Exclusive Interview with Fallout 4 Voice Actress Courtenay Taylor
Here at ThoseGamers we have some amazing fans who love to interact with us, especially on Twitter and Facebook. What does this have to do with an interview with Courtenay Taylor you might ask? Well one of our amazing fans just so happens to be Fallout Temple, one of the premier Fallout Fan account’s on social media and from our very own shores in New Zealand. T, who looks after the Fallout Temple account contacted us last week to say that an interview had been lined up with Courtenay Taylor and they would be more than happy to have the interview published on the ThoseGamers website.
T from Fallout Temple has done a fantastic job getting this interview and asking some fantastic questions. Thanks so much T for providing us with the opportunity to run this interview as an exclusive, if you aren’t following Fallout Temple on Twitter and Instagram make sure you do that right after reading the interview as there is no better place to celebrate Fallout. Without further ado we bring you Fallout Temple’s exclusive interview with Courtenay Taylor, voice of the Female Sole Survivor in the HIGHLY anticipated Fallout 4.
T – from Fallout Temple: The first correspondence I ever had with Courtenay Taylor was when #BE3 had just dropped and she had just finished Armageddon Wellington. I tweeted Courtenay and Brian T. Delaney and shamelessly begged them to come to Armageddon Auckland because it starts on the 23rd of October – a significant date in the Fallout world. And now here I am, on the 23rd of October, having breakfast with Courtenay Taylor on the first day of the Auckland Armageddon Expo. Could pre-release life get any better? Yeah nah, not for this Kiwi Fallout fanatic.
T – You’ve been to New Zealand a couple times now Courtenay, how do you like it?
CT – I love it. I’m half Australian, I lived in Australia when I was a kid, and the flight is just as long as I remember it. Everyone has been so nice, so sweet. We’re going to Hobbiton today and we drove to the Glow Worms yesterday, it’s so beautiful and green. We did a two day car trip, a friend of mine and I, just driving around and we found something interesting and exciting everywhere we go. I love all the different cows, I know that’s a crazy thing to say but there are so many different kinds! So we were driving and laughing and I was literally googling the different Cows. So I know more about Animal Husbandry than I did when I came
T – I guess you don’t have Cows in L.A then?
CT – We do, but outside and not as many as here, and definitely not as pretty coloured. I went to the Wellington Armageddon in July and that was super fun. It’s definitely a different vibe from some of the bigger cons, and I’m excited to see what the Auckland Armageddon is like cause everyone is like “If Wellington Armageddon is a house, Auckland Armageddon is a mansion” And so I’m really excited to check it out tomorrow and see what the differences are. I really enjoyed Wellington, it reminds me of San Francisco. We went to Raglan, a cute little surf town so there’s some parallels to California. It feels a little bit like Santa Cruz so it feels a little like home, but also something new and different.
T – How do you find Fallout fans from New Zealand and across the world?
CT – Kiwi fans are very very nice and polite and sweet, but I find that’s across the board. Game fans are pretty awesome, I haven’t had too many strange experiences there. You know it’s just people who are really passionate about what they’re into and I think Fallout fans are a reflection on how much work Bethesda puts into what they make. They attract the same kind of passionate people and they support one another. What Bethesda puts out attracts the kind of person who wants that experience and that level of detail, passion and also a great sense of humour.
T – I know you worked on New Vegas, but before BE3 dropped and the Hype Train turned into a Hype Rocket, did you have any idea of just how intense and passionate the Fallout fanbase is?
CT – No I did not. I had been on Twitter for a while but the majority of people I interacted with were Mass Effect fans, Resident Evil fans and Star Wars fans from my role as Juhani, so it was a new chapter in that. When I went to the Bethesda E3 press conference, I was mind blown at how many people were there and how excited people were and the great response that the trailer was getting. I think it didn’t really hit me until that day.
T – The fact that Fallout 4 has voiced protagonists is huge. When the trailer dropped, fans all over the world were intensely discussing and debating it all over social media. So, after BE3 and after seeing how passionate the fans are, did you feel any added pressure about your performance to date? Like “OMG did I do a good job? Am I doing this justice?”
CT – Oh for sure, I came in the next session we had and I was like “ah, I’d like to start from the beginning, please?” Walking into BE3 and seeing all those people, it really brought it home for me because you don’t think about that stuff when you’re working on the game. You go in and do your work for the day. I’m thrilled and excited to have it come out and I’m proud of what small contribution we’ve made and I know the amount of work that everybody at Bethesda put into the game. No stone has been left unturned and it’s gonna be an amazing ride for everybody. I know people are gonna love it.
T – I’m curious as to how the creative process began for you when it came to voicing Fallout 4. For example, did you already have a character in your head and have to think about how this character would say something depending on the choice they make in the journey?
CT – I did come in with ideas, cause I was really excited to have gotten this role, so I thought about actor’s roles that I had enjoyed in other games and was kind of thinking about a heroic character. This was before I came in. Before you go in for your first session you’re like “What am I gonna do? How am I gonna approach this?” It shifted definitely, in that they wanted realistic, truthful reactions from a real person, and not from an idea of a hero or someone with a really rigid way of being. The idea is that the player isn’t playing a character, we’re voicing you guys. We’re voicing your choices and working hand in glove with the player, so it’s not like someone stepping into a pre-conceived character’s shoes and saying “Ok I get to be this person for a little while”. It’s the player really being like “These are the choices I’m gonna make” and having the voice match that and enhance the experience and give it a more immersive experience. We were mindful of that and always trying to get to the truth of the reactions, and it would mesh in a way that wouldn’t take you out of the story but really push you deeper into the story.
I’m very very grateful to Kal (Bogdanove – lead Voice Director) I walked away from this experience with him, and the discussions we had and the work that we did, a much better actor for it because he’s so incredibly gifted in what he does and what he gets out of people. He pushed us beyond what we were already bringing, he’s a really really gifted director. Bethesda were pretty hands off with direction, but they gave us a lot of stuff to work with and let us use the building blocks. They gently guided us, but I think there was a lot of trust on their part with what we were doing, and I really am grateful to them.
T – How do you leave a character behind? I’ve known actors who would go through a type of mourning period once their role was over, did you experience anything like that?
CT – Well I definitely have mourned certain characters, I had a hard time leaving Jack from Mass Effect behind because she was so much fun to play. And this character in Fallout 4 is most like me, so in a way, it wasn’t so much “I had to step into this person’s shoes and now I have to step out of them” it was not getting to do the work on a regular basis, not getting to see everyone. I always joke that Kal is my blankie and by the time we did the press conference, I was like holding his hand the whole time because I was so overwhelmed. So it’s more about the process being over. It was such a long time that I was able to go “Ah it’s never gonna end” and then when I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak, it was 6 months out then 3 months out then a month and then they were starting to wrap up and I was like “no! no!” It went from so far off to “no it can’t end!”. But I feel like I also get to go back in and see everything so much more on the 10th, because I get to interact with the other cast members.
T – That’s one thing that always fascinated me. What it would be like for a voice actor to experience visually, what they had already experienced vocally.
CT – You know, we get to work with really great directors and Kal is a great actor in his own right. Being able to immerse yourself in it and walk yourself through it is really cool, as well as being able to say when I was at E3 and looking at some of the things, I thought “ah this is just the way I imagined it!” it was the way I saw it in my head while we were recording.
T – Fallout 4 will be released in 17 days and you’ll all be able to talk about it. What are you looking forward to the most when the game drops?
CT – Brian and I have both talked about making sure that the game comes out with no spoilers and nothing gets leaked. Bethesda was very kind to announce us in advance, that does not happen very often in my experience and so to have the opportunity to be able to talk about it somewhat after keeping it under wraps for so long, was a wonderful gift. It was fun to see my friends when there were rumours going on, and in particular, my Godson was posting up about it on Facebook and I couldn’t say anything. He wanted to kill me afterwards. It would be fun to talk about it, but I’m most looking forward to getting to see the whole package. Sitting in the press conference, it was really fun to hear Brian’s voice and a little bit of my voice, but really it was about seeing the world.
I don’t know who a lot of the cast is. I presume that I’ll probably know some of the people, and if I don’t know them, I’ll probably know who they are. It will be fun to go through that journey and be like “oh this is who I was talking to!” so there will be opportunities to have nice surprises as I go along in the game. So I’m excited about that. It’s going to be Christmas for me too because I don’t know much more than you guys do. I’m excited for you guys because I know how much love Bethesda has put into the project. It’s like getting to see your friend open a present that you know they’re gonna love, so I wish I could zoom around on the tenth and be a fly on the wall and see people playing it and experiencing it.
T – Can you share one of the biggest things you’ve taken away from your Fallout 4 experience?
CT- I was really impressed with how much respect Bethesda has for their fans, it was really laid out from the beginning. Also what a relatively small group of people can do for a game like this, I was really impressed with meeting the team and how passionate they are and the amount of work that they do and the level of detail. There’s a lot that has impressed me.
T – I know you’re incredibly busy and working the whole time you’re here, so thank you for meeting and talking with me. I look forward to seeing you at Armageddon
CT – Thank you so much for doing this and taking the time. Thank you guys for being such amazing fans of Bethesda, I’m a big fan of you guys and I can’t wait to meet the fans who are here in New Zealand at Armageddon.