If you’re a fan of dubbed anime, then you’ve heard the voice talent of Chuck Huber, whose roles include Hiei (YuYu Hakusho), Stein (Soul Eater), Kululu (Sgt. Frog), Shou Tucker (Full Metal Alchemist), and Austria (Hetalia), among many others. In addition to his work as a voice actor, Huber has also produced, written, and directed multiple projects and performed in live action series, including Star Trek Continues.
Geeks Under Grace caught up with Chuck at the Space Coast Comic Con to talk Faith, fringe science, fandom, and fun facts, as well as get the inside scoop on his roles in two upcoming Christian anime series, Prince Adventures and League of Eden (and learn a bit about his own projects, too!)
Q. How has your Faith influenced your work as a voice actor?
Chuck: Definitely when I was principle of a Catholic School. There were roles that directors knew not to offer me because they would be like, “That would be a little bit complicated for you to do this role.” So they would let me not audition for certain things.
I would also say that my Faith influences everything I do so it’s really not apparent in one specific way. It is a part of everything I do so it’s not discernible. Everything I do is part of my Faith—my belief in this reality that we live in.
Q. What has been your most challenging voice acting role so far?
Chuck: Shou Tucker. When he turned into a chimera, he just had to whisper so that made it really hard to differentiate emotion. It was also challenging because people would come up to my table [at Cons] and be like, “I hate you. You killed Nina!” I’d be like, “Shut up! You’re a seven-year-old girl!” And then they’d walk away crying, and I’d be like (evil laugh).
Q. And then you do the evil laugh? (laughs)
Chuck: Yes, and then I would crush them.
Q. Now, in addition to voice acting, you’ve held a lot of ADR directing and script-writing positions. So when you’re writing the script for a show that you also act in, how does that change the overall experience?
Chuck: It makes it easier, for sure, because you’ve already written the script, so you already know all the details of the whole series. There’s some mechanical things too: it’s just physically easier to fit the line into the mouth flaps of the character because you wrote their dialogue. So you’ve already watched the line synch with the character’s mouth flaps over and over again to be sure it was perfect. A writer’s job—the good writers—what they do is they make sure that you can just say the line as written and it will fit the flaps right.
Q. Let’s talk Prince Adventures! How did you get involved with this series?
Chuck: I think Vic Mignogna passed Kenneth [the director of Prince Adventures] off to me and said, “Hey, I’m doing this thing. Talk to this kid!” And that was basically it. On Vic’s recommendation, I did it. I said, “OK, Kenneth, I’ll do that.”
And, you know, it’s interesting because the group that is funding Prince Adventures… I was in conversation with one of their vice presidents and he was like, “We’re so-and-so distribution MythCon.” Which is sort of the big thing in Cons every year where a bunch of stuff gets sold. And he was like, “Yeah, we’re looking for films.”
And I was like, “Hey! I have a film that I’ve finished. Take a look at this.” And I send them a link to my work, and now they’re also distributing my film.
And, to me, that’s one of the big proofs. I kept giving Kenneth support for this project, and I kept giving him hope, beyond even when I thought I should be giving him hope. I was like, “Maybe I should tell this kid to quit…” But I never did.
It was like “the more you give, the more you get back.” I got more back from that relationship with him than he ever got from me. Having my film distributed is one of the biggest things that has ever happened to me in my lifetime, and it only happened because I was helping him.
Q. That’s awesome. It’s kind of like what you were saying in your panel earlier about how people will come up to you and say, “I’m working on this.” And you always say, “go for it!”
Chuck: Yes! And Kenneth was one of those dudes that I was just like, “Go for it, dude. If you never quit, eventually you will succeed.” That’s the truth.
Q. You also co-direct and act in Prince Adventures. Could you tell me a bit about these roles?
Chuck: I play Prince Han. It’s still to be determined just what that’s going to be. We still have to write it. We’ve written the pilot. We’ve written a bunch of stories. Kenneth is fully in charge of all of that.
In terms of my involvement in the directing, it will be more like helping him manage and produce. Once the animation is completed, he’ll hand it off to me and say, “Put voices and sound to it and make it beautiful.” And I’ll be in charge of that whole back half of it. The whole ADR. And I’ll help him with story stuff, too, because I’ve been writing for a while.
Q: Did you audition for the role of Prince Han, or did Kenneth suggest that to you?
Chuck: Kenneth knew my work and he wanted me for the role of Han, so that was just all on him—all his choice.
Q. Do you kind of resonate with the “big brother” vibe that Han has, since he’s the eldest of three brothers?
Chuck: Do I resonate? No, I was the youngest brother. I have five older brothers and two younger sisters, so I always felt like the “youngest brother.” I don’t know what it feels like to be the “older brother.”
Q. So this is kind of a cool new experience for you, playing this sort of role?
Chuck: Yes, absolutely!
Q. Kenneth also recently announced League of Eden.
Q. Which you have a role in?
Q. Can you tell me anything about your role in that series yet?
Chuck: Noooo, not yet. He just asked. He said, “If I do another project, do you want to be in it?” And I said, “Of course!” And then he announced it. I was like, “Oh! I guess you’re really doing it!”
I know he’s been negotiating with some different animation companies to get a short produced for that one, too. That kid—he does not waste time. He is just on top of stuff.
Q. In Christian circles, anime is often demonized and stigmatized. What would you say to Christians who are hesitant about watching anime or allowing their children to do so?
Chuck: It’s like any media. You have to be selective. You can’t be like, “Oh! This hentai is called Tentacle Rape!” Yeah. Don’t let your children watch Tentacle Rape. That’s not Christian. (laughs)
You know, they’re stories. Saying, “I’m afraid of anime because of the content” is like saying “I’m afraid of movies because of the content” or “I’m afraid of television shows because of the content.” Yeah, sure: there is bad content out there everywhere. So you just have to be a discerning consumer. Know what you’re showing your children. There’s some brilliant, brilliant anime out there that tells wonderful stories.
And also, you know, I always say as a parent, “You pick the amount of ‘poison’ that you allow into your children’s lives”—that this world poisons them with. Because we all get kind of “poisoned” by the bad stuff in this world. You know, some parents will be like “I let my kids watch whatever anime they want, but they’re gonna eat vegetables all day long.” And some parents are like, “They can have all the sugar they want, but I’m gonna make sure they’re only watching Citizen Cane.” And, eventually, you know: children are going to go off and make their own choices.
Q. What is some of your favorite geeky media?
Chuck: I love Dr. Who. I love Star Wars. I love Star Trek. I love astronomy. Like, I’m more into actual science. I’m like a real science nerd, but I’m a fringe science nerd so I like things like Electric Universe Theory. I’m currently interested in the Bedford Level experiment, which is an experiment in the late 1800s which proved the earth is flat.
Q. Whoa. That’s like… psych!
Chuck: I know! It’s blowing my mind. And actually I’m going to try and get Grant to do this myth-busting thing with me. Like, because water goes to level, right? So water is always level. And the earth curves at eight inches per mile and the square of the distance. So that means that at five miles there should be almost a twelve foot bulge in the water. In a twelve mile stretch or five mile stretch, you shouldn’t be able to see from one end to the other, like if you were in a canal.
So the Bedford Level experiment was in a canal. And it had one person standing at one point in the canal, and then boats, rafts, stretched out with flags—five foot flags—on them. And that person could see all the flags through the telescope.
Chuck: I know! The earth is flat! It’s totally flat! And like, some of the pictures they show… for example, from Iron Mt. in New York, you can see the skyline of New York and the skyline of Philadelphia. They’re 120 miles apart, and it is perfectly flat between them.
I actually think that what we live in is more akin to a video game. And when you talk about the reality in a video game… Well, a video game has one reality when you’re playing it as a player, and has another reality when you’re on the sort of topographical map region of it, and then another reality when you’re the programmer. So it’s both flat and round. You know, it’s round when you go up into space because that’s how you see it, and then it’s actually flat when it’s rendering in real time for you.
Q. That’s really fascinating. I’m going to have to go look that up now.
Chuck: Oh, it’s great! Look up the “200 Proofs that the Earth is Flat.” I saw it and I was like, “My mind is blown! The earth might be flat!”
Q. So where are you going on tour next? And what are you working on? I’d love to hear about this movie that you’re working on.
Chuck: Next, Jessica, my fiancé, has a showing at the Pop Gallery in Downtown Disney next Saturday, so we’re going to be here in Florida next Saturday, again.
And then, I am currently working on finishing up my feature film, which is Arbor Day: the Musical, which is a musical comedy about September 11th. Nothing funnier than that day. It’s hilarious. You’ll love it. Brina Palencia’s in it, actually, and Vic Mognogna, and Michelle Specht, Matt Thompkins, Jeffrey Schmidt, Gregory Lush, Maryam Obaidullah Baig—a bunch of really amazing people. So, I’m finishing that up. That just got distributed. I have a lot of deliverables to do for that, which is all the sort of press kit stuff that you need: things for conventions—kind of like a Con—where people see which movies they want to buy and show on Netflix and Amazon. It’s like being pitched. The distributor half is really cool.
Q. And then you’re also working on an IMAX movie?
Chuck: Yes, I’m writing a movie to teach children how to memorize the times tables, and I want to do it as an animated feature. I want Pixar to do it. I want to talk to them about it, and I have a connection to them, because one of the Pixar dudes works on our Star Trek show. I haven’t pitched it to him yet because I want it to be fully fleshed out before I do.
But the idea would be that, you walk into the theater and watch a 30-45 minute movie, and when you walk out, everybody has the times tables memorized. I did it with the Ten Commandments. I have a book called Zak & the Three Tree, which is a book and a play, and I toured the play everywhere. Kids would watch the 30 minute play and then they would have the Ten Commandments memorized. And the teachers were amazed. The teachers were like, “How’d you do that?” And I was like, “Magic and scotch tape.”
Q. You have a big passion for education and passing knowledge on to the next generation. Where do you think that came from?
Chuck: I don’t know. I don’t know when that happened. I don’t know why that happened. I really don’t. I don’t know where that came from or when it started.
People always say they want to be famous, and I always say, “Famous is boring. I want to be historical.” Because I want to do something that is long-lasting, and fame is incredibly fleeting. You can leverage fame into doing something historical, and think that’s something that fame is good for, but I think being famous is self-involved and being historical is focused outwards toward bettering the rest of the world. So try to make historical choices not famous ones.
Q. Now on to a couple of fan-submitted questions. What would you do if someone asked you to wear a red shirt in Star Trek Continues?
Chuck: I’d wear it! I don’t care if I die, but it would be weird to kill off McCoy. Yeah, McCoy’s kind of important.
Q. It’s said that it’s “more fun to play the bad guy,” and you’ve played some rather villainous roles during your career. Would you say that this statement is true?
Chuck: Yeah. Well, I’ll tell you this: I have a movie coming out next month called AmeriGeddon where I play the bad guy. (adopts Russian accent) I play bad Russian colonel! But playing the bad guy, you have more freedom as an actor. I once played a good guy in a play. I played Bassanio in the Merchant of Venice, and the director kept telling me, “You don’t have to do anything. You just have to be the romantic lead.” And I was like, “I don’t know how to do that!” That doesn’t make sense to me.
So playing the bad guy is kind of easier in some ways, and less vulnerable because you’re portraying something rather than allowing people into yourself. I guess in that respect it could be harder to play the good guy, actually.
Geeks Under Grace extends its most gracious thanks to Chuck Huber for taking the time to speak with us about his work. We encourage you to follow Chuck through his social media outlets, and keep an eye out for his upcoming projects:
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About the Author
Casey Lynn Covel (known online as “Cutsceneaddict”) is an award-winning, published writer, avid reader, and aspiring author. She runs a nerdy writing blog called Meek-Geek and founded PROJECT: Magic Kingdom Hearts in 2012. When she’s not writing for Geeks Under Grace, Florida Geek Scene, Beneath the Tangles, or FROM JAPAN, she enjoys cosplaying, and has won several awards for her work. Follow her on Instagram for her latest cosplay endeavors. #meekischic
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