This interview was held by Rick123Axel.
Chuck Kourouklis portrayed Hershel Greene in Telltale's The Walking Dead Video Game
How did you get your role as Hershel Greene?
I got the role of Hershel Greene as most voice actors do, by auditioning. The process is likely more mundane than one might imagine; Telltale Games sent their scripts to Bay Area talent agencies, which then distributed the scripts by email to their actors. We were given a group of characters for which to read, and about a weekend to get the auditions done.As a voice actor, you are expected to have a home recording setup to accommodate this requirement. Mine is relatively simple: a professional grade Sennheiser MKH-416 microphone jacked into a laptop through a USB adapter, with Adobe Audition recording software. I auditioned for a number of characters - Kenny, the driver of the squad car at the beginning of game, some seven or eight available male characters. It seems Hershel was the one they liked best from me, and when my agent told me so, I happily accepted. From there, Telltale coordinated with my agent to schedule me for recording sessions.
Since you aren't seen again after the first episode would you return if asked?
I'm unsure of Hershel's arc in any future Walking Dead episodic games, but I should be very pleased to reprise the role as the need arises.Did you watch the TV show or read the graphic novel prior to getting a role in the Game? And if so, do you have a favorite character?
I didn't have time to research the graphic novels or television show prior to booking the role, and this is a very astute question for you to ask; on most occasions it is rather to an actor's benefit to mine whatever available background to build a foundation for character choices. My time for auditioning was short, but a factor working very much in my favor was the quality of the writing, and the strategic choice of material for us to audition. Not many interactive projects are written quite this well, and the selected audition material put us right in the heart of a crisis for each character. In Hershel's case, it was his son's death scene that allowed me the catharsis and commitment necessary to book the role. I would have to say from playing the game that Lee and Clementine have been very much my favorites -not just as protagonists, but for the nuances of their personalities. And I very much admire the work of the actors who portrayed them.What was it like to work with Dave Fennoy and all the other amazing voice actors in the Game?
This is another aspect that might not live up to the way one imagines, and it's not that Dave Fennoy isn't magnificent to work with - I happen to know that from another circumstance. But the way the recording sessions were arranged, each of us performed these scenes on our own without benefit of live interaction with other actors in the scene. This is often fully the disadvantage it would appear, but in our case, the directors were very sure of what they wanted and very skilled in communicating it to us performers. Because they were so specific in coaching us, and because so many of the actors were so sensitive to the beats of a scene even without the other players present, they were able to create the illusion of live interaction.
In what ways are you similar to, as well as different from your character Hershel?
This is a more amusing question than you might guess. I'm some 20 or 25 years younger than Hershel, but a common refrain among family and friends is what grand old man I'll make.
You might say I tend toward the prickly curmudgeon, depending on the circumstance - mostly, it seems, when I'm confined to office work. I like to think I have Hershel's moral constitution, protectiveness, and sense of priorities. Unfortunately, I can also have Hershel's occasional lack of foresight.How do you get into the role when recording?
In Hershel's case, I would remember his accent and age, and the particular placement I chose for his voice. My best description of that last is that I gave him a bit more of a snarl than I'm wont to use naturally. An interesting thought experiment for you might be to imagine that same soft-palate placement without the Georgia/Southeastern US accent, and with something a bit more patrician and closer to home for you. If you're familiar with the actors Jeremy Irons or Patrick McGoohan, those are two references I've also found lucrative. But ultimately, the vocal choice is at best ten percent of the character. It just happens to work as a key for me to unlock Hershel. But then I imagine his possible military background from his garb, the inarticulate love peeking through the gruffness with his son, his concern for children and the innocent, his rigidity-to-a-fault upon nearly any given decision, and the general earthy straight-forwardness characteristic of American Southerners. The scene guides me through the rest, and often teaches me a thing or two more about his personality.Do you have any ideas of scenes cut featuring Hershel?
I'm not aware of anything cut with Hershel (enough time has passed, I may indeed have forgotten). There are often rewrites, though, when it is discovered later in the process that the dialogue isn't working in spots as originally conceived. I can remember redoing a few scenes with Hershel; alas, I can't remember exactly what changed.
What was your reaction to hearing that The Walking Dead had won the Game of the Year award at Spike VGAs as well as the huge success of the Game in general? Did you ever expect it to become so successful?
I was taken rather aback at the success of the game, as were most of the other actors and not least Telltale Games themselves! I believe Dave flew out to London for the BAFTA nominations, and I can tell you from interviewing the man that he is amazed and humbled by the whole experience. But if you'll permit me, perhaps the most delightful aspect of it all is having someone like you reach out across an entire ocean to let me know how much our work moved you. Voice acting can be an insular, solitary pursuit at times, and the tendency is to move from one job to the next, never quite accounting for the possibility that something you did may have had an impact on someone. That's why your interest is so immensely flattering and validating, and a more complete reason I say once again, the honor is all mine.Did the cast and crew do anything special after the Game was finished?
I was unable to attend, but there was a celebratory dinner for the cast.
Are you currently working on any other projects?
Versatility is key for voice acting in the San Francisco Bay area, and the Northern California Honda dealer campaign is a nice regular meal ticket from the commercial genre. This area also has a pretty steady stream of industrial, corporate- and medically-oriented narrations. There's also practically an entire universe of smaller interactive titles produced here to keep the character chops sharp.There'll be a straight-to-dvd animated feature updating the Wizard of Oz canon, in which I play a rehabilitated Cowardly Lion. If you go a few posts down my timeline, you'll see the "Chuckie Goes To Hollywood" video - that's the exact voice I use for the character, thought the lines are made up for purposes of our filming.Perhaps the latest project with a profile high enough for you to notice is Telltale's latest interactive, "The Wolf Among Us". It's with some diffidence I must admit I play Mr. Toad, notable in part for his dodgy cockney accent - though I think in most other aspects, he's played reasonably well. I also play Bufkin, the flying monkey, and you see his greenish maquette attributed to my name in posts a little further yet down my time line.
Thank you again on behalf of the entire wiki! We appreciate it very much!
This has been a pleasure and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did the writing!