Death Note Death Note


Comparision of the voice over actors who have been the voice of Ryuk with sound clips and images.
Franchise: Death Note

Created by Music Meister on Oct 31 2017
Death Note (2007)
RyukBrian Drummond
Brian Drummond
Death Note (2017)
RyukWillem Dafoe
Willem Dafoe


I honestly like both performances a lot.
At their core, both actors do pretty much the same thing even if DaFoe's take strays from the original portrayal. I mostly see this as a difference on how Japanese culture views demons vs how American culture views them. so it was one of the changes from the movie that I understood.
So DaFoe's performance is more sinister and manipulative while Drummond has that sinister edge but has a more casual tone. One is more of a trickster while one is more of an Agent of Chaos.
For me, it is a tie.
Happy Halloween!

Music Meister


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Vocal Evolver
said at 3:51 PM on Fri Apr 13 2018
 2 Shout Outs!
Willem Dafoe, by virtue of being Willem Dafoe.
said at 8:08 AM on Wed Dec 13 2017
 4 Shout Outs!
Cool, a place where I can listen to Dafoe's performance as Ryuk since I refuse to watch the movie. :P

Seriously though, he was good, but Drummond was better.
said at 9:53 AM on Sat Mar 17 2018
@TheVengeanceKnight I'd watch it. It's actually really entertaining if you view it as a parody of the show.
said at 6:17 PM on Sat Mar 17 2018
@Soul-dragon Really, it'd be much better if the Turner kid wasn't named Light, and L was stated to be the current user of that alias who was trying to emulate the original L. Lawliet only to end up cracking under the pressure of the case in the end, rather than a stand-in for L. Lawliet himself.
said at 5:07 PM on Fri Dec 8 2017
 4 Shout Outs!
I think bias in regards to the versions that they both voiced might be getting in the way of the voting here. Brian Drummond has a wonderful and enjoyable take on Ryuk, but Wilem Dafoe is...well, Wilem Dafoe! His voice and more importantly his delivery (the casual, relaxed, almost bored tone of his usual lines and then the more gleeful, maniacal, and devilish tone he goes into when he's enjoying himself) is closer to the original voice for the character in the Japanese version and I think it encompasses the character even better than Drummond was able to.

It's a pretty close call, but I prefer Dafoe by a margin.
said at 5:59 PM on Sat Mar 17 2018
@Galactic_Cyrus: Agreed. Drummond is fun, but he hammed it up a tad too much, which went against a big point of Ryuk's character: that he did all this because he was bored. Dafoe actually captures the "I'm bored and I wanna make things interesting" aspect much better.
said at 11:24 PM on Fri Nov 10 2017
 4 Shout Outs!
Brian Drummond just has this sinister and sly delivery to his Ryuk that truly encompasses the character, not to mention the classic cackle he gives him that's too much to pass up.

Willem Dafoe's performance is the best thing about a pretty underwhelming adaptation to me, so he was also pretty good, but I just find Drummond to be a little bit more distinctive and charismatic.
said at 1:07 PM on Wed Nov 8 2017
 3 Shout Outs!
I forget to mention this in my compare comment, but I think it's worth noting how it's been said that Ryuk may actually have been inspired by some of Dafoe's roles ideally enough.
said at 12:36 PM on Wed Nov 8 2017
 2 Shout Outs!
Both were unbelievably good but Drummond wins since he had more to work with and that crackle is so awesome to listen to.
Stare at the Sun
said at 3:43 PM on Tue Nov 7 2017
 5 Shout Outs!
Dafoe was the greatest thing about a bad movie.
said at 7:25 PM on Mon Nov 6 2017
 1 Shout Out!
Brian Drummond's cackle is what gives him the advantage, in my book, compared to both Dafoe and the original. Always enjoyed it.
said at 8:01 PM on Wed Nov 1 2017
 10 Shout Outs!
I haven't seen either in context, but I think it's pretty cool that Willem Dafoe got to play a Green Goblin-esque character again.
said at 2:24 PM on Wed Nov 1 2017
 23 Shout Outs!
The notebook Osborn! First we use the Notebook!
said at 9:16 PM on Fri Nov 3 2017

EPA Deane
said at 8:23 AM on Sat Nov 4 2017
@Ghosty404 "It's You who's OUT Ryuk..... OUT OF YOUR MIND!!!!!"
said at 12:33 PM on Wed Nov 1 2017
 2 Shout Outs!
It's a tie. Though, voice-wise I kind of prefer Dafoe by a small margin. But, both play him well.
said at 10:45 PM on Tue Oct 31 2017
 5 Shout Outs!
They both nail the role, but in the end Brian Drummond gets my vote, mainly because he had more to work with.
said at 9:59 PM on Tue Oct 31 2017
 1 Shout Out!
It's Tiger of the Wind!
Between the two I prefer Brian, Willem was a bit too gruff
said at 4:46 PM on Tue Oct 31 2017
 5 Shout Outs!
They both sound deliciously sinister, but Ryuk is Brian’s career defining role, next to Vegeta.
said at 4:38 PM on Tue Oct 31 2017
 4 Shout Outs!
Both are good and creepy, but I'm going to Drummond.
said at 2:36 PM on Tue Oct 31 2017
 4 Shout Outs!
They both sound pretty great to me.

BTW is it me or does Brian Drummond sound a bit like Quinton Flynn?
Shaun Ince
said at 3:11 PM on Tue Oct 31 2017
@HyperVoiceActing He does, kind of.
said at 3:12 PM on Tue Oct 31 2017
@HyperVoiceActing That's a cast choice I'd also like to have seen.
said at 1:01 PM on Tue Oct 31 2017
 1 Shout Out!
They're both fantastic and honestly they sound pretty similar to each other. I'll give it a tie... FOR NOW
said at 9:13 AM on Tue Oct 31 2017
 1 Shout Out!
Brian Drummond's performance had chills down my spine when I watched Death Note for the first time so my vote goes to him. Willem Dafoe was amazing for the movie version.
said at 8:53 AM on Tue Oct 31 2017
 9 Shout Outs!
Some people would think comparing Drummond to Dafoe is like comparing apples to oranges, but for me it's apples to apples.

Both are equally menacing and delightful to listen to. I guess the main difference between the two is Brian Drummond's take is somewhat lighter and more alien in character, where as Willem Dafoe's is somewhat deeper and more foreboding.

Other than that, I see no need to pick either or. It's a tie for me.

BONUS: If there'd been a Pre-Lay LA cast, I would have loved for Steve Blum, Dee Bradley Baker, Jim Cummings, Charlie Adler, John Kassir, Jeff Bennet, or even Troy Baker to voice Ryuk. DBB, Adler and Blum for sounding similar to texture to Drummond's voices, and Hamill and Kassir for pulling off something similar to the original Japanese voice; and Bennet and Baker for being something in between. I can even see Michael Gough or Andre Sogliuzzo for sounding somewhat similar to Dafoe's voice.

Fora traditional anime-based LA dub I think Derrick Stephen Prince should suffice; Sean Schemmel or David Wald to for a Dallas cast, or Scott McNeil or Lee Tockar for an alternate Vancouver cast.
Shaun Ince
said at 9:16 AM on Tue Oct 31 2017
@Troodon2 Ha, I got that reference.
said at 9:53 AM on Tue Oct 31 2017
@Shaun Ince What reference? Did I just say something clever and not know it?!
Shaun Ince
said at 10:55 AM on Tue Oct 31 2017
@Troodon2 Yes, you did. Comparing apples to apples? Ryuk likes apples. I assume that's what you were referring to?
said at 11:40 AM on Tue Oct 31 2017
@Shaun Ince OH!! ROFL
said at 7:32 AM on Tue Oct 31 2017
 1 Shout Out!
Both are good, but Brain Drummond is Ryuk honestly. No one can beat him in the part.
said at 7:48 AM on Tue Oct 31 2017
@Soul-dragon I agree Brian Drummond is the true Ryuk.
said at 7:31 AM on Tue Oct 31 2017
 4 Shout Outs!
They both nail it IMO. It's a tie for me as well.
8000 Saiyans
said at 7:28 AM on Tue Oct 31 2017
 3 Shout Outs!
I'll have to go with Brian Drummond for this one.
said at 7:12 AM on Tue Oct 31 2017
 7 Shout Outs!
Honestly Willem Dafoe could've been much better in the role if not for the one-dimensional, blatantly Machiavellian matter in which Ryuk's portrayed in that movie; he comes off more passive in the source material, not to mention that the character himself has his moments of levity. However, for the script he had to work with, Dafoe gives by far the best performance in an American film adaptation that I can't tell whether it's So Bad It's Good or simply trash.

My vote is on Brian Drummond, who I prefer over Shido Nakamura as well (the latter of whom still turned in a great performance, for the record).
said at 2:35 PM on Tue Oct 31 2017
@CelestialOuroboros - I think that mostly has to do with, as Meister mentioned, the differences between how the Japanese portray demons and how the Americans portray them.
Shaun Ince
said at 5:59 AM on Tue Oct 31 2017
 11 Shout Outs!
This, this was the voice compare I was awaiting for the longest time. Very good timing considering what the day is.

Anyway, both Willem Dafoe & Brian Drummond are great in this role, I'm leaning towards Drummond in this case. I do prefer the characterization in the anime compared to the movie, but Willem Dafoe's version works very well & it stands on it's own.

Vote is going to Brian Drummond.
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Brian Drummond
Willem Dafoe