‘Acting is Acting,’ Grand Theft Auto Actors Say
When asked in a recent GQ interview about the differences between screen acting and voice acting, the men voicing the three playable characters in Rockstar Studio’s latest and greatest entry in the Grand Theft Auto franchise each maintained that what they did went beyond voice acting.
“I want to take ‘voice acting’ and send it up to space,” said Steven Ogg, voice of Trevor. “This was not me sitting in my underwear in a booth watching some character that was like Trevor and saying my lines.
No. That was me up there in my motion capture suit with the camera directly in my face and the light in my eyes…. It is an entire performance that has been ‘captured’—your body, your face, and your voice. It wasn’t just three years of talking into a microphone. It was three years of shooting a movie that was motion captured.”
Shawn Fonteno, who voiced Franklin in the game, added that their work on GTAV and screen acting are completely different processes. “Acting in front of the camera for film is totally different from acting in a big studio where you don’t know where something is at and you have to imagine that it’s right there. You have to feel and visualize everything that you’re acting.”
Ned Luke, whose likeness and voice were leant to the character Michael, argued that there is little difference between screen acting and voice acting. “We’re actors. We’re not just ‘voice actors’,” said Luke. “I don’t care if you’re just doing voice or live action or motion capture or what. Acting is acting.”
Interestingly, when asked about how he relates to Franklin, Fonteno said that he and Franklin were basically the same person. “Everything he’s doing, I’ve done it,” Fonteno said. “I’m an ex-gang member. I’m an ex-thief. I’m an ex-car stealer. I’ve done it. I know what it feels like to be on both sides of the gun, go to jail, et cetera. We’re tied together forever.”
Ogg, on the other hand, was sure to distance himself from his crazy and homicidal character, making it clear that he was just playing the part. “That’s my job,” he said. “That’s what I do for a living. I’m an actor.”