23 NovRaphael Sbarge Q&A: Fan encounters, Mass Effect and Once Upon a Time
Raphael Sbarge fields more questions from fans about Mass Effect and Once Upon a Time.
Hey, this is Raphael Sbarge, aka Kaidan. Hi. Happy almost Thanksgiving.
I had a couple of questions from some people, and I wanted to answer them. At least, to the best of my ability.
Laura asks: What is the weirdest encounter I’ve ever had with a fan?
You know, I had a really funny situation where I was at a convention, and I was brought in to, you know, sign pictures and meet people, etc. A friend of mine said, “Oh, someone I know wants to come over.” I said “Oh, great. I’ll meet him.”
So he comes over, and he says, “Yeah. Oh my God,” he said. “I love the game, it’s so great, I love the character, etc., etc.” He said, “A friend of mine, though, he would just die if he knew that I was here.” I said, “Well, let’s call him. Let’s call him on the phone.” So he says, “Oh, my God, that would be incredible. Let’s call him on the phone.”
So he dials him and it starts to ring. What happens is, it goes to voicemail. He says, “Oh, thank God, I’m so happy that I can actually leave this message, and he’ll be able to play it back.” So I say, “OK. What’s his name?” He says, “His name’s Shepard.”
I said, “You’re kidding.” He said, “No, really, his name is Shepard.” I said, “That’s wild. OK.” So I left the message:
Shepard. It’s Kaidan. We have a mission. We’ve gotta get there. I’m counting on you. Get there as fast as you can.
Something like that. It was very funny, and we both laughed. And he said, “Oh my God, he’s going to die once he plays that message.” I thought it was pretty funny; of all the people, of all the names anyone could have. I thought that was pretty funny.
Moonshadow_N7: Are there some anecdotes you could share about the voice recording? What are your favourite moments in the series?
You know, my anecdotes … it’s an interesting process because generally … we have evolved this character. When we first did it, years ago now, for Mass Effect 1, we came in, we spent a lot of time trying to really sort of define what the tone of the show was, that is the tone of these characters, the tone of this game. They were saying to us, “Mass Effect is gonna be unlike any other game that’s been played. It’s gonna have a level of reality, there’s gonna be sort of a distinction in the way in which it’s put together, and the drawing and the graphics that are gonna feel like a movie. So we really want performances that match a movie performance.”
So we spent a lot of time trying to get that right balance, and to get that right level of something that seemed military, and yet also strong and direct. And try and make it seem like, also we were obviously interacting with the player. We had a very particular director who worked with us on Mass Effect 1 and 2 that did really help kind of find that – her name is Ginny McSwain, great gal. We would sometimes do things over and over and over and over again.
But you’re all alone in a room, essentially, you and a microphone and your imagination. So you get to kind of go places in your head, as it were. Sometimes it can be a little grueling – ‘cause you’re just there, you know, doing one line here, one line there, one line here, one line there, and sometimes there’s not even time for them to explain, essentially, everything that’s going on in the game. And of course, I haven’t seen the game, because I haven’t played it, because it hasn’t been released yet. So that’s the interesting thing is, you’re sort of working off what you would imagine it to be, but not necessarily what you know. So it’s a funny thing when you think about it: What you hear, we did way, way before we ever saw anything.
The favorite moments in the series? Really, honestly, my favorite moments are sort of the more intimate moments, with the Shepard character. The reason why they’re my favorite moments is because it’s the opportunity for us to kind of really explore deeper, more complex feelings. Things that are not necessarily about just screaming and yelling and shooting and running. I mean, all that’s fun – it’s a blast. Literally. Pun unintended. But it is the more intimate moments, that some of the love interactions are great. Are great. It’s just really fun to play, and the writing has been so wonderful.
Gaz: How did I get the role of Archie or Jiminy? Was it an audition process?
Yes. They were casting for a new pilot. Pilots essentially are one version of the show, which they use to essentially show to the network to say, “Hey. We could make a whole series of this.” If it works out well, they like it, then they pick it up, then they turn it into a series.
I went in and auditioned for it the first time, and it went well and I left. And they chased me out the door and they said, “Can you come back in and do something else?” And I said, “Sure!” I did something else, and I was in the room with the producers – Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis, who are the writers and the executive producers. They also wrote the movie Tron; they’ve got their, I guess their animated series now of Tron; and they were writers on Lost, and they’re very talented guys.
Anyway, they were in the room; the director was in Vancouver and I was on tape. And after I left, they said, “OK. Looks like if they don’t go with a minority for the role, meaning, someone black, Latino or Asian, looks like they’re very interested.” And then they said, “Well, they may go with a celebrity.” And then they said, “Nope, I think they’re still going to come to you.” And then finally, they just came and said, “OK, we want you to do the role.”
It isn’t always that simple; it’s sometimes much more complicated. They really knew what they wanted, and as a result this audition process was relatively less painful than some – than many, frankly. I’m just very grateful to be on such a wonderful show.
Toni Farrice: How do I feel about all the attention about Once Upon a Time?
The way I feel about it is, to be quite honest, at first I didn’t quite know what to do about the fact that the show was a hit. I’ve been an actor for a long time, and you know, you as an actor become very acquainted with – I wanna say, disappointment. And understanding that there are a lot of opportunities that come along that don’t necessarily always work out.
And because of that, anyway, our bodies are kind of trained to expect essentially things to go a little sideways. And when this suddenly became what was essentially communicated to me as, “This is an unqualified hit,” I didn’t really quite know what to do with it. I still don’t quite … I’m not able to quite grok it all the way. Meaning understand it, get the entire muffin in my mouth. I’m still sort of in process with it, but I’m very grateful and so proud to be a part of such an amazing company of other actors. The actors are really, just, tight. Like an all-star team. It’s really thrilling working with them — in addition to that, all the other departments: the hair and the makeup, and the camera and the production side and the costumes are so top-notch that I just feel like … right now, I sort of feel like the luckiest guy in the world.
On that note, thank you so much for your questions. It’s such a pleasure to be able to kind of reach out. I have a Thanksgiving gift, or surprise, I should say, coming that I guess some people have asked for. I guess look for it on Thanksgiving. All right. Have a good one. Bye.