Interview With Voice Actor Elias Toufexis
For those who are unaware Elias Toufexis is both an actor and voice actor. He’s been in games such as Deus Ex as Adam Jensen, Kobin in the Splinter Cell series, Takkar in Far Cry Primal and so much more.
Toufexis has found it extremely rewarding that he has gone onto work for so many AAA games. “It’s great what you have to do in this industry as an actor is cultivate relationships. So I have a really good relationship with a company like say Ubisoft cause I’ve done 4-5 games for them.” said Toufexis. He then goes onto explain that he still has to go through auditions just like every other voice actor trying to get the same job as him. And due to his relationship with these companies he’s able to get auditions and know what they’re looking for.
When asked how the process is for doing VO (voice over) for DLC (downloadable content) the process can be a little bit different. He mentions how his latest one with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey where he played Leonidas. “Everything I did in that game was full performance capture. So I didn’t do any voice work for leonidas.” said toufexis. That was in regard to the base game. But when he did the DLC they wanted to just animate his actions so all he did was VO.
He then explains how for Deus Ex he had to do DLC that where performance capture, so he was flown over to the studios to do so. It all depends on what the studio wants to go about it, as well as what the DLC is. “But for the most part it’s like a shorter much more condensed version of what you’ve already done.” said toufexis.
When asked about motion capture and doing to VO at the same time, he had a few things to say about it. “The older ways and they still do it and I don’t like it. Is you motion capture it and then you go into the studio and try to match what your body did.” toufexis further explains “The real way the performance capture way. Which is what we did with assassins creed, or deus ex which is theres a little camera on your face, a helmet it has a mic on it, with dots all over your face, dots all over your body everything is captured at the same time.” said by toufexis. He went on to say that’s the most effective way to do it. Toufexis is doing a full on performance when he does that kind of motion capture because not only does he have to learn his lines but he has marks to hit as and acted it out too.
Toufexis goes on to explain how different studios perform a little different. But how in the big picture they’re all the same in regards to deadlines and hitting your marks. He went on to say how open studios are more to his liking. “I would prefer an open studio where I can talk to the creative director anytime I wanted.” explained toufexis. He furthered explained how not all studios do that. And he doesn’t meet anyone but the team in the studio.
Adding lip which is a phrase used when actors & actresses go off script to add their own flare. Isn’t really down much in the video game industry. “A lot of times it’s literally timed. Look this cutscene is this many minutes and seconds. So you can’t go past that.” expalined toufexis. But studios do allow creative freedom during rehearsal and see if it’ll fit the meta of the game.
Toufexis went on to explain the process of making a AAA game. Depending on the game will make all the difference. He notes back to Deus Ex and how it took them two years to make it. And how Assassin’s Creed took a year to make., but the foundation was there already. But ultimately no more than a year or two to get it down from a performance stand.
Working on more than one title at a time isn’t odd at all in this industry. He’ll find himself at times working on a few games at a time. Toufexis went on to explain how he’s currently working on an unnamed project and the team asked him if he had any other projects. So they would know if they had direct competition. He went on further to explain how if you’re a lead on two different games coming out around the same time that could cost you a job.
Toufexis went on to explain how Far Cry Primal and Deus Ex Mankind Divided where coming out on the same day. Being a lead in both games made Deus Ex delay launch, but it’s important to add that the delay wasn’t solely on him.
Toufexis went on to say how he’d love to work in anime. But one a big downside to doing anime is that the pay isn’t all that well. “I’d love to do an anime but they don’t pay very well. The enlish dub for anime don’t pay very well. If you’re dubbing a dragon ball z episode you’re not getting a lot of cash for that.” He went on to explain how he doesn’t know exactly how much dragon ball pays and was using that as an example.
Toufexis went on to say “Here’s a little actor secret a good thing about doing an anime is you may not get paid well in the day. But you can go and live off of the conventions for a long time if it’s a popular anime.” He went on to explain how the voice of goku gets invited to a lot of cons and more than likely makes a decent earning from that alone.
Elias Toufexis is a very talented actor who has worked on a number of different projects. Be sure to keep up to date with him on his Twitter @Elias Toufexis