Are you a Halo fan?
Actually, I played—funnily enough—I got the video game Halo back in the day. My girlfriend—who's now my wife—she bought it for me to kind of impress me, and then it's like the one video game that I actually played front to back. And I just thought it was a really cool game. And then, you know, six years later I'm jumping in this suit and running around killing all the aliens. So it's kind of surreal.
So if that was six years ago that was probably Halo 2.
Yeah, it was Halo 2.
Have you got to play Halo 4 yet?
Yeah, I got to—well the problem is that I got to go with them to Comic-Con. I got to play just like one of the little quick levels. And they put me against the game testers. And I—I'm horrible at video games. I'm trying to get better, but I go against those guys and I literally wasn't walking two feet before I was getting killed. And I don't even know—I was watching the way those guys were, their characters were running around, and I'm—I didn't even know you could move that way. And then I played again in Toronto this week, and I suck. I'm trying! But like, I'm so much better at the practical thing, and then all of a sudden I'm like, a controller in my hand, and the sync between my brain is not going fast enough. And these guys are taking me out so quickly.
And those guys aren't going to go easy on you. There's always something to prove.
Absolutely. Yeah, and I would totally do the same thing.
What do you think makes the Chief such an iconic character?
Well, I mean, a lot has to do with the fact that everyone who plays the game is him. So I think that everyone kind of creates their own idea and interpretation of who he is to them, and then somehow sort of gets attached to the character who—you're constantly playing him. It's just, he's just a very—it's funny because he's a very simple character, but he's very direct in what he does, and he's so brought up throughout his whole life on the military motto of "Just get this job done as fast as possible and don't do anything extra that oyu don't need to do." I mean, it comes across in the game as just badass. I mean, like everything's just quick. He doesn't say much. He doesn't need to. And so there's that aspect also.
How have you injected yourself into that character?
It's tough, right? Because you don't want to stray too far from it. I just started to really kind of—I wanted to see who he was and where he came from, so I read some of the fiction to really get an idea, and it's funny because, you know, a lot of it is athleticism to bring your own kind of movement, so I did a lot of, like, rifle training to get a real feel for what it's actually like to shoot a gun and shoot it properly. So I did a lot of that, and then just also getting into his head and like who he is and how—like, I talked about how simple and how direct everything is, because of the military training, he's got to be very precise. So everything, every movement has a direct choice and there's no really kind of wasting time or wasting energy. So I tried to get that across as much as I could while wearing the giant suit. So I kind of tried to bring a little bit more of that. And then it's—I mean, it's hard. You really don't want to stray too far from him. So I didn't do anything too crazy. I wasn't going off on a limb on it.
So you even did rifle training—what were the prop guns like? They look so similar to the in-game guns.
Well, it's funny because it's like, you got right back to the days when you were a kid, and you're running around. You're running around playing Army and stuff like that with a fake gun you're holding, like, a piece of plywood and pretending to shoot it. This was the same sort of thing, but way cooler. But none of the guns actually fired, so it was all after the fact. You had to run around and, like, do all the motions like you were firing and everything.
Was that difficult? Did they feel realistic?
They had some good weight to them. They weren't incredibly heavy. But at the same time, the suit, because it's so tight, to actually hold the gun up, you feel like you're holding like a 30-pound weight. Like all of that, and you're firing and it's like, the size and the bulk of the suit, it's hard to get the butt of the gun into the cradle of your shoulder. So you've kind of got to have this weird kind of—it doesn't feel right at all, but it comes across good during filming. And it just, your arm after a certain amount of time will just like give out and you've got to drop the gun right now.