I was having a discussion with a friend of mine recently about actors and how some of them have the greatest voices ever. Certain actors could probably stop traffic with their booming baritones or instantly silence crying babies with their soothing speech. It’s a true superhero power.
This then led to discussion on how I wish I could have certain actors read to me. Yes, you read that right. Like when you were a kid and your parents would read you a story before bed. I have certain actors that I could just sit there and listen all day as they read me various stories. So there we were comparing notes and this is what I came up with.
James Earl Jones
JEJ would definitely fall into the booming baritone category. I have visions of my Dad storming down the hallway scolding me. His voice, JEJ, not my dad, is distinctive and one is able to pick up on it the minute you hear it. He will go down in history as having one of the most recognized voices ever.
I would have JEJ read me the entire Harry Potter series. His voice can be soft or commanding but mainly I would just want to hear him exclaim “Avada Kedavra!” in his deepest voice. I would be spellbound to hear him say any of those spells as a matter of fact.
Hugo has a knack for speech. His cadence of speech as Agent Smith in the Matrix, Elrond in The Lord of the Rings trilogy or as V in V for Vendetta are similar yet…not. It’s almost hypnotic. His monologue in V for Vendetta is pure brilliance. It would only make sense then to have him read…
Dr. Suess. His pattern of speech would lend itself quite nicely to There’s a Wocket in my Pocket or Fox in Sox or even Oh, The Places You’ll Go. Doesn’t matter really. Hugo Weaving + Dr. Suess = WIN
Musht include Shir Sean Connery here. The Scot who played a Brit…and a Russian…with that Shcottish accent. His voice is another you just can’t miss. Sean Connery is one actor that never tried to alter his accent. At least not that I know of. It was never an issue either. I would have special duties for Sean Connery.
Owner’s manuals or assembly instructions. This duty actually belonged to my friend Amy. The one who I was having this very conversation with. Any time I got a new piece of electronic equipment I’d crack open the box, toss her the book and she would read it then tell me all the bells and whistles as I was hooking it up. Sir Sean would have that duty. The only instructions he would not be helpful with would be anything from Ikea. In which case he could help assemble.
Willem Dafoe is a bit of a smooth criminal. He’s got that quiet before the storm type of voice. If you listen to long he might put you in a trance so you best watch out. It’s smooth, yet with a hint of danger. It’s like a bottle of top shelf booze. Smooth and seemingly innocuous until you find the bottle is gone and you’re in trouble the next morning. His voice sneaks up on you.
My fellow HeyUGuys writer Emily and I had a discussion about Willem one day after she showed me a series of commercials where he voices a stuffed animal. I think it’s a teddy bear. I made the comment that it was a bit creepy yet, not. Very strange. Emily said that she would like him to read the Grimm fairy tales and I would have to agree. He’s got that menacing tone, but it’s understated. I think he would do the Brothers Grimm justice.
I love Ian McKellan. His voice is like his eyes. Sharp one minute, soothing and gentle the next. Depending on his tone, he sounds like he could cut you down one minute, then wrap you in a warm wordy blanket the next.
Actually Ian would be more of a narrator. I would like him to narrate my life. Just follow me around and comments on what I’m doing. “As she sped down the street she gave the incompetent driver who cut her off a generous helping of the finger.” Yes….I could go for that.
My friend Amy was the one I was having this discussion with and she actually emailed me her choices. She pretty much nailed those on the head because all of them I can hear in my head.
I’d like Morgan Freeman to read me fairy tales (Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess named Amy …), Pierce Bronson and Ewan McGregor to read me romance novels (they can take turns), Stanley Tucci can read me cookbooks and food blogs (I like the way he says things like “delectable” and “savory”), and Kevin Kline has a great voice for witty stories and sly humor. I’m listing only men, but there are women who have great voices too. Diane Lane and Julianne Moore come to mind. I think either would do a great job with strong female-lead stories, smart sexy detectives or vampire huntresses.
If I could find someone who could do really excellent impressions I would have made some audio clips, but alas, I can’t do them and I don’t know anyone personally who can.
So there you have it folks. Do you have a certain actor whose voice you could stand to hear read a story to you or narrate your life? Let us know!