Carolina Ravassa discusses Sombra, being part of the ‘Overwatch’ family

Featured, Gaming, PC, PlayStation 4, Technology, Top story, Xbox One
Carolina Ravassa during the Voices of Overwatch panel at Game On Expo.
Carolina Ravassa during the Voices of Overwatch panel at Game On Expo.

The Game On Expo held over the past weekend hosted a slew of video gaming guests. YouTubers, motion capture artists, voice actors, and musical artists were just a few categories tapped for appearances at the event. Among the voice talent featured at the convention was Carolina Ravassa, the voice behind Overwatch character Sombra.

Introduced to the roster last November, Sombra is a clever, gun-toting hacker who is working for a terrorist group called Talon. She is also the first Latina character in the Overwatch cast. Ravassa herself has acted in various films and televisions series before auditioning for the Blizzard title; her character quickly becoming a fan favorite. Nerdvana had the opportunity to talk with Ravassa at the convention about her foray into video games and introduction to the massive Overwatch community.

Nerdvana: Overwatch itself started out and you kind of got thrown in a little later. How has that adjustment been for you, being brand new to this crazy-big fan community?

Carolina Ravassa: I’ve been totally brand new to the game too, because I’m not a gamer. So I wasn’t aware of the game, which sounds terrible because it’s such a huge game, but when I was recording I didn’t realize how big Overwatch was. So it’s been a really exciting thing for me because I didn’t know about the ARG (alternate reality game), I didn’t know about anything. I didn’t know that fans were expecting her.

So to be at Blizzcon when she came out was this huge, exciting thing because I didn’t know anything was gonna happen like that. It’s been really special for me. I just love being a part of the Blizzard/Overwatch family, because everyone’s great. It’s being embraced by a new group you know? It’s really cool.

Carolina Ravassa during her panel at Game On Expo.
Carolina Ravassa during her panel at Game On Expo.

Nerdvana: How much different has it been interacting with this kind of fan base?

Carolina Ravassa: Well I guess before I didn’t have fans so…. (laughs) It’s like I’m just dealing with this for the first time, so it’s not like “Well these fans are different from my other fans.” I will say I love that I have people reach out from Argentina, from Brazil, from Australia—Polish fans!

To me it’s crazy but really exciting. I love that they all connect to our characters, but also to maybe the other stuff we’re doing. They’ll look us up on Youtube or our previous work that we’ve done so that’s really exciting. I just feel like the whole Overwatch community is kind of led by love—it sounds so corny, but it really is and so I’m really grateful for that.

Nerdvana: In Hispanglosaxon you talk a little bit about your struggles of being an actress that is “not Latina enough.” How did that change in any way with Sombra being a very Latina character?

Ravassa: I think that because Sombra is a voice role, it was awesome that I get to play her. I know that she’s a little bit darker-skinned than I am, so I’m just really glad that it didn’t matter what I looked like to be able to play her. And I just love that I can play something that connects with my Hispanic community, if you will.

I guess I don’t know how it’s changed! …I still think though that it’s a revolution of casting and how people are seen, you know just how Hispanics look differently and talk differently and all that stuff. You know, we’re still growing.

Sombra in Overwatch. Credit: Blizzard.
Sombra in Overwatch. Credit: Blizzard.

Nerdvana: Going along with that. Latino characters, as far as video games, are kind of underrepresented. They’re mostly [depicted as] a stereotypical gangster or things like that. Now Sombra is a very strong, female Latina character but she’s also a bad guy. Do you feel like it’s a step in the right direction?

Ravassa: I mean, I think regardless of the fact that she’s part of Talon or not, I think that she’s just a really confident, badass hero. I think that she’s got a great sense of humor and she’s got all these assets that aren’t stereotypical. I don’t mind that she’s kind of on the dark side. I don’t think that stereotypically they [Blizzard] chose a Latina to be on the dark team, because a French person is [also] on the team; it doesn’t matter you know?

I’m pretty sure that in the future there’ll be more superheroes and they’ll be different kinds—different ethnicities, different nationalities. I think Blizzard just did a great job in showing us the world.

Nerdvana: What do you hope for your character Sombra in the future and what do you hope for yourself as far as video games?

Ravassa: I think that we’re going to just keep discovering more and more things about every character. I wanna know why Sombra has a teddy bear, I want to know her [real] name. All these things I think will guide us a little bit deeper into who she is. She seems very strong right now and I know that she’s got a mushy, vulnerable side, so I’m curious to see what all these things are about.

I would love to voice more roles for Blizzard in general, or any video game company. I think it’s really fun work and Blizzard’s been a lovely company so I would sign on for anything. I just love that Overwatch is a really positive game and it is family friendly, so I can stand behind it proudly and I’m honored to be part of this family that keeps growing.

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About Christen Bejar

Christen BejarChristen Bejar is a freelance gaming writer who started the local blog The Pause Button while studying at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. For Nerdvana, Bejar reviews video games and also previews, recaps and photographs many local events from a gamer's perspective.