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The Actress Who Plays Chun-Li In Street Fighter V Is Gorgeous In Real Life

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The "Street Fighter" franchise has featured dozens of characters over the years, but there are a handful of fighters that can never be replaced. Iconic warriors such as Ryu and Blanka, who have been in nearly every iteration of the franchise, have become so intrinsic that fans would certainly take note if Capcom ever removed them. One of the best known, and most beloved, of these characters is the main female protagonist of the series – Chun-Li.

Tons of gamers have grown up using Chun-Li to demolish enemies with her downright lethal kick combos. They've been a part of her journey as she fights her way through droves of enemies on her quest for revenge after M. Bison caused the death of her father. However many players may not realize that the English voice of the Chun-Li has been played by voice actress Laura Bailey across the four most recent games. Bailey portrayed Chun-Li in "Street Fighter 4," "Marvel vs. Capcom 3," "Street Fighter X Tekken," and "Street Fighter 5," making her the English voice actress who's depicted Chun-Li the longest. Not only is her performance as the expert martial artist and Interpol officer stunning, she's gorgeous in real life as well.

Laura Bailey pursued acting after seeing a Katie Holmes interview

In an interview with Brian W. Foster during a "Between the Sheets" segment on the Critical Role YouTube channel, Laura Bailey explained that while she originally wanted to be a biologist, she became seriously interested in pursuing a career in acting after watching a behind-the-scenes documentary about the TV show "Dawson's Creek." The part that caught Bailey's attention was when actress Katie Holmes began talking about how she auditioned for the role of Joey. "She was in high school and she was talking about how she auditioned for the show, but she almost didn't take the part because she was also doing a play in school and she would have let her whole production at school down" Bailey said. "And she just seemed so much like a normal person, and she was talking about all these things, and it was the first time that I realized — oh my god. You can actually pursue this as a career, and just be human doing it."

She then described how she immediately called up her mom on the phone and declared that she wanted to be an actress. While her mom initially seemed hesitant, Bailey pursued her dream anyway, and her mom eventually came around to seeing it as a legitimate career path.

Laura Bailey started out dubbing anime

In the same interview, Laura Bailey also went on to describe how she got her first big break in voice acting. Bailey found anime voiceover work for Funimation when she was just 18, and she continued doing it throughout college. "The first thing that I ever really pursued professionally was Funimation," she said. "It was when I started doing anime." She described how doing both at the same time took a toll, however, and she ended up missing so much school that her theater teacher eventually told her to stop coming to class since she was already doing what she was going to school for.

She is credited with performing in dozens of different anime over the years. Some of her earliest acting credits are on shows like "Dragon Ball Z," "Lupin the Third," and "Yu Yu Hakusho" (via IMDb.) She has perhaps most notably played Amber in "Darker than Black," Lust in both versions of "Fullmetal Alchemist," Tohru Honda in "Fruits Basket" and Maka Albarn in "Soul Eater." She also directed several episodes of shows that she's performed in, such as "Gunslinger Girl" and "Code Geass."

Laura Bailey is married to another voice actor

Laura Bailey married fellow voice actor Travis Willingham in September 2011. In the "Between the Sheets" interview, she mentions that he had initially just been some guy she knew who called her up after seeing her name in the credits for "Dragon Ball Z," asking if she could get him a job doing voice work. Considering Bailey had gotten requests like that all the time, she put him off for a while.

Bailey says that they'd later started dating, but that the relationship was very casual — never becoming very serious despite lasting a year. When asked how long before the two started dating again for real, she said, "I don't know how many years went by, but we ran into each other at a convention and it was like, 'Oh you're cool. Okay, ... Let's become friends.'" It was this point that Bailey decided to move to LA Willingham helped her find a place and showed her around, and eventually they ended up dating more seriously. The two now have a son named Ronin who was born in June 2018.

Laura Bailey is a member of Critical Role

Laura Bailey does a lot of voice acting, so many fans don't really see her face in most of her work. Those who are most familiar with Bailey herself are often fans of her work on the "Dungeons & Dragons" multi-platform show "Critical Role." This "DnD" group is led by DM Mathew Mercer and composed entirely of fellow voice actors. Not only is it the channel that made the most money on Twitch in 2021, it's also a YouTube channel which currently has 1.77 million subscribers. The audio is also uploaded as a podcast, which is currently listed as #1 in the U.S. on Apple Podcasts and #3 on Spotify under the leisure category (via Rephonic). On top of all that, Amazon Prime made an animated TV series based off the first campaign called "The Legend of Vox Machina," and all the performers reprise voice roles for their own characters.

Bailey and her husband have both been a part of the Critical Role team since the beginning. She played Vex'ahlia the half-elf ranger in "Vox Machina," Jester Lavorre the tiefling cleric in the "Mighty Nein," and is currently playing Imogen Temult, a human sorcerer in "Bells Hells."

Laura Bailey portrays strong video game characters

Chun-Li isn't the only video game character Laura Bailey plays who can deadlift every other person in the cast, as she's also voiced a variety of other powerful characters. Bailey played the titular character in "Catherine," Kia Carson and Darth Krovos in "Star Wars: The Old Republic," Black Widow in "Marvel's Avengers," Lois Lane, Supergirl, and Rama in "Injustice," Lucina and Palla in "Fire Emblem Heroes," and many more (via IMDb).

Her performance as the South African mercenary Nadine Ross in "Uncharted 4: A Thief's End" was particularly memorable, since this was the first time players saw a character absolutely destroy Nathan Drake in hand-to-hand combat. Bailey's role as Ross was so well received that she returned to the franchise as Chloe Frazer's partner in "Uncharted: The Lost Legacy."

But, arguably the most powerful example of Bailey's game performances is as fellow Naughty Dog anti-hero Abby Anderson. Seen by some as the most controversial character in "The Last of Us Part 2," Bailey suffered from a ridiculous amount of harassment, receiving hate mail and even death threats from disgruntled players. Of course, this sort of behavior is inappropriate under any circumstances, but it seems particularly egregious given the quality of Bailey's acting — for which she won the 2020 Game Award for Best Performance.