Every cartoons and animated films watcher (even an occasional one) should know Wojciech Paszkowski. The artist is the one to have given the voice to Julius Caesar in the film Asterix and Obelix, Mission Cleopatra. He was also the great Mike Wazowski in Monsters, Inc., the anti-hero Heinz Doofenshmirtz in Phineas and Ferb, Wallace from Wallace and Gromit and Timon from The Lion King. The list could go on and on, as Paszkowski has over 150 roles in acting and animated films and series, not counting the voice given to characters in computer games. In addition, he is also an excellent, if not the best dubbing director in Poland. In this field is where he was working nearly on hits only, incl. Alice in Wonderland, Star Wars (Part V and Part VI), Oz: The Great and Powerful, Peter Pan in: Return to Never Land, The Muppets, as well as Encanto, Frozen and Luca.
Work is the passion that, each time, he puts his whole heart into (or should it be said, his vocal cords). Building a character with the help of your voice is governed by different rules than impersonating the hero on a film set or in a theater stage. – “You cannot rely on the dynamics of your body, gestures,” - says Paszkowski. – “All emotions must be conveyed in the voice, but also be careful not to overdo it. And, importantly, catch the characteristic features of the character played. It has to be consistent and homogeneous”.
As he says, working on a role is a joint effort of the actor and the director, who try to catch the characteristic "something" in a given character. What's the best way to do this? – “I do not start with the first scene of the film, I skip the beginning” - says Paszkowski. – “I'm taking a characteristic fragment from the rest of the film and trying to understand the character. Once I catch it, we record right from this scene, and we come back to the beginning of the film later. Thanks to this, it is possible to avoid inconsistencies with the character, which the viewer may feel in such a way that the hero is sluggish at the beginning and only then starts to get going”.
This was also the case with Doofenshmirtz, Paszkowski’s favorite character which he dubbed. “He's a bit of a freak who should actually be angry, but doesn’t quite do it,” says the actor. “He's plotting traps, he’s scheming, but in fact he's a milksop, and a bit of a sucker, too. On one hand, he is dangerous; on the other, though, he is poor, because his plans always went awry.
He does not dream of the proverbial Hamlet in dubbing, because - as he admits - he has had some really unique roles. - The aforementioned Doofenshmirtz, Doctor Facilier from The Princess and the Frog, and Wazowski from Monsters Inc. are the roles that probably every dubbing actor would like to play - says Paszkowski.
And if he were to award an Oscar for the best Polish dubbing, it would go the film Asterix and Obelix. Mission Cleopatra, in which he plays Julius Caesar. - Everyone did a great job there: Cezary Pazura, Wiktor Zborowski, Krzysztof Banaszak, Jarosław Boberek, Mieczysław Morański - in this film everything turned out exactly as we wanted.
He is a perfectionist. In 2004, he directed the dubbing for The Incredibles, in which Piotr Fronczewski lends his voice to Mr. Incredible. – “I got confused that something was wrong with me in the scene when the character of Fronczewski gets mad at his children. This is a very strong, emotional monologue. We spent a good hour on it” - recalls Paszkowski.
But he works with actors in very partnership relations. - I compare the role of the director to the conductor of a symphony orchestra. It has to be conducted in such a way that the main theme of the piece is in the first place, but the individual strokes of the instruments must also be significant. They must be heard.
Privately, he loves riding a scooter - he often chooses longer routes on the way to work to ride around the city. He likes to look at planes - that's why his scooter is often parked at the Warsaw Chopin airport.
He performs on the stage of the Roma Musical Theater.
text: Anna Tarnowska
the meeting will be hosted by Jarosław Jarry Jaworski