ComingSoon Senior Editor Spencer Legacy spoke up Pokemon Star Sarah Natochenny on Ash Ketchum’s 16 years and the end of Ash’s journey.
“Join two new characters and three Paldea starter Pokémon on their adventure through the exciting world of Pokemon“, says the synopsis of the new series. “You’ll also commemorate Ash’s journey with a collection of special episodes to conclude Pokemon Ultimate Journeys: The Series.”
Spencer Legacy: It’s very rare for someone to voice the same character for 16 years. How did it come about really living with the character and seeing Ash’s growth over time?
Sarah Natochenny: I still can’t believe it’s been so long. It was great exercise for me as an actor to grow with a character that never ages and to find new aspects of his personality within the confines of the script I was given. Through him and the other protagonists I got to play, I found the positive, adventurous spirit I knew I needed to have. So I am very grateful to Ash and my work in general as it has been a wonderful channel for my own self-discovery.
How has Pokémon changed your life?
Pokemon gave me the opportunity to change other people’s lives. It is an extraordinary gift that comes with a lot of responsibility.
Do you have a particular favorite movie or project that you’ve been a part of as Ash?
i love the movie I choose you! Secrets of the Jungle was fantastic too. Every time I play Ash differently – with an accent, as an evil twin – all of those moments are my favorites.
How has your performance as Ash changed over the past 16 years?
I think that of course I got more comfortable with the role over time, but the biggest change happened in the early seasons. I changed with the character and let the show’s creators take my performance wherever they wanted. The actors are always at the service of the production and there was very rarely even a small disagreement.
What were your thoughts when you found out Ash’s journey was coming to an end?
Deep down I saw it coming but didn’t want to admit it. Friends would ask me, “Did you expect this to go on forever?” I just never thought it would end. It’s very bittersweet, but it’s a nudge to step out of that comfort zone and rekindle my original passions that have taken a back seat during this journey. As for Ash himself, he will live forever in 25 years of shows and films and I hope this won’t be the last time we see him on the show.
A few years ago you voiced Ash in Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution, a remake of the first Pokémon film. What was it like doing your own interpretation of this original film?
An absolute honor. I grew up with it Pokemon, so I approached this film as a fan first. The performance followed.
Taking on a role after another actress must be difficult, especially for a character as important as Ash. How was this experience?
The stakes were so high. I was 18 when I booked the role and I knew I could still lose the job if I wasn’t right for the role after filming a few episodes. When it became clear that I would keep it and the episodes aired, I felt a great deal of relief.
How did your experience with Pokémon lead to Voices for Fosters?
It was a very sad episode where a Pokémon dies that inspired me and my director, Lisa Ortiz, to spread awareness about pet care. Our cats had recently passed away and I realized that even as a lifelong cat lover and owner I knew nothing about grooming. So I got involved in the community, met a ton of rescuers with small charities, and adopted over 100 cats and kittens with my mom. Now I try to help personally wherever I am and regularly donate to these small charities.
You were a part of many people’s childhood. What would you like to say to these longtime fans now that this chapter of the series is coming to a close?
Thank you a thousand times. Be the very best like no one has ever been and do it with kindness.
https://www.comingsoon.net/anime/features/1269130-pokemon-interview-sarah-natochenny Sarah Natochenny on the end of Ash Ketchum’s journey