An interview with Mark Hamill

Hamill on his gaming glories: past, present, and future…

Call of Duty 2 (2005)

“I was mostly in the studio by myself, doing whatever was required. But it's all artifice really – like looping dialogue. A huge percentage of the Star Wars movies are looped, meaning ADR – additional dialogue recording. It’s not the original voice track: it’s us in studios, replacing our voices. If there’s anything that needs a specific noise it’s looped. The sound people will tell you – they won Oscars on all three films.”

X-2: Wolverine’s Revenge (2002)

“The thing about voiceover that is so appealing to me is it’s liberating not to be seen. The anonymity is part of the magic. I feel like a magician’s assistant in the sense that if you play your part right, it comes out really well. In voiceover you can play a much broader range of characters, because they’re not concerned with how you look, just how you sound.”

Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009)

“Joker is endearing because he’s so committed to what he considers his own genius. There’s a real symbiotic relationship with Batman. I don’t know if there are two fictional characters more perfectly suited to one another. Maybe Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty. He takes such glee in what he does. It’s absurd on its face – you can’t bring too much real-life logic to it, but within the comic book world, he towers above so many other run-of-the mill villains.”

Full Throttle (1995)

“I remember playing a full, three-piece suited character, almost someone out of a Tennessee Williams play. I came at that game with a repertory theater frame of mind, where you play a butler one night, the leading man the next, then a sidekick the third night. Maybe the fourth night, you’re not even on stage: you’re running the booth. A jack of all trades, master of none. I grew up that way.”

Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix (2002)

“I love character parts because they are so far removed from yourself. When I played Amadeus or Joseph Merrick (aka 'The Elephant Man') on Broadway, I look in the mirror and feel Mark has receded and the character is there. I lean on the side of villainy for voiceover because they push the buttons of the audience and illicit emotions that make for a colourful story.”

Black Pearl (TBC)

“The challenge here is to make [the spin-off of Hamill’s comic book] as gritty and realistic as real life. If you accidentally kill someone, you'll be pursued by the forces of justice. You get wounded and tired, and so you'll be rewarded for non-confrontation. It’s the opposite of a shooter. The game isn't an easy sell, because it’s different. It’s more of a stealth game. We’re trying to attempt an alternate adventure and action game.”

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers (1993)

“This is where Mark gets to be Steve Buscemi: a character sidekick to Tim Curry. Curry is a masterful actor. I saw him on stage when he did Rocky Horror at the Roxy Theatre on Sunset Boulevard. When I was listening to Tim's tracks, in my imagination I had a perfectly lit set, even though I was in a recording studio. To me that's what is so thrilling about voice-acting for games."

Wing Commander (1994-1997)

“We had cheat sheets of every kind. If you look at the game, when we’re looking down at the game's interface with light on our faces, that's from a teleprompter because of the massive amount of dialogue. One of the greatest things about doing animation or videogames is you don’t have to memorize your lines. You get as old as I am, it’s hard.”

Jan 13, 2009

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  • ReverendTed - January 17, 2010 3:08 a.m.

    I'm not sure I'd call Soldier of Fortune II's Assistant Director Wilson a "mentor". He comes across as an antagonistic weasel throughout the game, even before it's eventually revealed that he's the megalomaniacal villain behind the whole affair. Hamill's hidden line of dialogue in the credits had me in stitches. I have to say that Nicholson, Ledger, and Hamill all did fantastic jobs with their respective Jokers. I wouldn't say any were better or worse - all different, and all excellent. I think the medium of animation gives Hamill the ability to let loose and cast his Joker as the most, well..."unhinged" of the lot.
  • GamesRadarMatthewKeast - January 15, 2010 7:09 p.m.

    I'll add my own nerd perspective: Yet would Vader have killed the Emperor without Luke's influence? Remember Vader's last words are that Luke saved him. Vader's sympathy for Luke's suffering at the hands of the Emperor returned his humanity to him.
  • Kenzo - January 14, 2010 7:13 p.m.

    yeah, Vader destroys the emperor, and thus becomes Anakin again, therby ridding the world of Darth Vader and bringing balance to the force
  • Howetzer - January 14, 2010 6:53 p.m.

    Hrmm Diddly I guess in a way though one could interpret that Anakin did bring balance to the force, so mayhap I have been too harsh, because I guess Vader was the one who actually destroyed the emperor by throwing him down the shaft, so maybe youve got a point there. Bravo! LOL
  • Howetzer - January 14, 2010 6:48 p.m.

    @ Diddly Im not a real SW nerd, but even I know that Anakin did not bring balance to the force, but pushed it over almost compeltely to the darkside i.e. exterminating almost every last Jedi in the galaxy and taking up the mantle of Darth Vader. It was Anakin (Vader's) Son, Luke that brought the balance back to the force by defeating Vader and the emporer and bringing back the Jedi order..thus the movie return of the jedi. Jeese man common!
  • lovinmyps3 - January 14, 2010 5:58 p.m.

    Mark Hamill rocks. =)
  • billyhtchcoc - January 14, 2010 4:11 p.m.

    Am I the only one who is bemused that the photo they used for Gabriel Knight is the only game in the series that his character WASN'T in?
  • Styrophoamicus - January 14, 2010 6:22 a.m.

    I love how you can be watching an animated show, hear a voice, and then later be like 'Mark Hammill did that? Whaaaa-?!' (such was my reaction when I found out he was the Joker, as well as Ozai in Avatar: The Last Airbender). Just goes to show that there really is no shame in voice-acting; Mark has it down perfectly
  • Sebastian16 - January 14, 2010 5:51 a.m.

    This is the best thing you guys have ever done.
  • michaelmcc827 - January 14, 2010 4:23 a.m.

    Didn't really like the format of the article, but interesting nonetheless. And Charlie, try harder next time ;)
  • smallberry - January 14, 2010 3:10 a.m.

    My favorite portly detective.
  • diddly - January 14, 2010 3:08 a.m.

    Luke didn't bring balance to the force, Anakin did!
  • AnonymouZ - January 14, 2010 2:56 a.m.

    I was thinking, who the fuck is Mark Hamill? Obviously i wasn't nerd enough. Mea culpa, Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa then again, i nerded up again by reading this whole article... nice one... even if it reposted from somewhere else xD
  • Silentboy - January 14, 2010 1:25 a.m.

    As far as I'm conserned, Mark is the only voice for Joker that actually fits the character. He was also really good in Darksiders.
  • mgkyo666 - January 14, 2010 1:20 a.m.

    Mark Hamill FTW!!! He's awesome!
  • thor0997 - January 14, 2010 12:17 a.m.

    What?!?! I didnt know that he did both!!! He probably warps space/time around himself with his awesome!
  • SausageLozenge - January 13, 2010 11:54 p.m.

    a ton of voice actors. Sorry about the double post. Mark deserves it though.
  • SausageLozenge - January 13, 2010 11:54 p.m.

    Anybody remember Mark Hamill as The Trickster in the Flash TV show? Mark also has a movie called "Comic Book: The Movie" which features a ton of v
  • mentalityljs - January 13, 2010 11:28 p.m.

    It's great to hear reknown actors and actresses using their talents in other mediums, rather than just being camera whores. It really brings the characters to life and i feel players are sucked in more. Awesome article.
  • LeeCarvallo - January 13, 2010 10:55 p.m.

    Whenever I read a Batman comic I hear all of The Joker's lines in Hamill's voice. That version of The Joker and the rest of the Batman TAS are definitive Batman for me. And Episodes 4-6 of Star Wars are amongst the greatest films of all time. Mark Hamill is awesome.

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