MuggleNet Interviews Lucie Pohl at C2E2
by Eric S. · Published · Updated
This past weekend, at C2E2, MuggleNet got to chat with actress and voice-over artist Lucie Pohl, who was gracious enough to share details about her brief but memorable role in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, her work as a voice-over artist and comedian, and the lessons she’s learned along the way.
Lucie portrayed the secretary of Mr. Bingley in Scene 8 of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them when Jacob is at the bank to ask for a loan, which she explained was a difficult scene to shoot. In addition to being clothed by the film’s Academy Award winner, Colleen Atwood, Lucie praised the cast (especially Eddie Redmayne) for their skills and the director, David Yates, for his kindness.
We were granted this interview at late request while navigating through crowds of enthusiastic Overwatch video game players who know Lucie for her voice role as Mercy and were thrilled to hear her talk about the difference between acting for screen and for games. Check out the full transcript below!
Eric Scull: Hi! We’re here with Lucie Pohl. She plays Mr. Bingley’s secretary in Fantastic Beasts.
Lucie Pohl: Yes! Woo!
Eric: [laughs] You appeared in Scene 8 of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Lucie: I did. It’s true.
Eric: Where did you get that gig?
Lucie: I auditioned for it. That’s how. I auditioned for it.
Eric: Were you already in London?
Lucie: Yes, I was already in London. That’s right. I was doing a show at the Edinburgh Festival that summer, and I was in London working on the show, and I have an agent there, and I’ve done work there on Red Dwarf and other things, so that’s how that came about.
Eric: That’s cool. Was it a good experience overall?
Lucie: Oh my God, it was amazing. I mean, obviously, being involved in the biggest film of that year, in any capacity, even if it’s a tiny little fly-by-the-moment thing, is so cool and so special because everybody that works on a project like that is really at the top of their game. They have to be. And so I was, like, dying when I met the costume designer, Colleen Atwood, who went on to win the Oscar for her work on the film. So yeah, it was an incredible experience. I got to be on set with Eddie Redmayne and watch him work, and it was really cool.
Eric: How was, specifically, working with David Yates as a director? Do you find that his style is intuitive to maybe bringing your own kind of thing into the character? Was he very open with that?
Lucie: Yeah, he was very open. He’s very calm and a very sweet guy, so that’s, I think, really important when you have a production of that scale because there’s so much going on [and] so many moving parts. I think if you don’t have the person [who]’s in charge calm and collected, then it can get very hectic and stress-y, and he was just very assuring and kind.
Eric: Well, I know the secretary is a character… I like her because she’s sort of no-nonsense. That whole bank scene is like, “Our hero walks in to get a loan out of the kindness of his heart; he’s a kind person” and they’re not having it, the stodgy business world.
Lucie: That was a difficult shot. I don’t know if you realize, but there’s no cut. It’s one shot from him walking in. It was a difficult shot to set up.
Eric: Oh, really? Tracking through doorways and things? Interesting. I should definitely look that up. So there were lots of attempts and things and then you guys finally got it right?
Eric: Cool. You also do a lot of voice work. Famously, Mercy on Overwatch. It is a big deal. I haven’t played Overwatch yet but I’m definitely going to.
Lucie: You’ve got to try it. Got to check it out.
Eric: That’s really cool.
Lucie: Yeah, it’s super fun. Voice work is always cool because you get to play characters that you wouldn’t necessarily be cast for on camera, just because… like, I play a little goblin in World of Warcraft and I would never be cast as a little goblin. And Mercy is this larger-than-life angel, angelic, blonde, amazing healer, and I’m not sure I would be cast as that in real life either.
Lucie: So voice work is really cool because you can really uncover a whole universe of characters that you wouldn’t be able to play on camera or on a live stage.
Eric: Are the auditions much the same? Or slightly different?
Lucie: Yeah, I mean, they’re the same in terms of that you go in and you have to read and you get a few lines or a scene or something like that. The only difference is that you don’t have to worry about how you look in a voice-over audition, obviously. [laughs]
Eric: Yeah, for sure. Going back to Fantastic Beasts quickly, several actors have reported taking things from the set. Do you have any memorabilia? Did you get to keep the glasses or anything like that?
Lucie: No, I didn’t even dare to ask. They were very, very strict on the confidentiality. We weren’t even allowed to take our sides from the set, like, the scripts. So no, I wouldn’t have dared to take anything. I felt like there was a sniper with a laser pointed at my head at all times because it was so secretive.
Lucie: It’s pretty intense, the way they keep things under wraps.
Eric: Yeah, the level of secrecy. For sure. J. K. Rowling probably spent a lot more time on the set. Have you ever met J. K. Rowling?
Lucie: No, I did not get to meet J. K. Rowling, unfortunately. She wasn’t on set the days I was there. I was on set for about a week, believe it or not. A week [to] ten days just because it was a difficult scene to shoot and so they kept working on it. And she wasn’t on set while I was on set. But yeah, that would’ve been amazing. I would love to meet her one day. I have a special connection to Edinburgh, too, where she’s from and where she wrote the books, obviously.
Eric: Oh, really? If you don’t mind me asking, what’s the special connection?
Lucie: Well, I started out doing my comedy shows there and the experience and the success I had there opened a lot of doors and changed my life.
Eric: Was the Fringe Festival there?
Eric: Oh, great. Fantastic. I’ve done some comedy; I studied improv at [the iO Theater] in Chicago. But I hear about Edinburgh all the time. The Fringe Festival is great for comedy and great for troupes.
Lucie: Exactly. The experience there really changed my life and so it’s a very special place for me.
Eric: Yeah, that’s fantastic. And she obviously calls it home.
Lucie: Yeah, exactly. So I’d love to meet her one day. [laughs]
Eric: Yeah, one day. Wouldn’t we all? A couple [of] things, just wrapping up: What advice would you give young voice actors and how to really break into voice acting? You also do some standup.
Lucie: I do, yeah.
Eric: And both of those strike me as being very self-driven. You have to hawk your product and really get out there. So what are some tips? Is that accurate, first of all? And then what are some tips you have?
Lucie: Yeah, I think for voice acting [and] for anything where you have to make your own path, it’s just about being very passionate and being willing to work hard and being interested in the process more than the results. If it’s about fame or fortune to you, then it’s probably not the right thing. You really have to love it and you have to find out what you’re willing to do for it, and you have to find out whether or not you’re willing to give it your all. That’s on a more esoteric level. And then on the more hands-on level, take classes, learn, study, improve your skills, get to know yourself [and] your instrument, which is your voice or physicality, and just give it all and love doing the thing more than the end result. That’s what my advice would be.
Eric: Sure. That’s great advice. I am a big fan of Red Dead Redemption 2.
Eric: I gather you provided some voices for that?
Lucie: I did, yeah! And if you can find me, then I’ll give you a prize.
Eric: Oh, wow! Is it just one specific…?
Lucie: I think it was some French character that I did. I’m pretty sure.
Eric: Interesting. Do you speak French?
Lucie: I speak a little French, yeah.
Eric: Okay. Well, I’ll have to replay that. I know there [are] a lot of scenes in Saint-Denis where there [are] French immigrants…
Lucie: Oh, really? Yeah, maybe that’s where I am.
Eric: … or just general… People yell at you if you walk up on the street. I never know who voices that or what that’s all about.
Lucie: Yeah, I don’t know if I yelled. It’s been a while since I recorded that, so I don’t really remember the details.
Eric: I can imagine. That game was delayed for a while.
Lucie: Yeah, it’s been at least two years or something since I did that.
Eric: Well, thank you so much for your time! It was great to talk to you.
Lucie: Thank you! It was nice to meet you. Thanks for stopping by.