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You probably know his voice. Being a cartoons enthusiast I first appreciated his work when he was voicing Optimus Primal from Transformers Beast Wars. When you have a guy like this impersonating one of the most famous characters in cartoon history, you want to keep him around for a couple of spinoffs. Of course, Garry Chalk is more than that. The day I pulled his profile on IMDB, I found out that he had an awesome career… and it was certainly just the beginning!

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DAVID MARTEL: “What kind of career were you pursuing prior to becoming a voice actor? What were your career dreams?”

GARRY CHALK: “Stock broker. I worked as a stock trader on the floor of the stock exchange”

DM: “What got you interested in voice acting? Also, how and where did you get your first gig?”

GC: “My Drama teacher said I should pursue a career in Radio. My first voice gig was a commercial for a nursing home.”

DM: “Is there any character or kind of character that you voiced for which you were not entirely comfortable with?”

GC: “No. Most of the characters I did were a lot of fun. Some video game characters like the orcs were hard on my throat but that’s about all.”

DM: “On the other hand, is there character that you would qualify as your favorite?”

GC: “Hack is my fave.”

DM: “Do you mean Slash, from Reboot? I heard somewhere that you always thought that the blue guy was named Hack, but that you were in fact voicing Slash.”

GC: “Slash is the one! I always get them mixed up but I loved Phil and Scott’s versions of the hack Character.”

DM: “Are there any shows that you would have liked to work on, but didn’t get the chance to?”

GC: “I would have liked to work on Animaniacs.”

DM: ”Why that show in particular?”

GC: “Why was I drawn to the animaniacs? I love the show the energy the wackiness of the Cjaracters but most of all I loved working with Andrea Romano. One of the best voice directors I know. She is right up there with Su Blu and Michaek Donovan and terry Klassen.”

DM: “One of your most famous role in voice acting is without a doubt Beat Wars/Beast Machines’ Optimus Primal. What led you to the role? Was it a general casting call?”

GC: “Yes, it was a general casting call. I had done several cartoon series before this and I got a call to read for the character. Originally I was called for Megatron but then they asked if i would read this one.”

DM: “Did you have any ideas of what the Transformers were or what they represented for so many fans?”

GC: “I had no idea how big the characters were even though I used to do the generation 2 tv commercials. Then I went to a convention and was completely blown away by how many people watched and loved the show.”

DM: Thinking back to the Transformers Armada/Energon/Cybertron series, how would you compare your job as a voice actor doing a dubbed show instead of an original production like Beast Wars or Beast Machines? Where there any notable differences?

GC: “Original productions are much more rewarding in my view. I love to create characters that are mine. When doing ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement) I feel like I am making a copy of someone elses work. The fun in prelay is making the voice fit the flaps on screen sometimes it’s a real challenge. I have done quite a few ADR shows in my day. and they are very hard work but I enjoy all of it just the same.”

DM: “Being a versatile person doing live action movies as well as voice acting, do you have any kind of preference towards one?”

GC: “Yes I do a lot of live action. I am currently working on a series called Cedar Cove as well as a massive super secret show I can’t talk about but it’s in three D and cool.”

DM: “You have done so many animated shows where you are kind of a star, do you have the same kind of recognition in live action?”

GC: “I get recognized a lot from film work. In fact the title of my memoirs will be “you’re that guy!”. I have heard it so often in my life.”

DM: “What are you up to these days? What do you like to do as a hobby?”

GC: “These days I have been singing a lot and playing at different places. I am still doing movies and just finished one with Ray Liotta called suddenly.”

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DM: “I’m curious… What kind of music do you play?”

GC: “ My favorite music is the blues. I hve been playing it for years and it has always resonated with me . But I play all different styles of music but that is the one I love best.”

DM: “I’m sure that your voice suits blues music perfectly! I hope we’ll have the chance to hear it somewhere someday! Thanks a lot for taking this time with me.”

The current pictures belong to Garry Chalk and are used with his permission.