There is a lot of excitement right now surrounding the Star Wars universe, particularly the release of their new video game, Star Wars: Battlefront 2. I got a chance to catch up with actor Anthony Skordi and talk to him for a bit about his role in the game. Check out our conversation right here.
Q: Can you tell me a little bit about your character?
I play Admiral Garrick Versio, my daughter is Iden Versio. I create the Inferno Squad, so I am part of the Empire.
Q: So your essentially a villain?
No. That is your take on it. I am playing a law abiding man. The empire comes first and above all else.
Q: Even your daughter?
Above all else the Empire comes first.
Q: Is your character Garrick Versio visually modeled after you?
Yes. My character is created from motion capture and face capture. As one of the characters this technology was used on, your actually seeing my physical movements and performance. The voice and movements were all shot together.
Q: Could you tell me a bit more about that process?
Well you don’t really look at it like voice acting, it is done as a scene, just as if you were choosing a scene for television or film. It is all done together. It is not split matched, as in some games where you have to come on set and match your voices to the movements of the character.
It is a cross between a theatre piece and film as in the sense that we’re not on location, we’re not on an actual set. We are in a massive room with all these banks of infrared cameras that are actually picking up the markers on our costumes and a rig that goes on our head to capture our eyes, mouth and facial movements, which they will match up later with all of their computer wizardry.
So we go in, we will rehearse a scene, we will discuss it, have a table read. At the rehearsals was the games’ Director Mark Thompson, and our awesome motion-capture director who really helped me and guided me through the process, Tom Keegan. Along with a ton of other amazing people.
It is similar to the theatre in the sense that if go wrong you can’t continue. You have to stop and start all over again. They have to get in it one clean take.
Q: What was the script like for a game like Star Wars: Battle Front 2?
It was like a movie script but a lot bigger!
Q: Between voice acting, film and theater, which medium do you prefer?
If someone said to me what’s your favorite meal? You now have to eat that for the rest of your life. I would be happy for a little while and then I would want something else, which would become my new favorite meal for awhile. It’s difficult to say. I have not done theatre in about 5 years and the last thing I did was something I wrote, a play about Aristotle Onassis which preformed in Los Angeles. Then I thought I didn’t want to do theatre again, but about 6 months ago I was thinking aww I want to go back and do some theatre. It just depends. It depends what side of the bed I wake up on. But just to be working is always a blessing and I am always grateful to be a working actor in whatever medium it is.
Q: Have you had a chance to play the game yourself?
I am in the Beta (as of the interview 11/16) and am really looking forward to getting my copy of the game. I keep subtlety mentioning oh by the way where is my copy of the game? But honestly I am completely happy playing FIFA 18 right now.
Q: So what do you Anthony Skordi nerd out about?
Most recently I nerded out watching my colleagues on Battle Front 2, and watching Paul Blackthorne, TJ Ramini, and Janina Gavankar in their scenes! I was blown away. Just kept thinking this is fantastic! This is tremendous! This is great! I actually sent one of the youtube links over to TJ. I was just geeking out thinking Anthony, this is awesome.
Q: What about your own performance videos?
Well if I watch my own performance I don’t geek out about that! I am just trying to pick it apart. Just sitting there like awe why did I do it like that, why did I, oh nooo. Can I do it again? No, it’s too late, we’re moving on! That’s part of the world now.
Q: What it is like joining something as expansive and beloved as the Star Wars universe?
I actually didn’t know what I was auditioning for. I was working long 16 hour days on another project when my manager called me and said you have an audition for this motion capture game called Blah Blah. My first thought was could you get me out of it? I don’t really want to go. I am exhausted. But I went in did the audition and got a callback so I went in again. I still did not know what the project was.
Then I went off to New York to do an episode of Blacklist and my manager calls me to tell me I booked the gig and just finalized the deal. So I am flying home on the 10th of January into LA from NY, and no joke the car that picked me up at the airport and took me straight to the EA buildings. Once I was in the building getting ready I over hear someone say Star Wars. I shuffled over and was like excuse me this is STAR WARS? What!? So I get to the table read and Janina was just gushing over the project and I was just a layman at the time. But now I am a legitimate fan.
It was very surreal. I was jet lagged, Christmas was in between, I’d been flying all around and to finally get back and find out the project was Star Wars: Battlefront 2! I was like can I just sleep now? I didn’t know which time zone I was in. And it is only now that it is actually sinking in. Because you’re going in, you’re doing the work as an actor, you don’t consider that this is Star Wars, your just focusing on telling the story and creating your character. So it is just now beginning to dawn on me that this is actually Star Wars.
My nephews keep contacting me from London asking if I can get them codes to play the game and such. They are all so thrilled! My niece was thrilled when I worked with James Franco, but my nephews were just like yeah, whatever. Now they are like Battlefront 2! Seriously?! And if my nephews are impressed with what I am doing then I must be doing something good!
Star Wars: Battlefront 2 is out now available on all platforms.