What's your favorite scene or line from any of the previous Command & Conquer games that you've been involved with?
There's a scene in the first Red Alert 2 where Kari Wuhrer stares into the camera, smiles seductively and then just jumps up and down for a full 5 and a half minutes. In her tank top. I thought that scene really went a long way in laying the foundation for the character of “Special Agent Tanya.” Unfortunately, we had to cut it at the last minute due to a shortage of disk space. And threats from the ESRB, who are frankly really starting to piss me off.
Has playing the role of Kane for so many years impacted your daily life?
Why yes, Gary, yes it has. I haven't paid for a cocktail or a dinner or admission into a club for that past 15 years. And last November, when I went in for the pec implants, the doctor was a big C&C fan and did it for ¼ of his usual fee (he also tattooed a Nod scorpion under my left nipple, but that's another story…). I can't walk down the street without being mobbed by screaming 19 year old swimsuit models, unless I'm wearing my Burkha.
Are you receiving any kinds of feedback from the fans on your return?
Oh sure, I get a hundred or so emails a day. I'm sitting in front of my inbox right now as a matter of fact; let me read you some of the subject lines: “Please stop.” I think that one's from Tricia Helfer. “Seriously dude: you suck.” I'll bet that one's about my unyielding support for President George W. Bush.
What is it about Command & Conquer that makes it such a popular franchise for so many years?
Perhaps it's a little ego-maniacal, but I truly like to think that that a lot of thegame's lasting popularity has to do with the FMV. I really believed back when we were playing with the ideas that would culminate with the first Command&Conquer that this was a whole new way of telling story, a whole new way of connecting to a whole new generation of audience in a whole new genre. There's something to be said for having a pair of human eyes staring out at you from a monitor, challenging you to complete a task, taunting you toward failure, pleading with you for help – there's a personal connection there that's very hard to recreate with CG. To this day I have so many people tell me that I'm the reason they failed their PoliSci midterms or had to get divorced or whatever; they stayed up way too late trying to wipe that smug smirk off of my face! Sure, CG has come a long way: it's easy to create texture, motion, mass – very realistic looking characters. But at the end of day, these are still just golems; I still believe it takes a human being to really connect with a gamer on a human level.
How do you think C&C 3 is going to do? Do you think it will live up to its legacy and be a huge hit?
I think it's going to be a huge hit because a lot of people are going to buy it. Which they should, because it's going to be a huge hit. It's a very smart game put together by a very smart group of people who really respect the history of Command&Conquer andthe epic mythology of the C&C universe. It's exciting to see the pride and enthusiasm on the faces of everyone involved and I'm truly glad to be able to make my small contribution. AndIthink in the year 2025, when they start handing out Nobel Prizes for Computer Games, Mike Verdu will make a very nice speech as he accepts my portion of the Special Lifetime Achievement Award on my behalf. I plan to have been eaten by hyenas by 2019.
If you could cast any actors for a C&C game, who would be on your dream team?
I think EA has pretty much found their dream team right now in C&C 3. I mean, come on – Tricia Helfer?! Grace Park?! Billy Dee Williams?! My brother Daniel?! You can't beat that line-up with a stick! In fact, I can't even imagine how they could possibly do any better in the future! They'll probably just throw in the towel and use robots. Everybody loves robots.
Finally, how did you get the role of Kane?
Back in 1995, I was going through a bunch of boxes in my grandfather's attic. I found the role of Kane in an old spittoon buried deep under a pile of National Geographics from the 50's. I dusted it off, tried it on; it fit like a glove! My brother Michael saw me with it and tried to wrestle it away from me. But the secret to fighting Mike: go to the body. I subdued him with a flurry of kidney punches and actually cracked a couple of his ribs. Then I ran off and hid under the porch with Rufus, our old hound-dog. Mike was a'skeered of goin' under the porch on account a' the possums. The role of Kane was mine, dammit, and I weren't givin' it up fer nobody!
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