Talk about range
Daveigh Chase, 12, supplied the voice to the irrepressible Elvis-loving Lilo in the Disney animated hit “Lilo & Stitch” -- she’s also reprising the voice for the upcoming TV series version -- as well as to the heroine of the American version of the Japanese animated film “Spirited Away.” In her latest film, “The Ring,” Chase plays the ghost of a girl who holds the key to videotape that causes people to die after they watch it. We chatted with Chase, who rides horses in her spare time, at the DreamWorks Animation Studio in Glendale.
What is the biggest difference for you between doing voice acting for animation and performing on screen?
Chase: In voice acting, you can’t rely on your eyes or your body movements to show what you are feeling. You have to put all of that in your voice.
But didn’t the animators develop Lilo after watching you record the voice?
Chase: They will videotape it and then will put [my movements and acting] into the character. I really get into it.
For “Spirited Away,” you were dubbing the character of Chihiro into English. Was that difficult, since you had to record to something already animated?
Chase: Well, it was kind of difficult at times because Chihiro’s mouth would only be open for a little bit, because you know how sometimes Japanese phrases are short but they mean something really long. That would be tough because I had to talk really fast and still get all the emotional stuff into it or we would have to cut up the line and edit it.
Lilo isn’t the typical Disney child heroine. Her character is grumpy.
Chase: I liked that about her. She’s real.
What about your character in “Spirited Away”?
Chase: She’s pretty real too. In the beginning she is a little selfish. She doesn’t want to move, and then she gets lost in the spirit world and her parents turn into pigs and she has to save them, and along the way she learns more about herself.
Was it fun to play someone so evil in “The Ring”?
Chase: It was really fun. It is not your typical character. Usually they are looking for a happy-go-lucky kid, but Samara was a pretty interesting character to play. I just kind of took my own voice and put this freaky twist on it. The producer for this movie told me she was a lot like Linda Blair in “The Exorcist.” I saw part of that, and what really freaked me out was when she was crawling up upside down and backwards down the stairs -- kind of like the spider.
The audience was screaming at your final scene in “The Ring.” Did it scare you?
Chase: The ending actually totally freaked me out. I covered my eyes and my mom looked over at me and saw me cover my eyes and she was like, “Daveigh, that’s you. Why are you scared of yourself?” It really freaked me out because [the character] is all creepy.
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