Exclusive interview with actor, voice to popular Anime characters, & "To Your Eternity" star, Jacob Hopkins.
Jacob Hopkins is no stranger to the entertainment industry. The young adult star has lended his voice to several iconic characters including “Gumball” in Cartoon Network’s The Amazing World of Gumball and several anime series, acted in some of the most popular television shows, and more!
Hopkins voices characters in the anime series In The Land of Leadale, The Vampire Dies in No Time, and Life Lessons with Uramichi Oniisan, and also voices Axel Finke in Dreamworks Animation’s Dragons: Rescue Riders and Dragons Rescue Riders: Heroes of the Sky alongside Marsai Martin and Skai Jackson.
In addition to voice acting, Jacob has guest-starred on popular shows: How I Met Your Mother, Animal Practice and About A Boy. You might also recognize him as Vampire Authority member Alexander Drew in the hit series True Blood, or The Goldbergs in his long-running portrayal of Chad Kremp. He also starred as one of the lead characters, Miller, in the movie Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life alongside Griffin Gluck, Lauren Graham, Rob Riggle, Retta, Isabela Moner and Thomas Barbusca.
Jacob Hopkins resume is endless, and we were lucky enough to catch up with him to chat all about his career thus far and what's next for him. Read the full interview below.
You broke into the world of voiceover acting playing the character “Gumball” in Cartoon Network’s The Amazing World of Gumball! What made you want to get into voiceover, and how did you get this role?
"Before I was a voice actor, I primarily did theatrical roles, such as the terrifying Vampire Authority member Alexander Drew on HBO's True Blood! I didn't get into voice-over until I was about eleven years old, inspired by Looney Tunes, Dragon Ball Z, and Adventure Time. Ironically, I was a huge fan of Gumball before the torch was passed to me, and even more ironically, my very first voice-over audition and gig was Gumball Watterson! It wasn't an easy journey by any means: I sounded and acted like Gumball, but I needed to master the craft.
For two months, I trained in various voice-over techniques, improved my diction, the speed of my speech, and trained in classical singing lessons to smooth out my voice and increase my range. I was even brought in multiple times to record snippets of Gumball episodes, full episodes, and new scenes that hadn't been released yet (like Gumball's speech to Penny in The Shell and the chase sequence in The Fan, my very first episode). It wasn't until all this had been accomplished that I was given the role of Gumball Watterson."
You have now made a name for yourself in the Anime genre, voicing Fushi, an immortal being who takes on the form of a deceased nameless boy, in the hit series To Your Eternity. How has it been with this show (and you) taking off?
"I can't remember a moment when I was more excited than my drive over to Studiopolis to record my very first To Your Eternity session. This show is unlike any anime out there. It's not your typical action Shonen by any means. It is incredibly philosophical, heart-wrenching, passionate, and inspiring all at the same time, and the balance between these aspects is astounding. Fushi is such a complex and emotionally broken character as he has to constantly grapple with the harsh reality that he will never die, and all of his friends will depart from him at some time or another. I am deeply humbled to have been given the honor to play such a layered character, and I always strive to do my due diligence with this endearing immortal."
We can't wait for season two! Moreover, you also showcase your talent for Crunchyroll viewers in the lead role of Oishi in the sports anime Prince of Tennis and Prince of Tennis II, Makoto Katai in Netflix’s Komi Can’t Communicate, Code in Boruto, and Shun Kamiya in the Funimation series Tribe Nine. Are you an anime fan yourself, and do you hope to branch out into other genres any time soon?
"What gave it away, haha! A million times yes, anime has had such a huge impact on my life and I'm so thankful every day that I get to work in this medium that I've loved for so long. Shows like Yu Yu Hakusho and Tokyo Ghoul really opened up my eyes to the unique stories Japan tells, and I'm very excited to be a part of them (especially Komi Can't Communicate and Boruto, two of my favorites)! I actually have recently branched out to video games, although I can't quite spill the details just yet. Stay tuned!"
Exciting! The Goldbergs is one of my favorite sitcoms, and you actually played the long-recurring role of Chad Kremp – one Adam Goldbergs’s closest friends. What was it like scoring a recurring role on one of television’s most popular shows?
"I remember landing Chad Kremp around the same time I got Gumball, so I was already on cloud nine at that point! The Goldbergs is always a blast, Sean Giambrone is a great friend of mine and I always enjoy the scenes we get to play together as Chad and Adam. I love the ever-evolving dynamic between the two, with Adam being the pop culture nerd who tries to live out his cinematic fantasies while Chad tries to be the voice of reason, but ends up getting sucked into Adam's antics because he's also a huge movie dork. Chad Kremp will always hold a special place in my heart as he is literally me, inside and out."
I love that. What do you hope is your next challenge in the entertainment industry? Do you want to jump into more movies, another TV series, or a little bit of everything?
"I'd love to be one of Marvel's/DC's next heroes, whether it'll be a movie, TV series, or even animated! I'd also love to do an action film, as I'm actually a third-degree black belt in taekwondo! I've been training for 12 years, and I'd be extremely honored to fuse the two arts I hold most dear together."
Coming from a Netflix star yourself, what are you currently binging?
"I'm currently trapped in the endless void that is The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. When they came out, I was too young to watch them, but now that I'm a big boy I'm appalled at how astounding these shows are. They're so cinematic and packed with stellar casts; where have they been my whole life?!"