After Tara Sands and Jake Paque were ushered out of the press room the morning of the last day of Connecticon XVII, the next scheduled group shuffled in. The next scheduled group consisted of Brian Hanford (V, Devil May Cry 5), Reuben Langdon (Dante, Devil May Cry 3-5), Dan Southworth (Vergil, Devil May Cry 5), and Johnny Yong Bosch (Nero, Devil May Cry 4 and 5).
We had less time with this group, so we got started without very much of a preamble or introduction. The very first question that came up was how these voice actors (and motion capture actors) infuse character within their roles.
Dan Southworth said that, basically, that there’s a person in a booth telling you what you’ve got to do. Langdon pointed out that you also get a script. Bosch said that for auditions, you may also get a brief description of the character and a picture to work off of.
Going off of this, Hanford said that he actually wasn’t told what Devil May Cry 5 for the first and second auditions. It wasn’t until he actually signed the contract for the game that he got the name. Until the table read for the game happened, he didn’t know the story, either.
Southworth said that situations like Hanford had just described could make it very difficult to prepare for auditions or roles. However, the cast of Devil May Cry does have a slight advantage, as the games do have to get translated from Japanese, so the cast has more time to prepare for their roles.
Unfortunately, these issues appear to be common in the industry. Tara Sands had discussed it in some ways during her conference earlier, saying how videogame roles often aren’t named and it’s exciting for her to find out what she was working on. Southworth said he never realized how much of a problem this situation was until he was working on Killzone with seasoned actors, such as Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange). On set, these actors received fifteen pages of script on the spot and would flounder because they just didn’t have the prep time needed to absorb and digest what they had to do. It was an “eye-opening experience” for Southworth.
Reuben was quick to point out that Capcom does give the Devil May Cry games prep time to get high-quality material for them. However, at the same time, that’s not a norm across the board at Capcom, so not every series can benefit in the same way Devil May Cry luckily can.
One thing the partial cast discussed was how they got full scripts that were almost directly translated from the Japanese scripts. It appears that, first of all, it’s unusual to get full scripts in that way. Hanford also said that it was weird to receive a full script that needed changes, sometimes as small as little grammatical fixes. However, the producers gave them these early scripts because they wanted their casts’ stamp of approval on whatever went into the final product. Southworth said that Devil May Cry has “forward-thinking and creative producers.”
The panel also got a question about whether they preferred direction versus freedom with their roles. Hanford said his problem with no direction is that sometimes you will end up second-guessing yourself with no direction and constantly questioning whether what you’re doing will fit with everything else around you.
Southworth added that actors can “vomit all this creativity.” However, as an actor, “likes to do whatever [directors] ask” of him. The idea behind this is that the directors do hire specific people for specific roles for a reason. It’s important to use that reason.
The rest of the cast didn’t have a chance to add their own takes on the question because the room was needed for another scheduled panel and we all had to clear out. Even though it was a short conference, it still proved to be an interesting and enjoyable panel.
Connecticon XVII ran from July 12 through July 14 in Hartford, Connecticut. For more coverage of the con keep on checking N3rdabl3 over the course of the next week!