Interview with Legend of Korra’s P. J. Bryne, the Voice of Bolin

MTV Geek recently had an interesting interview with P.J. Bryne, the voice of Bolin. He answers a lot of interesting questions that directly pertains to Bolin and the current love triangle that exists in The Legend of Korra.

If you’re a big Bolin fan, I advise you to check out the interview. If you’re not (shame on you), it still provides some pretty cool insight on The Legend of Korra as a whole. Enjoy:

MTV Geek: General question to kick off, but what – for you – goes into making the character Bolin?

P.J. Byrne: I got really lucky in the sense that this character, oddly enough, is similar to me. He’s a young guy who has a super positive attitude on life, he’s uberly trusting, and when he’s in on something he’s all in. Friendship, life, he’s all in. That’s what I love about this character, and that’s what I love as well.

Geek: I was reading one of the Avatar Wikis before I was chatting with you, and there were tons of comments on your page – not the character’s page, but your personal page – and they all said, “Hey, if you take off his glasses, he IS Bolin!”

PJB: [Laughs] We’re very similar, except he has a better head of hair, and a better body! I think my wife would be happy if I was that strong; she’d be happier about her life. Our eyebrows… They’re some pretty thick eyebrows, but it’s just happenstance. I never really realized it, and then I was looking at it and said, oh my god, they are right, I do look like him a little bit.

Geek: I know most animated shows record separately, but what about you – what’s the relationship like between you and the other actors?

PJB: We’re really lucky that they try to get us all together. The great thing that Mike and Bryan [Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, creators of the show] did, and Nickelodeon is they cast some genuinely good, nice people. Not only are they extremely talented, but they’re just quality people. So they get us all together, we all love hanging out with each other to begin with, and then when I get to rock with Janet [Varney] and David {Faustino], it comes out through the cartoon, as well. As much as we like each other, Korra, Mako, and Bolin like each other as well.

We’re in the same room, we can see each other, riff off each other, and just plain have fun. I think that’s the goal that they wanted to get, and hopefully we’re giving it to you.

Geek: I really do think it comes through in the show, though – that you guys riff off each other really well.

PJB: It’s a joy to go work every day – we honestly love hanging out with each other… I can’t believe they pay us to do this, to be honest with you. Don’t tell Nickelodeon that!

Geek: Obviously Avatar has a huge, avid fanbase… Have you experienced that at all yet, or is it still too early in the new show’s run for that?

PJB: I haven’t been able to totally experience it yet, but a little through Twitter. We get a little of people finding out I play Bolin – if you go to @PJ_Byrne, that’s where you can connect with me. If people find me I try to interact with the fans, stuff like that. If I look online, and find all the fans, and hearing from other people who worked on the last Avatar? You’re just blown away by the support people put out there for Bryan and Mike’s work. You try not to think about it too much when you go in to record, because you don’t want to let anyone down, but when you step away and look at it, and see how much the fans love the show, I’m consistently blown away by that.

Geek: Okay, to talk about the show a bit, and in particular… The kiss from two episodes back, between Mako and Korra. Obviously fans freaked out a bit, what was that like for you?

PJB: Oh, I know that kiss! [Laughs] I have a problem with it! I don’t think I’m comfortable with it at all… I didn’t like it! Though it’s really uncomfortable for Bolin, because he loves Korra completely – and like I said before, he’s all in. He’s a little innocent and naive as he goes through life. So naturally he thinks if he likes Korra, Korra likes him, and he told his brother about it. I think that makes it more interesting because he’s more overtly blown away by it. There’s nothing in his body that can fathom that his brother kissed the girl he likes. That just blows him away.

Geek: Bolin is the nerd though… He’s the Duckie, if you want to get all Pretty in Pink about it.

PJB: Hey, I’ll take it! [Laughs]

Geek: So do you think he’s going to end up with Korra eventually? Is that what you’re pulling for, I imagine?

PJB: The thing is I can’t obviously tell you that, but Bolin would obviously love nothing more than that to happen, but we’ve all – everyone in life has gone through this. We’ve all liked a girl, or our friend likes a girl… Whoever gets her first, the other has got to back off. Obviously there’s a scenario here where you realize you like this girl, but she likes your friend, so you’re going to have to deal with it. Whatever scenario plays out, where I have to deal with it, or maybe I do fall in love with her…

Bolin is a really good person, and over time, he’ll figure out what the right way to live his life is. I can’t give you too much here, but he’ll be okay. He always sees the glass half full. He’ll figure it out, and obviously it’s his brother, so they can only hold a grudge for so long. As far as anyone out there, the person he can depend on the most is his brother Mako, and now Korra is stepping into that world as well.

Geek: Beyond romantic complications, where do you want Bolin to go by the end of the series?

PJB: He’s still going to go full tilt on life, but as the series goes on, he learns that he grows up, and there’s grey areas in life. You can’t go whole heartedly if there’s going to be repercussions not just for you, but for other people. Bolin’s journey, he’s a teenager who’s at long last growing up to be a man, and the world is a little more complicated, and you can’t look at the world with these rosy glasses all the time. I think it’s a good lesson, and one a lot of people in the world could learn. But at the end of the day though, as dark as the world can get, the super thing about Bolin is, we’re always going to be positive. Even if problems are thrown at us, we’re going to figure out an answer, and, we’re going full tilt, and we’re going to succeed.

Geek: Coming up on this weekend’s episode, we have a clip you guys have given us, and it looks like you all are living the high life a bit?

PJB: [Laughs] We’re great at our jobs now, we have a very wealthy backer. Asami comes from money, and she’s our friend now, so we’re learning for the first time to live the high life, which is awesome. There’s tons of food, there’s relaxation… I enjoy all of it. But, there’s going to be a monster, monster reveal. We’re going to learn a lot about the Equalists this weekend. So get ready, it’s going to be a pretty great ride.

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