This is a very special entry on the blog, I recently had the honor to talk with Kristin Price, voice actress for Anne Cunningham, the enigmatic Police Officer from Silent Hill Downpour, and she kindly accepted to take the interview.
Inner Fear: Hello Kristin! Before getting into Silent Hill, could you talk a bit about yourself? Your professional background.
Kristin Price: Sure. I’ve been a performer since I was about 11 years old. Until 2004 I worked exclusively on stage (primarily musicals and Shakespeare) and then I began expanding into on-camera projects and voice acting. Since 2008 I’ve focused primarily on voice acting and occasional on-camera commercials; I’ll still get on stage occasionally to do a cabaret performance with friends, just to have fun and sing humorous songs.
Inner Fear: Why Voice Acting?
Kristin Price: Voice acting offers tremendous variety. You never know what types of projects you might be involved in from week to week or even day to day. For example, there was one day last year when I spent the morning voicing a toddler-friendly app for Disney, followed by some narration for a corporate presentation, then ended the day recording additional fight sounds for the final battle in “Silent Hill: Downpour.” I was glad things went in that order… it might have been tough to get to that “Disney” sound after an hour of pretending to be punched and stabbed!
Kristin Price: I still wonder about that. It was a complete fluke. The producers found my commercial demo on Voice123.com – I don’t even have a videogame demo – and liked my voice. At the initial audition we read the first Anne/Murphy scene where she falls into the ravine. My direction was to be pissed off at Murphy. After the first take John, the director, said, “you sounded… friendly and happy.” Fortunately they let us do a few more takes. I left that audition completely confident in the fact that I had blown it and had zero chance of booking the role. When they contacted me several months later about coming for a callback I was floored.
Inner Fear:Did you also mo-capped Anne, or you only gave her your voice?
Kristin Price: No, we didn’t do any motion capture. That would have been fascinating. However, physicality is always imperative in voice acting. There’s a lot of movement involved in creating characterizations like these. One of the great joys of this project was working with David (who voiced Murphy). The producers were very aware of the importance of the relationship between Anne and Murphy, and made sure that we were always in the booth together to record so we could react to each other. David is a tremendously generous actor, emotionally and physically. For instance, in the ravine scene we were actually grasping hands and pulling against each other a bit to get that physical tension of holding on and reaching.
Inner Fear: Were you aware of Silent Hill before voicing Anne Cunnigham?
Kristin Price: At the risk of annoying or pissing off SH fans… I have to admit I was only vaguely aware of the series. While I’m a huge sci-fi fan and could tell you absolutely anything about “Lord Of The Rings” or “Star Wars”, horror isn’t really my preferred cup of tea. Ironic, eh?
Inner Fear: Anne seems to be one of the most interesting characters in Silent Hill, not only because of her personality but also because she seems to be living her very own nightmare in the town as well. How would you describe her?
Kristin Price: Very driven. She’s spent years torturing herself by creating this mental picture of what happened to her father and focusing on revenge. That has closed her eyes to a lot of other possibilities. Judging by her off-screen experiences (which would make a great spin-off game, right, Konami and Vatra? Just sayin’…) the town is feeding her revenge fantasy and driving her closer and closer to the edge of rationality.
Kristin Price: The biggest challenge was accessing the depths of her anger. I’m very easy-going and averse to confrontation. I had to take some time and go to some uncomfortable mental places to find the right edge and aggression. I couldn’t live in those places all the time. It really made me feel for Anne – she HAS lived there for years.
Kristin Price: I have had the pleasure of doing several other smaller games recently and hope to do many more. I tend to be cast as law enforcement, moms, or evil sorceresses. Not surprisingly evil sorceresses are the most fun. They get huge enjoyment out of their evil-ness and that’s always a great way to spend the day.
Thank you for accepting this interview,
Manuel Carneiro – Inner Fear
Thank you! I appreciate your interest.