There are so many unsung heroes among the 2000+ people who worked on RDR2, not least the game’s main cast – who, contrary to popular belief, not only voiced their characters but provided motion capture and facial scans for them too.
This is no mean feat, as the game draws on a vast bank of dialogue. Whether protagonist Arthur Morgan is covered in blood, or just hasn’t been seen around camp lately, his fellow gang members seem to have a bespoke reaction for everything.
Here are some of the actors who put in so many hours in the booth, and in the mo-cap suit (*minor plot spoilers*):
Arthur Morgan – Roger Clark
Arthur may have a distinctly Southern accent, but actor Roger Clark was born in New Jersey, raised in Ireland and learned his trade in Wales. His lead role in one of the biggest entertainment releases of all time was quite the breakthrough; prior to RDR2, he had mostly worked on the stage, appearing in an NYC production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2014. He also lent his voice to TV mini-series Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers, along with the video game Shellshock 2: Blood Trails.
Playing the game’s protagonist, Clark did the lion’s share of RDR2‘s voice work. When it came to group scenes in the game, the actors shot them together. “It was mostly performance capture – not just voice,” said Clark. “Everything you see, apart from stunts, was based on the actor’s work.”
Dutch van der Linde – Benjamin Byron Davis
Byron Davis returned for RDR2 after providing the distinctive drawl of the gang’s leader, Dutch, in the original game.
The Bostonian has had more prominent roles than Clark, appearing in movies Ant-Man and the Wasp and The Belko Experiment, along with television series Six Feet Under and Gilmore Girls.
“I could not be prouder to be among the 2000 remarkable people responsible for bringing this thing to life,” said Byron Davies. “We gave it everything we had, and I am so grateful for – and amazed by – this remarkable reception.”
Lenny Summers – Harron Atkins
Lenny has already become a fan favourite, largely thanks to his “one drink” with Arthur at a saloon in Valentine; an evening that escalates fast. The scene was “one of my favourites,” Atkins said.
RDR2 was a huge coup for the actor, whose only IMDb credits prior to the game were a bit part in a TV movie and a short film called Deceive.
What a week Vernoff had upon the game’s launch. Seven days after it hit shelves, she appeared in the last ever episode of House of Cards (spoiler alert) standing up to President Claire Underwood.
The actor has had a long career in Hollywood, appearing in six Woody Allen projects, including the 2006 film Café Society. Last year, she played Karen in acclaimed indie teen thriller Thoroughbreds.
“Susan seems a little sweet on Arthur,” Vernoff has admitted, adding: “Can’t blame her, he’s dreamy.”
Micah Bell – Peter Blomquist
Micah is perhaps the most loathed character among gamers, so all credit to Blomquist for creating an antagonist whom you wish ill right from the outset. He’s thanked fans for what he calls the “hatred love” he’s been receiving since the game came out.
RDR2 wasn’t the actor’s first collaboration with Rockstar Games; Blomquist previously voiced Dr Harlan Fontaine in LA Noire.
Karen Jones – Jo Armenoix
The voice of Shauna in the Pokémon TV series, Armenoix appeared in a couple of Boardwalk Empire episodes as Alma Pastor and also popped up in Blue Bloods, Body of Proof and a number of CollegeHumor Originals.
She had to sing for the Red Dead role, with Karen at one point giving a campfire rendition of “Lorena”, an old antebellum song written in 1856.
Pearson – Jim Santangeli
Rotund butcher Pearson is one of the most lovable characters in camp, and the gang owe him a debt of gratitude for all that stew he keeps making.
He was voiced by Jim Santangeli, who has had a busy year of voice acting, also playing former National Security Advisor HR McMaster in Showtime’s Our Cartoon President.
Javier Escuella – Gabriel Sloyer
Always the point man when it comes to raids, former Mexican revolutionary Javier Escuella was voiced by Antonio Jaramillo in Red Dead Redemption, but Sloyer took over for the prequel.
He’s worked mostly in TV, appearing in Narcos, Orange is the New Black and Jessica Jones. Hardened Grand Theft Auto fans may remember the character he voiced in GTA V – Oscar Guzman, Trevor’s friend and gun-running Mexican cartel boss.
Abigail Roberts – Cali Elizabeth Moore
Moore mostly worked in comedy acting prior to RDR2, appearing in an episode of 30 Rock and Broad City‘s season 4 opener.
She has said the main cast “became a family” during production. It’s easy to see how they became close, given the vast number of interactions there characters have – and usually in different groupings each time – across multiple campsites and towns.
Reverend Swanson – Sean Haberle
Haberle had what must have been the most fun voice acting job of the lot, playing the almost permanently drunk Reverend Swanson.
The actor previously appeared in Sex and the City, Law & Order, and The Good Wife, along with the Pierce Brosnan version of The Thomas Crown Affair. Since the game launched, he’s been watching his teenager play it while drinking a dram of whiskey in the Reverend’s honour.
John Marston – Robert Wiethoff
After wrapping on Red Dead Redemption in 2010, Wiethoff, according to Polygon, "made his way back to his hometown of Seymour, Indiana and walked right into a 9-to-5 at an industrial supplies company."
He is a figure not unlike the Van der Lindes in that he seems to prefer a simple country life. He largely quit acting after the original and left LA, but was tempted back by the opportunity to play John Marston one more time.
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