Voice of Reason
With Master Chief being a man of few words, and Cortana having a bad day, many of the plot points in Halo 4 are communicated by their fellow soldiers. We spoke to one such soldier — voice actor Darren O’Hare, who does the voice of the UNSC Infinity’s XO, Tom Lasky — about his role in Master Chief’s life.
EGM: How did you get the role of Tom Lasky in Halo 4? Had they seen you in something, did you have to audition?
Darren O’Hare: Well, a buddy of mine knew about my military experience and referred me to the casting director, Jamie Mortellaro. So, first I recorded a voice over audition from my home studio. Then, about a month or two later, my agent called me with a second audition to do performance capture with the cinematic director, Brien Goodrich at Giant Studios. We did the same scenes, but this time I got to run around with an M16.
EGM: How much of the game did you get to see before you recorded the dialog? Did they let you play any of it?
DO: Most of my dialogue was recorded during the performance capture, which we started shooting in 2011. So, at that time, there wasn’t much ready to see. The first time I got to play the game was at E3.
EGM: And what about the character, I assume they showed you pictures of him, right?
DO: I think we were a few months into shooting the first time I saw a render of Lasky.
EGM: Did you have any say in how you’d do his voice? Like if you had gone in and said, “I think he should sound like a 44-year-old Jewish guy from New Jersey,” would they have gone along with that or would they have fired you on the spot?
DO: Pretty sure I wouldn’t have gotten a callback if I’d done that.
EGM: How familiar were you with the Halo games before this?
DO: Well, I mean, who doesn’t know about Halo? As for me, I played Halo CE and Halo 2 quite a bit…lost many days between fighting the covies and playing Slayer on XBL. And since I started work on Halo 4, I caught up on Halo 3, ODST, and Reach.
EGM: When doing Lasky’s voice, did you do it alone or were there other people from the voice cast recording at the same time?
DO: All of the cinematic scenes were shot with a full cast on set at Giant Studios. So that was a blast getting to fully act out the scenes with such talented actors. And most of the in-game dialogue, I recorded alone in a booth at Technicolor. Well, not really “alone,” there’s always a kick-ass writer/director on the other side of the glass who’s steering the ship.
EGM: Besides doing his voice, you also did motion capture for the character. Which always seems like it would be a lot of fun to do. Is it?
DO: We get to run around with fake guns and pretend we’re soldiers, in space, in the future…what could be more fun than that?
EGM: What was the oddest thing you had to do during the motion capture sessions? Aside from wearing a body suit covered in ping pong balls, of course.
DO: At the start of each day, we have to do a series of specific movements to get linked into the mobcap system…it’s kinda like our daily mocap aerobics.
EGM: Besides Halo 4, you’ve also landed a role in The Last Ship, a show Michael Bay is putting together for TNT. Did you get the role in that because of your work in Halo 4?
DO: No, that job came about just before I could even talk about being in Halo 4.
EGM: Given that your role in Halo 4 is a prominent one, have you been approached yet about doing voices for any other games? If so, can you tell us what?
DO: Well…even if I was, you know I wouldn’t be able to talk about it.