“If you want to be a king, you have to kill me. Who wants to be king? “ It is one of the most famous scenes of the American series Vikings. After several years of exile, Scandinavian King Ragnar Lodbrok is greeted coldly by his people. In front of his four youngest sons, he provokes and harangues the crowd: who will dare to seize his throne?
In the French version, the powerful voice of actor Alexis Victor pierces the screen. His cry of anger, rough and full of rage, responds perfectly to the game of the American actor Travis Fimmel. The actor however has few opportunities to put his work forward, and his job is often unloved by purists, who prefer the original version to French dubbing. His surprise was only greater when he found out that his fierce and poignant speech had become a phenomenon on the TikTok video platform.
This speech, remixed by tiktoker Genjutsu Beats to heady tribal music, toured the network at the start of the summer. Three months later, videos posted under the hashtag # quiveutêtreroi have been viewed nearly 50 million times on the platform. The challenge videos, which consist of reinterpreting the scene, have been viewed over 67 million times.
At the height of the phenomenon, the scene reached the ears of actor Alexis Victor. On his own account, he published a first video, in reaction. “This voice tells me something, he has fun listening to the music. Ah yes, I think it’s me. ” Comments are pouring in. We ask him which voices he has already dubbed, how to become a voice actor or even the list of his future projects. Very quickly, he realizes that this platform is not only used to make young teenagers dance.
From dubbing to TikTok, there is only one step
In recent months, several of them have tried their hand at exercise. In the United States, first of all, several actors began to publish videos to explain their work and to show behind the scenes of the shoot. This is the case of Daniel Ross, the interpreter of Donald Duck, Griffin Burns, who lends his voice to iconic characters from the animes Hunter x hunter and Demon Slayer, or Corina Boettger, who brings the character of Paimon to life in the Chinese video game Genshin Impact.
Under the impetus of Corina Boettger, the large family Genshin Impact joined the platform. Together, they sometimes make videos collaboratively.
” In the profession of dubbing actor, we don’t often have the opportunity to get feedback from our audience ”, analysis Gregory Laisné, artistic director and voice actor specializing in Japanese anime. He notably lent his voice to the character of Connie Springer in The attack of the Titans and Sharnalk in Hunter x hunter :
“Social media is sometimes the only way we understand how much of an impact our work can have on people. We can sometimes have the impression that it does not interest many people when in reality there is a huge community of fans who are very curious about our profession. ”
Many people a priori refractory to dubbed versions have happily embarked on the French versions of their animes
He adds that since he started on TikTok, many people a priori resistant to dubbed versions have happily launched into the French versions of their favorite animes. “It’s such a pleasure to hear this kind of thing, we tell ourselves that we are not doing our job for nothing. “ Like Gregory Laisné, several big names in French dubbing have also embarked on the platform. This is the case of Alexandre Nguyen (Teen wolf, Viking …), by Lila Lacombe (Elite, Sex Education …), by Hervé Grull (Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Full Metal Alchimist …) or even Pierre-Alain de Garrigues (League of Legends, Rabbids …).
Some have become stars there: with more than 200,000 subscribers, Enzo Ratsito, 23 years old and French interpreter of Tanjiro, the main character of the anime Demon Slayer, is one of the most active actors on the platform in France. His online success is such that he has now donned a new hat: that of influencer.
“It allowed a lot of young people who did not know the world of dubbing well to put a face to their voices, explains the tiktoker. It is a kind of communication work to allow a larger public to better understand our world. ” Every day, the young videographer shares his passion for his profession. Between a few trendy challenge videos, he introduces many of his colleagues with famous voices. Regularly, he promotes the new series he works on and gives advice to those who would like to get into the business.
For Enzo Ratsito, TikTok is first and foremost a tool to heal his image. The young actor admits to having already been contacted by artistic directors, thanks to his talent certainly, but also thanks to his popularity on the platform. ” It is a practice that already existed before ”, explains Enzo Ratsito:
“We hired famous actors or singers as voice actors to promote a movie or a series – even if sometimes they didn’t really know how to dub. There, my advantage is that I can do both. “
By dint of promotional videos and partnerships, the young actor recognizes that he could simply live from his job as an influencer. This is not the case with all of his peers. Many of his colleagues find it difficult to see the value of putting themselves forward on social networks. “Some don’t want it, but others also don’t always have the codes to get to a platform like TikTok”, adds the 23-year-old:
“Being around the same age as the users is clearly an advantage. “
The ideal network to show your voice
The dubbing actors did not wait for TikTok to interact directly with their fans. But the platform, which by nature lends itself to hijacking, since you can easily recover an existing soundtrack to use on a new video, offers an even different interaction.
” It is a platform which, unlike the others, is perfectly suited to talk about dubbing, analyzes actor Gregory Laisné. In the habits of users, we already see a lot of “voice over”, where people dub passages from films and series. It’s a much more fun way to talk about our profession. “
The notoriety “boost” allowed by TikTok, however, most often only benefits established actors: we are waiting for the little dubbing prodigy who will spontaneously emerge on the platform, as we already see the future stars of the song.
“Twelve years ago, when I started, it was already difficult to enter this environment, but we still had the right to go to the studio to attend sessions, learn, and meet people”, regrets Grégory Laisné, who describes a profession more locked than ever. “From now on, the only way to be hired by an artistic director is to have a good network and to do internships. “