Fernando Cabrera, voice actor: “Sheldon Cooper makes me more efficient”

He is from Tenerife, voice actor, and he has a trayectory inside cinema and TV that would impress more than one. With this information, there aren’t many people that could be. But if we say that is the voice of Sheldon Cooper, the circle narrows. But not only Sheldon is on the long list of characters that he has interpreted on his career. Fernando Cabrera is voice actor, born in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and he has a characteristic voice that has it been worth for making himself a place on the spanish dubbing. Kylo Ren on Star Wars, Chris on Family Father, prince Caspian on the Narnia Chronicles or Alfredo Linguini on Ratatouille are some of his characters. A voice that entered on dubbling twenty years ago.

1. How do you begin like a voice actor?

I started because I wanted to be a voice actor. Since I was a little boy, since I discovered that dubbing existed, it called my atention, and I did all I could for knowing about how to achieve that profession. Where can I do it, where the movies were dubbed. I am from Tenerife, I was born there, and I grew up with the desire of going fo Madrid for learning and train myself. I did that with 21 years old, after the mili, and I went to Madrid for being and actor, and specially a voice actor. In that time it wasn’t Internet, so I found out on the Yellow Pages where the studios were. I went one by one, and then I enrolled on an academy. I begin to dare, to ask tests. Is something slow, complicated, because you are entering in a world where nobody know you. It’s difficult that the people know you, know your face, and your way to doi it. But believing on your possibilities and persevering, hearing the people that is by your side, because they know you and your worth.

2. It was difficult for you being from Tenerife for learning and developing your career?

Yes, it’s difficult to travel from the islands to the peninsula beacuse the geography. It’s more difficult going to Madrid from Tenerife, that going to Madrid from Murcia, for example. Economic questions, then about the accent. I know some people that finds hard to left the canary accent. Not for me, because I had always an easiness for the imitation and I do the voice from there. In that case, I had not difficulties.

3. What genre is your favourite? Comedy, drama, adventures…?

I don’t feel specially uncomfortable in any genre, and specially comfortable either. I fell comfortable in any genre. I think that, for me, I love the challenges on my job. I like the characters that suddenly are specially hard for something in particular, because it is something far from me. The actor job is bigger, then. That it’s what I like, that the character would be a challenge.

4. What has been the biggest character challenge on your career?

On twenty years, it has been some characters. Certainly, Sheldon, because he is a complicated character, hard, because is very characteristic character, he has a quirky way to talk, a quirky way to be, and he is a challenge. After eleven years, the character has evolved, and he isn’t the same that on the beggining. Thar are the long term jobs, because there are jobs of short term, even when the movie stays there for years. Kylo Ren of Star Wars of Alfredo Linguini of Ratatouille are two examples. They were movies that I did on a day, and the affection to the character is not the same. But then you see the character like a spectator and you think if the character was easy to made, or the movie likes you more or less, your work likes you more orless, bou in these cases, they were challenges for me. In Alfredo Linguini’s case, was one of my first leading characters, was a movie from Pixar, and it wasn’t wasy for me. On Kylo Ren’s case, is a villain of a famous saga like Star Wars, and it was far, far away, from the thing that I used to do. The directors used to give me characters of comedy, histrionic characters, and then it was Kylo Ren, a villain. I used to talk with my acute voice and with him, I had to talk with my deep voice. It was a hard challenge.

Images from Carlos Espina Alonso

5. You have played so many roles on your career. What character is your favourite?

A lot of characters, especially the ones that I can remember. There is some characters that you have been doing for years because is a TV series, for years and new seasons. So you spend so much time with this character and you begin to appreciate it. Some more than other, of course. To Sheldon, undoubtedly. Sheldon is the character that has made my career stand out. Before him, I was on dubbling, but I did small characters, almost anyone stood out, until Sheldon came. Sheldon has helped to make my job known, and I learned with him, with the character, the dubbing technique. It’s a special character, so difficult, for the synchrony technique. I have learned to improve the technique. Being faster, more effective, thanks to Sheldon. I like dubbing, for example, to Liebe Gallager, from Shameless. He is a good actor, and the good actors are easier to dub. They give more, the with their interpretation, with their lookings, qith all that they give like actors, to us is easier to dub. We have to go with the flow, so when an actor is good, it’s easier to dub than when it’s a bad actor. And that it’s what happen with Liebe Gallagher of Shameless.I also like Connor Walls, of How to defend a murder, and there are some character that I also love, even when i did it on a single day. Like Linguini, of Ratatouille, or the dog of Up! The dog of Up! Is so funny, and when I did it was so funny and so easy, because it didn’t have mouth, so I could forget the synchrony, and looking for the lips. But the character is nice, so I love it. Or Fear, from Del revés. I don’t remember all the characters, but there are a lot of characters that I like.

6. What does mean for you a role like Sheldon Cooper?

He means learning. Learning the techniques of synchrony, the lips, find the lips, but learning to go with the character, with his expresions, his inflexions, and it’s a characters that gives so many thing, so histrionic, and he has big lecturers, that has been an ideal character for learning all of that.. And I think that after this eleven years, I am more effective. When I dub Sheldon in the morning and in the evening I have another character, it’s easier for me, because Sheldon is so hard. So he is useful for being effective.

7. Sometimes, it’s said that the original nuances of the interpretation are lost in the dubbing.What do you thing about this?

Sometimes the nuances are lost, of course. A dubbed version is never the original version. It’s a version. There are for the people see it whatever they want. I hate this discussion, because the defenders of the original versions ask for the prohibition of the dubbed version. At this times, when you can choose what you want, the logical thing would be that anyone see the movie like they want, without any prohibition. People say that the voice actors destroy the original versions, and we don’t destroy anything. The original version is there, whoever can see it. we don’t hide anything, or make it dissappear. The nuances, I thing that whoever that don’t know a language lose the nuances of the playing. For taking the nuances, you need to know the language. When you see a original version, you see it with subtitles, and then, you lose the actor nuances, the fotography, the make up, the audiovisual work, the artistic direction, the set, the hairdressing… I don’t know, everything. You are reading. You lost all the things that compose the audiovisual work. It’s my opinion. I think that this discussion, at this moment, is obsolete.

8. Do you believe on a future of the dubbing? Or do you think that the Original Versions will impose on the end?

I think that the best way for an audiovisual work to achieve the audience is through the dubbing. In countries like Polonia, the movies were narrrated. One narrator described the movie on top of the original voices. The narrator sais, for example, “She says ‘I love you, John’, and John says ‘I love you too, Mary’”. That it’s how they do it on the East Countries. But on the last years, on that countries the movies has begun to be dubbing. Dubbing is the best way to achieve the audience in a similar way to the original. Then, that the people choose. I don’t thing that dubbing is going to dissappear. It’s a way to arrive to anyone. Think on blind people. It’s their way to enjoy movies.


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