Iconic voice actress Linda Young spoke to The Natural Aristocrat® at New York Comic Con 2023 about voicing Frieza in the Dragon Ball Z English Dub.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT (NIR REGEV): Few can deny that your Frieza voice on Dragon Ball Z is the most instantly recognizable and iconic in all of dubbed anime.
I have friends who haven’t watched anime in decades that still bring it up. What does that mean to you?
LINDA YOUNG: It means so much to me because I didn’t really ever think of my voice that way.
I mean, I just went and did my job and did the voice. I had fun with it. I liked Frieza. I liked how Frieza was funny and I did like the gravel in the voice.
I liked how it could make Frieza menacing, but I didn’t realize how much my voice impacted people. And I’m just thankful.
I’m thankful to God that I’m able to be here and meet so many nice fans and just to be in anime. I enjoy it! I enjoy my work. It’s fun.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: How did your role on Chainsaw Man as the Zombie Devil come about?
LINDA YOUNG: For Chainsaw Man, actually it was Mike McFarland. They called me and they just said, “Do you think you can still yell and scream?” And I said, “Yeah, I think so!” (laughs) That’s how I got it.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: Do you ever read those Reddit posts where fans argue who the best dubbed Frieza voice actor was?
LINDA YOUNG: Well, I think I did a couple times and then I thought… I probably don’t even need to read this. You know, it’s probably not good to read this kind of thing, so I haven’t in a long time.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: I think Bandai Namco should sell a Linda Young Frieza voice pack DLC for the Dragon Ball Z video games. Would you consider doing that?
LINDA YOUNG: Do you mean someone would have the voice in their game and they could bring it up when they want to use it? Is that how it works?
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: Yes, essentially the user would pay $10 dollars, and could switch the current Frieza dub voice to yours in the option settings. I’m sure you’d get nice royalties for that too.
LINDA YOUNG: Oh wow! I never thought of that, but I wouldn’t mind hearing more about it. Yeah, that would be interesting.
I know sometimes people send me clips where they’ve somehow taken my voice from one of the older shows and put it in like Dragon Ball Super or something. And it’s kind of fun to see!
I like all the Friezas. We all like each other. We’ve always liked each other.
Isn’t that funny? Everyone says you’re the villains and you like each other? Well, Yeah! (laughs)
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: Have you ever met Ocean dub’s Pauline Newstone in-person? I’m sure fans would love to see you and Pauline have a Frieza voice showdown at a con.
LINDA YOUNG: That’s the only Frieza I haven’t met. I don’t know if she goes to conventions. Does she?
I’ve never seen her at a convention. And I’ve meet other Canadian actors. Peter Kelamis and I were at a con not long ago and we did a little Frieza Goku video. That was fun.
I need to ask him if she ever comes out. ’cause I’d love to meet her!
I had to actually imitate her voice years ago. That’s how they had us come into Dragon Ball Z, since they were taking it from Canada and wanted a smooth transition and maybe people wouldn’t know the voice changes occured. So I’d love to meet her!
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: What’s the wildest fan request you’ve had at a con?
LINDA YOUNG: You know, I haven’t gotten any that many wild ones. I guess signing someone’s leg! I mean, signing a car, signing steering wheels.
Oh, one time people said, we’d like you to sign our baby, but maybe we shouldn’t do that. I said, probably not. So anyway, that’s probably my wildest ones! (laughs)
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: Did you ever expect that anime would reach this level where it’s pretty much the centerpiece of New York Comic Con? I mean it’s even on the badges now.
LINDA YOUNG: No. And I don’t think most people that I know that are in anime realized that.
Especially the several of us who started years ago. We didn’t… I mean, we were just going in and doing a new job. It was fun, but we had no idea that it would explode, that it would (said in Frieza’s Voice) Blow Up!
I’m very honored and blessed and I love meeting the fans ’cause the fans really are responsible for the explosion of anime. I’m thankful I still get to work and still get to do voices and come to the cons and be Frieza.
It’s fun to still be Frieza. (said in Frieza’s voice) I mean, the voice is right there. So Frieza always with me.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: How much fun did you have voicing Genkai on Yu Yu Hakusho?
LINDA YOUNG: I love Yu Yu Hakusho! My son plays Kurama in that show. I play Genkai and I think she is just the best mentor. She doesn’t take any nonsense.
She’s a good fighter. She’s strong. She’s smart. She’s wise and she has a heart of love. She’s for the good and I like that.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: What does it mean to you to occasionally get to work with your son on an anime?
LINDA YOUNG: Well, in the booth we never got to work with each other, but we do cons together sometimes. And we might be at this con (NYCC) next year together!
I enjoy it because a lot of times we’ll do road trips too, so we get to visit and talk and it’s nice. I like it a lot.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: What can you tell viewers about the organization you’re working with, ‘Voices Against Cancer’?
LINDA YOUNG: They are located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and what they do is help pay for children’s cancer treatments that can’t afford it, pediatric cancer. The main thing that they do is help the kids.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: What’s your favorite memory from back in the Dragon Ball Z days working in the booth?
LINDA YOUNG: Well this is kind of funny, but they called me mom a lot ’cause I was probably the oldest one. (laughs)
And ’cause I would bring Lysol because there was only one booth back then, and everyone would be in it. So I’d go spray it with Lysol and things like that and I’d bring cookies a lot. I was like a mom, and there was so fewer people there, so it was like a little family.
So that’s just getting started in anime and back then the equipment wasn’t as good. You had paper scripts. You had to look down and look up. So it was probably harder work, but it was just fun ’cause everyone was starting out in it, you know?
It was like a little family. So there’s a lot of good memories from that. And now I have some good friends because of it too. Like Cynthia Cranz is one of my very good friends.
She and I do road trips together. She’s Chi-Chi on Dragon Ball Z. Yeah. And like Tiffany, Stephanie, Ken, Sean, John Swayze. There’s so many friends I have.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: Sean Schemmel you mean?
LINDA YOUNG: I don’t know Sean that well. I mean, we worked together, so when he lived here we’d see each other in at parties and stuff that they threw.
But I don’t know him that well. But I know Chris Sabat, he’s a really nice guy. He’s the one that talked me into doing conventions actually.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: Thanks Linda!
LINDA YOUNG: (in Frieza voice) You’re welcome!
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