Exclusive Interview: Campfire chat with the stars of Red Dead Redemption 2

The stars of Red Dead Redemption 2 gather around with Shacknews to discuss their performances in the massively popular western adventure.


Red Dead Redemption 2 was one of the biggest games of 2018, and an adventure many of us won't soon forget. Rockstar's extremely polished game took open world titles to the next level, introducing a cast of characters and an unforgettable narrative that we're still talking about here in 2019. But for the amazing design work, writing, and graphical polish the game brings to the table, by far some of its biggest stars are the people who brought its memorable characters to life.

Shacknews sat down with Red Dead Redemption 2's Roger Clark (Arthur Morgan), Rob Wiethoff (John Marston), Alex McKenna (Sadie Adler), Benjamin Byron Davis (Dutch Van der Linde), and Peter Blomquist (Micah Bell) for a chat about the blood, sweat, and tears that went into bringing Red Dead Redemption 2 to life. Here, the performers share their favorite lines, insight into some of the most popular moments in-game, and even advice on entering the industry.

Read along, cowpoke, and see what these fantastic talents had to say about the game and their experience with Rockstar's biggest title yet.

SPOILER WARNING: The below interview contains potential spoilers for Red Dead Redemption 2. If you haven't played the game yet, be aware that you may want to come back and read this awesome chat when you have.

Shacknews: When it comes to performance capture and voice acting capture, how intense did the method acting get? Were you folks actually chewing tobacco while you were recording?

Roger Clark (Arthur Morgan): Thanks for your interest, we're very excited to do the interview. To answer your question, the work that we did on Red Dead was predominantly performance capture. Just for the sake of clarity moving forward, we're really trying to discourage the misconception that what we did was voice acting, because that’s not completely accurate. The work that we did on Red Dead was similar to much the same way you’d do theater or film. We learned our scripts, put on our suits, and acted the scenes out much the same way as you would do theater in the round.

Although there was a portion of the work that was voice acting in a booth, the majority of it was not that. That conception would have been accurate in the game industry ten years ago, it’s starting to phase out. More and more studios are really beginning to incorporate performance capture as the main medium of how the animation is done.

But to answer your question, at the beginning I would try and go a little bit more method, but we worked so long at it that – speaking for myself, anyway – I definitely became a lot more comfortable, both with the character and with the medium in which we were working in. I probably needed less preparation as the years went by than I did at the beginning.

Shacknews: You mentioned the duration of the sessions for capture. Do you have any home remedies or pre-session rituals that you do to get into your character and maintain your voice? There’s so much dialogue in this game, one of your largest tools is your voice. What are some of your tips to maintaining your voice and your ability to perform over time?

Benjamin Byron Davis (Dutch Van der Linde): When we would do booth sessions, it would be a challenge. I’m not sure how much I can comment on the specifics, but for stuff where you’re shouting on a horse and things of that nature, through a four-hour session, I would always do a vocal warm-up for days like that. I tend to do that whether I’m working on stage or on camera or with Rockstar, but again as Roger was pointing to, the bulk of the work that we did was much more like a regular rehearsal process you would find for theater or film.

While there certainly was a great deal of dialogue, the challenge was more, at least speaking for myself, the memorization of all these extraordinarily beautifully written diatribes that Dutch would have than it was worrying about maintaining my voice and vocal quality because you have a lot of down time in between takes. Most of those scenes were all done in one take, so it wasn’t as though you were going over and over again shouting – hopefully, anyway.

There was more more nuance to the scenes and therefore I don’t think at any point during the process did I find that my voice was threatened with any kind of strain that was too much for me to bear.

Peter Blomquist (Micah Bell): I would say, as far as any sort of physical challenges were concerned for me, it was more often than not my legs and my thighs more than my voice. We would often do lots of running around, crouching (especially during the gunfight sequences) so that was definitely a workout. As far as a warmup is concerned, a bit of stretching was useful.

Rob Wiethoff (John Marston): I’d like to add that we’d had the luxury of working with a company that is very aware that these kinds of things can be an issue, as far as strain on your voice or any part of your body, and because they were professional and cautious, if we ever needed to be, they gave us plenty of time to be ready. There was never any kind of pressure to do anything right now. I think that we were all pretty comfortable with whatever we needed to do and we were given the time that we needed to take to go ahead and give it everything we had when we were ready to do it, which was very helpful.

Roger: I remember the crouch-running – that was killer on the sides. It was a good workout, though.

Peter: If I did that every day, I’d be in fantastic shape. Since the release of the game, though, I’ve really let myself go.

Shacknews: Sadie doesn't end up in a new romance by the end of the game, which I really appreciated. Did you have any say on her character direction so you could potentially avoid these types of cliches for female characters?

Alex McKenna (Sadie Adler): Personally, no. I was very fortunate that the writing was so good and that Rockstar created a character that was not your stereotype. The way she begins to the way she ends is quite a character arc, and I thought it was truly far more compelling that she had these intimate friend relationships, particularly with Arthur, and it didn't end in her being sexualized or just a love interest. I thought that was pretty fantastic. So I was very excited to play her, but that was really all Rockstar.

Did you have any difficulty practicing or nailing an authentic or believable Southern accent?

Rob: Clearly, I don’t have a Southern accent, so... (laughs).

Roger: To answer your question, for me, I haven’t heard any complaints, but was something that I was really conscious of. I was aiming more for consistency than accuracy, considering the fact that the game is set in a pseudo-historically accurate setting, one that isn’t maybe geographically accurate to the United States, but historically and culturally was, I thought that gave me a little bit of dramatic license, which made me relax a little bit.

Also taking into consideration the fact that my character would have been traveling all over the country from a young age, I think it’s plausible that certain aspects of different dialects might blend into the way he talks, because my natural accent’s like that. I’m kinda half American, half Irish, half British. I know that’s three halves, sorry, but you know what I mean.

It was something that I took very seriously and I worked hard on. I was going for in the end somewhat of a Southern/Texan vibe and hopefully I pulled it off.

Benjamin: I was not concerned with a Southern dialect so much as I was returning to Dutch after so many years, not playing him, to make sure the sounds matched what we had done on the original title. I can still sort of hear in some of the earlier stuff that we did that I didn’t quite find it, but eventually I did. I don’t think that Dutch was ever supposed to be Southern. I was aiming for more of a high plains kind of sound, but then I did find out in the second game that he’s actually a yankee, which was a surprise to me. Because Rob sounds exactly like John Marston, I was always just a little bit jealous that he could roll out of bed sounding exactly like he did ten years ago.

Rob: That’s definitely not fair, and I want to apologize, but I guess I don’t feel like I have to. (laughs)

Shacknews: What was the process for being cast, and did you know what you were about to be a part of going into this or had you heard of Rockstar and the Red Dead series before hand?

Alex: I didn’t know what I was auditioning for, actually. Typically your agent gives you an appointment and you get a script for the character before you go in. I was told this was an audition where I would sign something and I would get my script there. I thought “Okay, cool. Takes the pressure off, no problem.” When I arrived, I did the scene. I didn’t hear anything for a few days, got called back the following week, and was told by my agent to report to an address.

When I walked into the office and I saw the Rockstar logo, the gamer in me went bright red and I couldn’t have been more excited, because of course I had played Rockstar games in college, loved GTA, and had no idea what the project that we were working on was, actually, for an embarrassingly long time, but couldn’t have been more thrilled to be cast in the game in any capacity. So that was my experience with really not knowing anything, except that I was gleefully excited to be working for a company that I loved.

Roger: I remember the first GTA and how much it blew me away and kind of changed the whole sandbox landscape for the video game industry and I’ve always been a fan. I had played Red Dead before I got scenes for this, and just to echo Alex, the name of the project wasn’t made immediately clear. From the signs which I got, which I didn’t get until I showed up at the audition (we did a cold read), it became clear to me that it was probably a western. They asked me to wear cowboy boots, so I started to put two and two together and started to think that it might be something Red Dead-involved.

Rockstar’s casting process is amazing. I don’t know how they do it, to be honest. We worked with around a thousand different actors on this project, and I think it’s safe to say they’re one of the largest employers of actors in the tri-state area, just for the sheer commitment to quality and the volume and magnitude of work that they’re doing. Almost every single time our colleagues, even from main, supporting characters, even down to the little day players, they were all really solid and really awesome – especially when you take into consideration that, for most of them, it was the first time they had ever put on a mocap suit. I think everyone always tried to create an atmosphere which put everyone at ease and made them comfortable, because it was easy to realize that the more comfortable the artist was, the better work you’d get out of them in the end.

Shacknews: Were there any classic Western films or actors that any of you turned to for influence and guidance?

Roger: I will say I love Clint Eastwood, but I actually didn’t take too many pages out of his book for this one because The Man With No Name is kind of too stoic for what I think Arthur needed. So I probably stole a bit more out of John Wayne’s stuff, especially his dry wit, but my main influence wasn’t a western guy at all. I liked Toshiro Mifune from the Kurosawa movies, who in and of himself was based on A Fistful of Dollars, but Toshiro Mifune was probably my largest influence. That, and also the work of Rob Wiethoff in the previous game. Rob’s work as John really defined and blew me away, so it taught me that whatever I was going to do, I would have to do my own thing, because to try and recreate that would probably have been doomed to failure, I think.

Rob: Thank you very much, Roger, for your kind words. For me, I don’t know that I really looked to any other characters that I’d seen in previous movies, but I think more to actual people that I know. Where I grew up, it’s kind of a farm town, and it’s got some – I wouldn’t say cowboys the way you see them in the game – but we’ve got some people that are some pretty tough dudes, and I think it was pretty easy for me to draw from some of the stuff that I grew up around and have that attitude of “Go ahead and try to take something from me, see what happens.”

Shacknews: While many of the characters in RDR2 were in the middle of their personal story arcs when the game starts, Sadie is a character that we see go from being a victim of a horrendous situation to an outlaw with true grit. What was that process like for you as an actor? How much did you know about Sadie’s arc going into it?

Alex: I can tell you, going into it, almost nothing. It took a little bit, because we don’t shoot in a linear fashion. It was sort of like piecing together a puzzle. But it was clear to sort of glean the differences in her character, given the timeline, that we were able to piece together just how great her arc really was. In the beginning of the game I feel that she’s this woman who’s just lost everything, but not necessarily a damsel in distress. Then she, over time, carves out a place within this gang. It’s very progressive. I could always feel that, that she was progressive. From the way the other actors treated her, it gave me a lot of insight into potentially where it was going, but I definitely didn’t know exactly.

Shacknews: Following up on that, some fans have been calling for Sadie DLC. What do you think it is about Sadie’s character that makes players crave more of her story?

Alex: Oh man, well that would be a dream, let me just say. (laughs) As I said before, she’s very progressive, and I think within this medium – not that it’s never happened before – but it’s rare to see a strong female character that, not gender-specific, is just a really awesome, strong character. I feel like she’s a go get ‘em person, and she’s got a lot of wit and humor, and while she is ruthless in her pursuits, she is incredibly loyal. I think to that more complex psychology is what people are responding to. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from people just being really excited that they could play a character that has all these levels that demands respect and is not necessarily gender-specific.

Shacknews: There’s so many conversations in this game that if you took them out of context would sound kind of crazy. What did Rockstar do to help you folks understand the context of your lines, or was it a situation where you were all together talking about this, referring to the non-core dialogue like the random things that occurred? How did Rockstar provide context for those moments?

Benjamin: In terms of the campfire moments, the fun thing about all of those is that those were usually days when all of us were together. Because I was a returning character and I was confident I knew that I would survive this storyline, I had less variables than other performers just because I knew where I was headed. Although there were still plenty of mysteries to me. On those days, the campfire conversation kind of things, usually it’s a character talking about their history in some way.

The way they function in the game itself are these moments of Hosea romanticizing the past or talking about how he met Dutch. In my memory, and I don’t know if the others will agree, but the campfire conversations were moments when we actually learned a great deal more about the context of everything, when we knew before they happened. When we were all in the green room when someone had a pretty juicy bit of back story to talk about it, we would all with great interest learn from each other’s scripts in more detail than we might have known otherwise.

Shacknews: Alex touched on this briefly, but are any of you gamers or enjoy video games in any way? Have any of you played any other Rockstar games? I know Peter had voiced Dr. Fontaine in L.A. Noire.

Peter: I’ve played most of Rockstar’s games in the past. I certainly wouldn’t consider myself a gamer compared to some of the hardcore gamers out there, but I have definitely spent hours in front of the screen playing these games and enjoying them thoroughly, so yeah, in that capacity I guess I’m somewhat of a gamer.

Roger: I used to do it all the time. Then, when I graduated college, I kind of slowed down a bit. But then once I started to act in video games and do performance capture and more, I started taking it up again with a different interest, more of a professional one, looking at the way performance capture is incorporated into the game, how it’s done for cutscenes, and in-game stuff. I definitely enjoy it, but I’ve got kids, so I probably don’t do it as often as these 9 or 10-year-olds.

Benjamin: I don’t have kids. I’m totally a gamer. I play probably three or four titles a year, and I tend to gravitate toward games that tell stories. Rockstar is the trailblazer there. It’s funny, because I remember really well when GTA3 came out and watching the cutscenes and thinking “That’s a very interesting job to get.” All these years later, still remembering that and thinking it’s an interesting job. In fact, my ability to understand what was going on on a given day, talking to the animators about a scene we were shooting and knowing the difference between a cutscene and being in-game gave me an advantage since I spent so much time playing games.

Roger: So you can tell your readers, especially the younger ones, that when their parents complain to them for playing video games that it might actually benefit their career, like it did ours.

Benjamin: Yeah, just tell your parents “It’s just research for my future!”

Shacknews: Was the "you're alright, boy" and other horse interactions planned or suggested to you? Did you just ad lib those lines?

Roger: Those were, as we stated earlier, those were in-game and I actually remember having to do them twice. The first round that we did them, obviously, there were lots of variations on way to deliver that line. Obviously, whether or not it was a male or female horse, etc. But then the level of bonding that you had with the horse also affected the delivery of the line, or at least that was my direction to make it a bit more affectionate and empathic. We had to do it again, because the first time we did it we got the note back saying it was a little too erotic.

“Yeah, that’s a good girl.” You know, nobody’s perfect. We don’t always get it right the first time. To answer your question, it was like 99% scripted and that was in the booth. I did not anticipate it to become one of the more popular lines, but I’m glad that it is, because I knew that the horse was going to be a massive companion for the player and your means of how you get to travel the world, so I thought Arthur would have a really close connection with this animal so I tried to portray that in the text.

Shacknews: Have you actually ever talked to a horse? What experiences do you have with real-life horses?

Roger: Yeah, sure, I grew up in Ireland, and though I wouldn’t say I’m an excellent rider, I know what I’m doing. I used to go and ride horses a lot in my teenage years, and I have done westerns on film before too, so I’ve worked with some excellent stunt horses and whatnot. So I’ve grown up with them. I wouldn’t say I’m intimately familiar with them – er, that came out wrong – I wouldn’t say I’m an excellent horseman, but I know horses. I’ve known them my whole life.

Shacknews: A lot of actors say it’s much more fun to play the villain. In a sense, you were playing the villain of the villains. Was that a liberating experience for you as a performer?

Peter: Absolutely. I’ve played a handful of not-so-nice guys in the past, and this one pretty much tops it in my book. It’s extremely enjoyable and extremely liberating for me to delve into this particular character. I had a blast doing it – so much so, that would I need to be reined in fairly frequently, because I have a tendency to push things too far in that realm, but being surrounded by such a great team and great direction, I felt such confidence and freedom to explore that character and know that I would have people around me to guide me in the right direction. I gotta say it was thoroughly enjoyable to be an asshole.

Shacknews: Did you anticipate Micah getting this much hate, or has the passion from fans exceeded your expectations?

Peter: I did not anticipate it. I knew that obviously Micah was a pretty terrible human being. I did not anticipate the amount of response that I would get on social media, for example. But that said, I take pretty much all of it as complimentary. I feel like I did my job then, and it’s so gratifying to know that there are so many people out there that are so passionate about the game that this bad guy had such an effect on them. That’s really only possible because of the quality of work and the talent of everyone else around, because of Roger’s performance and Ben’s performance, and Alex’s, and everyone’s performance. A bad guy doesn’t just exist in a vacuum. It’s been a fantastic experience. Honestly, all of the so-called hate/love that I’ve been getting on social media, I’ll take it. I deserve it.

Shacknews: On the other side of things, Roger, you’ve reached legendary status with Red Dead Redemption 2 fans who seem one step away from declaring you their king. How does it feel to have people think that highly of your performance?

Roger: It’s been such an honor and a privilege, really, it’s really humbling. Again, I didn’t anticipate it fully, either. The fact that so many people take the time out of their day to contact me and tell me how much the game has meant to them and amazing stories about veterans who say that it’s helped them with their PTSD and vulnerable kids going through a hard time at home or at school for whatever reasons and the game helped them and the way that they look up to Arthur is kind of daunting. It’s just truly, truly humbling, and it’s not something that I had properly anticipated. I know I’m repeating myself now, but it’s a dream come true, to be honest. There’s nothing more than what an artist wants than to have their work appreciated, and again I didn’t do it by myself either, but the fact that my work has been appreciated on this level is something I had never dreamed of.

Shacknews: Ben, do you believe that Dutch had good intentions and things got away from him, or was he looking out for himself instead of the gang? Where did he go wrong, do you think?

Benjamin: I’ll tell you, it’s rare that you get a character as complicated as Dutch, and one of the things I like about him is that I’ll get questions on social media about what Dutch was thinking. I like that it’s kind of up to each player to decide. I can tell you in playing the character, the choices I was making as an actor were that Dutch was motivated by a noble drive, that he did believe very much in a greater good and he believed in it quite sincerely.

I think the story does a pretty good job of letting us know how important a figure Hosea was in Dutch’s life, but I also think that one of the things we learn about Dutch is that throughout all of his bluster, he’s very dependent upon the people around him to keep him on the right track. I think that while his goals may have always been noble, losing Hosea at a time when they were in such dire straits Dutch no longer knew who to trust or who to believe. Micah, I think, saw an opportunity. I like to believe that Dutch, all the way until the end, was a man who did his best to be a great one and unfortunately he didn’t even come close.

Shacknews: What was it like revisiting the role of John Marston, and was it odd going back and having to play a younger version of him? Did you have to “unlearn” the character?

I don’t know, I mean it was so nice to hear from Rockstar and have them ask me if I would be interested in working for them again, because of course I would, and I was so happy when they gave me the call. To just touch quickly on playing a younger John Marston, it was fun, but John is getting younger, and I’m getting older. Some of the physical stuff wasn’t quite as easy as I would have wanted it to be. But the fun thing about it was John at that point in his life, he had already experienced a whole lot of heartache and a lot of things that would be tough for anyone to deal with – growing up in an orphanage, running away, falling in with a gang.

I can’t say that he didn’t have any life experience, but he was still young enough and I guess didn’t have enough life experience to really fully understand what it took to gain the respect from the other gang members that he saw people like Arthur receiving and he wanted that. He really wanted the respect that he was getting and he didn’t know how to get it and it was frustrating to him. Abigail was chasing him around all over the place, telling him to be responsible for this kid that he didn’t believe was his and he didn’t want anything to do with. It was very frustrating. I think that so many people, myself included, can find that within their own lives. Maybe not the exact same scenario, but I think we’ve all been frustrated for periods of time, and all wanted something very badly and not real sure how to get it, which adds to the frustration.

I’ve been the young guy hanging out with a bunch of older guys that I looked up to and thought were cool and I wanted them to think I was cool too. I didn’t know how to get there, so I just tried to pull from that. I think again working with Rockstar, they will tell you “You’re doing this as Rob. You’re not John right now.” They make you very comfortable and you do it until you get it right, and the more you do it, the easier it is to fall back in. It was such an honor and a privilege to be asked to work again for Rockstar, and I feel very fortunate. It was a very enjoyable experience.

Shacknews: This was your first video game role, Alex. How difficult was it to make the swap from screen actress to face and body capture as well as voice acting? Did you have trouble adapting?

Alex: I was very fortunate that most of my team was really wonderful in guiding me with how it’s different. It truly is its own medium, but it definitely is a hybrid. I think as Ben and Roger were saying earlier, it’s like theater in the round. I’ve been quoted as saying this before, but you put on your “superhero/scuba diver jumpsuit” and it’s got all the balls on it, and you have your headset, which has basically a close-up camera, which is more like film right in your face, and we are doing motion capture but using our entire bodies, which is very much like theater and interacting with one another. I think the only real thing that was an adjustment is that the world itself, we’re on a set, but it’s not a set like it is in the movies where it looks like the time period.

We are on a different kind of sound stage, and training your brain to really see the world was the biggest new thing I had to learn, using a lot of imagination in what the animators were so wonderful to give us a window of what it looked like. Anything we needed to interact with was there, but it was tubes and boxes, rather than a water tower we were climbing. So our horses, we were jumping off of something that sort of resembles a horse, and we were creating these relationships. Luckily, my scenes were all with these absolutely phenomenal actors, so as soon as we started playing in the world, it became very easy to jump in, and over time, because we worked on this for a number of years, became second nature.

Shacknews: Is there a line or scene in the game that each of you could name was your favorite, and why did it stand out so much?

Rob: I think the line that stands out to me the most is saying “thank you” and “goodbye” to Arthur, and I don’t know which line that would be, depending on how the player plays the game, I guess, but that was one where I had to ask our director several times, “How emotional is John in this scene?” I think the first couple times I asked him, he didn’t quite get it so I said “Do I need to cry?” John Marston doesn’t cry. But for me, it was a combination of the story. I was so moved by that moment knowing the story, and also working for 4.5 years with Roger and the rest of the cast and knowing what that actual moment was. It was hard for me as a person to not tear up during that, just the magnitude of that moment. I did my best to hold it together. That to me was really something I’ll never forget.

Ben: In terms of a line I don’t know that I have one. I would say that the whole shoot I knew that we would learn that the cheese had slid off of Dutch’s cracker. There was a scene that I was waiting a long, long time to do, which was the final scene in the skiff with Bronte, the mob boss at Saint Denis, and it took a long time I think to find Jim Pirri, who is the actor who so wonderfully played Bronte, but that final scene in the skiff, I had the scene for nearly a year before we finally got to do it, and so I felt a great deal of anticipation building up to finally having this confrontation. To see it all come together with the direction and extraordinary music, I look at that moment and to me it feels like about as iconic and thrilling and every bit of drama as I got to do. Material like this and with a cast like this that I got to be a part of, it’s like a Sophie’s Choice situation trying to figure out your favorite. They’re all our babies.

Roger: I like one of my lines I say to John relatively early in the game, but it kind of sums up one of the major themes of the whole game, which is the dying of the Wild West. I think one of the really cool things about the game is that within the gang itself some people know that death is coming soon and others don’t, and that’s a huge source of conflict. I think Arthur says to John something along the lines of “Listen, I’m here to tell you. This life, this way, we’re the last, I reckon. We ain’t long for it.” Arthur kind of knows that the end is nigh, but there are other people who don’t. That for me is a real key scene.

Peter: I don’t know if there’s a line in particular. I know I spent a lot of scenes working with Roger and so in that way it was always such a joy and pleasure to be working with someone who was so talented and someone that I knew I could always put my trust in as an actor. To pick a scene is tough in that way as well, of course. Some of the last moments that I have with Arthur Morgan were particularly intense, so those were enjoyable to me in that way, to watch how Roger handled that intensity was absolutely thrilling and that’s what I have to say about that.

Alex: I think there are so many to choose form. There are a lot of things I resonate with in Chapter 6. I think I’m partial to the scene between Arthur and Sadie where he says “You and me, we’re more ghosts than people.” I’m not sure why, but that’s just haunted me. There are too many to choose from, but if I had to pick one that’s the first that came to mind because it’s a line that I get to hear often.

Shacknews: How did all of you get into voice acting and performance capture? We have a lot of young people who will be reading this interview. What would your advice be to someone who’s young and up-and-coming or wants a new job, or someone who wants to get into the industry?

Peter: I’ve gotten a lot of comments like that. I know other people in the cast have as well. A lot of direct messages from young people who are expressing interest in getting into this kind of work and wondering how that happens, and it’s a hard one to answer other than to say “I’m not sure how easy it is to jump in and say ‘I’m going to do voiceover in video games.” I know all of us have a lot of years of experience doing a lot of other things that have nothing to do with video games and motion capture. Suddenly, here’s this new industry that stuff evolved in this way, opening up all kinds of opportunities. I would say keep acting, keep moving forward, keep studying those video games, and get out there.

Rob: A whole lot of luck went into me finding my way into video games, and I don’t know how I did it. I don’t think it was anything that I did. I think I wound up here by the grace of God. I do want to encourage people, that if you are interested in doing anything creative, please do it. Even if you do it only for yourself. You should know you’re gonna get made fun of by people. It doesn’t matter if you’re successful at what you do or not. Don’t worry about that. You’re living your life hopefully for your benefit and no one else’s, and please allow me to help you have the confidence to chase your interests because it can be very fulfilling. I just want that for people to know that, even if you’re going to be the only person who enjoys whatever you create, sometimes that’s enough. Please do follow it. Chase it. Enjoy it.

Benjamin: I love what Rob just said. The one thing I would say to anybody who wants to enter the field of the arts is exactly like Rob just said, just do it. But I think that there’s also this idea of parsing what acting is is something that I always have a problem with. Whether we call someone a television actor or a film actor, stage actor, voice actor, performance capture actor. At the end of the day, you’re a storyteller. The thing I would encourage anybody to do is to recognize that the skills you learn training as an actor are going to apply to any job you might be lucky enough to audition for. I would encourage anybody who has an interest in telling stories and participating in telling stories to just start doing so together. Get a friend together and make a short film on the weekend on your phone or find a community theater and audition and get on stage. But I would just encourage anyone who has the bug to just get to work. Don’t wait for the perfect thing. Just find some place where you can start honing your skill set and just travel with great hope. It worked out pretty good for all of us, I think, and there’s no reason anybody should think that it’s not for them. I would encourage people to get to work.

Alex: I think perseverance is probably the thing that many of us have had to hang our hats on in many moments, because being an actor is difficult in the work that it requires but also in the time in between jobs. I don’t know one actor who hasn’t had six months to a year when work has been scarce, so doing what you need to do to support your creativity and to not give up is what I would suggest.

Roger: There’s really nothing to add, everything everyone’s said has been so amazingly true. Speaking personally, I think theater has been the best teacher for me. There’s no filter between your performance and the audience. If something works, you know it immediately because they’re right there in front of you, and if it doesn’t work, you also know immediately because they usually start coughing and walking out. Personally, that’s where I broke my teeth on the whole thing, and it could have been worse I think. I’ll echo everyone else on that, and won’t try to echo it better than them because they said it perfectly.

Special thanks to the stars of Red Dead Redemption 2 and Rockstar Games for taking the time out to speak to Shacknews and for a very fun, informative, and insightful interview. Be sure to catch our review and our nomination for Red Dead Redemption 2 as the Best Open World Game of 2018

Shack Staff stories are a collective effort with multiple staff members contributing. Many of our lists often involve entires from several editors, and our weekly Shack Chat is something we all contribute to as a group. 

From The Chatty
Hello, Meet Lola