Published on August 15th, 2013 | by gareth1
William Watterson Talks About Being the Star Of Lost Planet 3 and His Career
Recently I got to speak with the multi-talented actor, musician, and comedian
William Watterson star of the upcoming Lost Planet 3 about his work in the pending game. I want to thank him for taking time to answer our questions.
What can you tell us about your character and what attracted you to the part?
Peyton is a down-to-earth dude who has one thing on his mind: getting to work. He’s not an adventurer, or a soldier–he’s a father, and NEVEC is a means to and end for him—to provide for his wife and newborn son. He’s an honest, loyal guy, who keeps to himself and tries to do the right thing. Those are all noble attributes, and all things I prioritize. What’s so great about the character is to see how his priorities get compromised on E.D.N. III, and to see what decisions he makes when his desire to keep things simple and focused is no longer an option.
How much did the script and your character evolve/change during the recording
The core elements of the character have been in place since the very first monologue I read for the audition three years ago.
There’s been a great consistency with their vision for Peyton. The
writers mentioned tailoring some of the dialogue to the actors as they got to
know us better—they could hear our voices in their heads, and knew what we’d
say in certain situations. The character goes on a HUGE journey—the Peyton we
see at the game’s close is light years removed from the man we meet on the
shuttle in the opening moments—but all of that was well envisioned from the
As a follow up, how long did it take to do your work on the game and did you get to work much with any of the other voice talent?
It’s been about three years, maybe more, since the first audition. I just watched it on PhotoBooth, I still have it saved.
Working with the other actors was the best part, and it’s what makes
this game special—we were toe to toe on the MoCap stage for every cut scene,
and got to know each other really well. That carried over into the voice over
booth, and you could recreate the dynamic you’d found on set and hear the other actors in your head as you were laying down your dialogue. It shows on the screen.
What sort of research did you do for the role and how did it compare and contrast with past roles?
This was one of those rare, lucky roles
that is such a good fit, that the less I did, the better it turned out.
Sometimes you have to do a lot of grinding to get there, and sometimes you just have to get out of the way. I don’t have a wife and child, but I am protective of the ones I love, and I do live far away from my family, and I know what it means to be lonely. So a lot of it was pretty accessible. I hate the cold. And I love coffee. That’ll put you in a Peyton frame of mind right quick.
Any concerns about being part of such a huge series knowing how fanatical the fans are and how serious they take the game and it’s characters?
We all worked our butts off to give everyone the best of everything, and I think it shows. You’ll never please everybody, and you shouldn’t try to–that’s a dangerous place to come from as a storyteller.
You have to have the courage to execute a vision and let the
characters go where they need to go, and they’ve done that here. I know what it means to care about a world, to be invested in the lives of characters. I’d way rather be part of something people are passionate about, even if we risk disappointing or frustrating them, than to occupy a world that people can take or leave. I’ve enjoyed hearing the fans’ voices, good and bad. Actually, the bad is way more entertaining. Apparently, I’ve got a stupid face.
What was a typical day of recording like and how much input did you have during the process?
Well, there was recording in the booth, and recording on the MoCap stage. Totally different experiences.
The stage was very interactive, lots of blocking and rehearsal and connecting with the other actors and finding the environment and the violence and the emotion in your body.
Long hours with tons of dialogue and movement. The booth was quick—Matt
Sophos and myself and the script, three or four takes of each line, then moving on.
I felt like I got Jim, so I went on instinct a lot. But Matt is a great
communicator, and very quickly gets in touch with what an actor needs if
something is missing. And I’m not above asking for a line read, so we really cooked.
Who would be your ultimate cast and director to work with and in what type of
I want to do more games. I love the MoCap suit. I’d kill to work with Matt and Jake again. Take me with you, boys!
But the truth is, there’s nothing I don’t want to do—films, TV, big budget,
small budget—I love getting my hands dirty and making stuff. Naughty Dog have
it going on, I want to be on their team. I love what Rian Johnson is doing,
Looper and Brick were in my wheelhouse. I’d kill to be on Doctor Who.
I’m a Tom
Baker man myself,but Matt Smith is killing it, and I love the choice of Peter Capaldi. Stephen Moffat knows how to spin a yarn. Ben Wheatley is a British director whose stuff blows me away. Been a Joss Whedon fan for years, would love to be in his stable.
Christopher Guest slays me. I’d love to wrap my tongue around some Sorkin dialogue. Anything having anything to do with film noir, I’m in. And I was born for westerns. I wish Peckinpah were still alive…
As for actors, Martin Freeman has been a favorite of mine for years. Benedict Cumberbatch. Idris Elba, so much presence.
Tatiana Maslany lights it up. Martin Clunes is one of my new favorites,
although he’s been around for ages, but he’s new to me. Brendan Gleeson’s range is out of this world. Karen Gillan is pretty electric. If you get a chance to see Barry McGovern do Godot, take it. Especially if it’s with Johnny Murphy.
So it looks like my ideal project would be a neo-noir western with an all British cast with violence and a lot of humor…I’d watch Sharlto Copely watch paint dry.
And anybody having anything to do with Friday Night Lights, particularly Kyle
Chandler and Jesse Plemons. Put me in, coach!
What can you tell us about your upcoming projects?
I’m wrapping up post-production on a comedy pilot I wrote and produced with the Executive Producer of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ called The Thunderdogs. It’s about a rock band—write what you know!
And I’m in pre-production for a horror comedy feature I co-wrote and will be
directing next year called Dave Made A Maze, which features stop motion, cut
paper animation, puppetry, and other in-camera effects from back in the day. I
also will be playing a kung-fu fighting ogre pirate in the fantasy comedy
Buccaneer Galaxy, which shoots next month. The costume is AWESOME.
Do you consider yourself a gamer and if so what games are you playing and which are on your to play list?
Uncharted 3 (which I’ve been mistakenly referring to as Borderlands 2 in other interviews) is first on my list. Given my mix-up, you can probably guess how much of a gamer I am.
I still dig going to arcades—pinball, retro 80’s machines, Time Crisis, all that stuff. Last Of Us and Bioshock sound right up my alley. I’ve got the PS3, but I haven’t given it much of a workout yet. Rock Band is always
a blast. Not as easy as I thought it’d be given my musical background, but you better stand back cuz I get way into it.
What do you look for from a director to help you give your best performance and what type of characters do you tend to be drawn to?
Communication. Collaboration. Faith. The permission to suck. If you’re too hung up on getting it right, you can’t settle in and get to the good stuff. It’s always a fine line between taking everything seriously and finding a playfulness in the work.
I love characters with a sense of humor. Even in drama, I look for that a lot.
I’m really enjoying the villains these days. Figuring out what’s good about
them, a positive place to come from, and playing that. Being sympathetic to
their cause. Of course, I dig playing reluctant heroes, with a wacky sidekick
or two thrown in for good measure.
Final question, what is the one thing about acting that most people are shocked when you tell them?
For as many people you get to meet and work with and get to know, for as social and wacky a lifestyle as it can be, it can also be surprisingly lonely. Or maybe I just need to get out of the house more…