Final Fantasy 16 actor says playing Clive helped him process the loss of his father

Final Fantasy 16's Clive looks bashfully at Jill, who is off screen
(Image credit: Square Enix)

The actor behind Final Fantasy 16's Clive has spoken about how the role helped him process his father's death.

Appearing on the Kinda Funny Games daily show, actor Ben Starr was asked by a viewer if he drew any "outside inspirations" for his performance as protagonist Clive in Final Fantasy 16. Starr reveals his father passed away while he was shooting the new Square Enix game and that his performance allowed him to process his loss.

"Listen, let's get real," Starr begins. "So this game means a lot to me... my dad died during the making of this game, and there's a lot of loss that Clive goes through, and I'm sorry to get heavy but it's true - it's amazing how much this game allowed me to process that loss into something good and creative."

"The team were incredibly good at allowing me to be as expressive as I possibly could," Starr adds. "So yeah, when you're hearing some of that stuff, that's kind of real," the actor says, alluding to the grief it sounds like Clive will be going through in Final Fantasy 16. 

"Clive saved my life. This game saved my life," Starr continues, adding "The last time I ever spoke to my dad was on the way to recording this game. He was the guy who first brought me Final Fantasy 8. He was the guy who supported me through, you know... who I look up to."

"That loss was devastating, it destroyed me," the actor explains. "I'm trying to vocalize it and get it out there as much as possible because I want him to be remembered, and he's so much a part of this game and a part of the fabric of who Clive is. I wouldn't be here doing this if it weren't for him, because he brought me that game, and he would've have changed my life in that way."

"And so a lot of the stuff, as it goes on it feels raw," Starr says of Final Fantasy 16's progressing narrative. "It's that, and it's him, and he's in this game as much as I am," the actor concludes. 

Final Fantasy 16 launches next week on June 22, exclusively for the PS5. You can read our full Final Fantasy 16 preview to see what we made of the early hours of the game, as well as developer comments from Square Enix. 

You can also read our upcoming PS5 games guide for a full look ahead at how the rest of the year is going to play out for the new-gen console. 

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.