Behind the Mic: Exclusive Interview with Lenne Hardt

There’s only a few people outside the cage (or ring), who can be easily labeled as “MMA legend”. Former Pride and the current Dream announcer Lenne Hardt is one of them. Mostly recognized by fans as the “Crazy Pride Screaming Lady”, Hardt was a trademark voice of Pride, announcing the names of fighters such as Minotauro Nogueira, Mirko Cro Cop, Wanderlei Silva, Shogun Rua, Alistair Overeem and many more.

Lenne Hardt has her own Jazz Cabaret band and serves as a voice actress for popular games such as Tekken, Rumble Roses, Silent Hill and Virtua Fighter. As well as the upcoming EA Sports MMA game, set to be released on October 19th.

Lenne took time off her busy schedule to answer on questions, in an exclusive interview for LowKick.com community. So, for all MMA fans out there. This is a real treat.

Enjoy!

Hey Lenne, it’s a great pleasure and a huge honor having you interviewed for LowKick.com. How (and what) are you doing these days?
Well, Anton, I’m doing just great, thanks – busy, but busy is good! You know, Dream takes up a bit of my time – which is a good thing. I just finished voicing EA’s new MMA computer game – that’ll be out October 19th. That was a lot of fun! Oh, and speaking of fun – there’s my band, the Lenne Hardt Jazz Cabaret. We just did a live gig in Tokyo to celebrate our tenth year together. 10 years!

Can you talk about your Jazz band, what it means for you and where we can see you perform?
What it means for me? A lot! I can sing my heart out, (and sometimes I really do), I even get a chance to  dance while NOT sitting in a chair ringside! And all that with a team of first rate musicians. Love it! We play a lot of private events, hotel grand openings, Christmas parties and we do some club gigs. We’re planning another show this fall – we’ll announce the details on Facebook and Myspace.

What is the best and the toughest thing in being a Ring Announcer?
How tough can it be? It’s the greatest job in the world. It’s all good, mate! (To quote my Kiwi husband). But I’d say the best part, in a word, is Energy; absorbing the powerful energy of the athletes, and the excited energy of the fans.

You announced the names of so many legendary MMA fighters. Whose name in your opinion sounds the best, Lenne Hardt style?
HANDS DOWN THAT WOULD BE ANTONIOooooo RODRIiiiiiiiiiiGO NOGUEIiiiiiRAaaaaaaaa

 Do you rehears your announcements, or does it all comes out in natural way along with the music?
We rehearse the over-all flow of the evening but not each individual athlete’s entrance, so I have to play it as it comes. But that’s OK. I love spontaneity.

Your style is completely different from the UFC’s Bruce Buffer and Strikeforce’s Jimmy Lennon, Jr. What do you think about them as announcers?
They’re both  giants in the field.  Bruce has that special Barnum and Bailey flare. And Jimmy, well Jimmy is so reassuring – delivers that classic style that’s both nostalgic and now at the same time.

Can you imagine yourself announcing in a more “traditional Boxing way”, like Jimmy Lennon Jr., for instance?
Sure. Why not?? Anton, I am an actress first, you know. But I think traditional boxing still values the male voice more. But things can change so maybe I’ll get a chance in the future. 

Who in your opinion has the most spectacular ring/cage entrance in MMA?
Oh! SO MANY GREATS! Right now, three spring to mind – Jason “MAYHEM” Miller, Minowaman and Kazushi Sakuraba

What kind of future do you predict for JMMA, and especially for the Dream promotion?
This recession, or whatever you want to call it, is trashing a lot of industries, but Dream, and MMA worldwide, are thriving in spite of it all. Good times or bad, the fans love the thrill of the fight. And Dream always gives ‘em what they want.

How often do you get requests from fans, friends or just random people to announce their name?
All the time. It’s flattering. And I am always happy to oblige!

Thanks again Lenne for the wonderful opportunity. Any message for MMA fans around the World?
We love you. You are the ones who make it all worthwhile – you are the power. Thank you for appreciating MMA for the great sport that it is. And thank you for helping us take it to the top!


12 Comments

  1. Profile photo of partyboy

    partyboy

    September 17, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    hearing her scream during the fighters parade was one of the highlights of pride, it always makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up lol

  2. Profile photo of Anton Gurevich

    Anton Gurevich

    September 17, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    I’m not afraid to say that Lenne Hardt is one of the reasons why I love MMA.

  3. Profile photo of Daniel Cassidy

    Daniel Cassidy

    September 17, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    awesome interview. she is a true icon

  4. Profile photo of diegomaka

    diegomaka

    September 17, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Oh God, I miss PRIDE….. Those were the days, boyz…

  5. Profile photo of UrHype

    UrHype

    September 17, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Her voice just doesnt match her looks for some reason. Back in the day, I always figured it was a mean little Japanese lady hahah.

  6. Profile photo of partyboy

    partyboy

    September 17, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    same hype haha

  7. Profile photo of MMAMarco

    MMAMarco

    September 17, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Yea Lenne Hardt and the Pride entrances are hands down the best. There is just so much energy and excitement it’s unreal. The UFC should have taken a page out of Pride’s book in this regard. The pre-fight line-up introduction was really cool as was the production that spotlighted that line-up.

  8. Profile photo of Jamie Kennedy

    Jamie Kennedy

    September 17, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Crazy Pride shreiking lady lol

  9. Profile photo of UrHype

    UrHype

    September 18, 2010 at 1:44 am

    Her voice was mesmerizing. Lenne could single handedly raise and org like Dream if they asked her to announce. People from around the world would go nuts!!!!!!!!!!!!! Myself included. Whether she realized it or not, her banshee voice in Pride became synonymous with the Japanese ring and all the amazing Pride events that came along.
    Would you announce for Dream if they asked you Lenne??

  10. Profile photo of Anton Gurevich

    Anton Gurevich

    September 18, 2010 at 2:11 am

    Hype… she’s already announcing for Dream.

  11. Profile photo of khmerkickboxing

    khmerkickboxing

    September 18, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    that is Japanese culture ..for you…LOLzzz

  12. Profile photo of UrHype

    UrHype

    September 18, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    oops, I missed “current announcer” Ive only seemed to see the fights and not the intro lately.

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