Chatterbox: GTANet Interview with Roger Clark

Welcome to GTANet’s Chatterbox, our interview series where hosts uNi, Spider-Vice and Kirsty sit down and get personal with notable people from the GTANet and Rockstar Games community. From the well-loved to the unknown, Chatterbox is all-inclusive.

It has been a while, but we’ve cooked up something a little extra special for our return; we had the absolute pleasure of talking to the legendary Roger Clark, a.k.a. everyone’s favourite boah Arthur Morgan, about his experience with Red Dead Redemption 2, his thoughts about the industry, and his next video game project Fort Solis. ICYMI, last year Kirsty had a chance to meet up with Roger and got us an amazing GTAForums shoutout!

With no further introductions needed, let’s get started cowpokes!

by uNi

GTANet: Hi Roger! Thank you for chatting with us! Tell us a bit about yourself, have you ever tried other industries or have you set your mind on acting early on?

Roger: I was born in New Jersey and grew up in Ireland. I went to university in Wales. Started out with an HND in Computing Studies. Really blew chunks at it so decided to bite the bullet and pursue an acting degree. You only live once.

GTANet: This was your first foray into video game performance capture, correct? How did it feel to hear your voice immortalised in a virtual character for the first time, especially in such a big franchise as Red Dead?

Roger: I had done performance capture before sometime ago. My first foray into the medium was for another video game called Shellshock II. I was nervous being the protagonist of a Red Dead game after John Marston. I was a huge fan of him and realized quickly that I was going to have to do my own thing. Trying to recreate what Rob Wiethoff had done would’ve been foolish, I think.

By uNi

GTANet: What was your first reaction to seeing all the GTAForums users finding out you were Arthur Morgan just from a voice in the trailer? Surely this must have been a huge surprise, did you expect the community to find you as quick as they did?

Roger: A lot of you figured it out before the trailer as I recall. Someone was clever enough to cross reference who some of the original Red Dead Redemption cast members had recently started following on social media and put two and two together. You found out about five of the new cast that way. You did not know for certain until release but it was extremely smart. It was a reminder that we were working on something big and as a Red Dead fan I really didn’t want to let you down. Without any audience feedback while we were working though, it was a double edged sword. We were able to focus and work without distraction, but had no idea how it would be received.

GTANet: You and all the other great actors that worked on the game brought an amazing performance to all of us. How different is acting in a video game? Most people just think of it as voice acting but it is so much more than that.

Roger: Voice acting is an amazing medium and about 10% of my work on Red Dead comprised of it. The rest was performance capture which is a separate, different medium. They are both amazing ways to act/work and one is not better than the other. A lot of our audience do not understand how performances in gaming is done nowadays but all appreciation is appreciated.

GTANet: You do enjoy your fair bit of gaming, which games have a special place in your heart? Are you playing anything right now?

Roger: I tried Elden Ring. I am useless. I just do not have the time to ‘git gud’ at stuff like that anymore. I have to admit that as a middle aged gamer, I do not have the hours necessary to know what I am doing with a Soulsborne game. I love them though, love watching someone who knows what they are doing on Twitch. I’m still returning to the new Horizon from time to time. Enjoying WWE 2022 and I have returned to some Shadowrun games that I used to enjoy. Looking forward to TLOU1 remake and GOW Ragnarok.

By Kirsty

GTANet: Tell us a bit of your experience in your first playthrough of Red Dead Redemption 2. Did you get distracted with all the details, like “Oh I know that voice!”?

Roger: Yes, I saw versions of the game as we were working on it. But I never had unfettered access until about twelve hours before the rest of the world did. My wife let me have three days uninterrupted. I barely got to chapter three in that time. I was blown away. We were focused on the performance aspect of the game, we were not privy to what all the other departments were working on until we all got to sit down and play it. It is an unique way to watch your work, I was able to play it with a special nostalgia, “Oh, I remember that day” etc. One of these days I may have to do my own playthrough on Twitch

GTANet: You must have millions of fans all over the world, was there a particular person that surprised you as being a fan?

Roger: Ice-T kind of blew my mind. Jack Black. Jack Quaid from The Boys was very kind to me once about how much he enjoyed the work. Having the kind of audience that we got with Red Dead Redemption 2 is an artist’s dream. That kind of exposure is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

GTANet: One of your next video game projects, Fort Solis, was recently revealed. It was really fun to see you in the spotlight alongside Troy Baker. Is this your first venture into the sci-fi horror genre? What is it like to prepare for this kind of role compared to the western setting of Red Dead Redemption 2?

Roger: I always prepare for different roles differently. Some things remain the same. I always focus on the script first and then try and find the voice and physicality from the clues the script gives me. What kind of animal would they be? Where is their center of gravity when they walk? What are their strengths and weaknesses. Public and private faces etc. I have never done a sci-fi thriller before and it is a joy to work on. A lot of research of Mars was done. Trying to familiarize myself with the world’s technology so that it appears second nature to Jack Leary. Games offer so much more immersion to its audience than film or TV does in my opinion and believable immersion is achieved with attention to detail, real environments and valuable research. You need to come up with authentic details that the player will take for granted that underline the truth and authenticity for whatever world you are trying to introduce audience to. Invisible little nuances that can often go unnoticed will still resonate on a subconscious level, I find.

We hope you enjoyed this fun little insightful read from Roger himself. Once again, a massive thank you to him for taking the time to chat; he is a true gentleman and we’ll forever be grateful for how supportive he is of the Red Dead community. Outlaws for life!

If you don’t follow Roger on socials yet… what are you waiting for?

Follow Roger Clark on Twitter and Instagram!

Previously on Chatterbox