Hey guys! I might be in the hospital ATM but that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking of ya! In fact I have a great treat for you! Who's ready for another interview?! With help from K Harrison Sweeney I snagged an interview with the man who brought fear to New Austin! Bill Williamson himself Steve J. Palmer! So again grab a drink (have one for me too since there's no alcohol in the hospital) and get to know the man who played one of the meanest men in the west!
Brittany) Are you yourself a gamer? If so what's your favorite video game?
Steve) *Whew*...Sadly, yup. I've had to cut back entering our 2012 New Year due to upcoming acting/writing projects, but last month over the Christmas Holiday, I punched the buttons off my PS3 controller with Saints Row: The Third. Fun game, GREAT soundtrack. I made my character look like an uber-busty version of Marvel's She-Hulk with a Russian accent. Yule tide fun. *Ha*
My favorite game? Tough one. I obviously had a blast with Red Dead, but I would find it too easy to include it...so...I'd say it's a tie between Diablo II and Populous, two PC games of the later 90's that got me through the stress of my college years.
Brittany) Have you youself played the game? What do you think about how it ended?
Steve) Oh, yeah, I've played it, Brittany! How could I not?! I adored the game, still do. LOVED the soundtrack by Woody Jackson and Bill Elm. I found the game flawless, grand, epic... and it ended beautifully. What still kind of shocks me, is that I've been surprisingly credited by many as the game's main villain, but you've got to give Edgar Ross his due. That guy was a slime ball, and the TRUE baddy. Hats off to Jim Bentley for a great character. It felt so refreshing for his limp body to slink lifelessly into that Mexican river. Some of the best writing in a video game to date, if not ever. So much detail put into it, and Rockstar/Take 2 Entertainment continue to do outstanding, phenomenal work. It was an absolute honor working with such gifted professionals.
Brittany) How did you get the part?
Steve) Just prior to Christmas 2008, my agent called me to do an audition in Santa Monica for an unspecified mo-cap video game. I got there on a rainy night at the casting office, and found out it was for a 'Western-themed' game. I was allowed to audition using props and costume pieces, which I hadn't done since COLLEGE THEATRE, to be honest. Though it was crowded, and a tad confusing when I first got there, it was one of the BEST audition experiences I ever had; certainly the most fun.
Brittany) What was it like working with Rockstar?
Steve) They are magnificent. They create a healthy and fun atmosphere which allows you to do your best as an actor. Our sound stage was set up similar to a black box theater, with mo-cap cameras all around. We truly got to ACT our scenes, rehearse them, have them blocked out, etc. Very organic, and not just go in a booth to record, "mail it in", and drive home. Mo-Cap is becoming INCREDIBLY sophisticated, and if you've seen how amazing the look of L.A. NOIRE was this past summer (which I also played), you'll know that Rockstar Games is at the head of the pack.
Brittany) Do you play multiplayer and if you do what character do you play as?
Steve) I've NEVER played multiplayer on RED DEAD, and it'll be awhile before I've time to play any more games. But as soon as I've a free moment, I'm going all out with Pig Josh. That, or I hold out for a possible Herbert Moon playable feature for the "Racists & Bigots" Pack. *laughs*... but I think Rockstar's not going to scrape the barrel's bottom on THAT one!
Brittany) What do you like most about Bill?
Steve) His hat. I WANT that hat. I looked all over North and West Hollywood in costume shops, and couldn't find it. An awesome, swanky hat indeed. THAT... and the fact that he always finds himself on a higher precipice when encountering Marston, and is able to slink away JUST at the right opportunity; the ever fleeting antithesis to the stoic hero.
Brittany) What’s your favorite Bill mission?
Steve) "An Appointed Time". It's very awkward, Cyber-suicide. But I got over it. *ha*
Brittany) Would you like to see more content for Red Dead ?
Steve) I'm pretty sure as far as RDR goes, they won't be adding any more DLC; the Game of the Year Edition I believe was the definitive statement on that. As far as a third game to follow RED DEAD REVOLVER and RED DEAD REDEMPTION, I'd be intrigued with a prequel that delves more into how Javier, John, Dutch, Bill and Abigail 'met' each other. I've no clue what Rockstar's plans are, but if they ever called, I'd be honored for the privilege to work with the company again as Bill Williamson.
Brittany) What’s your favorite western and why?
Steve) Wow, loaded question. Yikes... I take my Western's seriously. Let me break it down, because picking one can't really serve anyone justice:
FAVORITE WESTERN T.V. SERIES: "Bonanza" (Why? Great lessons learned; second only to STAR TREK as the great 'morality play' of 60's T.V.)
FAVORITE JOHN WAYNE WESTERN: "The Cowboys" (Watch This if you want to know why this film rocks; Roscoe Lee Brown's stellar performance makes this John Wayne's darkest movie, in tone and subject matter. Our hero is shot in the BACK, which was UNTHINKABLE for a John Wayne movie prior.)
FAVORITE CLINT EASTWOOD WESTERN: tie= "Two Mules for Sister Sarah", "Unforgiven" (Why? Shirley MacLaine and Gene Hackman. 'Nuff said.)
FAVORITE WESTERN COMEDY: "Blazing Saddles" (Why? What PLANET are you visiting from to disagree???)
FAVORITE WESTERN MUSICAL: "Paint Your Wagon" (Clint can sing AND light dynamite with a cigar??? Duh, winner!)
FAVORITE WESTERN FILM CHARACTER: Charles Bronson's "Harmonica", from "Once Upon A Time in the West" (Watch this movie. The soundtrack is a masterpiece, and is the ONLY movie in which Henry Fonda played a villain. And GOD, was he brutal!!!!)
Brittany) Are you friends with the other voice actors?
Steve) Actually, a few, yes. I've performed improv on occasion with Adam Beesley (Errol Hewitt; the wily rancher in Pike's Basin who John helps retrieve his cattle from the Bollard Twins Gang), and good 'ol Joe Ochman (Blackwater's overdosing Prof. MacDougal) and I are members of the same Theatre Company, NEO ENSEMBLE THEATRE here in L.A. It really can be a small world out here, believe it or not. And yes, there are a few more cast mates I hang out with, but I'm saving that surprise for a little bit later in the interview...
Brittany) What are your thoughts are on doing voice overs for animated films vs. video games?
Steve) I can't even FATHOM putting a "versus" in that statement, Brittany. Video games AND animated films are awesome, and I'm awaiting calls for BOTH!!! *laughs*
Brittany) What modern voice actors are you a fan of?
Steve) Hank Azaria! Bless him! Seth MacFarlane and Hank both have made FOX on Sunday nights a sacred place in my heart. Kevin Conroy, Frank Welker, Peter Cullen... and let's PLEASE give a standing ovation to H. Jon Benjamin for literally making "ARCHER" the sacred comedy cow of FX. Pretty much, I'm a fan of anyone who can make a living doing such a fun thing!
Brittany) Was this your first experince using motion capture technology in acting? If so was it hard to adapt to it?
Steve) To me, acting is acting, so adapting was not a difficulty. Those little balls they velcro onto your suit can hurt if you have to lie on your back on a hard surface (which I DID do a few times), but it was a fun experience... and yes, it was my first mo-cap job. I am now an expert on the "T-pose". The headpiece with the panoramic camera doing the digital facial scan was trippy seeing on the monitor, but not an overall distraction for me.
Brittany) What is "From the Trailer to the Grave"?
Steve) ...ah... that's the surprise I was hinting at a few questions back. Okay, well, here's the scoop (or as much as I can tell you): Well, as far as 'hanging out' with other former RED DEAD cast mates, I'm going to be filming a Redneck Zombie Romantic Comedy titled "FROM THE TRAILER TO THE GRAVE" in the fall of 2012 with K. Harrison Sweeney, Rob Wiethoff, Brad Carter, and Anthony DeLongis (Irish, Marston, Deputy Jonah and Marshall Johnson, respectively). So that's 5 former RED DEADers in one film. It's a RedZom Rom-Com. We're coining the genre, people! *laughs*
It's to be shot entirely in the state of Wyoming come this September-October time frame.
NOTE: This film, it's plot, and it's characters, are in NO WAY related to the events of RED DEAD REDEMPTION, nor are they connected to Rockstar Games or Take Two Entertainment in any way, shape or form. It is a separate enterprise being produced by Big Horn Samurai Sinema.
The film will also star Jim Turner (Kirby Carlisle from HBO's ARLI$$), Ken Campbell from Armageddon and the FOX series Herman's Head, Mark Fite of Mr. Show with Bob & David fame, and Vonia Arslanian of Stake Land and Mulberry Street to name a few.
Brittany) What is the movie about?
Steve) Well, it was written by K. Harrison Sweeney himself, and basically, a zombie virus on an apocalyptic scale literally wipes out the U.S. metropolitan populations, which leaves the sparse residents of the least populous state in the union: Wyoming. They're far enough from major cities and coastal regions, so everyone left alive heads there... or TRIES. Comedy and romance ensues. I can say no more, Brittany.
Brittany) Who are you in the movie?
Steve) Patrolman Barney Tolliver. I am one of the guys who gets to decide who comes to the blessed sanctuary of the Cowboy State.
Brittany) When will the movie be released?
Steve) Can't give an exact date, but if the readers want to follow our production process, have them simply go to www.fromthetrailertothegrave.com for updates! Brittany, it's been a pleasure. Thanks for the interview, and a big thanks to all you fans out there who've bought and continue to play the game. It's because of you guys I get to continue my pursuit of a craft I love.
And yes, we voice-over guys do occasionally peek in on the message boards, whether we all admit it or not (the game developers perhaps more so), so be sure to play nice, folks. ;-)
I'd like to thank Mr. Steve J. Palmer for giving me such an awesome opportunity! It has been great meeting you!