Part 9: Voice Actor Spotlight: Troy Baker (Arlon, Pyrrhon)
Maybe you heard him in Injustice: Gods Among Us as Sinestro. Maybe you recognized him in God of War: Ascension as Orkos and the multiplayer announcer. Or maybe you remember him best for his less recent roles, like Jake Muller in Resident Evil 6, various soldiers in Halo 4, Bryan Fury in Tekken 6, or one of his six (count em) roles in Darksiders 2. The point is: if you're a modern gamer, chances are you've heard this man's voice at some point.
Troy Bakers resume reads like a Whos Who of big-name AAA video games from the past few years, and for good reason: hes awesome at his job, providing surgically-accurate delivery regardless of his role. Kid Icarus: Uprising is a pretty good microcosm of his capabilities: He can bring an irreverent wit and charm to the table like with Pyrrhon, or he can play it straight-faced with a touch of sarcasm like with Arlon. Unfortunately, Kid Icarus is small potatoes compared to Troy's other work, so insight from him on those roles in the form of interviews or commentary is pretty much nonexistent.
When hes not busy being promiscuous with video game credit rolls, Troy dabbles in Japanese cartoons. In the early 1990s he started doing small parts in such obscure titles as Dragon Ball Z and things kinda snowballed from there. These days you cant throw a magically-transforming catgirl maid without hitting some anime or other cartoon hes participated in. Im not even going to bother listing them all; just go stare at his IMDB page for a while.
Five Fun Facts about Troy:
- He plays bass guitar in Akira Yamaoka's Silent Hill band
- He's a hardcore gamer and self-admitted massive nerd
- He's married (sorry ladies) and owns a cat (sorry dogs)
- He follows God on Twitter
- He's worked with 80% of Kid Icarus: Uprising's voice cast in games that are not Kid Icarus: Uprising, and they're all different games
- Full Name: Troy Edward Baker
- Birthday: April Fools' Day
- Birthplace: Dallas, TX
- Age: 36
- Has acted in: 167 Titles
- Twitter: @TroyBakerVA
Article He Wrote on Acting in Bioshock Infinite
I was a big fan of BioShock. We walked into the studio and [creative director] Ken Levine was on Skype. They were auditioning several guys and several girls, and they started matching us up. It was really important to have the right chemistry, because you can get two great actors individually but if they dont mesh well together based on what the game is it doesnt work. Its really become very similar to TV and film.
They had early character models and some storyboards. But you really have to turn on that part of your brain that youve spent most of your adult life trying to turn off, which is that playing-in-the-sandbox, my finger is a gun use of your imagination, and extrapolate the fiction into a reality that you can move around in.
Typically with first-person shooters, you have a silent protagonist. Thats so counterintuitive to what most actors do, which is they always try to come up with great things to say or try to get more screen time for themselves. But the approach we took with BioShock was Whats the least that we can say?
Im very fortunate that we would sit and workshop things and go over the lines, and Ken gave a lot of latitude to change lines. Ken came up with this phrase, Drain the swamp. All the cool emotion and character that you want to put into a line? Suck that all out and just literally say the line. It was this really cool exercise to not act, to just be, and to trust the ears of someone else. Not only does it work, but its way more impactful.
Audio Interview (mostly about Snow in FFXIII)
Audio Interview (subjects include but aren't limited to his career origins, game mechanics, his favorite games, Saints Row The Third, British accents, and horse-sized ducks)
Audio Interview by Ken Levine (Bioshock Infinite's director interviews his employees about the game)
Video Interview (Interview starts at 6:31; more about his career origins, his roles, Bioshock Infinite, his music, and beer)
Video Interview (general voice acting stuff, his interests, motion capture in gaming):
Video Interview (mostly about his upcoming role in The Last of Us):
Video Interview (arson, meatloaf, Russian accents):