We interviewed the talented Ashely Biski (IMDb) on her role as Layla in Genshin Impact. Below we go over the process of voicing the characters, Ashely’s experience with sleepwalking, and the team she uses while playing Genshin Impact herself. Keep reading below to learn more about this talented woman and the work she does in the game.
She has previously work on titles such as Netflix’s The Nutty Boy as Juliet, Project ‘Gemini’ as Amy, and Penrose Station as the player.
Q: How was the process of voicing Layla?
Ashely Biski: Layla was, I wanna say, one of my most difficult characters to voice, and that was because she was pretty complex. You know the character’s going to be tough when you get in the booth for the first time, and your director’s like, “Ok, so she’s going to be tough!”
The goal of Layla was that she’s essentially a stressed-out college student, right? We want her to be young. We want to convey that youth, that tiredness. We also want to convey that she’s anxious and how stressed out she is. But you don’t want to make her too tired, so she sounds like Qiqi. You don’t want to make her too old or too sleepy. I needed to find the fine line in everything she was, not too tired but tired, not too anxious but anxious, not too tired but tired, not too young but not too old.
Yeah, she was tough. She was tough. Thank god for them giving me the audition to listen back to after each session. It was a lot of vocal, repeat, vocal, repeat. But I’m happy with what we ended up with, but she was tough.
One of my biggest fears because of how challenging it was for me and because of a bit of perfection. I know what it’s like to be part of a fanbase you love so much, so my biggest fear was hoping the fans loved her. You’re not going to please everybody, but I hope they loved what I did because I did my best, and I hope the fandom loves her.
Because really, the fandom makes this game exceptional, or it wouldn’t be as big as it is.
Q: What did you do to get into Layla’s mindset?
AB: So, when I got the audition, it was kind of like I had auditioned for Genshin before. But, sometimes, when you audition for games you love and want to be in, you sometimes get in your head and over analyze everything, and you’re like, I have to really take my time, I have to do this, that, and the third.
But, when I got Layla, I want to say she was the fifth Genshin character I auditioned for. I was like. I need to know what her personality is like, why does she do the things she does, and I’m just going to go from there. I was like, OK, she’s tired and cute. What’s it like to be tired? I’m tired all the time, so what does that feel like for me? So it’s like putting in the aspects of “shoot, I don’t sleep. What does it sound like when I’m sleepy?” Sometimes I get really whiny. What does that sound like?
I put aspects of myself in that, and they loved it. It really was like less is more, where it was like, “OK, I’m just going to do what it says and not think about adding razzle dazzle or all the extra acting fluff”. That sometimes we tend to do. I was just like, I’m going to get it straight to the point.
Q: Do you have any personal experience with astrology?
AB: I somewhat used to dabble in astrology. My sister and my best friend. I was telling them about astrology, and it was their gateway into it, and now they’re super into it. They are always relaying to me the information I don’t know, like your sun sign, your moon sign, and your star signs. I was so excited to get a character trying to study it, but she’s also a genius.
So to get a character that was into it, I was excited. I was like, this is going to be so much fun. This is so much fun because I used to be so into it.
Now though, there are so many different aspects and types of astrology, like Western Astrology. There’s a difference between different parts. Some are accurate, and some are not. It’s such a cool thing; astrology is the coolest.
Q: Have you ever sleepwalked or known someone who sleeps walks?
AB: I have never slept walked, but there have been times when I do things while I’m sleeping, like jumping and those things you do while sleeping. My husband talks in his sleep, which is very interesting as well, much to my annoyance. No, I have not dealt with it, I have seen where people actually sleepwalk, and it’s terrifying.
It’s like you don’t know where you’re going and what you’re doing. Luckily for Layla, when she sleeps walks, she’s a genius. She’s fighting, finishing her work, and charting all the universe on a map. I was like, shoot, if I sleepwalk, I wanna do like Layla so she can make me a genius as well and get all my work done.
Q: If you could choose a task to automatically do in your sleep, what would it be?
AB: My gosh, I would fold clothes. I would do all the cleaning. We all have a chore that when we think about it, we just feel annoyed when we think about doing it. My chore is folding clothes.
I will clean anything you ask me to, but when it comes to folding clothes, ugh, I don’t know what it is. It’s so monotonous.
We all have a chore that when we think about it, we just feel annoyed when we think about doing it. My chore is folding clothes.
So if I could sleepwalk, it would be like, I would be like, we about to sleepwalk, get to folding. Those clothes would be folded in the most pristine fashion, like a throwback to Hollister and how they used to fold their shirts.
Q: Would you like to see Layla and Mona meet in-game?
AB: I would love that. I think it makes sense. It makes sense, right? They are both astrologers. They’re literally moon princesses, and they’re star princesses. I would love for them to meet. They are just so cute. It would be the cutest meet-up, talking about stars. Mona being so proper, and then you have Layla, who’s just really, ahhh.
I would love for them to meet Lisa. That would just be the icing on the cake. Because Lisa also comes from the Akademiya so that would be fantastic. I’m shipping their friendship.
Q: Do you play Genshin Impact yourself? If so, who do you have on your team?
AB: I do play Genshin myself. I try to be frugal while playing it, but sometimes it’s tough. I’ve taken so many breaks. I take breaks the moment I have to whip out the credit card. If I have to whip out the credit card and I’m buying Primogems to do pulls, fifty dollars is my cut-off. I’m like, you have an issue, and take a step back. The main character that I main is Xiangling. I absolutely love Xiangling. Xiangling is the cutest, hands down, just a perfect character, Xiangling is perfect.
I don’t have a lot of the big characters because, like I said, I’m trying to play frugal. I did make sure to get my other melanated queens from Sumeru. I didn’t get Cyno because I’m like, you’re not going to spend fifty dollars. I did get Candace, I did get Nilou, and I will be pulling for Nahida. I so wish we were on the same banner so that way, I’d be saving myself money.
I will be pulling for Nahida. I do have Lisa. I have all of Laura Stahl’s characters, Barbara and Xinyan. I think I usually rotate from Xiangling, Kaeya, Yelan, and Fischl is undefeated and perfect as well. I have Keqing. Sometimes I will rotate Traveler, and Barbara, I have her maxed out. So I don’t feel like maxing out another character right now. I would love to get Kokomi. I missed that banner.
I don’t have a lot of the big characters because, like I said, I’m trying to play frugal. I did make sure to get my other melanated queens from Sumeru.
Those are basically who I play, but it’s always Xiangling, always, always Xiangling.
Q: If not Layla, what character would you have wanted to voice?
AB: If not for Layla, I would have loved to voice one of the older baddies. I would love to voice Lisa or Yelan, they’re like my favs. I love the baddies.
Q: Is there any upcoming work from you that we should keep an eye out for?
AB: I have a project coming out on PlayStation. It’s coming out in the Winter. Everybody prepare for that. Layla will be coming out in the second half of 3.2. So everybody, if you’re pulling for Nahida, I’m not mad at you, but save some Primos for our best sleep girl, Layla. I’m so excited for you to meet her.
I just had a project, The Nutty Boy out on Netflix, it gives me kind of Adventure Time feels. It’s super quirky, but a great animated show that kids and adults can watch together. I voice Juliete, so definitely check that out. Follow me on Twitter at @ashethegreat, and follow me on Instagram, @ashe.thegreat.
I want you guys to message me. I’m really trying my best to respond to everybody. I know that I will get to a point where I won’t be able to. You all have been giving me so much love, kindness, and support. I’m so, so appreciative. I wouldn’t be able to do this without you all making this game a possibility, on such a grand scale.
I appreciate you guys, so find me and say hi, I will say hi back!