Recently we managed to track down the awesome Cam Clarke and we asked him a few questions. Cam, known to gamers as the man that voices Liquid Snake, has a plethora of work behind the iconic character. How about his other work in He-Man, Turtles, Akira, TaleSpin, The Mask, Assassin’s Creed II, EverQuest II, Dragon Age: Origins, Halo Wars, Killer7, Metal Gear Solid and so much more! When talking to such a respected and talented man, where do you start? As gamers we want to know about games but out of sheer interest we want to know more: so the interview below tries to draw from everything. A slice and sample of the workload of Cam Clarke.
The Gaming Liberty: You started work in TV and from there your voice talent was recognized. How did it feel swapping between acting physically and then through your voice? Do you think that this is a natural progression for actors?
Cam Clarke: Not really, It was just a case of me trying out all the different ventures in which the actor might make a living. And since my on camera career wasn’t happening I felt very fortunate that the voice career took off!
TGL: Do you think the distinction between acting and voice acting distorts the “connection” you may feel to a project?
CC: I wouldn’t say it “distorts”, it’s just a whole different way of communicating as an actor.
TGL: Not ignoring your extensive portfolio, your work on the Turtles TV show has become almost legendary. Was the character of Leonardo your preference or were you open to any of the other VA work available?
CC: Actually, I was really hoping to do Michelangelo! In fact when we were cast, even after we arrived at the studio it wasn’t decided who would play Leo and who would play Mike ( between Townsend and me) and they just flipped a coin pretty much and that’s how it landed!
CC: <Laughs>….Yes, but not necessarily in a good way!
TGL: So…out of the turtles, who would be your favourite?
CC: Leo of course!
TGL: With the evolution of the games industry in the 80′s/90′s, it seems your computer game presence started to become stronger and stronger. When you were first cast for VA work in computer games, how did you feel about the opportunity?
CC: Early games were incredibly tedious since there wasn’t really much plot but mainly just a lot of screaming and yelling and blowing each other up and keeping score! Now, there is real writing going on that requires real acting. The script nowadays are quite often like real movie scripts.
TGL: In 1998 we saw the release of Metal Gear Solid on the Playstation 1 and with that you became a household name to gamers. Playing Liquid Snake, brother of Solid meant your voice acting needed to be cold, cunning and demanding (as a leader). How did you feel you slipped into the role as Liquid? Did you have any direction from Hideo Kojima or people within Konami about how they wanted the voice to be portrayed?
CC: Playing villians is much more fun than playing heroes: especially if you’re a bit of a villian yourself. [As for direction] The only one I had direct input from was the American Director Kris Zimmerman – an amazing animator/game designer.
TGL: Metal Gear Solid shipped over 6 million copies and became one of the gaming industry’s most bankable franchises. Were you surpried at the reception?
CC: Most definitely. In fact I was on a cruise of the Baltic and shared a table whith some young people who, after hearing my name, knew who I was and went on about Metal Gear Solid – and they were from the UK!
TGL: During the story of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty we saw Liquid and Ocelot almost becoming “one” so to speak. This story arc seems to divide a lot of fans: what did you think of this augmentation between two fiercely independant characters?
CC: I love any challenge they can throw at me!
TGL: You were brought back on several occassions for your Metal Gear Solid voice work, do you have any favourite moments from your time with the franchise?
CC: Nope, the whole thing was pretty fun to play!
TGL: Are you a big gamer? If so, what are you playing at the moment? Could you regard any game as your “favourite”?
CC: Don’t hate me but i’m quite the technophobe! I honestly haven’t played a game since Pong or Pacman! I’m more of a good old fashion pin-ball player.
TGL: On some occassions you have used several aliases. Is there any particular reason (from your experience) for some actors to decide against using their birth name?
CC: It’s just kind of like writers using different names, I guess…
TGL: Aside from your acting and voice acting you have released your own album entitled “Inside out”. Was this always a venture you wanted to explore? Do you have any other musical projects lined up in the future?
CC: Singing is my first love so it was great fun doing the album. But even more, I enjoyed the album of Christmas music that I recorded entitled “Homeward”.
TGL: Looking back on all of your projects, is there one particular event, voice, song or acting moment you have enjoyed more than anything?
CC: It’s so hard to find just one. The most fun was playing Freddy the Ferrit on “Barnyard” and singing for “Lion King”, but the one that has made me the proudest was doing the voice of Snoopy because I was such a huge huge fan of “peanuts” growing up.
TGL: What do you think could be your greatest achievement to date?
CC: Impossible for me to say! Whay not ask the fans?
TGL: What does the future hold for Cam Clarke?
CC: Hopefully just doing what i’m doing ’til the day I drop and they put me in the ground!
TGL: Finally, we also have a couple of questions from the community if that’s ok?
Slash: Is the voice you use for Liquid similar to your normal voice?
CC: Not at all, in fact, I rarely use my real voice on any animated projects!
Rob2D: Are you annoyed that:
– You were cut from God of War II
– Not asked back to voice Miller in Peace Walker.
CC: It’s always a bummer when a roll you’ve played is gone but hopefully there’s always more where that came from!
TGL: Thanks Cam!
CC: No problem!
TGL wish to thank Cam for his outstanding work both in games, but in TV too. You can check out Cam’s official website here.