Rockstar Reveals Why They Won’t Hire Famous Actors Anymore

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Classic Rockstar games were known to pull in a number of big actors to appear in its games over the years. Samuel L Jackson, Burt Reynolds, and Dennis Hopper are just a few that spring to mind. 

As it turns out though, bringing in such big guns to do voice work for your video game can be fraught with complications and issues, at least that’s according to Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser, who recently revealed the company isn’t likely to work with famous actors in future.

Speaking to Vulture in a new interview, Houser explained simply that egos can often get in the way and disrupt the process, though he also reasoned that having characters that sound like very famous people actually hurts a game’s immersion.

He explained:

We don’t bring in name actors anymore because of their egos and, most important of all, because we believe we get a better sense of immersion using talented actors whose voices you don’t recognise.

Houser went on to recall a time when he found himself in a heated argument with the late Burt Reynolds, over the direction of a scene in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. The argument allegedly ended with Reynolds yelling at Houser; “get that Limey out of here”.

Limey is apparently slang for a British person, in case you didn’t know. Full disclosure, I had to Google it.

Rockstar Games

Houser went on to touch on creative differences with rapper Chuck D, during development on Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Houser reasoned it was because he thinks rappers “really want to do the work right”, but it was nevertheless another argument to steer away from big names.

Of course, Red Dead Redemption 2 will feature at least one famous actor in the form of veteran Graham Greene (Dances With Wolves). Houser explained that they’ll still bring in the talent if they’re actually right for the part.

He said of Greene:

He [Greene] did such a brilliant job of bringing this chief character to life. The government is coming down on him hard. He’s losing his rights as an independent king, and he’s a gentle soul in that violent world.

Red Dead Redemption 2 comes to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on October 26. Just don’t be disappointed when the Kardashians don’t make a cameo.


Ewan Moore

Ewan Moore

Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn't gotten out of his mid 00's emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.