Spotlight: Interview with Nick Apostolides aka Leon S. Kennedy

RJ Dusek, Editor in Chief

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Leon S. Kennedy (Left) and his voice actor Nick Apostolides (Right). (Photo Courtesy of shacknews.com)

 

Hello everyone at Governor’s State, we are starting a new segment called Spotlight. The Spotlight segment in the Phoenix is used for Interviews with everyone. This issue’s Spotlight is with Nick Apostolides. He is a voice and motion capture actor for ADR and video games. Recently, he was in the hit remake Resident Evil 2. This interview is mainly on his role for the production.

RJ: What character do you voice/ motion capture for?

NA: Leon S. Kennedy

RJ: What was the process of getting this role?

NA: I saw a casting call – it was just one in a sea of millions. Upon quick glance, it said Resident Evil 2; now sometimes they cast for fan projects and short films. I submitted because I was a huge fan and when I got the audition notice, I read into it more carefully. I realized at that point that they were casting motion capture/voice for the ACTUAL game. I had to read it 3 times until it hit me. They were remaking the second one. I wanted the role. Badly. After the 3 auditions I got the part. The rest is history.

RJ: Was there a lot of pressure?

NA: I put a lot of pressure on myself for these things. The original RE2 (98′) made me the fan of the franchise. So yes, I took it VERY seriously. I knew nothing about MoCap and so I sought advice from trusted friends. I had to get that job.

RJ: Did you have fun playing Leon?

NA: That is a no brainer. He is an iconic character in my life. I have been playing the games as him for 20 years now. The whole process was an out of body experience. Every time I was on set, I had to remind myself that “you are playing this guy…”. Truly surreal.  Still is I think!  It’ll hit me one day.

RJ: How do fans respond to you?

NA: The feedback’s been 99% positive and I am INCREDIBLY grateful for that. Couldn’t be happier.

RJ: How long have you been voicing acting?

NA: I’ve done commercial/hosting VO for 7 years. This is my first major Video Game production which started in 2016. Since then, I have voiced 4 additional games! Again – I’m fortunate to say that!

RJ: Did you use your training for this role?

NA: Yes, I used my dramatic/movement and weapons training. My friend James is the one who trained me with firearms. In the audition process, they were looking for a person that could move like a cop. General gun movements. Regarding the MoCap aspect – this was my first gig. I had no clue what to expect. I reached out to the community and began MoCap training throughout the next 2 years. It helped me out along the way and enriched my performance.

RJ: Did you look at the past voice actors of Leon?

NA: I had watched and played all the games and was overly familiar with the past performances. I grew up on them so no, I didn’t have to revisit. Having said that, I am a HUGE fan of the former VO actors who portrayed Leon. When CAPCOM hired me, they assured me that I emodied their re-imagining of a young of Leon, instructing me to be myself. So, I didn’t think too hard about it.

RJ: Did you play the game?

NA: No. I have to honor a tradition with my younger brother and cousin and wait to play it with them. Late March/early April I’ll get to dive in. I know I am going to like it…its an RE game!!!. When Resident Evil 7 came out, I had to wait 11 months to play. Patience is tough!

RJ: What can you say about Resident Evil 2 to Governor’s State University?

NA: If you like tension and anxiety in your games, you are going to like this one. That is the whole reason I fell in love with the franchise, back in the day with the original titles.

RJ: When did the tradition start with your brother?

NA: I got him into it when RE4 came out. He was 9 yrs old. He loved it so much and so I introduced him into the other games shortly after.

RJ: Besides Leon, who is your favorite character?

NA: I gotta say we played 5 the most because of the co-op feature. It dived more into an action style of game-play, but it was REALLY fun! Chris Redfield would have to be my other favorite.

RJ: Have you seen the live action RE movies and what did you think of them?

NA: Yes, I have seen them. Maybe all but one? I thought the first 2 were interesting but I sort of lost interest after those. I wasn’t a fan of the editing style. I felt they stopped truly honoring the characters from the games; they just threw them in there. Didn’t have the depth that they have in the games.

RJ: Did you get along with everyone on the mocap team?

NA: Totally. There was no drama. It was a great experience all around. Every day. Every minute.

RJ: In high school was voice acting your long term agenda or did you have something else in mind?

NA: No, I went into the hospitality – had no real idea of what I wanted.

RJ: Did you have another favorite scene besides Kendo?

NA: The final confrontation with Ada. It was a great scene.

Apostolides was amazing to talk to. The way he explained everything to me was interesting.. Apostolides also explained to me the difference between in game and cinematic scenes. He is huge fan of the Resident Evil franchise.  Apostolides said, “The message I want to send out to fans is mostly I am just happy that they accept me in the RE universe. This character has been voiced by really talented people, and my goal is not to better or worse. It is to be able to sit at the same table as them.”