An Interview with the lovely Lenne Hardt: PRIDE & One FC’s Screaming Announcer!

pride

Her voice rang loud through 80k seater stadia in Japan, and was heard by millions around the world.

More, she added to every PRIDE event, the eccentricity of her announcing delivery increasing the unique feel of what made PRIDE special and extraordinary. Her introductions of PRIDE champions Fedor Emelianenko, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and most of all, Wanderlei Silva, were nothing short of unforgettable, and she alone gave Ikuhisa “The Punk” Minowa aka Minowaman the epic announcing that he deserves as per his status as Super Hluk Champion of the World.

She is Lenne Hardt, and she was kind enough to give me an interview.

DF:
How did you become an announcer in the first place?

Lenne:
I started out as a actress and singer. Got into voice overs in New York and that side of the business took off for me. Very short step from narration to announcing.

DF:
And then how did you become involved with PRIDE FC?

Lenne:
My agent called me and asked if I was free to do “this boxing thing”. Turned out to be the Pride Grand Prix at the Tokyo Dome!

DF:
What was it like to work with PRIDE?

Lenne:
They are consummate professionals and we became a great team. I loved them all! Many I still work with a lot of them at Dream. The best in their fields!

DF:
Any funny anecdotes from your time with PRIDE?

Lenne:
Sorry, not really! Ha! Sorry!

DF:
What did fighters think about your unique style of announcing?

Lenne:
I can only speak about the one’s who’ve come up and told me directly that they love it! There are many of them! Thank goodness, cause these guys are big and strong and you wouldn’t want to get on their bad side! Ha! To me they’ve all been very enthusiastic! I knew I’d earned the term “veteran” and all the age-specific hooks that term unfortunately applies to, when young fighters were coming up to me saying ” I grew up hoping I would be able to hear Lenne Hardt call me in to the ring one day”. To which I always replied ‘does your mother know where you are right now, young one? Lol! Well, maybe I didn’t actually say THAT exactly!

DF:
Tell us about your life in Japan.

Lenne:
As I’m sure you know the one year mark after the disastrous earthquake and tsunami that scarred this great people is coming up on March 11th. It’s been tough and still is for many. But these people are proud and resilient! Still I encourage your readers to continue to support them any way they can. It’s a long hard road ahead.

For those who are interested at http://www.lennehardt.com
I am donating for the foreseeable future, 20% of all recordings toward relief funds for the Tohoku region.

Japan is a wonderful country and Tokyo is the best metropolis one could hope to live in. Cosmopolitan, safe, clean! And the people are kind, polite, considerate hard working and creative. I love it here. That’s why I chose to stay despite the immediate post-Fukushima hysteria that saw such an exodus of both foreigners and Japanese alike.

DF:
That’s fantastic. Speaking of Japan, what are your favourite memories of PRIDE?

Lenne:
Having the closest damn seat in the house for the best damn fights I the world!

DF:
I hear you! What made you announce in your own very distinctive style?

Lenne:
I wanted to make a big deal of the fighters and to resound the energy and excitement of the crowds. What I do is the organic expression of that intent. Wow! Sounds like: Peace man! Have some granola! But truly it did develop naturally over time after an initial thunder strike from my muse to roll the Rs in Rodrigo Rodriguez’s name, I believe it was.

DF:
Who were your favourite fighters to announce in PRIDE. Did you have one?

Lenne:
The Noguieras, Crocop, Sakuraba, wani wani wani wani wani wani wani!
(Remember THAT one? Good trivia there!) . How much time have we got here? Sooooooo many!!!!

DF:
I’ll leave that to the comments section! Who are your favourite fighters?

Lenne:
Some of them are named above. But there are more!!! Including Minowa, Fedor and that crazy Mayhem Miller! Kawajiri, Don Frye, Josh Barnett, Again, how much time ya’ got?!?

DF:
Do you miss PRIDE?

Lenne:
No. I loved it. I also love Dream. And am really excited about my being asked to join the team at One FC. Look to the future! That’s what One FC is!!!

DF:
How does ONE FC compare? (To PRIDE)

Lenne:
It’s gonna be BIG!

DF:
Indeed. How long will you continue to announce?

Lenne:
Again, how much time have ya’ GOT? Till my Lenne Hardt stops beating!

DF:
That’s good to hear. Again, thank you so much for your time Lenne!

Lenne:
Thank you, Daniel. Been a pleasure! And see you at the Dream One FC co-promotion in Singapore on March 31st!!!

What PRIDE fan wouldn’t be thrilled to hear that?

Follow Lenne on Twitter here, and see LenneHardt.com to make a donation.

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  1. ONE FC III: War of the Lions! | FSA - FightSport Asia - March 23, 2012

    […] Leone 1-on-1 An Interview with the Lovely Lenne Hardt: One FC & PRIDE’s Screaming Announcer! One FC > ESPN > Singapore = Some Serious MMA Action! Andrew Leone: American Rising Asia Star […]

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