“Ha! You’re just a gutless fatso.”- Laura
Fresh off our Stargate coverage, I’m pleased to present to you an interview with Jacquelyn Breckenridge, the voice behind Laura in Silent Hill 2. Much like Heather Morris, Jacquelyn has remained under the gaming radar since her time spent in Silent Hill. Now, just over a decade later, Jacquelyn’s story can finally be told. A huge thanks to the great Jeremy Blaustein for getting me in touch with her. With Jeremy getting me in touch with Jacquelyn, and me getting him back in touch with Heather, I think we’re even. Finally, a huge thanks to Jacquelyn for allowing me to interview her. It was a real pleasure. Thank you! Everyone else, please enjoy.
Retroplayer- First off, tell us a little about yourself, Jacquelyn.
Jacquelyn- It has been such a long time since I have talked to anyone in depth about my experience in the game! Its funny actually…they spelled my name wrong in the credits so for so long everyone has thought my name was Jacky! It is actually Jacquelyn, or Jackie (with an ie instead of y) for short. I am currently a 20-year-old college student in the great state of Vermont. I am studying International Politics and Economics and learning to speak German. In college, I participate in a co-ed A Cappella group, do musical theatre, am a senator in student government and am a tour guide. I love to ski and spend time outdoors. I love to travel and have been fortunate enough to do so for much of my life.
Retroplayer- Give our readers an insight to what the audition process was like.
Jacquelyn- I remember my audition process very well. I participated in a lot of voice over work and TV while I was in Japan and was always attending auditions for new jobs. To me, this was just another audition. I wasn’t even sure what it meant to “be in a video game”. I remember walking into the large room with a panel of men sitting in front of me. I introduced myself and then Jeremy approached me and simply asked me to jump on his back and scream “I hate you!”. Although this was a strange request, without question I proceeded to pounce onto his back, hitting him with my fists and yelling “I hate you!” over and over. I remember it being a lot of fun actually. I’m pretty sure they had me read some lines and that was that. It was a very quick audition if I remember correctly.
Retroplayer- The themes and imagery in Silent Hill are quite disturbing at times, Jacquelyn, with them regularly entering into violent and sexual themes. Once you had the role how did the creators prepare you for the role? Were you aware of the darker side of Silent Hill, or did they think it was best to shield you from that knowledge?
Jacquelyn- I don’t remember being very aware of exactly how dark the themes in Silent Hill actually were. The entire experience was really just a lot of fun for me. The directors would instruct me to run after someone, lock them in a closet, and then run away laughing. At the time I just did as I was told. I remember later finding out that in that scene I was locking someone in a room with a monster to be killed or something? I’m not even quite sure now! Haha. The directors would give me more innocent contexts for what I was saying or doing. I think I knew it wasn’t exactly G-rated, but the directors were definitely cautious to shield me from any inappropriate content. I remember thinking it was such a big deal that I had to call someone a “gutless fatso” and thought my mom might be mad at me for using such crude language. Haha!
Retroplayer- Laura, compared to the other characters in Silent Hill 2, is unable to see the demonic and disturbing apparitions, and creatures that manifest themselves in the town. Did the creators give you a clear reason is to why this is?
Jacquelyn- I don’t remember exactly. This might explain why I was ignorant to a lot of the demonic themes of the video game while producing it.
Retroplayer- How did you approach portraying Laura?
Jacquelyn- I had done a lot of acting prior to playing Laura and found the part to be quite fitting for me. I could relate to the character of Laura’s childhood playfulness and ignorance, but also to her cunning and her manipulative nature. I have a brother and a sister and so I knew how to act this way haha. The directors were very helpful in instructing me on how to portray her better. I have always been able to take direction well which worked in my favor on set.
Retroplayer- You also did the motion capture for Laura, Jacquelyn. Give us an insight to how that went.
Jacquelyn- This was definitely the coolest part about the entire experience. Some days they would put me in a suit that attached to wires that attached to a computer and so every movement I made would show up on the computer as Laura. I am a brunette, so it was funny seeing my body and my movements on a little blond girl. Other days they put me in a suit that had little light sensitive balls attached to it that picked up light in order to catch my movements on the computer. I got to run around and climb on walls and fall onto mats and things like that which were very fun.
Retroplayer- Even 10 years after its release many fans of the ongoing franchise still see Silent Hill 2 as a stand-out entry. Since its release have you had any idea of how popular it became?
Jacquelyn- I had no idea how popular it would become! I remember when it came out a few friends exclaimed, “You’re in the Silent Hill video game!?”. So, I knew that it must have been at least a little bit well known at the time, but I didn’t understand the extent until I got older. I am so excited that it has been such a hit!
Retroplayer- Have you signed off on being in Silent Hill 2 HD?
Jacquelyn- I have indeed recently signed off on them using my motion capture. I am so excited that they have decided to produce an HD collection and am glad to be a part of it! I am happy to be able to support this project.
Retroplayer- What have you been up to since Silent Hill 2?
Jacquelyn- After Silent Hill 2 I continued to do a lot of voice over and TV work in Japan. I participated in a lot of Japanese educational shows as well as cartoon series’ and CDs. My family moved back to the U.S. when I went to high school. In the states, there was not as much of a market for me to do the same kind of work I had been doing in Japan. However, I still stayed very active in theatre and voice. I founded an a cappella group in my high school and was a part of a few musical theatre companies in which I performed multiple productions. In college I have continued to sing and perform and hope to so for the rest of my life. Right now I am focused on being a student and enjoying all the amazing things about college.
Retroplayer- Is voice acting something you may be interested in getting back into?
Jacquelyn- Absolutely. I had such a good time working on Silent Hill as well as all the other voice work I have done in the past. I don’t know when or if I will ever get another opportunity to return to voice acting but I would love to do so.
Retroplayer- Are you a gamer yourself? If so, what games do you enjoy?
Jacquelyn- I would definitely not call myself a gamer. The extent of my video game playing has been playing every so often with my little brother or watching the boys on my hall play for hours on end. I always felt bad when friends would ask me, “How do you get past ____ part in Silent Hill!?” and I had no idea!
Retroplayer- How do you want your portrayal of Laura to be remembered?
Jacquelyn- I’m hoping people have enjoyed my portrayal of Laura and that it has contributed to the development and entertainment of the game.
Retroplayer- What’s next for you Jacquelyn?
Jacquelyn- Hopefully completing college to the best of my ability and being successful out in the real world! I’m so excited for all the things I have to look forward to. I’m really hoping to continue singing and theatre as much as I can throughout my life because it has become an integral part of who I am today.
Retroplayer- And finally, even though it might surprise you, there’s plenty of people out there who are fans of work on Silent Hill 2. Do you have a message for all your fans here on TGL?
Jacquelyn- I am thrilled to know that there are so many Silent Hill 2 fans out there and I appreciate all their support and enthusiasm for the game! The making of this game was such a fun and exciting part of my life and I am so proud to be able to share it with all of you.