Believe it or not, Adetokumboh M’Cormack laughs very, very easily.
His cheery demeanor radiates positive energy through our Zoom call in a stark contrast to Isaac, the perpetually serious and dour demon forgemaster he brings to life in Netflix’s hit anime series Castlevania.
After three seasons of critical and popular acclaim, a fourth season of Castlevania was confirmed earlier this year by writer Warren Ellis to the delight of fans everywhere.
We invited Ade to play our Fast Five questions quiz and we got to learn the other character he would have liked to voice, how fans reacted to his casting & who would win a fight between Isaac and Hector.
How did you get the role of Isaac?
I auditioned for it.
No fun story. Nothing to tell?
My agent called and was like: hey, there’s this interesting project. You know, do you want to take a look? And I was like, sure! And so I read the material. And I actually just fell in love with it.
I’d never seen a character on an animation that was so complex and robust and interesting and multifaceted. Especially something that was set in the 1400s, I think. Castlevania takes place in like 1458. And you know, a lot of the time you see the characters are very stereotypical and one dimensional, and I was like, “this is pretty cool.”
And I love language. So I just saw this really cool, interesting language that was so poetic. And that’s it. I love stuff like that. So I jumped at the chance to do it. I went in to the audio booth and did the audition. And I was very happy when I got the call saying that I booked it.
What reaction did you face from Castlevania fans over Isaac being race-swapped because the original character in games was not black, or African?
Yeah. So I mean, I’ll be honest with you, there was a lot of backlash. A lot of people hated the idea that he was no longer this redheaded, crazy maniacal white man. And there was a lot of just awful, awful hate mail and comments and message boards. I’m not gonna go into it and give those people power. But it wasn’t very nice.
And what I found interesting, though, was the amount of people who were very positive. And gave a positive response to this casting saying that they felt represented. Saying that they felt empowered [and] saying that they had never seen a character like this before. And you know, people of color who just were like: yeah! Awesome, finally! We made it!
And, and so for me, that was the most important thing. But it wasn’t only people of color, it was people around the world who were like, “Oh, we never envisioned this character as being a black man. But he’s pretty badass. He’s really cool being a black man”.
And they found that, that fit better – especially the story that we’re trying to tell – they felt like it worked better for the story. And so I’m so happy that a lot of the fans got on board and people who are not fans also got on board. And that made me very happy.
I think that casting added an extra layer of nuance to the character. The changes they made, added a lot of nuance to what could have been a very straightforward, crazy man. His craziness is hidden. A lot of that is hidden. When you first see it, you can’t tell.
Yeah, there’s so much to it. And I really wanted to make sure that he was multifaceted and bring as much nuance to it as I could. And, and I think it worked right? *laughs*
Isaac had a great interaction with The Captain on the ship that was fantastic. And then with Miranda, the apparently retired devil forgemaster/magician. Those those seemed to offer a glimmer of hope. And at the same time, kind of squashed the hope that he would at some point, like humanity . So do you think he could ever love humanity again?
You know that is my hope. That’s my hope for the character, but we’ll see. You know, I think it’s up to humanity to stop effing up. You know, for him to love humanity again, to be perfectly honest. So yeah, we’ll see what happens.
If you had not played Isaac, which other character would you have liked to play?
Oh, Dracula, obviously.
He’s the boss you know, the best character ever. But also I always say that I’m a huge fan [of the show]. My favorite character in the whole series is Sypha (played by Alejandra Reynoso) and she is such a badass.
In real life Alejandra is one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet. So yeah, she’s my favorite character. But if I could play another character it would be Dracula for sure.
Who would win in a fight between forgemasters, Isaac, and Hector?