Anyone who has been intensely aware of Blizzard’s hit game Overwatch would recognize this man’s voice anywhere. Josh Petersdorf has a rather distinctive sound to his voice and that got Blizzard’s attention when they asked him to come read for tubby fan-favorite Roadhog. Seeing as how Overwatch is featured in our theme this month, I decided to sit down with him and chat it up.
Candice: Alright, for those who may just getting used to your voice and work, tell the people who you are.
Josh: Quick rundown. My name is Josh Petersdorf, you may have heard my voice in the wildly popular and immensely successful title Overwatch. I’ve been blessed to voice Roadhog and it has been a dream come true. If you want to go deeper down the Blizzard rabbit hole, I’ve voiced the Demon Hunter, Jace Darkweaver in Legion, the newest World of Warcraft expansion. There’s also Ursoc and Maxwell Tyrosis the Alliance Paladin to name a few.
Candice: Yeah! I was telling folks something seemed strange when I was playing Overwatch because I recognized that grumbly voice but I had no real confirmation. I remember thinking “I know this voice has yelled at me in the past.” I just shrugged it off…
Josh: And you were like “That guy sounds familiar…”
Candice: Yeah! Then it was confirmed when I was playing Legion and I stopped dead in my tracks, Googled and nearly fell out of my chair once I met Jace. Blew my mind to hear you!
Josh: That’s so cool. Yeah, we’re not supposed to share too much until our projects are released and so I was sitting on that one for a bit. Jace was such a cool project to do and I got to work with Liam O’Brien who voices Illidan as my director which was such an honor.
Candice: On that note: Roadhog in Overwatch, how did that project come about?
Josh: Well, Roadhog was before Jace and that got me in with this wonderful casting director, Andrea Toyias (Also an NPC in World of Warcraft), who is phenomenal. Talk about an incredible force in the gaming industry. If you’ve heard VO from Blizzard, she had her hands on it. She put a lot of faith in me and it was all through audition, through agency. It’s a pain getting good agencies in Los Angeles but I lucked out and got in with Andrea, Patrick and our engineers like Michael Chu made it so much easier on me. Such great creatives in Blizzard and because we clicked together so perfectly, and maybe they liked what I could bring, they invited me to work on Jace and the other folks.
Josh: I do! I have done Shade from Maple Story! Random, right? But I’ve been doing commercial work, some animation things and also a hype video for Riot Games. Just really getting into the studio and putting work in.
Candice: Players have REALLY enjoyed Roadhog and especially his friendship with Junkrat. Has that been fun?
Josh Oh man. SO fun. Chris Parson, who does the voice of Junkrat (and also Gladio! Shout-out!) was so cool to work alongside. We played off each other so well and the directors and engineers said the banter that we would record sounded so fun back and forth. The one thing I love about the fan community is how creative and alive they get with their stories. With fan fiction and the fan art, even the backstories they come up with on a whim — it makes me feel so blessed to see it.
Candice: Have you had a chance to check out any of the fanfiction?
Josh: Well, I read anything fans bring me because that’s how they bring me into part of their world and that’s always a good time. There’s light stuff and really heavy stuff but I enjoy that people are creating things together and that this universe Blizzard created has made them come alive.
Candice: What games, other than Overwatch, have you been getting into lately? I’ve known you always have been into gaming.
Josh: I’m still playing World of Warcraft. Let’s keep it real. I’m playing Final Fantasy XV and I just finished Final Fantasy VIII…
Candice: Better late than never!
Josh: I know, right? But at least I finished it!
Candice: Dude, I met you when I was playing that game… when it ORIGINALLY came out. I mean, come on.
Josh: I know, I know. Crazy, right? At least I finally finished it! I’ve also gotten really into Nioh, relaxing on GTAV. I’ve got a lot going on game-wise.
Candice: Alright, time for some quick-fire questions. Favorite Overwatch map?
Josh: Anything Numbani. Love Temple of Anubis too.
Candice: When not playing Roadhog, who do you play?
Josh: After Roadhog, I seem to play Pharah a lot. Statistically. But I’m not afraid to heal! I’m getting better at Lucio. Slowly but surely! In the beginning, Candice, I thought I had to shoot people to heal them. You should’ve seen it!
Candice: What kind of characters would you like to see in the future in Overwatch? Terry Crews aside.
Josh: As a fan, I’d love to see something crazy. Like another melee class. I’m so into the new announcements and teasers they’ve been coming out with but how cool would something hardcore for the melee fans. Just someone to really throw a punch and knock dudes out.
Candice: Say something to folks who aren’t sure how to break into the voice acting or even gaming industry. Because we were sure you were going to be in music, I mean, even when you were way younger.
Josh: Well, reality strikes, right? It sounds cliche but I always tell people to never give up. To find their lane, find their strength and their voice. To use that thing that is purely yours as your secret weapon. That’s something only you’ve got, right? When it comes to voice acting, it’s important to remind yourself there’s another word in that and that’s ‘acting’. Take acting classes. I got an awesome vocal coach who taught me to throw away posturing and get into it. It’s about improv classes and practice and really believing that you got this. If it doesn’t work, don’t let things discourage you but turn them into the fire that gets you lit up and ready to get it next time. Get out there, get things done but you got this. Put in the work and you’ve got this.