In a interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Voice Actor Jennifer Hale talked about her trade, as well as some of the differences between which particular genre she’s working with, and what she thinks should be the iconic female Shepard for Mass Effect 3.
Jennifer Hale is most famous for her voice work for the female version of Shepard in the Mass Effect series, but she’s no rookie. She has voiced countless videogame characters, such as Bastilla Shan in Knights of the Old Republic, Naomi Hunter from the Metal Gear series, Trishka Novak of Bulletstorm, and she even did some grunts and huffs for Samas Aran in Metroid 3: Corruption.
Speaking a bit about her trade, she notes the difference between doing voiceover for TV/film and videogames.
“I find it particularly demanding. Say when I do animated series, I’m typically working with the cast, and we get to interact with each other, and work off each other’s energy. In a four hour session you’re swapping back and forth about who’s in the hot seat. When you do a game it’s basically like doing a one-woman show for four hours. The level of focus that’s demanded, and intensity, energy applied and imagination and concentration is very specific.”
She goes on the state then when working on voiceover for videogames it is very rare to be working with another actor simultaneously but mentioned that at Bioware, they have a system in place where they can play back recorded audio of other actors to help ease the process. Consequently, though, she’s usually the first actor doing recording, so the system usually benefits the other actors moreso, and she has to rely on the art of cold-reading and some direction to really nail it.
Thought not much of a gamer, Hale said she played through Mass Effect after being influenced by Tom Bissel and his book Extra Lives: Why Videogames Matter, and she said the experience help her with Mass Effect 3.
Mass Effect 3 is due on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in March 2012.