most fun games I’ve ever worked on,” Bailey said. "One of the most fun recording processes I’ve ever done just because Steve Jaros, who is the creative director and one of the writers for the games, would write the boss dialogue depending on who the actor was that was doing it. That’s why all the bosses really have different personalities even though it’s basically playing the same character. It was so goofy and so much fun.”

Bailey recalled one session with fellow voice actor Troy Baker while they were working on Saints Row 3. Baker laid down some tracks for the default male voice in the game. Bailey went in to deliver the same lines, but Baker’s performance challenged her timing and she had a hard time matching what he did. She got her revenge on Baker when Saints Row 4 came around.

“My job was to come in a deliver the lines with the exact same timing as him to the extreme, but also say it in your own way,” Bailey said. “It was so hard because Troy is an amazing actor and said the lines in a totally crazy way. So if the line was ‘Get in the car right now’, he would’ve said ‘Will you just..ugh..get in the car right now?’ And I have to match that timing and everyone was just shouting, ‘Troy, you’re evil’ while we were recording. For Saints Row 4, I got to be the one who laid down the original track and everyone had to match my timing. I intentionally made it as difficult as possible just so Troy would suffer as much as I did. And he did. He texted me several times during recording saying, ‘I hate you so much.’”

You can follow Bailey on Instagram and Twitter @LauraBaileyVO. Bailey also gets together every Thursday with some pretty cool people at Geek and Sundry to play Dungeons and Dragons live on Twitch. You can check out past episodes of Critical Role here. Bailey's latest work on Telltale Game's Tales from Borderlands Episode 4 is out for the iOS, Android, PC and consoles is out now.

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