Sean Chiplock on voicing Genshin Impact’s Diluc, getting into character, and trying KFC

From Diluc's personality to Sean's disdain for KFC.

Sean Chiplock is an American voice actor located in California. He has been doing voice work since 2012 and has starred in many games, including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, where he gave voice to Revali. Some of his other notable works are Subaru in Re: Zero Starting Life in Another World, Rean Schwarzer in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III, and Spider-Man in Marvel's Avengers.

We recently interviewed Sean Chiplock, the voice actor of Diluc from Genshin Impact. We got to sit down and talk with Sean about many interesting topics, including the process of working with Diluc and his thoughts on KFC. Below we go over how the process for voicing Diluc came about, Sean’s personal food preferences, and more.

Pro Game Guides: How did you come into contact with HoYoverse?

Sean Chiplock: In the process, you have the publisher who handles the process. They will reach out to one of the dubbing or localization studios in California. For example, when Nintendo wanted to record for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, they reached out through Formosa Studios. Then Formosa sent out auditions, so for my case, my actual interaction with HoYoverse has been sparse. When HoYoverse decided they wanted to work with me, they reached back out to Formosa and got in contact with me.

For the most part, Hoyoverse hasn’t been in on the session with me, maybe except on the first session to ensure that I was going at the pace they wanted.

Related: Genshin Impact Kamisato Ayato farming guide

Is it an easier process than working with, let’s say, Nintendo?

It’s pretty straightforward. If there was any stress, it was probably self-inflicted. I wouldn’t say so. It was busier during the initial session because I had to understand the character and had a lot of content to work through. Now that the groundwork has been laid and the main story content, it has definitely lightened up a lot.

I make no assumptions about, oh, am I going to be in the next patch of content that comes out. But if there’s a seasonal event like Christmas stuff or the Windblume Festival, if my character shows up, it’s only for about 5 to 25 lines at a time. At this point, I know the world and the character well enough that it’s pretty easy to tap back into that mentality.

I find it funny that no matter how many times that voice actor comes back for a role, we are still going to ask for a voice reference just to make sure we have the voice right. A perfect example is Megaman Legends in the opening, “In a world covered by endless water,” where I thought I perfectly matched the exact cadence they used, but when I finally listened to it, it was way less exaggerated and calmer. So even when I come back as we come back as other characters or I Diluc for the tenth, twentieth time, I find it funny that we ask if we have voice references for these characters.

In terms of being a voice actor in general, it’s equal parts stressful and exhilarating. I make it no secret of telling people that I have days where I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. I don’t want to think about voice acting. Here’s this audition that’s due in four hours from now, and I don’t even know what I want to do for this character. Even throughout the times that it frustrates me, there’s just this part of me that can’t let it go. I never get sick of it. If I were to suddenly decide to stop voice acting, I’d miss it terribly, almost immediately, and it’s that excitement that keeps that passion for it alive.

When I first moved out to California, none of us knew that Genshin Impact was going to be a thing, and now I get to be a part of this really cool world that has such a dedicated fanbase. What could come into existence five years from now that we don’t know about.

What do you think of Genshin’s continued success in the West? I know there was the Breath of the Wild drama that came into play before it was released?

I was scared at one point. I told people before that I had a unique circumstance in my case because I had voiced in Breath of the Wild, and now this was coming out, you know at first I saw some of the concepts and areas that had come out and was like, am I going to get in trouble if I voice for this? Is there a risk of copyright infringement? I eventually decided whether or not my argument had invalidity to it. It wasn’t my concern because voice actors don’t even get to see the polished scenes.

They will say we need this timing for this scene. A lot of the time, when we get assets, you can see the gridlines and stuff like that. It’s very, very underdeveloped. So, I ultimately decided I was here to perform for a character. You are not the background artist. You are not the systems engineer. What they want to do with their game is none of your concern.

So as long as you’re not like, I’m going to voice Diluc and explicitly sound like this other character, you have nothing to worry about. I am glad in the end that I chose to voice and take the credit, because boy, if I would have just said no, this is too risky, it would have been like one of those moments where you see a celebrity talking about one of the biggest regrets of their career—it would have been one of those moments for me.

How did you practice for your role as Diluc? I know that you and Diluc share a taste for grape juice.

Even after I was a kid, when I was allowed to have alcoholic drinks, I always went for the sparkling grape juice. Even now, one of the first things that I did when I moved into our new home and we had a second fridge for my backyard patio. I placed an order for like ten bottles of sparkling juices from St. Julians and was like, This is my home. I truly identify with Diluc. Just because you’re old enough to do something doesn’t mean you're going to be a big fan of it. 

For me, because I have such high energy, It helps if I have a character that is a sharp contrast. Because Diluc spends a lot of time listening instead of speaking, he tends to be the fly on the wall that listens to the gossip that happens around him. It makes sense that there are things that he has a very strong conviction for. It makes sense that if he’s dealing with the Knights of Favonius, Kaeya, or someone else, he’s going to be much more toned down and calmer.

For me, I had to make sure that I didn’t start slipping into a British accent because when you’re talking about someone who's rich and very well respected, it’s very natural to want to talk like you’re part of British royalty. It was difficult for me to bring myself down and have this American accent, but also keep him young, keep him close to the teen years, don’t make him super deep. It was a process. We had to tweak it a lot during that first session. The further along we went, the easier it became.

Thankfully, HoYoverse has samples for all the characters on the website, so anytime I have a session scheduled, I will go onto the Genshin Impact website and listen to my character and repeat it back a couple of times.

How did you feel about Diluc being a KFC butler, and do you like the restaurant?

I was excited about Butler Diluc because I like his sense of fashion and anything that gives me a chance to see him rock a different fashion in a fun way, I’m all on board for. The Diluc KFC event is what helped to inspire me to try KFC for the first time in a couple of years, the other part being the KFC dating sim.

It was the most expensive, least flavorful chicken that I had in years. I thought it would taste good because I like fried stuff, I guess the way that they cook it, the outside is crispy sure, but the immediate inner layer of the crust is moist, there’s no separation between the bottom of the crust and the chicken itself, so it sucks in all the moisture and turns to mush in your mouth. 

The chicken itself is like, whatever; there’s no seasoning, it’s just cooked chicken—they just thawed it out and threw it into an oil vat. I regretted that, but the mashed potatoes and gravy were better. I love the KFC dress. Keep the chicken away from me.

Related: Should you pull for Ayato in Genshin Impact?

Other than Diluc, who is your favorite character, and would you have wanted to voice them?

I always did wonder what it would have been like if I would have voiced Razor instead. There's a story a lot of people in the community know. When I went on the website to look up info on Diluc, it glitched and combined with Razor’s bio instead. I always liked the idea of characters that were raised by animals, so you know they are still learning to integrate into human society, but they still have those quirks that they picked up from their pack. This can be both awkward or funny, like if they don’t understand human customs or do things in an animalistic way, or that helps them in terms of combat, they have a style that’s different than what other human characters do.

I also think it would have been fun to do Albedo, any of the characters that the community considers to be heartthrobs. I always wondered how someone like me would pull off a generally sexy character without hamming it up. Can I sell the sultry without deliberately going for the sultry?

What was your favorite part about voicing Diluc?

I really enjoy that he kind of just exists. What I mean by that is that you have a lot of characters that have an ongoing vendetta or goal that they're furiously working towards. I just love that with everyone running around Teyvat trying to save the world... I just mentally imagine Diluc, in the tavern, cleaning the same dish for the 50th time, listening to people just generally having fun. He’s just a stoic, chill dude that uses brains just as often as brawn and uses the info he gets from others to help decide what he wants to do next. 

I love that the rest of the world is super active around him, and he just sits there and absorbs as much as he can. When he’s called upon to help, he will step in, but he doesn’t force himself to step in. I feel like all of us can take a lesson from that. It’s important to be driven about the things that matter to you, but if they're not that important or not, that's imperative. Be willing to just sit back and clean a glass for a while.

How do you feel about Jean and Diluc's relationship?

My answer to that is, are they both of age, do they care about each other, do they give consent? If so, then cool, you can do what you want.

Would you like to see Diluc become more of a main part of the story?

As much as it would result in additional lines, I like where he is right now. I have had many cases where characters that I play are an ongoing part of the story. I really feel like Diluc is one of those characters that you appreciate by not always having him around. I would be more excited if Diluc wasn’t part of my adventure 90 percent of the time, and then when there happens to be an event that is serious enough where Diluc says, “maybe it’s better if I come along.” It’s going to have me going: What happened? Why does he feel like he needs to show up?

I am totally fine with other characters having the spotlight more often because Diluc’s stability is what makes him interesting. With stability, you don’t really want to see a lot of the same person, because they're stable, it’s going to get boring really fast. So with Diluc, I think it’s more interesting for him not to be in the spotlight more often because when his stability and confidence are needed, it lets you know stuff just got real.

Do you have any upcoming works you are particularly excited about?

The most recent thing that came out is Chocobo GP. I voiced Camilla's Pa, who apparently has a very broken physical attack. I’m fine with that. In general, outside of that, I’m passionate about my work. I want to do the best work I can and share it with everyone else and get the best feedback I can.

Because of that, I am allowed to talk about something. I've already talked about it at length on Twitter, Twitch, and on my Discord server. It means that if I haven’t talked about something coming down the pipeline, it’s because I’m not allowed to. If you want to see what I’m excited about next, check my social media channels. It may surprise you what I end up being in.

Is there a game series right now that you feel it would be cool to be in?

Etrian Odyssey or Demon Gaze. I am a huge fan of first-person dungeon crawlers that involve going deeper and deeper into a labyrinth and just things getting more twisted. Since a lot of these games allow you to put a party together, I have always wanted to be one of the male voice types. There’s a good chance that whoever’s making a character will choose me, and I can adventure with them as a part of their party.

For more on Genshin Impact, check out Best Diluc build in Genshin Impact – Weapons, artifacts, and more! on Pro Game Guides!

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About the Author

I start my day by exploring Teyvat in Genshin Impact and end it after reorganizing my apartment in Final Fantasy XIV. I am a diehard fan of N64 era games and will forever feel betrayed that Megaman Legends didn't finish. Outside of gaming, I have spend my time collecting manga, collecting anime figures, and watching anime with my naked cat.
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Sean Chiplock on voicing Genshin Impact’s Diluc, getting into character, and trying KFC

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