For Dana Gaier, voice acting originally didn’t seem like something she’d be suited for. “I never really thought that my voice was unique or distinct,” Gaier said. “Until my agent started sending me out for voiceover auditions.”
Gaier has provided the voice for Edith in all three Despicable Me films, and she’s found voice acting to be something she really enjoys. She said that for the first film in the series, it was mostly a combination of excitement and anxiety throughout her recording sessions.
“I was so nervous,” Gaier said. “I was playing with the bottom of my shirt and I was asked to stop because the microphone was picking up the noise.”
Now, while she recorded her lines for Despicable Me 3, the nerves were all gone. This has also helped as she’s developed the character of Edith over the three films.
“I’m much more confident in my sessions,” Gaier said. “I also feel more confident in who Edith is, so I can play around with intonation and inflection when I’m doing my lines.”
While she worked on who Edith is, she also found that there were some similarities between the character she voiced and herself. “I definitely relate to Edith because I too am a younger sister,” Gaier said. “I used to love to poke fun at my older sister and intrude when she had friends over. I also think that Edith is really protective of her family, which is something we have in common.”
I also feel more confident in who Edith is, so I can play around with intonation and inflection when I’m doing my lines.
As for how the process of recording lines for the movies go, Gaier said that she recorded by herself but was in constant contact with the directors throughout.
“When I go in for a session, I’m on video chat with the directors, who live in Paris,” Gaier said. “Before I start recording a line, we talk a little bit about the scene that Edith is in so that I can have some context for how I should deliver my lines. After, I’ll say one line a few times to try and play with different ways to say it. Then the director—in the third movie I was on video chat with Pierre (Coffin)—gives me feedback and ideas for other directions I can take the line in.”
While Gaier has begun her career with voice acting, she will soon make her first on-screen appearance in the upcoming indie horror comedy The Ice Cream Truck. She said it was an interesting transition from voice only to on-screen.
“When I’m recording my lines for Despicable Me, I don’t have anyone to interact with or react to,” Gaier said. “For The Ice Cream Truck, I enjoyed it because I was able to work with other actors and I got to feed off of their energy. I’m really excited for it to hit theaters.”
And finally, the question that most people are probably waiting to find out about. What does Dana Gaier think about her costars of the Despicable Me franchise, the Minions?
“They are so cute! How could you not love the minions?” Gaier said. “Even when they do bad things, you can’t not laugh at them because they’re so adorable and happy.”
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Dana Gaier Talks Voice Acting and Her Role in ‘Despicable Me 3’: Photo Credit: Photographer: Birdie Thompson, Glam: Allison Noelle Mesa