31 JanRaphael Sbarge: Jennifer Hale Q&A Part 1

Raphael Sbarge (Kaidan, Mass Effect) interviews Jennifer Hale (Commander Shepard, Mass Effect). Part 1 in a series.

MP3 File

Hi. This is Raphael Sbarge, and I’m so excited today, because based on the success and the response of all the audioblogs that have sort of gone before this, and people have written such wonderful notes of appreciation. I wanna sort of bring to you, for the first time in actual present time, my friend Jennifer Hale and I actually speaking live together.

We’ve spent hours and hours and hours speaking together in Mass Effect, and have never actually done so in real time – of course, because we recorded on separate days. So I wanted to, with no further ado, bring and introduce you to Jennifer Hale. Hold on one second.

Raphael: Jennifer, are you there?

Jennifer: Yeah.

Raphael: Hey, we’re on.

Jennifer: Awesome!

Raphael: How are you?

Jennifer: I’m well, how are you?

Raphael: I’m good. I just was saying that this is sort of for the first time in actual, sort of present time, that we’re actually sort of speaking live together, as opposed to being on separate days.

Jennifer: We’re actually really talking to each other.

Raphael: We’re really talking. I just went online and watched a scene, sort of the, I guess the final, romantic farewell between Kaidan and femShep [Editor’s note: It was a video on YouTube. NOT a spoiler.]

Jennifer: Oh … how was it?

Raphael: It’s pretty uh … it’s pretty uh … It’s a hot scene!

Jennifer: Awesome! Awesome! I remember that, I remember recording that scene. OK, now it’s weird talking to you.

Raphael: I know! It’s sort of: Hello!

Jennifer: Yeah, that was fun. That was fun. You know, there’s such a certain safety in what we do, because you know, there’s that iron curtain of actually no one else is in the room.

Raphael: Right [laugh]. It’s sort of you alone, in a room with a microphone; you can kind of go anywhere.

Jennifer: Right?

Raphael: So, amazingly, and I didn’t know this until just recently, I guess you now have the distinction of being in the Guiness Book of World Records as the person who has recorded more videogames than anyone else. Is that right?

Jennifer: I guess so! That’s what someone told me. I had no idea. It’s a trip.

Raphael: Incredible; so if you’re not in a videogame, either it’s not been released, or they haven’t even thought about it yet.

Jennifer: Hey, I like that. I like that. There’s room for all of us. We all need a break.

Raphael: That’s great. That’s great. Well, you started, obviously back with Mass Effect 1. When you came onto it, did you just audition for it, like the rest of the world? How did they find you?

Jennifer: Yep. Just auditioned along with everybody else. Yeah.

Raphael: And what did you make of this whole idea that essentially, that you would be the female version – someone would effectively be sharing the part with you?

Jennifer: You know what’s funny, is I only realized like, probably a few days ago that I never even thought about that. You know, to me, I get so focused on whatever it is that I’m doing, I don’t – the big picture is important to me in terms of context, and what the writer wants. And then I just don’t think about the rest.

Raphael: Yeah, yeah.

Jennifer: I kind of threw into the femShep 1,000% because that’s what’s required, and I don’t even think about manShep unless it comes into the moment of recording and I need to. Or broShep, I suppose we’re calling him. Yeah.

Raphael: Is he referenced in the game?

Jennifer: Um.

R: As an alter-ego? Or is it just…

Jennifer: Nope. Never. You either are female, or you are male. One or the other.

Raphael: Right. Right. Right. Has femShep, in a certain sense – from a character development point of view – has she changed from 1, 2 to 3?

Jennifer: Yep. She has totally evolved.

Raphael: How?

Jennifer: She’s become … you see her humanity more in 3. You know, I can’t, I don’t want to give anything away, but you definitely see her humanity a little bit more in 3. And things have just gotten harder in 3. There’s so much more going on, and it’s so much more intense. And it just keeps coming. And she’s tired. And she’s maybe not always 1,000% confident. She has to proceed as if she is, but for the first time doubt is really rearing its ugly head.

Raphael: Hmmm. You know it is the thing that I’ve found so – and you really are the expert in this because you’ve been in so many games, but I’m curious, from your point of view … I mean, from the games that I’ve done, which is far less: There are characters that they’ve written, that they’ve sort of crafted, in Mass Effect anyway … they seem more like real people, as opposed to just superheroes, in a way.

Jennifer: Yes. You know, I think that’s part of the evolution of the whole business. I think that graphics are coming along, and the animation’s coming along so much that you’re seeing more and more nuance, visually. Which allows us as actors to back off, and just be. We don’t have to dress it up that extra little bit to carry over maybe what the animation’s missing, because technology’s just not there yet. Technology’s there. The nuance is getting more and more refined. And we’re allowed to do less and less, and therefore be more and more human, and more real. Which I think is elevating the whole thing.

Raphael: That’s really cool. That’s really cool. I’ve never heard anyone say that, but that makes a lot of sense.

62 Responses so far.

  1. leborum says:

    Wow! Thank you both so much for doing this. It’s really interesting to learn more about the recording process for ME3. And thanks Jacqui for putting it up for us.

  2. Kara says:

    OH WOW.
    I saw this on facebook and I couldn’t help but listen and comment. This is just, amazing. I didn’t even think that this was possible, and yet here you are Raphael Sbarge and Jennifer Hale, femshep and Kaidan. Its hard to wrap my mind around, haha.

    I personally love the story between these two characters and I love that this interview/conversation was made possible. It makes the whole thing seem more real. I don’t know if that’s the right way to put it. I mean people get to live through their femshep and for a lot of us Kaidan is a huge part of that… roleplay I guess. So I mean long story short this is SO COOL.

    Thank you. Thank you both of you for doing this. Really what a great distraction from finals hah.

  3. Holly says:

    Oh man, can’t wait to read the rest of this!! Shepard and Kaidan’s story arch through the games is my favorite part of the Mass Effect universe and I -can not- wait to see how it ends. Thanks for doing this Q&A with my two favorite voice actors!

  4. Kayla says:

    Thank you once again! So awesome that you were able to get Jennifer Hale to do this. Both of you are the best!

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Bwahaahaha xD you 2 are awesome!

  6. Victoria says:

    Your generosity toward your fans never ceases to surprise and delight. We are all so grateful for you; you truly make your characters come to life and transport us to another world. Keep up the great work. Thank you, Jacqui, for alerting us to the latest installment!

  7. Amratis says:

    Wow, was not expecting this. Fantastic, can’t wait to hear the whole thing! Thanks so much for taking the time to do this.

  8. sesh says:

    Wow, your audioblogs always brighten my day. Thanks so much to both Raphael and Jennifer for doing this, and to Jacqui for keeping the Kaidanites informed.

  9. See says:

    Holly molly. You guys are so awesome! This is marvelous! I don;t even knwo what to say.. haha THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! =’)

  10. mm says:

    broshep ahahaha loved it!

    Thanks, Sbarge.

  11. Velina says:

    I am already hyped by the trailer and now this?!?!

    If I couldn’t go to sleep later tonight, I will blame it on you, mister XD

  12. Geirahod says:

    Oh my gosh!!thank you thank you for doing this….
    Thank you thank you really!! I love this so much!!

  13. Estelindis says:

    You’re both wonderful. It’s so kind to take the time to give us this recording and so brilliant to hear you speak together! This really made my day. :)

  14. xenzen says:

    FemShep and Kaidan talking in real time. My mind, it is blown.

  15. Lyriel says:

    Wow, you all are sort of re-defining the whole ‘extra mile’ thing here, you know? For Raphael to not only share his own time, but bring in others and share the mic time with them because he knows his fans will appreciate it, and Jaqui making it happen… that’s so special. Thank you yet again for letting us see some of what the real people behind the characters are like, and the experiences that go into making the finished product. You have blessed us!

  16. Bekkael says:

    Two of my favorite voice actors speaking with each other? :D It’s Christmas all over again. Thank you so much!

  17. T says:

    Echoing others. Mind blown. FemShep and Kaidan. XD
    Thank you guys so much for sharing with us!

  18. Anthony says:

    Awesome audioblog is awesome.

    Now I feel guilty for never hooking up FemShep and Kaidan.

  19. Marco says:

    Wow, nice to see a voice actor show so much appreciation to his fans by co-coordinating these things. A tip of my hat to you Mr. Sbarge. Keep up the good work; I wish you nothing but success!!

  20. Kim says:

    This is the first time I have ever commented on a blog but I felt your actions in putting all of this “fan stuff” together for Mass Effect needs to be recognized and appreciated. I only started playing Mass Effect this year and I am eagerly looking forward to ME3. Because of your support the for character and gamer fans I also started watching your show and I must say I was impressed. I don’t have a lot of time to commit to television dramas (especially when I prefer games) but you deserve this support. Thank you, all of you.

  21. Saberchic says:

    This is great! Two of my favorite actors get to talk and reveal what it’s like for them to have worked on something like this.

    Keep it up! I’ll be waiting for part 2!

  22. Michelle says:

    I am so blown away by this. I never expected to see the VA’s of Kaidan and Femshep come together and give us fans such an unbelieveable gift. This is just…wow. This made me feel so happ after spending a whole day in bed stuck with a coldThank you to Raphael, Jennifer, and Jacqui for brining this to us. It means a lot to all of us. March 6th can’t get here fast enough!

  23. Helena says:

    By. The. Goddess.

    My mind has been completely and utterly blown. I’ve always wondered, since finding out that you both did major characters all the way back in Knights of the Old Republic, if you two had ever met, or knew each other at all. Not to mention that it probably goes without saying that the Kaidan romance is my favorite; in fact, I really only have one FemShep, and she has always, always, always stayed faithful to Kaidan.

    This is such a big deal, especially since I admire both of you in so many ways, and the fact that I haven’t heard “Kaidan” and “Shepard” speak to each other, without it turning into a heated argument, in two years. Also, the fact that Raphael keeps referring to this “hot” and “steamy” scene…oh jeez, it’s been torture!

    Can’t wait to see what part 2 entails! Hopefully a few things on the romance aspect will be touched on a bit! Thank you both, and Jacqui, as always, for giving this to the fans! It means the world to us! :D

  24. lily says:

    The VAs of FemShep and Kaidan together! Very, very awesome. Loved the interview, I’m looking forward to ME3 more then ever ;)

  25. Meri says:

    Kaidan and FemShep having a casual conversation~ :’D
    Can’t wait to hear the second part! Thank you so muuuuch ! <3

  26. Holly says:

    I just want to say thank you for taking the time to do these!! We the fans appreciate it SOOO much. It’s so awesome hearing two of my favorite actors talking about a game that I love so much. Everything about this is great. One of my favorite things about the Mass Effect series is the character development which is done so wonderfully in the game, so it was awesome that you guys addressed that! Thank you again :)

  27. Sugar says:

    This made my night! You are the best, Raphael! A big thanks to Jennifer and Jacqui too!
    I really hope Bioware appreciates everything Raphael is doing for fans of not only Kaidan but Mass Effect as a whole!!

  28. Nathan says:

    Very awesome! Thank both of you for taking time out of your busy lives to do this for your fans.

  29. Facebutt says:

    Is it me, or does ME have one of the coolest casts of actors and actresses ever? It’s rare that you see VAs treat their fans in this way.

    Also, moar Hale is always a huge plus. She and Grey DeLisle are my childhood.

  30. Misty says:

    Abso-bloody-lutely awesome. We are starving for VS and femshep info and this is pretty much the only place we get some. You guys are great <3

  31. Joni says:

    Thank you so much Raphael, Jennifer, and Jacqui for making this possible. Raphael you have done so much for your fans. You truly have spoiled us! Amazing femshep and Kaidn together. Love it! You both keep mentioning this steamy and hot scene is making me more excited. I still hope there can be a good end for femshep and Kaidan. Anyways thank you so much for doing this for us. Thank you for caring about your fans.

  32. MizzNaaa says:

    You guys are just so awesome!

  33. Frank says:

    Femshep and Kaidan? Carth and Bastila? Thank you so much, looking forward to part 2

  34. Fred says:

    Raphael, since you were both in Knights of the Old Republic, I’d love to hear more about your experience with that game. Also, Jennifer plays several new characters in the new Old Republic game and I would love to hear more about that too.

  35. Ann Wright says:

    I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the title. Raphael Sbarge and Jennifer Hale? Two of my favorite VG voices in the same recording? Awesome!

  36. Tina says:

    So awesome of you and Jennifer! <3

  37. Jessica says:

    OMG Thanks so much Raphael, Jennifer & Jacqui ?
    Best Fanservice ever!!!!!!!!

  38. Emmy says:

    Oh my…WOW. This is amazing!!!!:D Thank-you so much you two for doing this, it really is a fantastic treat to hear Jennifer Hale and Raphael Sbarge together in this way, it’s just…WOW!!! You’re both wonderful people for doing this, us fans truly appreciate it :)

  39. Conny says:

    This is sooo cool! After listening to the Q&A with Kimberly Brooks I thought, “Wow it would be great to hear one with Raphael Sbarge and Jennifer Hale … but that would just be too much to ask, that would be getting greedy…” and you’ve gone and done it!! You are just so generous, to spend your time and effort in doing these audioblogs for us :) Thank you Raphael, Jennifer and Jacqui!!

  40. Roxane says:

    Again, thank you so much for doing this! It’s definitely a trip for us too, to hear you have a “real” conversation. You’re both awesome!

  41. Sandra says:

    Thank you so much. You both are so amazing!

  42. Amy says:

    I want to thank both of you so much for doing this. It’s so wonderful to see you guys don’t treat this as just another job but also embrace the setting and characters as fans like we do and share with the fans :)

    I loved hearing this little chat you two had, thanks again :)

  43. […] this first part Q&A session, Raphael chats with Jennifer  about gaming, character development and Mass Effect.  It’s […]

  44. Kate says:

    I love that you are one of the few actors out there that takes the time to do awesome stuff like this for your fans :D And you even get other great actors like Kimberly and Jennifer involved :) So thank you so much!!!

  45. Steph says:

    It’s Carth and Bastila…..or Kaidan and Femshep. still good.
    Thank you so much for this Raphael, Jennifer and Jacqui. It is really cool to get this insite into the characters. Thank you for doing these blogs for us fans.

  46. Eoin says:

    Raphael thanks again for doing this man (when you clearly don’t have to). You are a gentleman and a scholar!
    I also remember Carth and Bastila!

  47. Chelsea says:

    This was such a great thing to come back to after a bad day at work. :)

  48. […] in voice work, and how she approaches her characters. Second in a multi-part series; check out Part 1 if you missed […]

  49. Dibol1987 says:

    Bekkael :
    Two of my favorite voice actors speaking with each other? It’s Christmas all over again. Thank you so much!

    We need to create a “Christmas in January.” :D

  50. […] interviewing Jennifer Hale (Femshep). This is really cool and I urge you to give it a listen: Raphael Sbarge: Jennifer Hale Q&A Part 1 | FanGeek.com Part 2: Raphael Sbarge: Jennifer Hale Q&A Part 2 | […]

  51. […] In part one, Jennifer discusses sharing the role of Commander Shepard with another actor, character development and the evolution of characters in video games.  You can listen to part one here. […]

  52. Tiffany Pike says:

    Thank you for doing this. Really. You guys are awesome in your own right and just listening to you be your actual selves verses your characters is something I know all of us as fans appreciate

  53. […] to its characters in part 3 of their audioblog conversation. Missed a part? Catch up on parts 1 and […]

  54. Nikki says:

    This is just.. wow. I love this. Thank you, Jennifer and Raphael, for giving these two characters such presence.

  55. maxon says:

    There’s a male shep? Oh.

  56. James Jones says:

    Great job, props to both of you for doing this. Love Jennifer – FemShep’s the ONLY way to play Mass Effect!

  57. Karen says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your time with your fans! March 6th cannot come soon enough; I am so ready (and sad!) for this story to be told (and over!) It just deepens the experience for me to know what you guys are putting into it on your end. Thanks so much!

  58. KarenC says:

    This was absolutely awesome and completely blew my mind. It was wonderful and weird to hear you guys talking IRL! You are both so very talented it is a pleasure listening to you. I play FemShep almost exclusively and I cannot imagine anyone doing a better job. And for Kaidan, well let’s just say that Raphael brings him to life!

  59. […] an interview Hale was asked about how she finds a character’s voice. Her reply was, “It’s all in the […]

  60. Zahra says:

    This is so perfect! I always play as fem!shep and pair her with Kaidan Alenko and this is just funny.
    Little things you wouldn’t realise like how they never record the scenes together- it makes sense, and it’s really pretty amazing to see an end result.
    Bless- I want them both to come to London in October sooo bad, I can’t even tell you.

  61. Karen says:

    without spoiling the next two games (much) i watched the reuniting of Kaidan and FemShep on Youtube. I though you did great. but then again its all how the player answered. she was a paragon player I could tell. she was picking mostly good guy answers. that’s how I’d play when I get my hands on the game.
    Jennifer, thanks for giving me the girl character i’ve been searching for to play. You give her life in ways every gamer in the world would loved and will always love.
    I always knew Kaidan and FemShep was the sweetiest romance couple I ever romanced. I now (Saying this blushing) quote what I’m calling is the Romeo and Juilet of the Mass Effect series. I feel the same for BroShep and Ashley.
    I thank you for many years of loveable game characters. If I haven’t said this in another reply.
    Thanks Raphael for giving us a sweet loveable Biotic to love for three games.

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