It used to be common thinking years ago that when a popular movie or TV actor tried their hand at working with video games, there was a good chance that it wouldn’t be met with success. Now, it seems like a myth mind you, as many actors -- like Mark Hamill in the Wing Commander games -- have returned to their craft in a big way.
Well, add Christopher Judge to the list. The popular Stargate SG-1 actor decided to take on the role of a lifetime, filling the role of Kratos in the new God of War game. And boy, has it paid off.
While speaking with the BBC, Judge explained that gaming “used to be where you went when your career was over in front of a camera.” Now, however? The perception is changing for the better. “Reading the script for the first time, I thought it was for a big A-list film,” he explained while looking over God of War’s story. “Now every actor I know is searching for a lead role in a game.”
Judge admitted that when he originally started looking over the script, he had “no clue” it was for a game. “I’m sure my agents purposefully didn’t tell me it was for a game because I’d been staunchly against doing them in the past,” he said.
But something intrigued him, and he decided to try his luck -- even if motion capture in gaming had changed so elaborately over the years. “I had to act out the audition,” he explained. “That’s something you don’t have to do for theatrical auditions, so this was my first clue.
“The material was so good though I didn’t care, and after a further call back I was told it was for a game but I was fine with it because it didn’t seem to be written like that.
“Then I was called to do a chemistry test (with 10-year old Sunny Suljic who plays Atreus in the game) and I called my agent and said, ‘Are you sure this is for a game?!’”
We’ve seen actors make jumps to video games in the past, and then back to the big screen. Samuel L. Jackson comes to mind, voicing a critical role in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas before moving back to film, including a Star Wars film and, of course, his role as Nick Fury in several Marvel films -- including Infinity War.
Judge believes the perception in gaming has changed a lot over the years, not just being about voice anymore. And he’s right. “The notion that game are where old actors go to die was slowly starting to dissipate because Kevin Spacey had just done a lead in a game.” (This was in the previously released Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.)
Judge concluded, “Games are not just about the gameplay anymore, but about the stories. There are wonderful tales to be told in this medium, and it truly is just another form to exercise your craft.”2comments
So don’t be surprised if you see more actors try their hand at video games -- and create some fantastic results in turn.
God of War is available now for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro.