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We at Unofficial Final Fantasy Site got the incredible opportunity to have an interview with voice actress Gwendoline Yeo, also known as Paine, from Final Fantasy X-2. Through her busy schedule, she kindly agreed to talk with us, and we are most grateful! You'll find Ms. Yeo a very interesting person, with some details you wouldn't expect. All of these questions are either from our personal noggins or the noggins of our message board members. Please refrain from using this interview on any form of media without our written consent. Thank you, and enjoy the interview!

Gwendoline Yeo

UFFSite How did you get into the job of voice acting for Paine? Did you contact Square, or did they contact you?
Gwendoline I actually met the voice director, Jack Fletcher before then, he cast me in another thing so he offered me the part 'cuz he knew my work!
UFFSite Had you heard of, or even played the Final Fantasy series before you began the job on FFX-2?
Gwendoline Nope!

Had you heard of...Final Fantasy before you began the job?
UFFSite In the same vein as the previous question, did you play through or learn about the series, in particular the original FFX, to help you with your role?
Gwendoline Nope - but each line, each take was so specific and the writers/translators in Japan were on the phone with us explaining to us every scenario... every scene. Very, very clear what was going on.
UFFSite Since the release of the game, have you played through it or played it at all?
Gwendoline Oh my gosh... it's hard!! I played a little... but you have to know the story from the one prior... I have the strategy guide... I'm just asking my friends to play on my behalf... Save the Game, and then show me the extra cool parts!!
UFFSite How did you record for FFX-2? Were you given a script to read in the way you saw fit, or did you watch the scenes from the game beforehand so you could decide how things should be said?
Gwendoline Both. It was just me in the booth recording my stuff... I had thousands of lines - each line was meticulously recorded - they were so great about letting me give them 3 takes... they pick the ones they liked the best, of if they preferred me going in a different direction, they let me know what as well. The team was really excellent - I felt I could create... and I also felt really respected... the voice director, the sound guy, the translators... we all were truly into the game... and that made it fun. Secondly, I also did ADR stuff - where I matched stuff to picture. That's a different ball game, but also pretty fun. You have to match voice to picture... and communicate the right attitude.
UFFSite Did you record with the other girls in the same recording studio? Sometimes the chemistry was so great, it definitely felt that way.
Gwendoline No. Unlike cartoons, games are usually taped separately in terms of characters. Cartoons are more like a radio play with everybody in there. For games, each line is so specific... better to do it individually. But I do know both the other leads - and they are great girls. That's the challenge of the actor... having chemistry, imagining what it's like relating to others even if they're not there.
UFFSite How did you like speaking "Al Bhed"?
Gwendoline I loooved it so much! I wanted more!! So, so, so, so fun.

Paine Paine

UFFSite How did you like Paine's character development?
Gwendoline So true to life. I really admire the writers... they left no stone unturned. No 'air' in the writing... I totally bought her arc. I liked how she went from wry Paine... to someone who revealed herself to her friends she trusted... Loyalty.
UFFSite Can you relate to Paine in any way, and do you think Paine could do the same to you?
Gwendoline As I said before. And also - yah, I mean... I'm pretty wry... and sometimes stay focused on what needs to be done... I crack sarcastic jokes, but I also love my friends, and have a trusted circle of friends that I reveal myself to. I also love playing such a kick ass girl... if I could be more Paine-like, I'd like to kick more ass... and have her long legs!
UFFSite Did you do any special preparation to get into character? If so, what was it?
Gwendoline She was pretty effortless to get into.
UFFSite Do you have a particular favourite of Paine's favourite sayings and phrases?
Gwendoline "All I want to do is hurt you"... I love it when she makes wise cracks at her friends... when she's hilariously condescending.
UFFSite Did any particular parts of the character design, or the game itself impress or interest you? If so, in what way?
Gwendoline Everything impressed me - it was like a mini movie... so involved, so thorough. Very Imaginative.
UFFSite What did you think of the character designs/costumes?
Gwendoline Loved them! If I wore those in real life, though... I think I'd get in trouble!!
UFFSite Was FFX-2 one of the most fun jobs you've had? Where about does it rank, and what is above or below it?
Gwendoline Really, really high up there. Top three. I'm on this other show now on Nickelodeon/Spike TV called 'This Just In' - where I play Hu, a Korean woman who has balls of steel... that's fun as heck, too... and it's a cartoon. Playing Lady Deathstrike in X-Men was great also.
UFFSite If FFX-2 ranks in the top three, what is your favourite project you've worked on?
Gwendoline I guess this new series on Spike TV/Nickelodeon is going awesome - the talent is incredible, and the material is so cutting edge and hilarious... and you won't believe it, but it turns out it's the same voiceover director, Jack Fletcher, who's so wonderful!
UFFSite Is there anything you didn't like about the game?
Gwendoline I had to kick and punch a lot... sometimes it takes its toll on the voice! So I made sure I drank lots of water and got sleep. Same as on-camera stuff, too...sometimes you have to stand around... or if you're doing action stuff, sometimes you might hurt an elbow, or be tired.
UFFSite What was your favourite aspect of the game in general?
Gwendoline The animation and special effects were awesome... I loved the dance music, the details! And I loved that it was so... real. Real Acting...

UFFSite Did you have someone you considered to be your "Best friend" at the studios while working on FFX-2?
Gwendoline I am sooo close to the entire team... from top to bottom, from the line producer to the sound engineer, translators, to the voice director, Jack Fletcher... Loved them all. And I see them on other jobs all the time. They were and still are so supportive of my career.
Paine Paine

UFFSite Did you hear of any new Square games that others might not know of while working in Square studios? If so, can you fill us in?
Gwendoline I didn't, no, but you can check out their website for news.
UFFSite Did you get the chance to talk with or even meet any Square execs?
Gwendoline Um... yeah, the writers and stuff we worked with them via Japan over speaker...and I met a couple of them at a party.
UFFSite Was this job like any other you've done before?
Gwendoline It certainly was unique!
UFFSite Apart from the possibility of FFX-3, will you be working with Square again? Have you been approached to do so?
Gwendoline I have no idea at this point.
UFFSite How hard was it to get into voice acting?
Gwendoline Not easy. I'm a lucky, lucky girl. Some people try for years to do it... I honestly fell into it. 100% of my credit in terms of starting my career goes to my voiceover agents Cynthia Myclean and Rita Vennari at SBV. The whole team there is pretty amazing!
UFFSite If you weren't voice acting, what else would you see yourself doing?
Gwendoline I continue to do on-camera work - I have 5 commercials running right now... did some television, and a couple of movies this year. Nowadays, actors are hyphenates... it's ok to spread it around. I must admit though, that voiceover acting includes a small elite group of people that I am privileged to work with. Music is fun... I still do some stuff in studio, and I will always have that...
UFFSite What is your next project, and do you intend to do any other videogames?
Gwendoline I'm working on Spike TV's 'This Just In', and am a series regular on that as mentioned before, voiceover wise. I just booked a cool radio spot about Vodka where I get to be pretty sexy - that's always fun!! Videogames, as long as I enjoy the story and the characters I will do... sometimes it really comes down to scheduling. I have this great manager, Joan Sittenfield and my career is only getting busier... It's awesome.
UFFSite What is your favourite type of voice acting? Videogames, TV, Radio, Commercials, etc?
Gwendoline Would it be cheesy to say all of it? Honestly, though, it depends... each experience is different. When you assemble a team like FFX-2... It's like you hit the jackpot!

If Paine's in, and they want me in, and my schedule is willing, then I'm in!!
UFFSite FFX-3?
Gwendoline If Paine's in, and they want me in, and my schedule is willing, then I'm in!!