Rockstar’s billion dollar project Grand Theft Auto V definitely has one of the most interesting characters in the video game history, Trevor Philips. The Canadian television and stage actor Steven Ogg did not just do voicing, but also spent almost 3 years in a motion capture studio to perform and give life to the character of Trevor. Despite his character in the game being a totally crazy and violent guy, we’d say Ogg is surprisingly such a kind and nice guy. Big thanks to him for taking the time out of his very busy schedule to do this GTATurk.com exclusive interview!
Steven: Hi Ipek and GTATURK.COM!
İpek: Grand Theft Auto is the biggest video game franchise in the industry. With Grand Theft Auto V, you’ve made a big progress in your career. Trevor Philips, the psycho meth dealer of Blaine County, is the most ruthless, crazy and funny protagonist we’ve ever seen in GTA history and he’s become the favoured character of GTAV for everyone so easily – us too! But under this crazy and notorious personality, Trevor is very loyal to his friends and he’s a really good guy in some ways. Do you think there are some similarities between you and Trevor?
S: I’d say we share passion – great passion. We are both committed and give 150% – balls deep in everything we do. The sense of humor – all be it a little dark at times. The love of life. As for the violence? Nope. We are also both VERY loyal – you get back exactly what you give in.
İ: You not only did the voice but also played Trevor in motion capture sessions. Was all we have seen for Trevor in GTAV your own work?
S: It was a full motion capture performance. Take any performance by an actor in film or television and animate it – that’s exactly what Trevor was. There was never any sitting around just throwing a “voice” on a character -everything seen in Trevor was performed in a motion capture studio and then the amazing animators and crew turned it into a fully realized animated character- the face, the body it was all captured during the performance of that character.
İ: What was the most interesting/exciting/memorable part?
S: The best part is the people I met and worked with. Obviously the brotherhood formed with Solo and Ned in addition to the entire family at Rockstar. It’s rarely the roles an actor remembers, but rather the relationships formed on set. Shooting for over 3 years it definitely became a family. There are some funny moments on set – usually the “blooper” type situations when you find yourself laughing uncontrollably or just giggling like a little girl at something ridiculous. Always felt good to laugh and we certainly had plenty on the set. A very fun, encouraging and free atmosphere that created the safety to perform at your best and always want to give your best every day.
İ: What do you think about fans’ reaction so far?
S: The fans are incredible. It has been amazing to see the global impact and to receive such lovely words of encouragement, support, and love from so many people from all across the world. It certainly surprised me to see the variety of people – certainly not your stereotypical gamers. It means the world to me to have people recognize me as Steven Ogg and comment how the performance of Trevor really touched them. It’s very wonderful and I really thank everyone for begin so generous with their kindness, loyalty and support – it really touches me and I hope to continue to have an impact on people and do my fans proud through my work.
İ: Most of the game dialogue really sounds natural, like it wasn’t scripted. Was there any point where you just improvised an unscripted thing in a scene?
S: There were always little moments when something might be added – I believed I did some “dry humping” of people in scenes that was not always in the script, but certainly felt very Trevor-like and appropriate at the time. Much of Trevor’s imitations of peoples’ accents and gestures – those were generally ad-libbed and then kept in. Behavior that was then repeated and became part of Trevor’s character.
İ: We’ve learned your son’s name is Bodhi. It’s so amazing that the truck that Trevor drives in the game is named after him!
S: It was a wonderful surprise for my son. He certainly deserves a planet named after him for being such a wonderful, beautiful son – I’m so lucky to be his father and it is a lovely gift.
İ: You also played the main character “Jake Conway” in the videogame “Ride to Hell: Retribution”. What was that experience like?
S: I thought – I’d kill the crazy bastard too!! ha ha. He is an interesting, dynamic and crazy character so everyone is fair game. It’s kind of fun when you lose a character that you really don’t want to see die just because he is such a gong show!
İ: Can you tell us about your current and upcoming projects? What’s next for Steven Ogg?
S: I love the opportunity to explore all the facets of humanity – the foibles, the dark side, the light side, and definitely all that grey in the middle is what appeals to me. Every character is an opportunity to explore and find the unexpected in the expected – that is exciting.
Thanks so much for your patience and support. It really means the world to me and I apologize for taking so damn long to respond. Life is a beautiful thing and gets rather hectic sometimes. There should be lots more projects upcoming for fans to check out and I hope to continue to grow, to challenge, and to give back as much as I have been blessed to be given. Into the fire baby! Into the fire!!!
the year of hexterah’s house of hotties: January 5th Ned Luke, Shawn Fonteno & Steven Ogg (actors)
Before you say, “Oh, the ~voice actors~ of those dudes in GTAV,” LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING. Yes, Ned Luke did the voice of Almost-But-Never-Retired-From-Crime-Because-THAT-FEELING Dad Michael De Santa. Yes, Shawn Fonteno did the voice of Up-And-Coming Protege But-Leave-Me-The-Fuck-Out-Of-Your-Angry-Dad-Bullshit Franklin Clinton. And yes, Steven Ogg did the voice of Angry-Proto-Hipster-Psychopathic-Canadian-Dirty-Uncle Trevor Philips. But they were also the actors behind these characters. Every single thing you saw those three characters doing in the game, these three guys had to do themselves. So besides the 10,000+ page script the game had, there was also all the driving animations, the dying animations, the weapon animations (yes please), the cutscenes, the walking, the drunk walking, the arguments, the back and forth anger fest in the meth lab, Trevor’s crotch scratching, Franklin playing with Chop, Michael breaking Jimmy’s television, Trevor sleeping in bed with Floyd, Michael and Trevor screaming at each other about hipsters or some other old married couple bullshit – all of it.
Each of the characters they played in Grand Theft Auto V will have their own days in the future, but I wanted to recognize these three because each one of them is basically the physical embodiment of the Unholy Trinity. Even though they’re not as fucking batshit crazy as the Unholy Trinity, you can tell just from interviews that these three really formed a bond over the course of GTAV’s creation and you can tell that they Actually Like Each Other. I would love to see some of the footage on set - if there’s that much content script-and-game-wise, how much was left on the cutting room floor? How many times did they mess up?
Plus, they’re just babes, okay. Since they are basically the Unholy Trinity in the flesh (without the meth scars, TREVOR), that makes them babes don’t touch me and MY FEELINGS. Especially since they don’t have any of the very special sociopathic tendencies Trevor, Michael and Franklin possess.
OR DO THEY?
(No, have you seen some of the pictures of Steven Ogg though? He might be a little Trevor-crazy. BUT THAT’S OKAY CAUSE HE IS MAGICAL. I mentioned crazy though too, right…)
I really can’t say enough about these dudes. I mean, I loved Grand Theft Auto V in general but they helped take it to a whole ‘nother level. The relationship between these three characters was written so well but wouldn’t have been the same without three guys who could carry these EMOTIONAL BAGGAGE MONSTERS like this was who they really were. Like this was their everyday life, like this was nothing. They worked their asses off and with every scream of SCOOOOOTER BROTHERS!, every swagger down the Del Perro Pier (Michael’s walk is a thing of unicorns and rainbows YOU ARE A++++, NED LUKE) and every casual but dutiful dismissal and shake of the head at Lamar/Aunt Denise/Papa Mikey & Uncle Trev’s stupid bitchass fights you can see it.
(The thought of them filming the bad endings makes me v. sad though. Let’s pretend those don’t exist.)