• Milly Allinson

Why Your Film Production Needs Multilingual Actors

Updated: Nov 26, 2020

(Photo credit: Steven Van via Unsplash)

More and more films are being recorded across the world with diverse casts and locations, from action films in Europe to romances in tropical settings.

It's increasingly important for film, TV and commercial productions to feature multilingual actors and actresses as part of their cast. Here's everything you need to know, with insights from Reflections' multilingual talent.

Multilingual actors can record multiple languages

Commercials often need to be shown in multiple countries and continents. This can create added expenses for productions, as multiple actors will need to be hired to record foreign language versions.

Multilingual actors and actresses cut production costs, as they can record multiple versions of the same advertisement or content. Kristina Guberman recorded both the Italian and French versions of an advertising campaign.

Multilingual actors understand language and cultural differences

Multilingual actors understand the differences between languages and cultures, creating authentic performances in foreign language roles.

Carmen Gloria Pérez noticed that she reacts to things differently in different languages. "With Spanish, my temper rises much faster than English or Norwegian."

Carmen is a highly skilled actress and voice actor with over 10 years of experience in both American English, and neutral and Caribbean Spanish, including for the major feature film, 'A Man Apart', with Vin Diesel. She has dubbed Spanish voices for feature films and commercials in the US, and worked on Spanish TV shows, 'Secretos' and 'La Corte Del Pueblo'. She has also starred in Norwegian commercials and TV series.

(Photo credit: Avel Chuklanov via Unsplash)

As Joana Mendes describes, "If we think about it, it's not just the way we move or project the sound in our mouths, but the way different cultures act and have different hand, head or eye movements on a daily basis. The way we communicate changes depending on those differences."

Multilingual actors and actresses are constantly aware of these differences, and put their knowledge into practice when acting in foreign language roles.

Kristina Guberman writes, "Since different languages have a different melody, rhythm and intonation, a lot of sentences sound good in English, but when translated, don’t feel right or just don’t make sense! That’s something I am always aware of.'

Kristina has vast experience of presenting and recording in multiple languages. She has presented live events and recorded online financial tutorials in Russian, presented 3 hour live shows on TV in French as a solo host, and has recorded commercials for Italian and French companies.

Multilingual actors create flexibility for productions

Flexibility is a key skill for multilingual actors and actresses.

"I was cast to play a character as a Spanish woman, and the day before my shoots, the Director changed her character to Portuguese," says Joana. "Being flexible with my work is essential, because what I had developed for her character wouldn't fit."

Multilingual actors and actresses open up animations, commercials and even audiobooks to whole new audiences in dubs, as well as original material in a non-English language.

Joana Mendes has acted in modern Portuguese theatre plays to films, dubbing, voiceover and audiobooks, including the Portuguese version of Agatha Christie's audiobooks and the lead voices in a Portuguese animation, Algo Que Eu Disse. Outside of English, Joana has experience of acting in Portuguese, Spanish and French.

Reflections Talent Agency features leading multilingual actors and actresses with years of experience in their field. Check out our acting and voice talent for your future productions.