How One Of The Best Warcraft Players In The World Wound Up With A Lead Role In The Movie

The upcoming Warcraft movie is being made by many people who absolutely love the game on which the film is being based, but few would argue that there is anyone more passionate than Robert Kazinsky. As it turns out, the English actor playing Orgrim in the upcoming feature is actually one of the top World of Warcraft players in the world. Of course, this fact alone didn’t qualify him for the role, but it certainly opened a door, as it was coincidentally playing the game in front of one of Warcraft’s producers that started him on the road to being a major part of the production.

Back in March of 2014, I joined a small group of other film journalists to go to the set of Warcraft while it was still in production, and it was while sitting down with Robert Kazinsky that he went into detail about his passion for the video game, and the interesting path he wound up on to get his role. It all began on the set of Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim - in which Kazinsky plays Australian Jaeger pilot Chuck Hansen – and a slow day during filming. Wanting to kill some time, the actor pulled out his laptop to play some Warcraft… and he just so happened to be sitting next to the exact right person:

I was sitting next to Jillian Share from Legendary. I whip out my computer, and WoW pops up, and she's like ‘Are you fucking kidding me?’ And I was like, ‘What do you mean?’ ‘Don’t, don’t, don’t, Rob.’ I'm like, ‘What?’ She said, ‘Don't. You know what you are doing.’ I said, ‘I have no idea. What are you talking about?’ She's like, ‘You know we're making Warcraft.' I was like ‘Fuck!’ Then it was two years of just harassing her, and harassing her, and harassing her.

After that, Robert Kazinsky would regularly bug Jillian Share about the development of the movie, regularly looking for updates, asking if he could see a script, and just asking to be somehow involved (he told us that he would have been willing to just be Paula Patton’s purse-holder during production). Eventually he was able to convince her to let him record an audition for Duncan Jones, and then meet with the filmmaker – and it worked out so well that he is now playing one of the lead Orc roles in the Warcraft movie.

Watch the trailer again:

This may seem just like a silly and fun story, but Kazinsky stressed that being a part of the blockbuster was actually tremendously important to him. He has dedicated a significant portion of his life to the expansive video game, and sees being part of the first film adaptation somewhat as justification for all those efforts. He explained,

At this point and time I think I've got 470 odd days played on this game. And that's over a year and half of my actual life playing this game. And that game has informed a lot of what I have done. And so to be a part of this film, it was very important for several reasons. One, because now playing that game for that many hours is cool because it worked out well.

Of course, we only have the highest hopes that the quality of Warcraft will match Robert Kazinsky’s passion level. We’ll find out when the blockbuster arrives in theaters on June 10, 2016 – and in the meantime stay tuned for more of our coverage from the set!

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.