The Voice of Insanity – A Q&A Session With Michael Mando
Did I ever tell you?…
Anyone looking forward to Far Cry 3 will know that one of the main themes is insanity, and no character (that we’ve seen) embodies this more than Vaas.
About a month ago, Michael Mando agreed to answer a few questions regarding his role in the upcoming Far Cry 3. With the game just over a month away from release, it’s time to share what we talked about.
GE: First off, let me thank you for taking the time to talk to us.
MM: My pleasure.
GE: For those readers that don’t know, you’re playing the role of Vaas in the upcoming third installment in the Far Cry series from Ubisoft, and it wouldn’t be an interview if I didn’t ask the obvious question first; Do you play videogames, and have you played any of the previous entries in the series?
MM: I haven’t played video games in a long time. I sort of left off before the consoles became so complicated lol. I used to really like playing Fight Nights, Hockey, Football and Soccer… and no, never played Far Cry or even knew of it.
GE: Working on the game, and having worked in TV and film before, was the transition from on-
screen actor to motion capture and voice acting a difficult one?
MM: Not really. The suit and facial camera took some getting used to, but acting is the same in all mediums.
GE: Now you’ve acted in the two different mediums, is there anything you prefer about one over the other?
MM: I really love both. What I particularly like about video games is the long, uncut takes – reminds me of the theatre. I also like the fact that we don’t have to wait for lighting set ups
GE: You voiced the French voice-over for the character too. Do you feel there was anything lost in the translation?
MM: Dubbing is always an interpretation of the real thing, because you have to match the lip synch without being able to do the body movements. They also didn’t want me to do a Spanish accent in the translation, which changes the character a little… But when I heard back some it in the studio, I felt it added a new dimension.
GE: Let’s talk about Vaas if we can. You seem like a very down to earth kind of guy. Was portraying such a dark and violent character a difficult job?
MM: Vaas was heavily inspired by a hard and emotional period I was going through in my life. I was coming out of a relationship and was feeling very broken and confused. So I guess in a way, I didn’t go to Vaas, Vaas was in me at the time and Ubisoft gave me the green light to let him out. It was nice to be given such freedom.
GE: Did you have any inspiration in helping to create such a disturbing persona?
MM: I had played an MS13 gang member in 2009 in a TV series called The Border; it’s on youtube. The character was tattooed everywhere and had a very similar accent… maybe that was the beginning of Vaas, I don’t know.
MM: Like I said, I had fallen in love for the first time, was also heart broken for the first time… or maybe second time :p. In real life, no one ever expresses himself with such violence, or so crudely – and if you tried, they would lock your ass up before you could even utter “insanity” lol. The great thing about this part is that it let me express all of what I was going through and everyone forgave me after each take. So it’s not so much that I took him home, but that I was anxious to shoot so I could get him out.
GE: So, can we expect to see you in any more videogame roles?
MM: I’ve really grown to love working in this medium! So, yes definitely.
GE: Finally, what has been the standout moment for you in the whole process?
MM: I’ve just been so thankful and humbled by the audiences’ reaction… I had absolutely no idea it would ever lead to this. I really hope you guys will love the game and please don’t hesitate to share your comments, ideas or questions @mandomichael or facebook/michaelmando.official
Cheers and thank you!
Interesting words from the big dog of the island himself, and a little insight into the thought process behind the delivery of such powerful lines, and you should contact him by any of the ways mentioned as he’s almost always happy to talk to fans and answer your questions.