With new animated series Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai released on Max, Izaac Wang voices lead role Sam Wing in the prequel, and he reunited with some of the cast for their screening event. In the Christmas series The Santa Clauses on Disney+, Izaac plays Hugo alongside Tim Allen, and last year, he was in the cast of the award-winning short film White Now Please as Bryan Chen, which premiered at the Dances With Film Festival. Izaac made his film role debut as Soren in Good Boys in 2019, and has since played Owen in Clifford the Big Red Dog with Darby Camp and Jack Whitehall, Boun in the Oscar and Golden Globe-nominated Disney animated film Raya and the Last Dragon, and Li in Think Like a Dog. Catching up with us, Izaac spoke about voicing lead character Sam Wing in Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, being on set as Hugo in The Santa Clauses and playing Owen in Clifford the Big Red Dog.
What is it like voicing the lead role of Sam Wing in the new animated series Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai?
Voicing the role of Sam Wing was an amazing experience. Everyone I worked with coached me on how to bring this character to life. Once I got the hang of Sam Wing’s character, everything started to come together, and I became more comfortable in the studio.
Can you tell us about the series and your character, and how does it feel now the series is released on Max?
Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai is a prequel series that explores the origins of the Gremlins. In the series, Sam Wing, my character, is a young boy who embarks on a perilous adventure with his companions. It’s incredible to see the series released on Max! Hearing my voice as an animated character always makes me laugh, and it’s cool to know that many other people will share the experience I had.
How much did you know about the Gremlins films before auditioning and how was it working on the prequel series?
Before auditioning, I had only watched the movie once when I was much younger. But while working on the prequel series, I rewatched the film to catch up. I also delved into different Gremlins fan bases and realised that the Gremlins fandom is much bigger than I thought.
What was it like attending the screening event and seeing the completed animation for the first time?
Attending the screening event and seeing the completed animation for the first time in a while was a nice refresher. Watching episode 2, which I hadn’t seen yet, was awesome! It’s crazy to hear how much my voice has changed over the years. Witnessing everyone’s hard work come together and finally showing it to an audience was an incredible feeling.
Who do you think will enjoy watching Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai and how has it been hearing the fan response to the series so far?
Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai will be enjoyed by people of all ages. It introduces the Gremlins franchise to a younger audience while bringing back beloved memories for older viewers. It’s been thrilling to see all the positive feedback from the show.
You play Hugo in The Santa Clauses for Disney+, what was it like seeing the set and getting into character?
Playing Hugo in The Santa Clauses was a delightful experience. Being on set and immersing myself in the North Pole atmosphere truly made me feel like an actual elf. The set was incredibly detailed, and getting into character wasn’t the hardest part — resisting the temptation to touch all the cool buttons and switches was!
Was there anything you enjoyed most about filming as Hugo and working on a Disney+ Christmas series?
What I enjoyed most about playing Hugo was the set itself. The show’s set was so cool, with all these little minor details that truly made it feel like the North Pole. The best part is being on set with the legend Tim Allen! He’s so funny!
What was the award-winning short film White Now Please like to be part of as Bryan Chen and how was it having it premiere at the 2022 Dances With Film Festival and feature at numerous festivals around America?
Being part of the film White Now Please as Bryan Chen was a great opportunity for me. Having the film premiere at numerous festivals was unbelievable. It was a spectacular film to work on, and Kyle (Lau) and the team were amazing collaborators. The film turned out funnier and more dramatic than I had anticipated. I was able to break character in this project, which improved on my acting crafts.
Do you have any favourite memories from playing Owen in Clifford the Big Red Dog that you can share?
Playing Owen in Clifford the Big Red Dog was a memorable experience for me as well. One of the funniest scenes to perform was when Clifford “farted” in Uncle Casey’s moving van. It was super fun!
What was Owen like to play and how was it filming alongside the rest of the cast, which includes Darby Camp as Emily Elizabeth?
While playing Owen in Clifford the Big Red Dog, I created many cherished memories. Working alongside the rest of the cast, including Darby Camp as Emily Elizabeth, was a wonderful experience. She is a great friend to hang out with and an amazing actor. While Jack Whitehall was super funny, and I mostly did a lot of improv with Jack on screen and watching him switch from an English to an American accent was hilarious.
How did you find the experience voicing Boun in the Oscar and Golden Globe-nominated Disney film Raya and the Last Dragon and how was it being involved with a big Disney animated release?
Voicing Boun in the Disney film Raya and the Last Dragon was by far the greatest experience I’ve ever had. It was during the pandemic, and I did most of my recording in my small closet. But knowing that I’m one of the cast members on the film and working alongside the legendary AAPI actors like, Awkwafina, Kelly Marie Tran, Sandra Oh, Gemma Chan and many more involved in the movie was a story I will never forget. Being part of a major Disney animated release allowed me to contribute my voice to a film that represented Asian-American actors.
Can you tell us about your time on set of the feature film Think Like a Dog and how was it filming as Li?
Filming as Li in the feature film Think Like a Dog was an enjoyable experience. It was one of my very first big gigs. All I can remember is that I was in New Orleans and it was hot and humid. Though I don’t have specific details about my time on set, being part of a feature film and bringing my character to life was an exciting opportunity.
Your first film role was in 2019 as Soren in Good Boys, what do you remember most from this project?
Good Boys was my first film role, and I must say it was quite the movie. I wasn’t able to watch it because it was rated “R” but now that I’m older, rewatching it always makes me crack up. The thing I remember most is hanging out with the other cast members like Keith Williams. It was fun to have the freedom to say some bad words as part of my dialogue without my mom getting mad.
Where does your love of screen and voice acting come from and how did you get into each?
I really enjoy storytelling and improv, and I believe it has been one of the key factors that helped me in my journey of screen acting and voice acting.
What are some of your favourite films and TV shows to watch and how do you like to spend your time away from your career?
Currently, my favourite shows are anime. One Punch Man will forever be a favourite of mine, and I’m currently rewatching Black Clover after catching up on the manga. As for films, Saving Private Ryan holds a special place as my favourite. When I’m away from my career, I spend my time playing video games and mountain biking.
Do you have any projects coming up that you can tell us about and what are you hoping 2023 brings for you?
I’m currently working on a project, although I can’t disclose the details. I hope that 2023 brings more opportunities for me and that I can achieve a few personal goals of mine.
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