Friday, November 27, 2009

TV: Hero time with Hafiz



Hafiz AF7 speaks to BIBI NURSHUHADA RAMLI about his experience of lending his voice to the boy hero Ben 10 in Alien Swarm.

THE immensely popular TV franchise Ben 10 is taking the world by storm, and Malaysia is no exception.

Along with stage performances of Cartoon Network Live on Stage! Power Of The Omnitrix this weekend, Cartoon Network is celebrating the premiere of sizzling action movie Ben 10 Alien Swarm.

Based on the adventures of the famous alien-morphing boy hero, this highly anticipated movie will premiere exclusively on Cartoon Network (Astro Channel 616) tomorrow at 6pm.

Turner Entertainment Networks Asia, Inc vice-president of branding and communications Lucien Harrington said: “Ben 10 is one of the world’s most popular franchises and reflects Cartoon Network’s promise of entertaining kids through adventure, comedy and action.

The movie follows Ben as he breaks ranks from the Plumbers (a secret organisation that battles alien forces) to help his long-time friend Elena uncover an alien threat to our world.

Elena’s search for her father leads the group into an adventure to stop the threat.

Ryan Kelley (Prayers for Bobby) stars as the 16-year-old Ben Tennyson, with veteran actor Barry Corbin (No Country for Old Men) starring as Grandpa Max.

Galadriel Stineman (Junkyard Dog) is Ben’s super-powered cousin Gwen, and Nathan Keyes plays Kevin Levin, who has joined Ben’s team for the good of the universe, but still seems to have a scheming side. Alyssa Diaz (Red Dawn) plays Elena.

To go with the exciting movie, Cartoon Network has another treat for Malaysian fans. Ben 10 Alien Swarm features the voice of Akademi Fantasia 7 winner, Mohd Hafiz Mohd Suip (Hafiz AF7), as the superhero character (in Bahasa Malaysia).

This movie marks the first time Cartoon Network has enlisted the talent of a Malaysian celebrity to lend his voice to an action movie.

“I am excited to be a part of Ben 10 Alien Swarm, as the Ben 10 Alien Force series is such a global phenomenon,” said Hafiz.

“Being a superhero is every kid’s dream and I’m happy to make Ben 10 Alien Swarm available to Malaysian viewers.”

When Hafiz received news that he would be taking part in this project, he did a lot of research to understand the character of Ben and the plot better.

Despite being a newbie in voiceover work, Hafiz had delivered a fantastic performance during the recording, which lasted about two hours.

“To get into the character of Ben, I asked to wear his signature green jacket. It helped me a lot; it was as if I was Ben 10!” said Hafiz.

Hafiz was told not to follow how Ryan Kelley executed his dialogues in the movie. “Instead, I was to be natural and use my own interpretation.”

While working on the dubbing for this movie, Hafiz realised that he and Ben had a lot in common.

“Ben is passionate about what he does. I have that trait too.

“I love how he can turn transform into a superhero with 10 alter egos,” added Hafiz.

“My favourite lines were Ben’s catch cries, ‘shut down the system!’ and ‘it’s hero time!’ And my favourite alien is Heatblast, the one whose body is covered in flames. How cool is that?

“Another fact that I love about Ben is that he is cool. He doesn’t panic but takes everything calmly.”

However, Hafiz, who released his first solo album in July, is not scheduled to sing the movie soundtrack. “So far, it’s just been dubbing,” he said.

“This was a memorable experience — to be able to learn about voice work and be a part of this phenomenon.”


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