Why Their Voices Sound So Familiar



Critical Role is composed of an entertaining troupe of voice actors who get together regularly and livestream their Dungeons and Dragons adventures on Twitch. Much of the cast has been voice acting since the early 2000s if not earlier. In fact, as every player on this table is an industry veteran, the Critical Role cast’s other roles comprise many familiar franchises for viewers already hooked on DnD. Their first campaign, which lasted 115 episodes, gained so much popularity that through the help of a very successful Kickstarter, led to the animated series The Legend of Vox Machina.


While an entire awesome crew is behind Critical Role, 8 members are currently running its second campaign in Wildemount. Known as the “Mighty Nein,” the group consists of the Tiefling Cleric—Jester (Laura Bailey), the Half-Orc Warlock—Fjord (Travis Willingham), the Human Monk—Beauregard (Marisha Ray), the Firbolg Cleric—Caduceus Clay and Tiefling Blood Hunter—Mollymauk Tealeaf (Taliesin Jaffe), the Goblin Rogue—Nott the Brave (Sam Riegel), the Human Wizard—Caleb Widogast (Liam O’Brien), and the Aasimar Barbarian—Yasha (Ashley Johnson). The lovable group has revolutionized the tabletop game since they first started recording dice rolls in 2015, but it may be surprising to know what the Critical Role cast have done outside Mercer’s table.

Related: Liam O’Brien Teases A Different Kind Of Story With Mighty Nein Series

Critical Role: Matthew Mercer

Critical Role Matthew Mercer Dungeons and Dragons

Dungeon Master and Critical Role developer Matthew Mercer has an impressive voice acting filmography from his roles in numerous animations and video games. He has been featured in a plethora of notable animes including (but not limited to) Dragon Ball Super, Kill la Kill, One Piece, and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Additionally, Mercer’s voice can be found in over 70 video games including Batman: Arkham Knight, Arkham Origins, and The Enemy Within, Fire Emblem: Fates, Heroes, and Awakening, Persona 4 and 5, and XenoBlade Chronicles X.

Some of the roles he is most proud of include Leon Kennedy (Resident Evil 6, Resident Evil Damnation), Captain Levi Ackerman (Attack on Titan), Bigfoot (Wabbit), Gangplank and Kindred [Wolf] (League of Legends), Robert MacCready (Fallout 4), Rexxar (Hearthstone, World of Warcraft). For voicing McCree (Overwatch), the 2017 BTVA People’s Choice Voice Acting Awards hailed Mercer as the Voice Actor of the Year. Mercer is also the Chief Creative Executive of Critical Role, and an executive producer in The Legend of Vox Machina, in which he also voiced Sylas Briarwood. In terms of the Critical Role cast’s other roles, Matt Mercer’s house rules for DnD means that he is mostly known as a prominent Dungeon Master.

Critical Role: Laura Bailey

Critical Role Laura Bailey Dungeons and Dragons

Laura Bailey is most recently known for her role as Abby in The Last of Us: Part 2, for which she won Best Performance at the 2020 The Game Awards. However, fans may be surprised that she also played the voice of young Trunks and others in the English dubbed Dragon Ball Z television series. More popular roles in anime are as follows: Keiko Yukimura (Yu Yu Hakusho), Tohru Honda (Fruits Basket), Conis (One Piece), Anko Mitarashi (Naruto), Shin Nohara (Shin-Chan), Tier Harribel (Bleach), and Maka Albarn (Soul Eater).

She also voices Gwen Stacey and Black Widow on the animated Spider-Man (2017) TV show. Bailey has been a voice actress in over 100 video games such as Chun-Li in the Street Fighter series. She also appears in Dragon Age: Inquisition, Fallout: New Vegas, Final Fantasy XIII, League of Legends, The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard, and numerous World of Warcraft games. Apart from voicing Vex’ahlia Vessar in The Legend of Vox Machina, Bailey is also an executive producer in the show. Bailey has been given five BTVA People’s Choice Voice Acting Awards and earned her first BAFTA Games Award in 2021. When considering the Critical Role cast’s other roles, Bailey is among the most accomplished voice actors.

Critical Role: Travis Willingham

Critical Role Travis Willingham Dungeons and Dragons

Bailey’s husband and current CEO of Critical Role, Travis Willingham, has his own impressive list of voice acting history. He may best be known for his roles as Roy Mustang (Fullmetal Alchemist) Portgas D. Ace (One Piece), Knuckles (Sonic the Hedgehog 2010-2018), and Thor (Guardians of the Galaxy TV Series). He’s voiced Cell in many Dragon Ball Z games, Guile from the Street Fighter series, and Aced from Kingdom Hearts III. Other significant games include Batman: The TellTale Series, League of Legends, as well as some Transformers and World of Warcraft games.

Willingham has amassed the most credits compared to the Critical Role cast’s other roles, as he is credited in over 300 animation projects and games. His various awards include a BTVA Video Game Voice Acting Award, a BTVA Special/DVD Voice Acting Award, and four BTVA People’s Choice Voice Acting Awards. Willingham is also an executive producer for The Legend of Vox Machina – apart from providing the voice of Grog Strongjaw, one of the most overpowered Critical Role player characters.

Critical Role: Marisha Ray

Critical Role Marisha Ray Dungeons and Dragons

Marisha Ray, Creative Director of Critical Role and Matthew Mercer’s wife, has voiced Margaret (Persona 4 Arena Ultimax), Laura Arseid (The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel) and A.J. Mason (Friday the 13th: The Game). She does several voices in Fire Emblem: Fates and Fire Emblem Heroes, among other titles. She also stars in the Game of Thrones web series parody, School of Thrones as Melisandre. The LA Web Fest has awarded Ray two Outstanding Achievement Awards for her various credits.

Though the Critical Role cast’s other roles make Marisha Ray’s list of credits seem smaller in comparison, she is notably responsible for much of the series’ content. Before Critical Role, Ray served as the Creative Director of Geek & Sundry – apart from already having produced web content for over a decade. Not surprisingly, she is also an executive producer for The Legend of Vox Machina, where she voices Keyleth of the Air Ashari – largely considered to be one of the best Critical Role player characters in the table’s history.

Critical Role: Taliesin Jaffe

Critical Role Taliesin Jaffe Dungeons and Dragons

Although Taliesin Jaffe has had many roles in showbiz including TV writer and ADR director (Hellsing and Hellsing Ultimate, R.O.D. the TV, Amazing Nurse Nanako and Nazca) he started his career as a child actor as young Kenny Butler in Mr. Mom. Some of his favorite voice-acting roles include Arthur Conan Doyle (Black Butler: The Book of Murder), Blanka (Street Fighter IV), Edge Geraldine (Final Fantasy IV), and Darion Morgaine (World of Warcraft). He also voices Basil Hawkins in the anime One Piece.

Although this member of the Critical Role cast’s other roles have resulted in five Young Artist Awards, Jaffe remains most famous for breathing terrifying life into Vox Machina’s Percival de Rolo. This translated into a similarly compelling performanc for the animated adaptation of Campaign One. Like his fellow main cast members, Jaffe also serves as an executive producer for The Legend of Vox Machina.

Critical Role: Sam Riegel

Critical Role Sam Riegel Dungeons and Dragons

Sam Riegel is known for his role as Donatello in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003). He also plays Teddie in the Persona 4 animated series and Peter Parker from The Amazing Spider-Man video games. Like his fellow Critical Role actors, Riegel has starred in several anime series and video games including Yu-Gi-Oh!, Naruto, One-Punch Man, Ace Attorney, Final Fantasy IV, Tales of Vesperia, Fire Emblem: Awakening and Heroes, and Ratchet & Clank.

Although most of the Critical Role cast’s other roles are impressive, Riegel notably won Outstanding Directing in an Animated Program Daytime Emmy for Danger & Eggs. In addition, Riegel has a BTVA Video Game Voice Acting Award and three BTVA People’s Choice Voice Acting Awards – on top of winning best Half-Hour Television Writing at the Austin Film Festival. Riegel is of course most famous for voicing the bard Scanlan Shorthalt in The Legend of Vox Machina, in which he also executive produces.

Critical Role: Liam O’Brien

Critical Role Liam O'Brien Dungeons and Dragons

Liam O’Brien has had numerous roles in animation and video games as well. In addition to being a voice director and writer, he has voiced noteworthy roles including Gaara (Naruto), Jūshirō Ukitake (Bleach), Nephrite (Sailor Moon), Red XIII (Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children) Akihiko Sanada (Persona series), Red Skull (Marvel’s Avengers Assemble), and Illidan Stormrage (World of Warcraft). His list is as extensive as the rest, lending his voice to even more titles like Girls Bravo, Haré+Guu, Code Geass, Baki, Devil May Cry 4, The Last of Us, The Elder Scrolls Online, and Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite.

For this member of the Critical Role cast’s other roles, which comprises over 400 games and animated series/movies, O’Brien has been awarded a BTVA Anime Dub Television/OVA Voice Acting Award, a BTVA Special/DVD Voice Acting Award, and a BTVA People’s Choice Voice Acting Award. Another executive producer for The Legend of Vox Machina, Liam O’Brien also famously voiced Vax’ildan Vessar. In the Screen Rant interview with Critical Role‘s Liam O’Brian, the actor has expressed a desire to be more involved in the writing for both The Legend of Vox Machina season 3 and the upcoming Mighty Nein series.

Related: Liam O’Brien Wants To Write For Legend Of Vox Machina Or Mighty Nein

Critical Role: Ashley Johnson

Critical Role Ashley Johnson Dungeons and Dragons

Ashley Johnson started her career as a child actress. She portrayed 5-year old Chrissy Seaver in the hit sitcom series Growing Pains and acted in films such as Annie: A Royal Adventure!, What Women Want, and Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing. She voiced Gretchen Grundler (Recess), Terra (Teen Titans), Renet (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Gwen Tennyson (Ben 10 franchise), and is featured in many cameos in additional television shows and video games. Similar to Laura Bailey, Ashley’s Johnson may most recently be recognized for her role as Ellie in The Last of Us and The Last of Us: Part 2, for which she received two Best Performer BAFTA Awards.

Also known as the voice of Vox Machina’s Pike Trickfoot, Johnson is also an executive producer for The Legend of Vox Machina. Those who discovered Critical Role through YouTube may also recognize Johnson from Comedy Central’s Drunk History. With such widespread talent in one room, it’s no wonder the group has hundreds of thousands of followers that tune in weekly to watch their Dungeons and Dragons shenanigans. Critical Role airs every Thursday at 7pm Pacific time on their Twitch channel, but episodes can also be watched via Critical Role’s YouTube channel as well. Additionally they have a podcast version of the show through The Geek & Sundry and Critical Role podcast networks.


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