Britt Baron is an American actress and voice actor who voiced Tifa Lockhart in the English version of Final Fantasy VII Remake. Outside of the Final Fantasy series, Baron is best known for her role in GLOW, an American dramedy series on Netflix.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Background[edit | edit source]
Britt Baron was born Brittany Uomoleale in White Plains, New York, United States. She grew up in Westport, Connecticut, and graduated in Performance Arts at the University of Michigan in 2013. Baron performed with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago in stage productions while auditioning for roles on TV. She first acted on TV in 2014, and had roles in film and voice over in the games Halo 5: Guardians and Skylanders: Imaginators. Prior to Final Fantasy VII Remake, none of Britt Baron's voice over work had included dubs over Japanese audio.
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. 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".
Final Fantasy series[edit | edit source]
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
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. 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.
After being cast, Britt Baron 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. 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.
The creative team and directors helped Baron understand the role, whom she said were "amazing" to collaborate with. 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.
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. 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. She also came to greatly enjoy the role of Tifa, due to being a multifaceted character, finding her both relatable and inspiring.
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.
Portrayal[edit | edit source]
Britt Baron described Tifa as a "more realistic picture" of what women are to her in comparison to other video game characters. She found that previous video game characters she had played were more one-note, and were either "this sweet, feminine damsel in distress" or "really tough, hardened, low-voiced warrior". 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.
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. 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". She described the friendship with Aerith a "good lesson that women don't have to tear other women down".
Baron also found Tifa inspiring to her, describing her as a goal for who she wishes to be. 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. Baron also respected Tifa for her physical traits and her fighting prowess. In addition, she enjoyed how Tifa would simply use a martial arts combat style, in contrast to Cloud's large sword and Barret's gun-arm. Baron found that the resolve of Tifa and the other protagonsists to fight for the betterment of society inspired and brought her comfort in the time of the game's release around the COVID-19 crisis, which she said similarly made her feel "helpless and powerless against this big force", and serving as a reminder that humans are not invincible.
Final Fantasy roles[edit | edit source]
|Final Fantasy VII Remake||2020||Tifa Lockhart|
[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Brittany Uomoleale. backstage.com. Accessed June 29, 2018. Archived from the original on August 17, 2020.
- Britt Baron. issuemagazine.com. Archived from the original on August 17, 2020.
- Chrissy Bobic (June 15, 2017). Who Plays Justine On 'GLOW'? Britt Baron Is An Experienced Performer. Romper.com. Archived from the original on August 17, 2020.
- Rollin Bishop. Final Fantasy 7 Remake: Britt Baron on Voicing Tifa, Recording Difficulties, and Aerith. ComicBook.com. Archived from the original on August 17, 2020.
- Steve Watts (April 6). How The Final Fantasy 7 Remake Cast Found Its Voice. GameSpot. Archived from the original on April 14, 2020.
- Josh West (April 21). Meet Britt Baron and Briana White, the voice actors behind Tifa and Aerith in Final Fantasy 7 Remake. GamesRadar. Archived from the original on April 24, 2020.
- Tom Regan (April 10). Lending Voices to a Legend: How Cody Christian & Britt Baron became Cloud & Tifa. Fandom. Archived from the original on April 14, 2020.
- James Whitbrook (April 9). Final Fantasy VII Remake’s Leading Women on Strong Friendships and the Aerith/Tifa Discourse. Gizmodo. Archived from the original on April 14, 2020.