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Suzie Yeung & Sarah Wiedenheft Detail Balancing the Anime’s Energy


In the midst of all the bloody devil-hunting action in the hit anime series chainsaw man, the two women Makima (Suzie Yeung) and Power (Sarah Wiedenheft) have completely opposite dispositions. As the head of the Public Security Division, a special branch of the Japanese government tasked with hunting demons, Makima is a supremely stoic leader who unswervingly leads her team of misfits, including series protagonist Denji (Ryan Colt Levy). . As a demon working together with the Public Security Division for her own redemption, Power is consistently spontaneous, leading with her burning emotions as she takes on Devils from all over the world. Despite this unlikely pairing, the two are among the few figures capable of defending Japan from a rise of monstrous demons.


In an exclusive interview with CBR, chainsaw man stars Suzie Yeung and Sarah Wiedenheft revealed how they each approached their performances as Makima and Power. The pair shared some of their favorite moments from the anime series and reflected on the fan response to the show.

RELATED: Chainsaw Man: Someone Wants To Catch Denji, But Who And Why?

CBR: In some ways, Makima and Power are polar opposites of each other; Makima is completely unflappable, while Power is completely unpredictable, even to herself. What was it like to approach their respective performances?

Suzie Yeung: Makima is completely unaffected by almost everything, so he just has to keep that steady pitch the whole time. She’s the stable one compared to the other three, who are just freaking out in a corner. [laughs]

Sarah Wiedenheft: It’s so much fun! [laughs] I also absolutely adore Power’s entire section in the manga, where she showed all sides of herself from being very selfish, being a pathological liar, and enjoying killing things. [laughs] She knows she’s cute, so you can tell she’s very confident in herself, and she doesn’t give a shit about others either. [laughs]

One of my favorite moments with Power is when he feeds his cat, only to have it cut up and eat a live cow.

Wiedenheft: Originally, he was going to eat the cat because he wanted to fatten it up because all he cared about was blood and eating for a long time. It was horrible to see what he was holding! [laughs]

How did you find the voices for your characters? Was it a matter of listening to the Japanese voice cast or looking at the manga artwork and finding your own performance?

Yeung: Whenever I get close to a character, I look at their art: how they look, what really attracts me to them, and how I think they would sound. To Makima, I think she appears to be in her late twenties, a young woman but also quite assertive. Somehow I do it on my own.

wiedenheft: I did something similar. I like to have a visual reference of them and gauge their personality and the way they look. I also watched the trailer after I had done some audition shots. [I’d be like] “I’m not sure. I want to look at the trailer and get a reference there.” Apparently, it wasn’t too far! [laughs] It was nice to hear the way they were doing it because I was having a bit of a hard time gauging how energetic or chaotic she could be with her reading.

In the manga, he says things like, “I only get along with cats. I hatred humans!” and then in all caps, he’ll say, “AND I HATE DEMONS TOO!” I’m not sure how crazy he’ll be in the anime, so I gave a few readings like that from where he went from zero to 100 and then back again. to zero again. [laughs]

RELATED: Chainsaw Man: How Denji And Pochita’s Relationship Stole And Broke Everyone’s Hearts

Power threatens Kobeni in Chainsaw Man

What was it like working with voice director Mike McFarland in the booth?

Yeung: It was amazing! He has such attention to detail and definitely knows what he wants to hear, and he’ll rip it out of you if he kills it, he’ll rip it out of you! The good thing about Mike is that he makes you look at things from a different perspective or tries to bring out tones that you wouldn’t even think of in that scene. You do a reading and he’ll say, “That was good, but try it a little more like this. She’s a little more intimate right now.” It’s great to make those small changes with him as a guide.

wiedenheft: it’s great to work [with] like Suzie said. He’ll get some readings on you that you didn’t even think of doing. I specifically remember this scene where [Power] It’s like, “Ha, they’re probably running away from me because I smell!” [laughs] He was like, “Why don’t you just do it like this and like that so you flow into him?” I’d be like, “Okay, I see you. Let’s try it, shit, that’s so good!”

young man: When you look at the final product, you’re like, “Oh, that makes sense!” Sometimes, in the moment, you don’t really know it, but you trust it because it plays with the other characters and makes a lot more sense in the context. He’s very good at looking at the big picture. [while] we focus on our own lines and only see our own scenes, so it’s really helpful for him to help guide us through that.

Makima is a very stoic figure in everything that goes on around her, and that gives her a comedic quality. What’s it like to find the humor beneath that unflinching appearance?

Yeung: I always say that she’s not necessarily an active participant, but rather an observer of all the comedy that happens in front of her, but she plays along. She’ll be like, “That’s cute.” [laughs] As long as they are yelling at each other, she will patiently sit there and say, “Okay, move on,” with a very scary look on her face. I think that’s just funny because Power will be like, “Okay, I’ll shut up now.” [laughs]

wiedenheft: I feel like she makes a lot of jokes when Denji asks her things like “What’s your type?” and she’ll be like, “Hmmmm. The Denji guy.” She is playing with him. [laughs]

young man: Yes, she’s playing the violin right there.

RELATED: Chainsaw Man: Who Is Denji’s Father And What Was Their Relationship Like?

Makima smiles at Chainsaw Man.

For all her chaotic energy, the power has a vulnerable and tragic side, and she’ll certainly do anything for her cat. What is it like to explore those moments for the character?

Wiedenheft: It was fantastic. I loved seeing that backstory and that whole side of her. In fact, he had a cat that he loved, that he absolutely adored, and she passed away, he would say, about 12 years ago. From time to time, I will still remember her, and going through this anime opened up those wounds again, and I needed a few moments to walk away because I was reminded of her again. It wasn’t too hard to get into that mindset, fortunately and unfortunately. [laughs]

The only character in chainsaw man The one who can get under the exterior of Makima and Power is Denji. What do you think those two see in him?

Yeung: I think she sees him as a dog. She directly says that in the anime. [laughs] “What a cute and interesting animal. How can I get it to do some tricks on me?” [laughs] I think intrigued is definitely the right word for it. She says, “You are special. I know more about you than you know about yourself.”

wiedenheft: I think for Power, she doesn’t really think much of him, at least not at first. She says, “How can I fool this stupid human? I think he’s easy to get. I can sway him very quickly.” After she rescued the cat from her, I think she became more empathetic and maybe even liked it a little more. I think she just sees it as a toy right now, something fun to play with. [laughs]

young man: It’s funny how both characters see it that way but from different perspectives.

How has the response from the fans been? You hosted the first episode at New York Comic Con and it has since become one of the biggest anime shows on Hulu and Crunchyroll.

Yeung: It’s been crazy! You guys are so amazing! There’s so much fan art out there, and you know it’s done when a bunch of memes show up too. [laughs]

wiedenheft: I love seeing all the videos and edits people make. They are super creative.

young man: We knew it was going to be big, but now that it’s out, seeing the response from fans makes us even more excited to get involved.

RELATED: Chainsaw Man’s Opening Foreshadows The Tragic Nature Of The Story

Power blames Denji, the Chainsaw Man, for his mistakes

Which of the demons we’ve seen so far are your personal favorites?

Wiedenheft: I’m going to go with Fox Devil because I love that hopefully you can wreck, especially if you’re pretty because then the fox likes you. [laughs] I would love to be able to get the head.

young man: Yes, she also has such a beautiful and majestic voice. I like it, but my favorite will always be Pochita. He’s so cute. I want more to appear! [laughs]

What else can you tease about the upcoming episodes of chainsaw man and the continuing adventures of Makima and Power?

Wiedenheft: I can joke a bit about the continuation of the Power scene [with Denji]. I think people are going to love it!

Based on the manga series of the same name created by Tatsuki Fujimoto, Chainsaw Man is directed by Ryu Nakayama and Masato Nakazono. New episodes drop on Tuesdays on Hulu and Crunchyroll.



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