Niki Yang (Voice of Bmo) Interview: The Art of Storytelling
GUMSHIP: How did you get involved with adventure time?
Niki Yang: I’ve known Pen Ward since Calarts but got to know him better during the making of our shorts for Frederator’s Random Cartoons. When his show, Adventure Time got picked up, he asked me if I was interested in doing storyboards as well as a voice. I said, hell ya~!
We heard the voice for Bmo was originally supposed to be a computer synthesized voice, why did they decide to cast you?
Wow-really? I didn’t know that. I am telling you with my dumb-founded face. I knew that they tried other people first, asking for low manly voice or computer voice etc. But at the end, they decided to go with ‘cute’. I don’t think my voice is exactly cute. My guess is since I ain’t no professional actor, my acting comes out flat, which they like and is right for Beemo. He is a computer boy, so no need to be theatrical.
What is your favorite Bmo moment?
I like it when he thinks he is all tough guy who can kick bad guy’s asses for his friends. and also I like him when he gets all emotional even though he is a computer boy. There is a real good Beemo’s episode coming soon. I am not lying, I cried.
Can you tell us how it felt to do a whole episode in “Bmo Noire”? Did you feel pressure?
Oh, man. You can’t imagine. Again, I am not a professionally trained actor nor a native speaker. I couldn’t even sleep the day before we recorded. I couldn’t do it without the voice director, Collette and the Adventure time staff’s support and guidance.
What does BMO stand for?
…..ask Pen. Haha.
I was really surprised when Rainicorn started speaking Korean. Whose idea was it to do that?
Pen. In the animation program at Calarts, there are a lot of Koreans. He hung out with Koreans and I assume that influenced him. Are you Korean, Dave?
Yes! Sometimes she talks in Korean for a long time. Who writes all that dialogue?
I get a script written in English, then I interpret it into Korean on my own. They make sure that I don’t speak anything inappropriate. I know there is a lot of Korean/Americans who understand what Lady says, I don’t dare to speak anything bad!
Are you more like Bmo or Rainicorn and why?
Hum..That’s a hard question. I am somewhat similar to Bmo interior-wise, because he is simple and lives in his own world. But I am not acting when I perform Rainicorn. How she talks is really me and she is a grown up. So exterior-wise, I am more Rainicorn.
There’s a lot of Adventure Time fan art, do you look at any of them?
Many fans send me links and I look at them all the time. They are all amazing and brilliant!