We had the chance to catch up with the charming Nolan North ahead of his appearance at Supanova's Gold Coast and Melbourne events.
If you've played a video game, chances are you would have come across the work of the prolific Nolan North at one point or another. His impressive credits include voicing Nathan Drake in Uncharted, Desmond Miles in Assassin's Creed, Deadpool in the Deadpool game, the Ghost in Destiny, and Raph in TMNT.
First of all, have you visited Australia before?
I haven’t. I have a number of friends from Australia that always laugh and say ‘you’ve never been!?’, and I’m like ‘no!’, so I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve heard such great things about Supanova for so long. I’ve had friends who have done cons there and it’s always great feedback from everyone. I’m really looking forward to coming to the Gold Coast and Melbourne. I’m also bringing my 17-year-old son; it’s going to be a lot of fun.
Who is your favourite character to voice?
Nathan Drake is my favourite character that I’ve performed. It’s very flattering that so many people loved it. Because of the performance capture, every time he runs, jumps, moves, swings, whatever... it’s me. We shot it very much like the Avatar movie. That’s been my favourite role, the most rewarding, and I’ve learned so much.
"Who’s my favourite to voice is a different story. There are probably two. I always did really like doing The Penguin, you see, because the Penguin was something very, very far away from my voice. Probably the most fun would be Deadpool. He could say anything, swear, profanity, and he also had this voice that would talk to him and say, ‘well you can’t say things like that.’ The way we did it is that I would literally talk to myself. We just ran with it, and laughed our heads off. It was a blast.
“They had mapped out the script where we would do all the immature voices, and then we’d do the mature voices, and then we’d do the normal Deadpool on different days in different sessions. We ended up using a digital highlighted script; red was regular Deadpool, blue was the mature voice, and yellow was the other guy. I wanted that frantic pace, that craziness – I didn’t want them to have to edit it to sound manic. I think it made a big difference, and I’m pretty proud of that.
Have you seen the Fassbender Assassin's Creed movie? What did you think?
I’m so glad you asked. I was in London, and I just flew in and watched it on the plane. I thought it was very well executed. I’m a huge fan of Michael Fassbender. It has some issues in terms of moviemaking that I was unsure on; I don’t like when movies end, basically saying ‘stay tuned for Part 2!’ It’s always a little knock on the head that basically says ‘get your chequebooks ready.’ It kinda gets to me sometimes. I thought Fassbender was great, and it’s a difficult story to tell where you bounce around back and forth through time. My favourite part is that they didn’t try to base it on a game that already exists – I think that was important. I think the Animus was very cool; in the game it’s different, it’s very similar to Avatar, it was interesting how they did it.
One thing that I do know is that when I was involved with the Assassin’s Creed games there was talk at Ubisoft about doing a number of games, I remember hearing like seven. And after each game, like the movie, every time Desmond went into the Animus he would get new skills from his ancestors that he would absorb. By the end of it he would be able to take down the Templars by being the most badass assassin you could imagine, because he was all of his ancestors put together.
Can you tell us anything about Destiny 2?
I told the producers I don’t want to know any more than what I need for my part. Not just because of the press, but because of a 13-year-old boy that lives down the hall from me. My son is a huge Destiny fan, and he would not leave me alone. I purposely don’t know too much, apart from what was on my scripts. I do know this – it’s fantastic. I’m personally invested in this game because my son is such a big fan. I drive him crazy. We’ll sit down on the couch and play and I’ll say things like ‘eyes up, Guardian! We should go down to the left,’ and he’ll be like ‘go away Dad’, and I’ll say ‘I’m not Dad. I’m your Ghost, and I love you.’ It’s basically my guilty pleasure to just sit there and torture him. It’s fantastic. I love what Bungie are doing; they’ve been very good to me. People always ask me ‘are you gonna keep doing the Ghost?’ and I always tell them that you’re gonna have to drag me kicking and screaming away from that franchise. By the way, it’s much better to watch him play that than sit there and watch Nathan Drake fall off a cliff and die over and over again.
Is there anything you've got in the works that you can tell us about?
So much of what I’m doing at the moment is under NDA, but one of the things that I'm really involved with is the TV show Con-Man with Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion. I always like to tell people about that. We finished season two a while ago; we’ve got an Aussie in there – Liam McIntyre (Gears of War) – so Australians will get a big kick out of it. I also produced my first video game, the mobile game of Con-Man, where you build and manage your own con. We’re really proud of it. I’m in talks too to develop a story for a console game. I’ve been working so much lately, so to come to these conventions in Australia is my vacation. I’ll be in a great mood and I hope everybody gets to come out – I’m really looking forward to your Australian hospitality.