The morning of Kraken Con was full of interviews, and we’re moving forward on our coverage with our interview with Zach Callison. Zach is known for his role as Steven, the main character in Steven Universe, as well as the voice of young Jiro in Hayao Miyazai’s The Wind Rises, and several other roles in TV, radio, and theater.
Robbie of G33k-HQ and California Conventions Blog, along with Bart of Team Misaki Studios and Justin of Nerd Gazette, got to ask him about his experience with the show and its fans, balancing education and his acting career, and some of his more memorable roles.
On Steven Universe: “In the past six months, the fandom’s grown tremendously, I have a huge appreciation for this fanbase and the people who have been there since the beginning. It’s been a heck of a ride so far. But I think the show is so different in the way it tells stories, it’s done a lot of things that cartoons have never really dared to do before, it feels like Rebecca is unafraid to break ground… I feel like people will really connect to that, as far as the things that we go for and we show and as far as how stories are told, and the emotional depth to the show. I feel people really connect with it, and that’s why it’s picked up so much steam.”
His musical background: “I’ve been singing longer than I’ve been acting, actually; I’ve been singing for ten years, since I was seven or eight years old. Started musical theater back in St. Luis, Missouri, where I’m from, kind of evolved into film, and film became a happy accident – voice-over, actually, but singing has always been something I’ve kept in my back pocket, and it’s helped me on certain projects.”
(His favorite song in Steven Universe is Garnet’s “Stronger Than You,” performed by Estelle, though his favorite to sing is the “Cookie Cat” song from the first episode, which he sang for a child during the audience Q&A session later during the convention.)
On The Wind Rises: “That is honestly one of the roles I’m most proud of, because it’s Hayao Miyazaki, and potentially his last film. (Yeah, he’s said that many times, that’s why I say ‘potentially.’) But I really always wanted to be part of a Studio Ghibli project, specifically a Hayao Miyazaki film; when that audition came in, and it said in big letter’s ‘Hayao Miyazaki’s Last Film’ I said ‘I gotta have this,’ and I poured my heart and soul into that audition and ended up getting the role. The other aspect was the adult me on the English dub was Joseph Gordon Levitt, who’s a huge idol of mine as far as career and trajectory goes. So it was the best of both worlds in that regard, and it’s such a moving film; just to be a part of something that moving and that artistically sound was a really incredible experience, and I’d love to do more anime, but as far as dipping my toe in, that was a pretty good start.”