Stories of this Canadian girl's adventures exploring Europe & beyond...join me!

Monday, December 20, 2010

who is the german tom hanks?

Recently, great guy, best friend and I watched an American movie, auf Deutsch.  It was one of those slightly irritating, cute, animated movies, where celebrities are speaking the roles of the mouse or lion or dog - you know the kind I'm talking about.  Anyways, I was trying hard to focus on the fast dialogue (which, unbelievable to me, German children can follow) when best friend all of a sudden said, "Oh, that's Tom Hanks right?"  Great guy said that it was. I looked at them both, thinking I had misunderstood them, and said "That is SO not Tom Hanks speaking!"  And they both looked at me.

I find it incredible that there is someone out there who has the job of being Tom Hanks' German voice.  He speaks all of Tom Hanks' movie roles and commercial gigs so that the German movie-going audience always recognizes his voice as that of Tom Hanks.  Isn't that weird?  Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise, Sylvester Stallone...all have German 'voices', and every other language which their movies are played in.  How does that work?  Does the 'voice' have to go to acting school?  Maybe only if that actor actually had?  Or do they need to have voice lessons?  What would happen if the 70-year-old German 'voice' of Robert Redford dies before the real Robert Redford?  Does that end Robert Redford's German movie career?  Maybe it's already over, but you get what I'm saying.  These are important questions which somebody needs to address.

And, to the lucky German guy who 'voiced' Edward in the first Twilight must be a very busy person now.  Good for you for dragging your butt to that audition!.  It must be similar to being Mel Gibson's butt, way back in the '80's.


  1. I had never thought about that voice thing and it is totally mind-blowing! I wonder if there are any German stars who might need me to be their Canada voice...? It's like being told a colour is orange all your life and going somewhere else where they suddenly tell you that colour is purple. weird.

  2. Actually, you have to be an actor in order to become a "Synchron speaker"
    These people have often active careers in very serious acting and do the voice thing for Hollywood movies as a money maker on the side.
    and yes , it is totally awkward to watch american movies in deutsch because they all sound totally fake once you know their real voices.


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