LA Noire is one of the success stories of 2011, launching to rave reviews and strong commercial success. More so than any other game in recent history, LA Noire is as much a testament to quality acting as it impressive game design, with the strong cast of characters all playing their part. One of those parts was Cole Phelps' partner Roy Earle, played by actor Adam Harrington. We spoke to Adam about acting in video games and an LA Noire movie.
Q: How seriously do you think actors have taken video game performance in the past?
Adam Harrington: I think it's been on everyone's radars for a while, but not to the level it's taken in LA Noire. There's a big difference between voice acting a role and having your entire acting performance delivered through the game. That's what MotionScan does – and even though MotionScan only captures the head, the actors already ran through each scene for the motion capture, so what you see is us.
Q: Do you think that games like LA Noire could change the way the medium is perceived by actors?
AH: I think a lot of actors are already very comfortable with working in the medium through doing voice work, and this only increases the opportunities for us.
Q: Some gaming purists worry about the fact that video games and films (and indeed TV shows) seem to moving closer together in form. As an actor, how do you feel about this convergence?
AH: It's great for us. There are so many different kinds of games out there, and LA Noire is something different - it's a new kind of game to play. The line between both mediums is definitely blurring, but that's not a bad thing. People can choose the experiences they like best, but it's an exciting thing as an actor. Plenty of video games have been made into movies. This is something really new.
Q: When you see yourself as the digital Roy Earle in LA Noire, do you feel that 100 per cent of the performance is still you, as it would be with a character on TV/Film? Or do you feel that Team Bondi is contributing to the portrayal?
AH: It is 100% me. I think the amazing thing about this technology is that it's so groundbreaking, people still have a hard time believing that it's not animation, it's a video conversion of a performance. So yes, when people are looking at the game, what they are seeing is 100% me.
Q: Do you think that LA Noire would work as film adaptation, as some have suggested? And if so, would be up for reprising your role as Roy?
AH: I certainly think LA Noire would work as a film adaptation, and of course, I would love to bring Earle to that environment too. I think it would make a great film, and I think Roy Earle is such a well-conceived character, he already seems like he was something that was taken from a film anyway. So I would love to see him brought to life in a film and I would love to play his role.