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Britt Baron is an American actress and voice actor who voiced Tifa Lockhart in the English version of the Final Fantasy VII Remake and later entries. Outside of the Final Fantasy series, Baron is best known for her role in GLOW, an American dramedy series on Netflix.[3]

Biography[]

Background[]

Britt Baron was born Brittany Uomoleale[1] in White Plains, New York, United States.[2] She grew up in Westport, Connecticut,[2] and graduated in Performance Arts at the University of Michigan in 2013.[1] Baron performed with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago[2][3] in stage productions while auditioning for roles on TV.[3] She first acted on TV in 2014, and had roles in film and voice over in the games Halo 5: Guardians (as Spartan Linda-058) and Skylanders: Imaginators. Prior to Final Fantasy VII Remake, none of Britt Baron's voice over work had included dubs over Japanese audio.[4]

Britt Baron had little experience with playing video games growing up, and had not played the original Final Fantasy VII, due to growing up in a household where videogames were discouraged.[5][6] She was nonetheless somewhat familiar with the series and with the characters of Cloud Strife and Tifa, which she said "speaks to how massive this game is", but felt she had "a lot of catching up to do".[4]

Final Fantasy series[]

Tifa is my goal--hashtag goals--she's who I want to be. So first of all, she's beautiful, obviously, that's the first thing. She's gorgeous, she's athletic, she's so strong. But then her personality is surprising--cool, calm, collected, empathetic, kind. So caring, especially with Cloud. So I fell in love with her because I think she is very unique. In other video game characters I've played that are athletic or tough, usually their personality also is very tough and mean and aggressive, and she's not. But then she also kicks ass! So I fell in love with her. I want to be Tifa.

Britt Baron, GameSpot interview[5]

Britt Baron was requested to audition for Tifa, and auditioned in an empty room talking to nobody in her headphones. She was more eager for the role and more nervous in call backs than usual, eager to prove herself.[4] Baron did not hear back for months, and largely forgot about it between auditioning for other roles, including for a minor Final Fantasy non-player character role. As such, when she was told she had been cast in a Final Fantasy game, she did not originally realize she had been cast in the part of Tifa.[4][7][8][9]

After being cast, Britt Baron first realized how large the role was based on her husband's reaction.[8] She did research by watching YouTube clips and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (in which Tifa was portrayed by Rachael Leigh Cook) to have an understanding of the game, story, and characters.[7][4] In order to maintain flexibility, however, she did not study it, believing it would be more difficult to take direction, and that her role was to provide her own interpretation instead of an imitation.[4][5][6][7]

For Final Fantasy VII Remake, the creative team and directors helped Baron understand the role, whom she said were "amazing" to collaborate with.[5][4] One earlier scene in which she solidified her voice and portrayal of the character was the train scene in "Dogged Pursuit", as she helped the Shinra Middle Manager evacuate others.[8] Among her challenges were recording over Japanese audio, meaning that at times she wished to portray lines with certain emotions but was constricted by time, particularly compared to other voice over roles. A key example of this was her line in the flashback with Tifa's father, which Baron described as the hardest due to having to convey a lot of emotion in a very short amount of time. Conversely, Baron found the emotion during Tifa's resolution scene much easier to record, as the team simply left the microphone open and let Baron cry into it.[4]

Britt Baron was unaware of the love triangle debate with Tifa and Aerith Gainsborough, in which fans debated who was the better pairing for Cloud. She was nonetheless initially confused by Tifa's relationship with Aerith, expecting them to be rivals, but enjoyed portraying their friendship.[5] Baron ended up enjoying recording for the game due to how many acting scenes were present compared to other games, enjoying recording these scenes more than action scenes. In particular, she enjoyed recording Tifa's introduction in "Home Sweet Slum", due to it being an intimate and charged moment with Cloud, with a lot left unsaid.[4] She also came to greatly enjoy the role of Tifa, due to being a multifaceted character, finding her both relatable and inspiring.[6][4][7]

Britt Baron was initially intimidated by the responsibilities of the role. Later, she came to understand the Final Fantasy fan community more and came to appreciate the engagement she had with fans and the warm welcome she received. She felt that Final Fantasy led to more fan engagement than any project she'd been involved with previously as her social media began blowing up in a way that surprised her.[5][6]

During Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, Britt Baron was recording on Japanese hours but in Los Angeles. As such, one scene she recorded between Tifa and Cloud felt even more intimate as she was recording while tired, and became her favorite scene for the game.[8]

Portrayal[]

Tifa Lockhart from FFVII Remake bust render

Tifa Lockhart, Britt Baron's first role in the series.

Britt Baron described Tifa as a "more realistic picture" of what women are to her[4] in comparison to other video game characters. She found that previous video game characters she had played were more one-note,[6] and were either "this sweet, feminine damsel in distress" or "really tough, hardened, low-voiced warrior".[4] In contrast, Baron said Tifa was more realistic, owing to her being kind, empathetic, and feminine, but still someone who can be passionate and angry,[4][5] relating to her due to Tifa's multidimensionality. [8]

Baron was excited to portray Tifa's friendship with Aerith as two fighters on the same side who came to care for one another, and were not damsels in distress.[5][4][10] Baron drew from her previous work on GLOW regarding how women were stronger when lifting one another up, and on enjoying female stories with nothing to do with romantic interests, stating there is "more to being a woman than just who do you have a crush on".[4] She described the friendship with Aerith a "good lesson that women don't have to tear other women down".[5] Additionally, Britt found Tifa and Cloud's relationship relatable to her, due to having married her high school sweetheart.[9]

Baron also found Tifa inspiring to her, describing her as a goal for who she wishes to be.[5] Though she found Tifa's passion and desire for revenge relatable, she was inspired by her sense of empathy and level-headedness in relation to Cloud and Barret Wallace, and respected Tifa's ability to calm herself down and think logically even when emotionally driven.[7][5] Baron also respected Tifa for her physical traits and her martial arts prowess, in contrast to Cloud's large sword and Barret's gun-arm.[7][5][4]

When voicing the younger version of Tifa, Baron had difficulties due to her natural voice being an alto and Tifa's voice already being higher than this; to voice even higher for the younger voice, Baron placed her voice more toward the front of her mouth.[8]

Final Fantasy roles[]

Title Release Character
Final Fantasy VII Remake 2020 Tifa Lockhart
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade 2021 Tifa Lockhart
Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- Reunion 2022 Tifa Lockhart
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth 2024 Tifa Lockhart

Citations[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 (n.d.) . "Brittany Uomoleale". From backstage.com. Accessed August 17, 2020. Archived from the original on June 29, 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 (n.d.) . "Britt Baron". From issuemagazine.com. Archived from the original on August 17, 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Bobic, Chrissy (2017, June 15). "Who Plays Justine On 'GLOW'? Britt Baron Is An Experienced Performer". From Romper.com. Archived from the original on August 17, 2020.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 Bishop, Rollin (2020, August 17). "Final Fantasy 7 Remake: Britt Baron on Voicing Tifa, Recording Difficulties, and Aerith". From ComicBook.com. Archived from the original on August 17, 2020.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 Watts, Steve (2020, April 6). "How The Final Fantasy 7 Remake Cast Found Its Voice". From GameSpot. Archived from the original on April 14, 2020.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 West, Josh (2020, April 21). "Meet Britt Baron and Briana White, the voice actors behind Tifa and Aerith in Final Fantasy 7 Remake". From GamesRadar. Archived from the original on April 24, 2020.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Regan, Tom (2022, April 10). "Lending Voices to a Legend: How Cody Christian & Britt Baron became Cloud & Tifa". From Fandom. Archived from the original on April 14, 2020.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Heaney, Duncan (2024, February 2). "FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH: Britt Baron talks Tifa Lockhart". From Square Enix Blog. Archived from the original on February 2, 2024.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Soula, Hristiana [@TanaGreekNose] (2024, February 21). I interviewed Britt Baron, voice of the ICONIC Tifa Lockhart [Video]. YouTube.
  10. Whitbrook, James (2022, April 9). "Final Fantasy VII Remake’s Leading Women on Strong Friendships and the Aerith/Tifa Discourse". From Gizmodo. Archived from the original on April 14, 2020.

External links[]

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