Liam O'Brien is one of the more recent voice actors. Chances are that if you notice a character who seems aristocratic
or have noble standing
, they'll have this guy voicing them. Most likely characteristics of his voice are an almost-faux British accent, gruff
, or a very laid-back demeanor. And he doesn't differentiate that much—
—"You want any voice differentiation? That's Gaara!"
His real forte seems to be voicing characters who have more than a few screws loose in their head, from the eccentric to the completely insane
. In fact, this is what shot him to fame when he voiced Gaara in Naruto
. He has a knack for Ambiguously Gay
characters, and one heck of an Evil Laugh
that's present in just about every villain he's ever played.
He's currently married to fellow voice actress Amy Kincaid (who played Shirley Fenette in Code Geass
and Kotone Himekawa in To Heart
) with one child, a boy, and also does a butt-load of ADR directing (Most notably for the most recent entries in the Resident Evil
series). Some think that he's turning into the English version of Norio Wakamoto
in that both are very good at playing villains.
He has a Twitter account
and started a podcast, "Allworknoplay
", with fellow voice actor Sam Riegel
Texan counterparts? J. Michael Tatum
, Chuck Huber
and John Burgmeier. Canadian Counterparts? Michael Adamthwaite
and Brian Drummond
Notable roles from Liam O'Brien:
Tropes relating to his roles:
- Ax-Crazy: What a lot of his characters have in common. If the character is a good guy, the character is most likely a Sociopathic Hero, one with a Dark and Troubled Past, a Blood Knight, an Anti-Hero, or a former villain turned good guy/antihero. If the character is a bad guy, the character he voices is most likely going to be a Smug Snake, a Manipulative Bastard, a Mad Scientist, a Psychotic Manchild, a Villain Protagonist, an evil noble, or one without any redeeming qualities.
- Badass Baritone: While his natural voice is actually a little bit higher than what most people hear, the voice he uses most often is this.
- Deadpan Snarker: If his Twitter account is any indication, he's got a killer sense of humor.
- Evil Sounds Deep: If the character he voices happens to have a deep voice, then they are most likely are going to be villains. If the villain has a higher pitched voice, then said villain is going to be psychotic.
- Evil Laugh: He's very fond of this.
- Guttural Growler: Even when playing an unambiguously good man like Dr. Tenma, his voice has this quality.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Sam Riegel. Their joint podcast makes it abundantly clear that they're BF Fs. At one point Liam O'Brien challenges them both to pick which male voice actor they would marry if given the option - and the challenging part is that they're not allowed to pick each other.
- Man of a Thousand Voices: We have Gaara, Lloyd, and Dr. Clive for starters, but he's really capable of others. Also, his official resume lists British, Cockney, Spanish, Russian, Irish, German, Brooklyn, and New Jersey as his dialect specialties (the first one happens to be the most common one).
- Mean Character Nice Actor: He does not share the mental instability present in most of his roles.
- One of Us: His Twitter account pretty much confirms this. He also once cosplayed with several other VAs during a viewing of Game of Thrones
- Pigeonholed Voice Actor: Most of his characters tend to be mentally unstable villains, but he still plays against type from time to time.
- Playing Against Type:
- Dr. Tenma from Monster, a Nice Guy Technical Pacifist doctor. note
- Also both Ky Kiske and Tokugawa Ieyasu, Reasonable Authority Figure type characters (quite a stark contrast to most of his characters).
- Akihiko Sanada isn't exactly villain material either. Asura is a different story entirely.
- And for a short time, he voiced Stahn Aileron, who's Tales Series' poster boy for Wide-Eyed Idealist Idiot Hero. There's also Jonathan Morris, who while still good and powerful, isn't exactly the brightest bulb.
- Playing Inigo from Fire Emblem Awakening, had him playing a suave, happy go lucky, overly emotional, ladies man who was just out to make everyone smile.
- He played Shobu Kirifuda in the second and third seasons of Duel Masters, AND the young version of the aforementioned Tokugawa Ieyasu in the Sengoku Basara Samurai Heroes anime. That's as far from his usual typecast as one can possibly get.
- Played around with Yasuo of League of Legends. The promotional trailer paint him as a cold-blooded murderer, which may look a little in-line with O'Brien's type. When he's eventually released? Turns out Yasuo is an innocent man, framed and trying to seek justice from that, and was a formerly arrogant Samurai that learned the arts of humility for real. Still got the eagerness to fight, though.
- He's played two German Marvel characters. One of them, completely in type, is the Red Skull. The other, Nightcrawler, easily one of the nicest and kind hearted members of the X-Men.
- Star-Making Role: As Gaara from Naruto.
- Villains: What he's best well-known for playing. As with a Youtube comment comparing the evil laughs of English and Japanese voice acting in Eternal Sonata: "best evil voice actor ever". He's getting close to becoming the definitive English counterpart of Norio Wakamoto. (Even more that he also landed a role played by Wakamoto, finally: Johnny. Though said character isn't a villain.)
- What Could Have Been: The Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 E3 2012 demo had Liam voicing the player character, David Mason.