Trese director Jay Oliva has praised the performance of Liza Soberano, the Filipino voice actor of the Netflix show’s titular protagonist, following online criticism of her “monotonous” voice-acting.
- READ MORE: Six things to know before binge-watching Trese, according to Budjette Tan, Kajo Baldisimo and Liza Soberano
Oliva took to Twitter on Tuesday (June 15) to say that Soberano and Shay Mitchell, who voiced Alexandra Trese in the English version of the animated series, “brought unique performances that was better than I could have imagined”.
According to Oliva, Trese creator Budjette Tan had compared the character of Trese to Batman or Bruce Wayne – “cold and unemotional at times because of all the things she’s experienced in life”.
“I know a thing or two about tortured souls who persevere to do right and defend those who cannot defend themselves,” Oliva said.
Check out his tweets below.
I’ve cast A LOT of Batman/Bruce Wayne’s in my career so I know a thing or two about tortured souls who persevere to do right and defend those who cannot defend themselves. Both @shaymitch and @lizasoberano brought unique performances that was better than I could have imagined. 👍
— Jay Oliva (@jayoliva1) June 15, 2021
Whether viewers like the voice acting in Trese or not, Oliva said, he hoped they could celebrate how the show has “brought Filipino mythology and lore to the world and world is responding by how much they love it”.
On a side note, the other language actors who play Alexandra are pretty dang awesome too! Watching it in the other languages I actually forgot I worked on the show and it felt so new and fresh! @Netflix dubbing team did an incredible job! 👏👏
— Jay Oliva (@jayoliva1) June 15, 2021
Jay Oliva’s comments follow online criticism over Soberano’s voice acting, with some viewers calling her performance “monotonous”. Filipino voice actor Inka Magnaye also chimed in on Twitter on June 13 with her thoughts on Soberano’s performance.
“Liza Soberano’s voice is perfect for the character. It’s got a great balance of youthfulness and grim,” she said. Soberano, Magnaye opined, “ISN’T monotonous”.
“She has dynamics in her delivery,” she wrote. “However, she DOES tend to deliver her lines in almost the exact same cadence, and people confuse that with monotony.”
Ok Liza Soberano ISNT monotonous. She has dynamics in her delivery. However, she DOES tend to deliver her lines in almost the exact same cadence, and people confuse that with monotony.
— Inka Magnaye (@inkamagnaye) June 13, 2021
The criticism of Soberano’s performance on Trese has since opened up a larger conversation on whether credible Filipino voice actors are being passed over for roles in favour of celebrities. Rocketsheep Studio, the production company behind Netflix’s Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story, waded into the discussion earlier today with a social media message on the topic.
“The reason why we have to cast celebs is simple, money… you know that elusive thing people need to make art? Animation is very hard & expensive to make,” Rocketsheep wrote.
“Pinoy animation is at its infancy,” the studio asserted. “Someday when our homegrown characters reach the popularity of Hello Kitty, Goku or Micky [sic] Mouse, celeb voices will be unnecessary. We yearn for that too. We yearn for a wide sustainable industry. But for now we need celebs to create a future for Pinoy animation that more of us can be a part of.”
Trese is currently available to stream on Netflix. The animated series – set in a fictional Manila where humans coexist with a supernatural underworld – made its debut on the streaming platform on Friday, June 11.
“This is the best and coolest animated series on Filipino folklore bar none, and, despite the hiccups and quirks that will hopefully be amended in the next season, it’s a damn fine one you should not miss,” said NME’s Karl R. De Mesa in a four-star review.