Overwatch’s Mercy voice actor Lucie Pohl on shipping, fandom & improv

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What started out as a regular gig turned out to be an exceptional role for Lucie Pohl, something we learned when talked to her about Mercy in Overwatch.

Last week, we sat down with voice actress, Lucie Pohl who currently voices Mercy in Overwatch. During our sit down, we got to ask her a bevy of questions like how she got the role, and some pitches shes given for costumes Mercy could wear.

App Trigger: How did you get the role of Mercy?

Lucie Pohl: I auditioned for it. I have an agent for voiceover work, and they sent me, like, a self-take where you have to go and put yourself on tape at home and then just send it in and I did. I got called back for a second audition with Andre LeToya who’s the head of casting and one of the directors of Overwatch.

AT: So very normal audition process?

LP: Very normal audition process, yeah.

AT: Overwatch released a little over a year ago, what has been the most surprising thing about being in Overwatch?

LP: The most surprising thing about the role is how much I have learned from [Mercy], about myself. That’s what surprised me most. I didn’t think that.. a character in a video game, could open up new perspectives on myself. Being Mercy is innate to me, I take care of people, I’m always very nurturing. I try to heal people in real life.

I think that’s why I do comedy in real life. I like to make people laugh; I like to make people feel good. I think I’ve become more aware of that quality, that I possess, through Mercy. Another thing that has been really surprising, is that I didn’t really know much about the video game world before I started playing Mercy and now, I’ve learned a lot about the world, the people involved, the fans. All of that has been pretty amazing and eye-opening.

Mercy Overwatch
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AT: So you find Mercy relatable?

LP: Super relatable. I think that’s why she’s popular because she is relatable, you know? She’s very three-dimensional. She’s very strong, but shes got a very soft side to her. Yeah, she’s very feminine, but she’s very educated; she’s a doctor and she can exist in this … kind of battle world.

AT: As someone who comes from comedy, have you ever improvised any lines, or tried to add any comedic flair to Mercy?

LP: When it’s appropriate, yes.

AT: When is it appropriate? What’s something you’ve tried to add?

LP: You know, the Genji interactions. There’s been some moments where comedy has definitely been appropriate. The whole chocolate thing on Valentine’s Day where [Genji] brings [Mercy] chocolate. She kinda goes “Well, I guess it will have to do.” There’s a little wink in there.

AT: Is it suffice to say that you listen to shipping, the pairings fans make?

LP: Of course, we’re aware of all that.

AT: Is the Genji x Mercy one your favorite ship?

LP: Uh, I don’t have a favorite one.

AT: You don’t have a favorite? Just can’t decide?

LP: I don’t want to! I like all of them. If I were to say this one was my favorite then I would push fans in a certain direction, I don’t want to do that. I love that fans make up their own theories, and have their little premises. I don’t want to dictate whats right and not right. I like it all. I’m a fan of all the ships. For fun, ya know?

AP: How has extended voice acting been different from live acting?

LP: It’s just a different medium. I’ve always enjoyed doing voice acting and voice work. I’ve done [voice acting] for a long time on different kinds of projects, from language learning programs, dubbing, commercials. I really enjoy the work. It’s very different from on-camera. You have less tools; you just have your voice. You can hear everything; all the emotions in your voice, so you have to know how to tune that instrument. It’s very interesting. I don’t know if it’s too different, but it’s definitely an area in my career that’s grown for me. I’m really happy about that because I really enjoy [voice acting].

Mercy overwatch
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AP: I’ve found a lot of voice actors really physicalize themselves while recording, even when nobody’s watching. Is that true for you?

LP: Oh yeah, oh definitely. Of course, because your physicality changes your voice. Even if it’s just ever so slightly, it does make a difference. If you’re sitting you sound different than if you’re standing. If you’re hunched over when you’re sitting you sound different than if you’re sitting up straight. When you’re gesturing, you have a different kind of energy in your voice.

AT: Out of all the Overwatch lines you’ve heard, what’s your favorite one to say that’s not spoken by Mercy?

LP: [Genji impression] “I need healing!”

AT: You’re a big fan of the Genji world?

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  • LP: I’m a fan of Genji world. I also just like going [Reinhardt impression] “Reinhardt!” There was a Reaper here earlier, so it took me an hour to stop saying [Reaper impression] “Die, die, die.” I always love saying [Mercy voice] “Justice rains from above!” They’re all fun.

    AT: So you keep up with a lot of what fans say online?

    LP: I do. I try to pay as much attention as I can to what fans are saying and to read all the tweets that come at me. Somehow, not all of them get to us. Some of them get lost in the ether, but I try to get to all of them when I can. And, you know,
    like or retweet as much as I can.

    AT: Is there any skin or cosmetic you’d like Mercy to have?

    LP: I was talking to Michael Chu (Overwatch’s head writer) about it! I think a steampunk Mercy would be awesome. And then I was thinking like a lederhosen, like something super German or Swiss. Ya know? That would be cool too.

    AT: So you talk to Michael Chu, the writer of Overwatch, a lot? Do you ever get to ask about the direction you want to take Mercy?

    LP: Well, they have kinda their own … They’re so good at creating that world. We don’t really care to mess with it. Ya know? So I haven’t suggested anything. The more I get into Mercy and her world, and her story, and her character, I think the more that will happen. So maybe somewhere further down the line that will happen.

    overwatch mercy
    Blizzard /

    AT: The fandom is … well, huge. Has working on Overwatch been different from say, a normal acting job?

    LP: Absolutely, the fandom is huge. I was on a TV show in the UK that has a really big fandom as well, called red dwarf. That was prior to Overwatch, so I kinda experienced some of that. How it feels, and how it is to be part of something that’s got such a cult following, but [Overwatch is] definitely different from anything I’ve ever done. It’s so global.

    There are fans everywhere of all ages, sizes, and shapes, and backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, you know? All over the world. That’s what’s really special. It’s something that brings so many different people together. I’ve been able to meet all different kinds of people that are into it. That, I think is very special and makes me very proud, and excited to be a part of [Overwatch].

    AT: Is there anything you’d like to say to the fans?

    LP: I just wanna say that I have been so touched by so many of the fans. I’ve been surprised. They’ve made me laugh, they bring me the most amazing gifts, so I just want to say thank you so much. We really do love them. We do it for them. It’s the most gratifying thing anyone can experience, to see how your work touches somebody else’s life. Thank you, we do it for you guys, and we love you guys.

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    This interview has been edited for clarity.