By: Jenni Miller

It wasn't until fairly recently that voice acting in video games was done by either no-name actors trying to pay the bills or B- and C-list actors who were, well, also trying to pay the bills. The Command and Conquer games began employing a mixed bag of actors in its 1999 iteration, Command and Conquer: Tiberian Sun, when they managed to snag Luke Skywalker's big daddy James Earl Jones, but otherwise continued casting random character actors like Udo Kier and Barry Corbin in future games like Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2.

Grand Theft Auto III changed the game, literally, with its roster of recognizable names and voices like Joe Pantoliano, Michael Madsen, Michael Rapaport, Debi Mazar, and Kyle MacLachlan all playing parts in the free-for-all crime cape that make Rockstar Games just that. With GTA III's massive sales and buzz (particularly from angry parents), the scene was set for Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, which boasted an over-the-top cast particularly appealing to its target audience: Dennis Hopper, Danny Trejo, Gary Busey, Lee Majors, Debbie Harry, Ray Liotta, Tom Sizemore, and Jenna Jameson, just to name a few.

However, in an interview with Game Informer magazine, Rockstar prez and co-founder Sam Houser later said, "We're not going to put a famous voice in just because it's a famous voice. We're going to get someone who sounds wicked for the character, and if they're not famous it doesn't bother us at all. Because I don't even think that is the talent."

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However, in an interview with Game Informer magazine, Rockstar prez and co-founder Sam Houser later said, "We're not going to put a famous voice in just because it's a famous voice. We're going to get someone who sounds wicked for the character, and if they're not famous it doesn't bother us at all. Because I don't even think that is the talent."

Well, whether Houser likes it or not, video games are attracting major Hollywood stars; Fallout 3 boasts Liam Neeson, Malcolm McDowell, and Ron Perlman. When I asked Neeson about his part as the dad in Fallout 3 last year as part of his press tour for Taken, he said he chose to do the part because "I'd never really done that stuff before, and I sensed this was a good game and it had a really good kind of message thing to it. It said something about the planet, nuclear disarmament, and yet it's fun. It's a good kick-ass game. My kids love playing it."
CATEGORIES Movies, Features, Sci-Fi