05 JanRaphael Sbarge: Kimberly Brooks Q&A Part 1

Raphael Sbarge (Kaidan, Mass Effect) chats with Kimberly D. Brooks (Ashley, Mass Effect) about Ashley’s Horizon letter, their characters’ journeys and their last recording sessions for Mass Effect 3, in the first part of a three-part interview.


Hey, it’s Raphael Sbarge, and I have a special treat: My friend Kimberly. Hey, Kimberly, you there?

Kimberly: Hey, I’m here. Hi.

Raphael: [laugh] Hey. So, through the marvel of science, technology and conference calls, we’ve brought Kaidan and Ashley to you.

Kimberly: Together, at last.

Raphael: Kimberly, you and I have known each other a long time, I mean, just from walking in and out of rooms and having a similar agent, and from just sort of the world of voiceover. It’s so funny that we’ve both done Mass Effect 1, 2 and 3, and we have this sort of parallel universe together.

Kimberly: I know. It’s actually kind of weird – it freaks me out a little bit. We are – we’re living parallel lives. It’s really neat. I can’t believe that we are playing the same character – the female and male version. I just think that’s really cool.

Raphael: Yeah, well, I mean – you’re Ashley, I’m Kaidan. The letter [Editor’s note: Ashley’s Horizon letter], I know, that of course you read…

Kimberly: Yeah.

Raphael: People went crazy for what you did; it was so beautiful.

Kimberly: Thank you!

Raphael: So great. What was it like doing it?

Kimberly: You know, it was really special because I know that’s a really pivotal part of the game. There’s a lot of unanswered questions, still. But I think it’s really cool to put a voice to that because I know a lot of people are really interested in where the relationship is going. So, I think it just makes it a little bit more intriguing.

Raphael: There were some questions, I guess, that they wanted to, I guess, ask you. And some of these may be relevant, some of them – I mean, I know, you, like me, are not a gamer. You, like me, have not played the game. I just got a copy of the game, and I’m about to get into it.

Kimberly: Yeah, I know.

Raphael: I’m excited about that.

Kimberly: I know – it’s, I don’t play the games. Really, usually, I mean, just because I don’t have a whole lot of extra time, it seems like. But, I have just, I got a new console, so I’m gonna to start…

Raphael: You’re gonna dive in!

Kimberly: I’m gonna try to dive in, and I’m sure I’ll be drawn in, because you know, what I’ve seen, and now that they’re showing us a lot more, during the game, during our actual sessions – it just looks so cool, and I just, I really wanna play it.

Raphael: It’s amazing what they’re doing at BioWare.

Kimberly: Yeah.

Raphael: So one of the things, one of the questions that they asked, was: As far as your character, what was your sense of how – David wanted to know – your general thoughts on the character of Ashley, and how she’s changed over the three games.

Kimberly: Well, I think, you know, she’s definitely changed quite a bit, and evolved – which is always a great thing for a character. But I think the one constant about Ashley is her dedication to the cause. She’s only ever had a military life, and that’s sort of all she knows. So, I think she’s been pretty constant with her beliefs. I think what’s changed is her belief, basically, in Shepard. I mean, she doubted Shepard so much in game one and game two.

Raphael: Yeah.

Kimberly: And her evolving in game three is just huge. I think it’s a really pivotal part of the game – without giving too much away. And I think it also depends on how you played Ashley. She could have evolved more or less, depending on how you played her, I think.

Raphael: Right, of course, I think that’s the way for all of our characters, I guess, depending on…

Kimberly: I know – that’s what’s so cool about the game.

Raphael: That’s the beauty part.

Kimberly: Yeah!

Raphael: What do you, someone wanted to know – Matthew – wanted to know for both of us: How was it reading the final lines of your characters in the Mass Effect series?

Kimberly: Um …

Raphael: Do you remember having that moment, like: This is your last line!

Kimberly: This is, oh yeah! Oh – you mean, just actually in the session?

Raphael: Yeah, like when you got to the, like, suddenly, like: Oh, hey. We’re done.

Kimberly: We’re done. I know. It’s, well, because it’s such, a huge, massive, project. Yeah – there’s definitely a feeling of “Wow, this is over. I can’t believe this is over.” It’s been a journey – a huge, journey. It’s definitely the most evolved game that I’ve ever been a part of. So, it was kind of sad.

Raphael: Yeah.

Kimberly: So, hopefully, who knows? Who knows what could happen in the future.

Raphael: Yes, indeed. It was voted, I guess, the most anticipated new game of 2012. Certainly, there’s a pretty excited audience, I guess, waiting for it.

Kimberly: Oh yeah, oh yeah.

Raphael: And who knows what could happen. I mean, I know reading some of the last lines for me were, I know, I was feeling kind of like … you just sort of feel like a wave kind of crashes over you. You go: Wow. Wow. Wow. OK. So, now we’re done. I don’t know…

Kimberly: I know, it’s a bit overwhelming because, yeah, like I said, it’s just, it’s a real world that we belong to. I mean, just like the characters in the game, you know, you don’t want to see it end.

Raphael: Yeah, yeah.

Come back tomorrow for part 2!

26 Responses so far.

  1. Emma Ambler says:

    Wow! that was really impressive and strange hearing you both together, I was really thrilled that you got Kimberly to do the reading of the letter as I’m a true Kaidan fan and (Sorry Kimberly)I always picked Kaidan so yeah just cant believe you left stopped it half way through you guys are well mean :P Thanks again

  2. Misty says:

    <3 <3 <3 Thank you so much for this! There's defo not enough Kaidan and Ash out there atm so it's awesome to hear you both.

  3. Natalie says:

    How cool are these actors? These two have gotten me so much more excited for ME3 than anyone from Bioware has. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  4. Kara says:

    Thank you Thank you a million times thank you for doing this. Kaidan and Ash get way too much hate and its so nice that my two original favorite characters got together to do this.

  5. Geirahod says:

    OMG!! Thank you both for this, really…I agree with Natalie, it’s because of you two that Im dying to play the game, I mean I want to play it to continue the history, but mostly and I dare to say, that it’s because of you, I really adore Kaidan and Ashley that this makes me so happy and excited.

    Thank you to all of you!!!

  6. Siansonea says:

    So neat! I love Kaidan and Ashley, and I think it’s wonderful that you both have taken the time to address the fans. Much appreciated! :) :) :)

  7. joie says:

    You guys are both so awesome for doing this, thank you. With so little info from Bioware on Kaidan and Ashley right now, its really nice that you guys put in such an effort for us.

  8. Il-Rev says:

    I wish more voice actors were doing what you guys are doing- it’s great to hear opinions from the hard working voice actors of the game, who make these characters feel alive. Can’t wait to hear part 2.

  9. Pete says:

    Wow for such great voice actors with excellent delivery they do say “Ya know?” and “Um” a lot :)

    But I loved it! Thanks a million zillion for uploading this and if Raphael and Kim read this – Keep up the amazing work. Fans for life.

  10. Lara says:

    Trippy! Haven’t heard Ash and Kaidan together since ME1! crazy! Thank you guys for doing this, its so great for the fans. I mean, not only are you guy s “living parallel lives” to each other, but also within the games you are living parallel lives to yourselves, depending on what the player has done. Anyway, you guys rock!!

  11. Emmy says:

    Wow…this was awesome!!! :D Thank-you so so much you two, such a generous thing to do! A real treat indeed :D

  12. Michelle says:

    This Just made my afternoon :D

  13. Velina says:

    I wish so much to have scene that Kaidan and Ash could talk together rather than just one on one.

    Can’t wait for the second part~ :D

  14. CptData says:

    Wow. Nice interview – I love you both Raphael & Kimberly. Two of the best characters in the series and Ashley is one of my all-time-favorites.

    Some part of me hopes that BW plans a reboot one day and asks you two for more Kaidan & Ashley voice acting. And I really hope they make it possible to save both characters on Virmire – the third option, the “Kobayashi Maru” solution, so to speak.

    Uh … rambling. Just keep in mind you two … you were part of a wonderful project that may have influence on our generation like Star Wars had on the generation of our parents. Aaand … that’s from a 30y old dude.

    Kudos you two.

  15. Amratis says:

    Fantastic, thanks so much for this! Can’t wait for part 2, will be keeping an eye out for it.

  16. Conny says:

    This is really cool!! Thank you so much for doing it =)

  17. Terry says:

    Thank you both so much for doing this.

  18. Helena says:

    My two favorite talking one on one! :D Thank you both so much, and I can’t wait ’til tomorrow’s continuation! :)

  19. Lily says:

    Thank you so much for taking time to do this for us fans! These audioblogs have me so excited for Mass Effect 3. :)

  20. Bekkael says:

    What a fantastic surprise! Thank you so much for bringing this to the fans. Eagerly looking forward to the next parts. :D

  21. Jesse says:

    That was really cool. Warms me up a little to learn about the people behind the voices of these characters. Especially since you guys do things for us like the Horizon letters.
    Nice to hear that you guys are trying out the games too! I know a lot of voice actors don’t actually see what their talent has been put into. Let us know your thoughts!

  22. Joni says:

    Thank you so much both of you. You both are so kind to do this for us VS lovers. I wish we could of had both of you for all 3 games. You have given us fans more than we could of ever hoped for. Your the best!! Much luck to both of you <3

  23. Lyriel says:

    It is just so amazing that now not only do we get Mr. Sbarge, but he and the wonderful Jaqui have brought us time with Ms. Brooks, too! You keep redefining generosity in terms of the time and lengths you all will go to for your fans, and we are so very lucky! I just want to make sure you know it’s all very much appreciated – can’t wait for the next installment!

  24. Michael says:

    Awesome guys! Kimberly, your voice is so dreamy.

  25. […] Raphael Sbarge (Kaidan, Mass Effect) chats with Kimberly D. Brooks (Ashley, Mass Effect) about how they were cast for the series and the evolution of videogames, in the second part of a three-part interview. (Catch up with part one.) […]

  26. […] D. Brooks (Ashley, Mass Effect) about the technology behind videogame voice work. (Catch up with part one and part […]

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