Blizzard gives us a glimpse behind the scenes of Diablo 3, chatting with the three voice actors that played pivotal characters Tyrael, Azmodan and Covetous Shen in the game. And for the record, I nailed the voice of Covetous in one of my game diaries without knowing it.
Veteran character actor James Hong voiced the wise and somewhat addled jeweler. In talking with Blizzard, Hong said he felt his character was a god at one time:
"I like to think that he’s a deity of some kind. To me, he's probably an outcast among the deities, who was thrown onto [Sanctuary] because he was naughty. Now, he's just doing his deeds. He's a scrounger. He looks for little pieces of jewelry, and tries to make something out of everything that he finds. He looks like a bag man, and he's very sarcastic, but his knowledge is great. So there's something behind that knowledge -- how he got it, and how he became a maker of jewels is a big mystery."
Jonathan Adams, a veteran TV character actor who has done a lot of voice work, played the briefly fallen angel Tyrael, and he had to play a fine line between the character as an angel and as a human:
"My basis for Tyrael was Tyrael as man AND angel. 'How would a person sound if he knew he was once an angel, but now has human limitations?' That kind of juxtaposition is fun to play with in fantasy and science fiction -- you get characters like Data on Star Trek who's so much fun to watch, because he’s human and robot, and you're watching him struggle with what that means. That's what makes those characters fascinating. What I did is [project] what Tyrael would be if he knew nothing about being an angel, and he was simply human, and he had just woken up."
Finally, David Sobolov, a Canadian voice actor, said he loved playing a villain in Azmodan:
"I like intelligent villains. It's what I gravitate to. They always think they're gonna win. They have so much confidence; there's not a thought in their mind that they won't prevail, and they love torturing their enemies. I'm doing something with my hands now like a puppeteer ... when they get someone in their grasp, there's an evil sense of play, where they’re in control. It’s very sadistic, I know, but it's fun to play something so far away from myself."
Check out the full interviews, especially with Hong. Pretty interesting to see how the actors get into the characters.