Death Stranding is set to release next week onto PS4, and onto PC next year. In it, players will step into the shoes of Sam "Porter" Bridges, who is played by Norman Reedus, the actor best-known as Daryl Dixon in The Walking Dead. And according to Reedus, working with Hideo Kojima -- the director of Death Stranding who's made a legendary name for himself in the industry as the creator of Metal Gear Solid -- has been an incredible experience. That said, according to the actor, the process was also tedious and awkward at times, not because of Kojima, but because of motion capture work.
"We filmed in a couple different places: In California in a few spots, the face recognition stuff in New York — it was kind of based on where I was," said Reedus of the process while speaking to Hollywood Reporter. "In between episodes [of The Walking Dead] or if I had a long weekend, I would fly out and it was whenever everyone's schedule lined up. Some of it was with Mads Mikkelsen in the room, some with Lea Seydoux in the room, other actors in the game. You go in and they put those dots on your face, which take forever — and take twice as forever to take off — and you squeeze into this tiny little suit that is very revealing and embarrassing and you're strapped in. You have a helmet cam on with a big arm sticking out the front of it. Anytime I had to kiss somebody or hug somebody, our heads are bouncing off of each other. It's kind of like Joan Cusack in Sixteen Candles where she's got the big headgear on."
Despite having less than a stellar time with some of the shortcomings of motion capture work, it sounds like Reedus loved his time making the game and working with Kojima, who he not only describes as a genius, but also a great collaborator, unlike most directors at his level.
"Sometimes the other actors were there. A lot of times it was just me and Hideo," said Reedus. "He would have a plastic baby doll on the ground and want me to cradle it and act like it's dead. Then act like it's alive. Then freak out because there's handprints everywhere. You stand up and he goes, imagine there's a thousand dead whales in front of you, and you're like, 'What?!' His mind is on another level. He's a genius' genius. He and I got into a shorthand where he would look at me and he would point and frown and make a face and I would just go, yep, I got it. We sort of transcended the language barrier after a while. A lot of times a director will say, in this scene I think I should do it this way and they've rehearsed it in their head so much that when you throw something new at them they sort of short-circuit. There's not room for interpretation. Hideo is the opposite. You'll say, maybe I should do this, and he'll say, yes! And then do this on top of that! He's a collaborative mind. He wants to hear your input. If you don't say anything, he'll think there's probably something wrong with you. He's a lot of fun to work with. If he ever did a movie or anything else I would be there in a heartbeat."
Death Stranding will be available on November 8 via the PS4, with reviews set to go live this Friday, November 1.