The renowned Mexican actor has dubbed some 600 characters, including Shrek’s Lord Farquaad, Winnie the Pooh, Monster’s Inc.’s Roz, and the dentist from Finding Nemo and of course he is known as the Spanish voice of Homer Simpson.
Vélez will be in Colombia next week speaking about his craft. Colombia is one of the few countries in Latin America that the actor hasn’t had the chance to visit. Vélez gives workshops and conferences on dubbing all over the globe, and this time he’ll grace Bogotá’s Manuela Beltrán University.
Vélez, granted an interview to the Colombian newspaper “El Espectador,” where he talked about his origins in this unusual profession.
When did you discovered you had a talent for dubbing voices?
Since I was very little; I spent my time starting theatre troupes in school. I always knew I wanted to act. Dubbing, which is a fairly new profession to me (and a little weird for everyone else), came later.
Who taught you your art?
I studied dramatic arts at the Andrés Soler School, and then in Ohio. Back then there were no dubbing courses; Dubbing was very much available and widely used, but one had to learn everything by trial and error, there was nobody there to show you the ins and outs of dubbing.
The first character you ever dubbed…?
It was in 1993, thanks to a friend of mine who currently voices Tigger, in Winnie the Pooh. It was a small role in “The Smurfs”
How did you become the voice of Winnie The Pooh, and Homer Simpson?
After some time in the business, I auditioned for both roles, and got them. I’ve been doing Winnie the Pooh for 8 years, and homer for about 15.
To what extent do you feel identified with Homer Simpson?
Anybody can feel identified with certain aspects of Homer’s life, and that’s one of the largest virtues of the character. Homer Simpson is all of us.
How do you prepare before dubbing your characters?
I don’t prepare at all. I come, look at their eyes and immediately capture their essence.
How do you take care of your voice?
I don’t have any illnesses, I’m 54 years old, and I don’t need to take care of myself, because when a person does what they love for a living—which is my case, nothing bad happens to them.
Velez says that his Homer is a mix of a drunken sounding character, plus a dimwitted sounding character, plus a horny sounding character and a sometimes uncontrolled all-over-the-place sounding character. Hear the difference below.