Actor Barry Sloane on playing Captain Price: “He’s a storm coming. There’s visceral f*cking rage when required”

barry sloane

If there’s one character everyone remembers from Call of Duty, it’s Captain Price. The gritty-voiced cigar-chewing mustache that guides you through the original Modern Warfare campaign and its subsequent sequels. For a certain generation, he’s the Dad of the Army they never had, an iconic game character, and no easy-to-fill boots for a new actor to take over.

But that’s exactly what Barry Sloane was commissioned to do, and based on his initial performances in the trailers, he nailed the tone and presence of Price’s character. I recently told her about the whole process of playing the role; from the creation of his interpretation of the character to the process of capturing the performance and the specifics of the video game – like ending each scene with multiple lines telling a lost imaginary player where to go.

The voice of authority

Perhaps the most important question foremost, however, is how do you approach such an instantly recognizable character as a new actor taking on the role? “Billy Murray [the original Captain Price] had done such a great job that I had to take inspiration from there,” says Sloane. “He built it from scratch, so he’s definitely“ the shoes. ”That’s kind of how I found my way through the voice, into the body [but] because the voice was so iconic, I had to have [that]. I wanted him to feel like it, but to feel new. “And, when you hear Slone’s take, the tone is perfect, but with a twist. “I was playing with my own accent, then kind of Nordic. I tried a lot of options. But the location where the accent came from was not really what I was looking for. It must be a long grunt of a voice that had smoked a million cigars, drank scotch and would howl its lungs on a battlefield. “

Barry Sloane

In real life, Barry Sloane is a gentler person than his eventual portrayal of Price, so that voice comes at a cost. “It growls, so it takes a little [effort]. Especially when you’re doing battle song and grenades are flying over there. It can make you lose your mind one big day. On stage it takes a lot. of honey and lemon drinks for a complete voiceover. “

While Sloane has done the job of literal growl, he’s keen to point out that “no one can play Price, you need an army,” paraphrasing Modern Warfare advisor and retired Navy SEALs Mitch Hall. “It’s very collaborative,” says Sloane. Taylor [Kurosaki, studio narrative director] would have some ideas, Brian Bloom, the writer, would be on set and Mitch would be there. From the game designers who worked on the costume, to Steve [Sanders, another retiree from the Navy SEALs. Advisor] doing the training for me, for the facilitators, for the job of Billy Murray. It was all a job that we did together to become the guy you are lucky enough to see. “

Fill the boots

One thing Barry Sloane had to bring to the game alone, however, was a physical presence. While Billy Murray was essentially voicing an animated character, Sloane had to prepare and figure out how Price was moving. “One of the first things I did was at the end of the story trailer where he shoots a sniper across the path and then gets up and turns around. There was stillness there so I tried to keep it at check-in…. It’s a storm There’s gut fucking rage and energy when it’s needed.

However, one of the key things about the original character was that he still felt like an approachable human being, despite the “ literally shot people down for work ” side. “There is a very different energy in the cut scenes,” says Sloane. “There’s a certain sweetness sometimes when he looks at certain people, sometimes with Farah. Is also a humor about him, and I wanted to make sure that we felt the human element that maybe wasn’t there before. . But when it’s required for business, there’s a complete fucking change. “

SEAL Team Six

While Sloane may not have served in the military, part of what brings Price to life comes from his time on History Channel Six, a fictional drama focused on SEAL Team Six. “The extensive training I took for Six really helped me – I had these images in mind that I could rely on. I remembered myself in a Black Hawk flying somewhere. I had boarded ships and done what would be considered missions in this [game]. We attacked houses in a fake Afghanistan. Have things. I can see them. Can feel them. I can feel them. So I can add all of these elements. “

Sloane could also draw on memories of the current Navy SEAL training undertaken for the show. Something he describes as “one of the best experiences of my life” in retrospect, but “at the time, the worst thing I ever did. I almost quit the show at times during that time. training because it was really real “It was an experience that fed this part beautifully: Sloane plays a wiser, more experienced soldier leading a team, while also being an actor with genuinely more relevant experience than the rest of the cast. “I was more technically proficient, as was Price. So it was okay for me to say, ‘don’t hold your gun this way.’ It certainly helped for [the rest of the cast], I think, because Mitch was able to say, “Look, if we’re not here Barry knows the answer to that question.”

Video game (uh)

So far this is all to be expected as an actor, but the video game side of the job brings its own demands. “We would be in scenes, and I would come up with what I thought was a fantastic idea. ‘What if we …?’ But they’re like, ‘No, you can’t just stand there because we need an open path for the player,’ “Sloane told me.” So you have to go this way and deliver your line knowing where it is. the player.”

In addition to acting around an invisible and ubiquitous entity, Sloane and the cast also had to play the prompts you often hear repeated when you get lost in the game. “We call them ‘executioners’,” he says. . “You have to master a way of waving to someone all the time, but not in a way that looks like ‘Fuck off, mate.’ You’ll walk through a stage and hit a certain mark on the floor, which will be the animation stop I’ll be by the door, ready to go, then there will be a series of executioners – six or seven different lines – you would just rattle, looking over your shoulder, because [the player] could be anywhere We did it for each different scene.

Enemy in Second Story Window

Then there are obviously all the “enemy in second story window” calls to help direct the player’s attention and action. There is “a lot of that, day after day,” confirms Sloane. “In different formats. North, south, east, west. You go through a whole roster and different game modes. We also have a little humor in there, which is always important with Price. small lines. “When I mention some of the classics from the original game, Sloane mentions that” we have a few classics in there, hidden along the way, that might come out. “

At the end of the interview, I ask Sloane what it feels like to take on a character so known and loved by a certain audience. “Captain Price is on the box, but he is not the star of the game, it’s you”, he underlines, to recall that despite the prominence of the character, he only supports the place of the player in action. “I don’t think it would have been helpful for me to put pressure on myself. So I didn’t,” he adds. “I thought,” it’s up to you. You have earned it. “I can’t go into everyone’s mind and choose what they would like. So I just chose what I thought was right, and I’m sure that will resonate with people.”

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