Actor Troy Baker Reveals Advice from Director Neil Druckmann That Changed His Entire Approach to Games

Rooster Teeth's phenomenal fan convention RTX has come and gone and it's was a great year once more! A perfect place for fans and icons to join together to nerd out about what they love the most. We had a chance to explore what this incredible event had to offer and also sat down with renowned voice actor Troy Baker to talk about everything from World of Warcraft, to his Socratic approach to games and life in general. Though the new father is more than established as pretty much a video game god, he did reveal to me what advice that The Last of Us director Neil Druckmann had to say that absolutely shattered his approach to acting.

The lesson imparted by the director helped Baker in his journey to feeling comfortable in his craft. For him, it was about learning how to "function without someone giving [validation]," which as an actor can be hard to do. Acting in itself is based upon the audience's reaction, perception, and interpretation of being.

Baker also went into how he would be the worst critique, but not only that - he was the one that fell victim to being entrapped by this act, receive, evolve cycle that in itself is good - but in moderation. The obsessive notion of validation got to the point where he even admitted to taking the role of director away from Druckmann and that was a moment of realization.

When talking about the "video village," which he explained as a place actors can receive live feedback from the audience after shooting a scene, he mentioned that he would become so enraptured by the reaction that he was locked in this cycle of needing that playback, craving that feedback, and relying upon it instead of organically feeling the scene. When the Last of Us director told him to stop, to back away from the "video village," Baker scoffed and joked about his attitude during that time.

He jokingly mentioned "I know this is your first time directing, but this isn't my first shoot." Druckmann then gave a piece of advice that really resonated with the actor to the point where Baker even said that he hasn't taken part in this process since then. The simple phrase of "What you need is to trust me. Your job is to be viewed and not to view" shook Baker from his formulaic thought and freed him to be even more involved with his craft without overstepping the roles of his team.

Baker is a phenomenal actor, musician, father, and overall human being. Speaking to him was a genuine pleasure and hearing that evolution of his professional journey will help a lot of aspiring actors looking to carve out their own niche in the gaming world.

You can learn more about Troy Baker, and his current plans in our audio interview at the top of the article! Keep it tuned in here at ComicBook because we've got even more exclusive goodness from the wonderful event that is RTX.


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