While animation is undoubtedly a substantial and successful art form for storytelling, what truly allows the drawn figures before us to come to life is the voice behind them; and voice acting is not an easy thing to do.
The actors behind our favorite animated characters not only come up with original voices for every character they portray, but they also design their character’s entire identity all the way down to their odd little quirks in order to create a character audiences can relate to with a level of realism.
It takes a talented and extraordinarily creative actor to be successful at such a task, something accomplished voice-over actor Dwayne Hill has done continually over the course of his career as the voice of over 300 characters in more than 70 animated series.
Born in the small town of Port Credit, Ontario, Canada, Hill first honed his acting chops as an on-screen actor. Hill’s work as an on-camera actor spans multiple genres and includes the films The Safety of Objects, Tangled, Meet Prince Charming, Phil the Alien, and Ham & Cheese, as well as the television shows Doc, La Femme Nikita and many others. However, most international audiences recognize him as Coach Carr from the hit cult film Mean Girls where he starred alongside multi-award winning actresses Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams and Tina Fey.
Despite having already reached an incredible level of success as an on-camera actor Hill decided to try his hand at voice-over acting after a casting agent called him in for an animated series nearly two decades ago. The part was for the role of Bill Uppity in the hit animated series The Dumb Bunnies. Hill nailed the part and went on to play Bill Uppity, a semi-pompous and perpetually irritated bunny, for the entirety of the show.
While all of the other bunnies in the show put the dumb in dumb bunnies, Hill’s character brought the funny with his fervent frustration and over the top reactions to the mindless antics of the other, less refined bunnies.
About his character Hill says, “I was the only smart bunny, not bragging, just stating a cold hard fact.”
Based on “The Dumb Bunnies” book series by Dav Pilkey, the series first aired in the U.S. on CBS and in Canada on YTV, and later in Scotland on STV. In the show Hill starred alongside four-time Gemini Award winner Louis Del Grande from The Outer Limits, Goosebumps, Scanners and Atlantic City, and multi-award winning actress Linda Kash from Best in Show and Waiting for Guffman.
Hill says from his very first voice-over role, he knew he had found his niche. “From the first VO I ever did, I felt at home. Sound studios are cozy and inviting as well, which doesn’t hurt!”
From there, Hill went on to voice literally hundreds of animated characters, many of which garnered him industry-wide accolades. Early on in his career Hill brought the character Cousin Rudy to life in the animated series Cyberchase, where he starred alongside three-time Emmy Award winner Christopher Lloyd who is best known as Dr. Emmett Brown from the Back To The Future film series, and Gilbert Gottfried from Saturday Night Live, A Million Ways to Die in The West, Aladdin, Problem Child, Dr. Dolittle and more.
In addition to being incredibly entertaining, Cyberchase ultimately aimed to teach its young viewing audience important math and strategy skills. The show, which aired on PBS in the U.S. and POP TV in the UK, reached international acclaim winning a Daytime Emmy Award and being nominated for three others, as well as a CINE Golden Eagle Award at the CINE Competition.
In 2014 Dwayne Hill was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Series for playing the starring role of Cat in the multi-award winning series Peg+Cat.
About the role Hill says, “It has been the most challenging and rewarding experience of my career. It’s a show that makes math fun for kids, and it does it through songs and great stories. The show picked up three Emmys last year, and I was honored to be nominated as well.”
Hill also played the starring role of Dex Hamilton in the animated series Dex Hamilton: Alien Entomologist. Co-produced by SLR Productions and March Entertainment, the show followed Dex Hamilton and his team of scientists as they worked to keep Earth safe from invading alien insects. Since beginning his work as the voice of Dex in the television series in 2008, Hill went on to play the character in the films Dex Hamilton: Fire and Ice and Dex Hamilton and the Doomsday Squad as well.
Alan Morell of Creative Management Partners, the company that currently represents Dwayne across the globe outside of Canada, says, “As Dwayne’s business management company, we’re honored to represent Dwayne, who has enormous credits and awards with his domestic and International voice over talents as well as his acting achievements.”
Despite having reached indubitable international success, for Dwayne Hill the enjoyment of being a voice-over actor comes from having the creative space to give life to an endless list of diverse characters while bringing happiness to his audience. He admits, “I like to think a kid somewhere far off is laughing at my characters, and it is hopefully inspiring them to try it themselves because I know the joy I felt as a kid watching a cartoon and mimicking the voices.”
Dwayne Hill is currently working on several animated series including Grojband, The Day My Butt Went Psycho, Camp Lakebottom, Pinkie Cooper and The Jet Set Pets, Zack and Deuce, as well as many others. Hill has proven countless times over the past two decades that he has the capacity to bring an array of characters to life with his ever-changing voice and we cannot wait to see what is in store for him next!