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Can you talk about Edward's relationship with Vane? Edward himself seems to be a complicated character, whereas Altair, Ezio, and Conner where a little easier to grasp.
Edward is, to me, a more interesting character than the other assassins.
He seems to be very layered.
Yeah, he does. And I think he is torn between a lot of worlds. And he is influenced particularly by the extreme charismatic pirates that he works with. Blackbeard, for instance, and then Vane. And I think both of those influence him a lot, but very differently. Blackbeard is much more intelligent and considered, like almost a politician.
He seems very manipulative rather than aggressive.
Yeah, definitely. In a sense because he is a much better person. He doesn’t actually want to kill people, whereas Vane does. It’s just different ways of approaching the same thing.
How much research did you do coming into the role?
You can only do research, I think, on the historical pointers. You can’t read firsthand accounts of people who met him and all those other kinds of things. You find out about his character. You feel the points to see what he has done to tie in things you need to know about that period, as well as the extreme things he does—the very cruel things that he did to the natives of the island. He was a terrible, terrible man. So you can find out those kind of things, that give you the clues and then you’re working with the writer and the directions in the writing to create the character. The research is only historical pointers.
It’s kind of like what Ash was saying about “credibility” over “historical accuracy” in terms of having those points. With that in mind, what would you say you personally brought to Vane?
I’d like to think that, when I read all of the historical pointers I realized that you only do those things [Vane's cruel actions] if you enjoy it. You’ve got to have some kind of joy out of doing anything that way. So there’s something wrong—there is some switch that is wrong in Vane’s head—and hopefully I brought that to it.
Do you think mo-cap helped you in capturing the emotion when playing Vane?
Yeah, it’s a completely different thing to voice acting because you’re there and really giving it the full experience, almost more than a movie because you don’t have the in-continuity, you don’t have to hit marks for focus, so you’re really free to just do it. So it’s a full performance and I’m really able to just let myself go like you would in the theatre—it’s so much more than just going and sitting in a booth, and hopefully it brings a hell of a lot more to the performance.
It’s lovely to do all of the character moves as well. You can be very conscious of what you’re doing. It’s almost as if he [Vane] is ready to fight at any moment so he’s always leaning forward in these certain positions. If it was just done with a different mo-cap actor and then I voiced it, you know, that would bring up completely different ideas of the character. It wouldn’t really work.
So do you have a preference now between the mo-cap and voice acting to acting in shows or movies?
I always just like to do good stuff, and I’m very, very lucky that I do almost everything. I do theatre, radio, TV, film, and also comedy and drama as well. I’m usually the bad guy, you know, but I do a lot of different genres of acting. But I think doing mo-cap on something as good as Assassin’s Creed is as good as it gets.
You play a character on Game of Thrones, Dagmer Cleftjaw. He is a seafaring guy as far as I know… and then you play a pirate in Assassin’s Creed. Do you have any sort of affinity for pirates?
Well at the moment I’m doing a period drama involving pirates in 1680 Boston and I’m also playing a space pirate in the new marvel movie—so everything is pirate at the moment.
What is your opinion on piracy? *laughs*
All for it! It’s a marvelous thing. You can’t go wrong with pirates. I mean, they're pirates. It’s what everyone wants to be when they’re a kid. Ninja, assassin, or a pirate—and now you can kind of be all three.
I love my job. There is show called Mr. Benn, it was a cartoon that came on in the 70’s in England. It was about this guy and every day he goes into this costume shop at the end of his row and he meets this mysterious man who takes him into the back, puts a costume on, and takes him on an adventure related to the costume. After about five years of acting, I suddenly realized that, because that was my absolute favorite show as a kid, that’s why I chose to be an actor. It’s just like one long episode of Mr. Benn.
You can catch Ralph Ineson (and his amazing Yorkshire accent) as the dreaded Captain Vane when Assassin's Creed IV hits the shelves next week.
Katy Goodman is a freelance writer and graduate student at Auburn University. When she isn’t busy training birds of prey , horses, or freshman composition students, she can be found playing video games. She also really likes chocolate milk. Follow her on Twitter @InvizzyB or on her blog, Pixel Hearts.
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