Interview with Erin Cahill- Chloe from Black Ops 2
As many of you are aware, probably one of the most anticipated games of the year was released Tuesday; Call of Duty Black Ops 2. I immediately got my copy, went home and did the same thing most of the people who got their game at midnight probably did; I went and played the Multiplayer. I did this for about 3 hours, and then proceeded to play the campaign. And I was glad I did. Because a few hours after finishing the campaign, I got to sit down and have a talk with Erin Cahill. Im not going to go into too much detail about her character because I want it to be a surprise for you guys. But I will tell you her character name. It is Chloe.
A little bit of background on Erin:
Erin has done a quite a bit of acting in the last 12 years, but she is most known for her roles as Jen in Power Rangers Time Force, Kendra Burke on Saving Grace and Rachel Ashe in the Beverly Hills Chihuahua movies. She has also made appearances on Cold Case, CSI: Miami, Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS, and House.
LT- Lauren Townsend
EC- Erin Cahill
LT- How did you find out about the role for Black Ops 2?
EC- You know I came by it just like an actor. I auditioned. And I didn’t even know what I was auditioning for. I just knew it was a super top secret video game. I thought, well that would be fun. I knew the casting director, and I thought, why not? And then I found out it was Call of Duty after I got it and I was really excited.
LT- You have done a lot of acting, and even voice acting before, you did a few voices for Star Wars: The Old Republic right?
EC- Yes. Just little side characters, so this is the first time I’ve had sort of a lead. [in a video game]
LT- Coming from an acting background, how does voice acting differ?
EC- Acting is acting, and the different mediums are different in their own ways. But as far as doing motion capture and voiceover, those are two very different things. They are both so much fun. When you are doing the voiceover for the character, you’re in a little sound booth in your normal jeans and t-shirt. But then when you are doing motion capture, you are in a big studio, in the suit with the dots and it’s just so much fun.
LT- Obviously you did a little bit of motion capture with your character, in addition to the voice recording. Did you do that first and then record the voice?
EC- Actually, they got a lot of my character’s voice, at the same time they got the motion capture. I had a microphone on. So I did a lot of the motion capture and voice at the same time. I did go back into the voiceover studio and do some pickups when they were wrapping up the game, but they got a lot of it when I doing the motion capture, I was surprised.
LT- That’s probably a lot easier than having to come back later to do the voice once they have created your character
EC- Oh yeah it is. It’s a lot more like a tv show or a movie when you do it all at the same time. And then like a movie you go back and do ADR, Automated Dialog Replacement, where they go back and replace what they missed. It was a lot like that, and felt very familiar, and fun. I just had so much fun doing this.
LT- Did you know anything about the Call of Duty franchise before you took the job?
EC- I did know about Call of Duty because I dated a gamer for 6 years. It’s the biggest video game in the world, and one of the biggest media sources in the world. So everyone knows Call of Duty and I was just so excited when I learned that that was the one. I was like ‘That’s a really big game.’ So yeah, I knew about it. I did not know nearly as many details as I know now, but I was definitely excited about it and had heard about it from the beginning.
LT- How does it feel knowing you voiced one of the first female characters in this franchise? And do you think there was pressure to portray the character right because of that?
EC- That is such a great question. No I never felt any pressure. Only excitement. I felt truly honored to be a part of the game, and so honored to be the first female character. Regardless of how big or small my role was, it is kind of a monumental thing. I was just like a kid on Christmas every time I went in to shoot. I never really felt pressure. I was just excited to be there.
LT- Would you like to do more roles like this in the future? Video game roles?
EC- Yes. I would absolutely love to do another role like this. I would actually love to do as many of the Call of Duty games as they would have me. I absolutely love the Treyarch family, the Activision family, working on the set with everyone. It was one of the most fun experiences and I would be honored to work with them in the future, on anything, but especially Call of Duty.
LT- So they treated you pretty well then when you went in to do your acting work?
EC- They really treated me beautifully. They actually treat everyone really well. It’s like a family. It is a family environment so it’s just the best being there and I loved it. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
LT- What do you think about female gamers, and the stereotype that most people who play video games are guys?
EC- Yeah, there is a stereotype out there. It does kind of feel like a very male driven society, but the more that I am hearing, the more female gamers are coming out of the woodwork, I just think it is awesome. It just takes all types and every girl that I talk to that plays it, has been completely cool. I think it’s exciting and I hope that having a female character be entangled to the storyline, is cool for women too, and I hope it builds the foundation for more female characters.
LT- Do you play any video games?
EC- I want to, but I don’t really. The only video games I played growing up were Duck Hunt and Mario Brothers and Pacman and things like that.
LT- Who didn’t play those games?
EC- I know right? It’s such a part of our youth. But as far as now, no I don’t. I actually really want a gaming system, I don’t have one. So when Treyarch sent me a copy of the game, I was like ‘Great guys. Now all I need is a gaming system.’ So I would love one. I would love to get into it. It is such an amazing world.
You know something they said to me while working on the game, I thought it was so fascinating. They told me the reason video gamers are so loyal is because you know when you are watching a movie or a tv show you are only spending a certain amount of time with the character in that world. But with video games you can spend hundreds of hours in the world of it, being part of the world. And so it is a different experience. I just thought that was so fascinating and so right on the money that is what is even more exciting doing video games.
LT- You said they sent you a copy of the game, what system did they send you?
EC- They asked which one I wanted, and I got the email when I was sitting with a friend of mine who is a huge gamer. He said to ask for it on the PS3. I’m going to ask for it on the xbox because that’s what I originally wanted to do because that’s the only system I have played. Currently i have a copy for the PS3, but I have nothing to do with it. [Laughter]
LT- You pretty much answered my next question. I was going to ask if you had played the game, or had plans to play the game.
EC- I have not played it but I have every intention of doing so and I am excited to.
LT- I think you will be very excited and happy with the game as long as you don’t get upset when you die.
EC- I knew that if you played wrong I would die because we filmed like three or four different deaths for me. The first time we shot me dying they were real cute about it. They said, “We’re sorry. If they don’t play correctly you will die.” I said, ‘I totally understand. I have died in many projects; it is nothing personal.’
LT- Anything else you want to say to those reading this interview?
EC- To any of my fans; Thank you for the support and being a fan, not just of me if you are, but also of the game. I’m truly honored to be a part of it. Hope to see everyone at conventions. I send my love to all my fans. I have the most wonderful and loyal fans and I am so grateful for all of them.
And a big shootout to Karen Shih. I think my world would stop turning without her. She’s the best.
LT- Thank you so much for the interview Erin.
EC- Absolutely my pleasure. Thank you for interviewing me and I wish you the best.
Pick up your copy of Black Ops 2 now and find out what all the hype is about.
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