Recently we joined cosplayer Danielle Beaulieu at GiveWave Studios in downtown Lowell, Massachusetts, for a photo shoot, interview and video of her as a gender bent version of the Final Fantasy VIII character Squall. GiveWave Studios was an excellent choice as it was central to everyone involved, and is based in a maker’s studio collective, with just about every kind of device and tool and material on hand that you can imagine.

Below we have the interview with Danielle, and below that a gallery of the shots done by FirstPerson Shooter.

My name is Danielle Cosplay and I am at GiveWave Studios in Lowell, MA. I am cosplaying Squall from Final Fantasy VIII.

NC: Why did you pick this character to cosplay?
DC: I picked Squall because I’ve had a crush on him growing up for most of my childhood. I always wanted to cosplay him but until now I never get around to finishing it.

NC: What in particular about Squall made him your crush?
DC:I first played the game when I was 13 or 14 and he was so mysterious, and he had the hair, and I liked the hair.

NC: What was the hardest thing about making this cosplay?
DC:The hardest part was the gunblade which was the only part I had to completely make by myself. It was made from scratch, not altered.

NC: What material did you make it in?
DC:I made it out of pink insulation foam and I encased it in black Worbla which is a thermoplastic. It’s painted with acrylic paint and all the shading and designs are painted on.

NC: In doing your poses for this shoot, how tough is it for you to envision Squall?
DC:I think Squall is easy for me because I have a “resting mean face” so it’s easy for me to do a character that is not bubbly and excited.

NC: And why did you choose to do a female version of Squall instead of a crossplaying version? (I don’t think I’ve seen you crossplay before).
DC:I don’t think I would look good as a guy. I have a tiny frame so I feel like it’s better if I turn Squall into a girl. I’m very small.

NC: Is it easier posing like a guy or girl?
DC:I like posing like a guy more. Growing up I was always a tomboy. I never hung out with the girls. I always hung out with the boys.

NC: Final Fantasy VII is being remade, what character from that game would you like to cosplay as?
DC:I always wanted to cosplay Kadaj from Advent Children because he has silver hair and I have silver hair (underneath my wig) or maybe a girl version of Sephiroth. I also really like Vincent Valentine. He’s really cool.
Vincent was on my list when I was younger. I might revisit it because that is what I’ve been doing lately — making what I wanted to do before I knew how to make stuff. I might do him in the future. He’s pretty easy, I just need to make the gauntlets and the boots.

NC: In a fight between Vincent and Squall, who would win?

Written By:  Rodney Brown
Date 12/14/15
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