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The English actors behind FF14's beloved twins acted in silos for 9 whole years before meeting in the real world, but became fast friends: 'it's become easier to bounce off each other'

 An image of Alphinaud and Alisaie sitting together at a table. Alphinaud, a studious young elezen, takes a sip of his tea while Alisaie sulks into her chair.
An image of Alphinaud and Alisaie sitting together at a table. Alphinaud, a studious young elezen, takes a sip of his tea while Alisaie sulks into her chair.

If you've played Final Fantasy 14, you'll be familiar with the Leveilleur twins: Two young prodigies in their respective fields. Alphinaud is intelligent, cautious, and a magnificent diplomat, while Alisaie is a headstrong go-getter who—spoilers for Endwalker—eventually makes good on her promises to cure the world.

They're exceptionally well-written characters, to the point where a single dialogue prompt in Endwalker's finale Ultima Thule had me blubbering (I'd made a promise, damnit). In the game's stellar English localisation they're played by Colin Ryan and Bethan Walker, respectively, sharing heaps of voiced lines with each other over the game's hundreds-hours long story.

The two actors recently spoke with Fanbyte's Jessica Scharnagle in an extended interview—in it, they talk about how (despite their character's close bond), neither actor had actually met each other until 2022. That's seven years after they first appeared in Heavensward (there was a change in localisation company), and almost nine years when you take development time into account, according to Walker.

"All of a sudden," Walker says, "we're getting to know each other. And because we've been working together loads in the last couple of years in terms of conventions … it means when we go back into the studio, it's like having a friend with you."

She adds that, even though their further recording sessions have still been long-distance, "it's become easier to bounce off each other in the studio, even with [Ryan] not acting there. Because we have this kind of experience of what we're like in real life now, so it's been great."

Ryan, meanwhile, recounts the surreal experience of feeling like you already know a person you've never actually met: "It was strange, wasn't it? Because for those seven/eight years leading up to that, we've obviously heard each other's voices," he explains how—if Walker had already been recording for Alisaie, then Square Enix would "feed her lines in so that I could play off them.

"There was a familiarity, I guess, when we first met." Ryan says that he and Walker have "become really good friends," and that the experience "has really changed the way that I do my scenes with Alisaie, because we have a real relationship to base [our work] off of. It's definitely helped."

Even outside of the booth, however, Walker says their new friend status has them workshopping their performances: "We're talking more now, together, about the plot and about where it's been and where it's going. I think we can push each other a little harder in-studio now that we feel safe … I think it can only benefit the game, now that we're friends."