Video Game Voiceover Actors
April's Gamevoices interview is with the extremely entertaining MOCAP and Voice Acting star Reuben Langdon.
I had a couple of minor roles and background stuff in anime by Zero Limit Productions and a guy called Yutaka Maseba who ran that outfit and was a friend of a friend and kind of gave me a chance to get some experience in the booth. It was cool. I got experience. Very basic. And then, shortly after I got the role of Dante, through having done Motion Capture.
Initially they were casting separately for voice, physical ability and stunt ability and I ended up going for the Motion Capture part first, and then auditioned for the voice portion too but they saved that and then re-auditioned everybody on the voice side. But I guess because I had done the Motion Capture for Dante, everybody at Capcom had become used to hearing my voice on set- and when it came time to cast for the voice, they let me have a go.
They really liked the sound of my voice- but performance wise I was lacking and I didn’t have the ‘ooomph!’ that the other voice actors had, so I had to try and make up for it. Fortunately I had a very talented voice director, who I’m sure you guys know, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn. She was just awesome for me and I’m so very glad to have had her as my first major role Director. She really helped coach me and get me to where I needed to get for that job – and I can say if it wasn’t for her there would be no Dante- not like you guys heard him anyways.
How do you describe your voices? What were the first character voices you tried out on friends?
I actually don’t have that many voices; unlike most of the other super talented, crayzeee, awesome voice actors out there. I’m kind of a ‘one voice guy’. I can go a little higher and a little lower (smiles) but I don’t seem to have much of a range.
I can sound like a Japanese man trying to speak English, that's because I lived in Japan for 5 years and heard it a lot. I can speak in a Southern US accent because I grew up in the south- and that’s about it. I wish I had more voices in me.. but it’s probably a good thing that I don’t.
When you see some of those other folks, guys like Nolan North – THAT guy is a character. Oh My God. I love working with him, he’s so awesome. He’s got like a million voices going on.. and they all come out at the same time (*Laughing). It’s really fun to watch.
So yeah, unfortunately I’m limited in that sense.
In terms of what you could bring to the Characters you have played, which was your favourite game character to play? and why?
I get asked this question a lot..and just for the cool factor and my own fanboyish thing I guess Ken Masters is probably my favourite character as just the idea of being Ken Masters, is just cool. I mean I am Ken Masters, I do the voice of Ken Masters. Do you know what kind of street cred that gets me (*smiling) – I can walk into any party and BANG, I’m that guy. I’m Ken Masters. That’s really cool.
But in terms of actual bringing a character to life, Dante from Devil May Cry series in 3&4 was a lot of fun. And to have the freedom to bring that character to life physically as well as the voice, I’m so so grateful to have had that opportunity.
Which other Voice Actors and actors generally do you most admire?
As I mention Nolan North is amazingly talented and is just a super cool dude to work with. I really respect him and him work. You know I’m going to mention that usual names Troy Baker, Yuri Lowenthal. I’m working with Todd Haberkorn right now and Vic Mignogna on the Star Trek thing, And they’re all just cool people and I admire them all for being honest and loving what they do and always pushing it. It seems that every voice actor has got something special to bring to the table and they’re just having fun. There’s no egos.
For example Troy’s (Baker) work, what an amazing actor. The quality and intensity he brings to Joel in The Last of Us- just watching him work was so much fun. And watching him play too cos He’s a lot of fun on set. Look out for some bloopers which hopefully made it to the internet by now.
It’s just an honour to work with these guys cos they are just so professional and fun to be around.
Do you play video games yourself and What are your own favorite video games to play?
Yeah, I’m an avid video game player. Going back to the Ken Masters thing, I RULED at Street Fighter, like all I did in my High School years was play Mortal Kombat 24/7. Literally that’s all I did. I read comic books and played Street Fighter- that was my life.
I did not do sports. I got sick of it. So when Street Fighter came out that became my new thing to do and that’s what I lived for. After that I just bought every video game system I could possibly own and played LOTS of games. These day I don’t play that much. I guess I’m really strict about my games. Its got to be a really top notch game for me to even pick it up.
The Last of Us I got into obviously. Haha- not just because I’m in it. Lots of games are recommended to me but I guess I’m just not as interested in playing games as I used to be- so now I’m just looking for the cream of the crop or if a friend says ‘You’ve just got to play this game. This game is awesome’, then probably I’d check it out.
I guess also I’m much more of a critic now that I’ve played so many games. But I’ll still bust out Street Fighter 4 and I’m looking forward to Ultimate coming out soon (to self) or is it already out?! See that’s how out of touch I am. It could be out even now and I don’t even know it. I’m gonna check.
Have you ever thought about making your own game? If so what would your game be about?
I have actually. I have a partner, a buddy of mine who came up with a really cool game concept that I really liked. I was actually working on it with him, still am actually, working, co-developing with him. It’s a game, where the basic concept is a world that constantly evolves so that you can login one day, make changes and log in six months later and see what effects those changes made long term and perhaps see a whole other world as a result. That’s about all I can say at this point.. otherwise I guess you’ll all have to sign NDA’s, cos its still top secret.
What was the last game project you worked on? Can you tell us something about the experience?
The last game I worked on, which is out now, so I can talk about it, was Titanfall. It started a couple of years ago now actually at our Studio, Just Cause Entertainment. It was a fun experience cos first of all, I knew I was with the Cats who made the cool Call of Duties. Respawn the name of the new team, kept everything super top secret and quiet from the actors- but we knew it was robots and we knew it was on another planet cos there were some crazy creatures we had
to play and we had to walk and do stuff like robots which is always challenging and fun.
Is there a game franchise you'd particularly like to appear in?
Let me think about that. Well the Metal Gear series is always coming in and out of my ‘field’. We have put bids out on it a couple of times. Raiden was always a character that I had wanted to play. I did end up playing him on PlayStation All-Stars (*amended at the request of Mr.Langdon); so I actually did kind of end up playing him eventually (* Amended- Reuben here is referring to playing Raiden in Mocap- not as a voice actor). But NOT to the extent that he exists in the other games.
Really I can’t think of any others, I don’t know. Im so lucky to have worked on all the major franchises that anyone could possibly work on or even dream to work on.
Oh, Portal. Is that possible even?! (laughing)
I just feel blessed with all the video game opportunities I’ve had chance to partake in, so I feel like I’ve got it pretty well covered.
Are you working on any VO at the mo
ment- video game or otherwise? Did you audition- or do you really not have to audition any more?
Ok, let me tell you something. You’re ALWAYS gonna have to audition for the rest of your life. It doesn’t matter how big you get. Oh wait.. haha let me take that back. Maybe A listers don’t have to audition but all the regular dudes in the voice acting community, we’re all doing our auditions, we all have our laptops hooked up to microphones and we’re all doing this thing at night or whenever we get a chance, like even in our cars or wherever we can get a quiet chance to audition, so that’s always gonna happen.
Am I working on any VO at the moment? No. But those Anime guys over at FUNimation, should know that I’m always up for that, so drop me a line, I’d love to give it a shot. But no current projects at the moment.
Do you have an anecdote from any games vo you have done? Whats the funniest thing that has happened on a job.
Well personally I can’t think of any at the moment that are personal experience. But I do have one that is an experience of Johnny Yong Bosch.
So these booths, whether you’ve ever been in one or owned one or made one, they’re tiny right, you don’t want a lot of space in them to keep the sound dense and easy to pick up. No echoes and that type of thing. So Johnny told me about this one time when he walked into a booth after someone had farted and that just seemed SO cruel because I mean why would you. Any voice actors knows what it’s like in there. Unless they KNEW Johnny Yong Bosch was next in the booth. In which case I probably would have dropped a BIG BOMB myself, if I knew he coming J
But that’s just mean.. pure mean.
I’m probably stealing Johnny’s glory there but – urgh man!
What advice would you give to aspiring voice actors?
So the advice I have guys is just keep doing what you’re passionate about. Don’t ever give up. And find a means to do it, no matter what. Even if you can’t get paid in the beginning, if you love it, do what you love. You can make it happen and you’ll get paid for it eventually. Never give up on your dreams. Find what it is you like, if that’s voice acting pursue it 100% and don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t.
Thanks for speaking with us Reuben. We really appreciate it.
Thank you guys for the interview. And see you in the future.
Interviewed by John Armstrong for Gamevoices
Add a Comment