Courtney Hope Interview (w/ Transcript)

Updated: Mar 3


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Courtney Hope from Control, Quantum Break, and the Bold and the Beautiful joins us for an amazing interview. She provides some incredible insight working with Remedy and Sam Lake, her nerdiness, and much more!


Transcript for the hearing impaired.

*AI generated and not exact to the actual audio



Peter:

Courtney, how are you doing?


Courtney:

Good! How are you? Peter: Super excited. I'm so glad you could. We got this to work out. I'm so happy you can join us. This is amazing. Thank you so much for joining us today. How are you doing today?


Courtney:

I'm doing really well. Thank you for having me. I'm excited.


Peter:

No Problem. Courtney I'm so happy to have you on here. I'm going to introduce myself. My name is Peter Voland. I am the sort of like the founder. I am the founder of Nerds. Adulting where we're a smaller podcast where we're, it's a, it's a growing, we're a, we put a lot of effort into it. So, and Josh is w is my cohost Ruthie couldn't make it today. She's a feeling a little bit under the weather, so I apologize that she couldn't be here today and Josh, I'll let you introduce yourself as well.


Josh:

Oh, so hello. My name is Josh Wick. I'm a cohost here. I have worked on Peter for, with this project for about a year. Now, it's been a year in a couple of months, did a couple of guest appearance on a previous show that he had a currently surf active duty military. I've been active duty for about 11 years, and I love all things nerd, and I'm not afraid to show it. I rub it off on my soldiers and they love it. And I use it to motivate them some times. So it's definitely a big part of my life. And this project, this environment, these kinds of people are a people that I'm passionate about as the community I'm passionate about. And I respect it a lot. So that's why I'm here. I have fun doing it and it's enjoyable. That's all I got.


Courtney:

Well, that's wonderful to meet you both.


Peter:

Yeah. I'm so happy to meet you. It's funny because I just beat the game a couple of weeks ago, I love the game. I love Remedy in general, but I'm going to start off the interview. Like I always start off with every guest that we have. So when you were a kid, did you have any nerdy interests or collecting stuff, you know, video games, whatever. And are you a nerd now in anything that you do?


Courtney:

Yeah, I'm definitely a nerd. I grew up, well, I loved Mario super Mario, Mario kart. Like that was my thing. Growing up, I played so much that my parents actually put my TV downstairs right next to our big TV. So my parents could see me and watch me because I just was always in my room. So that like, as far as video games went, that was my thing. But I definitely, I mean, I collected like beanie babies and I collected Furbies. I collected Furbies until I grew up in Texas and we had terrible thunderstorms. And in my room upstairs, we had this big window that like lit up my whole room. And one night we had this awful thunderstorm and I had taken everything off of my bookshelf, put all my Furbies lined up. So I probably had like 35 and no one needs thirty-five for a raise, but I had them and the lightning slashed, the thunder went off and then as the thunder hit, it shook her house. And when one for me wakes up, they all wake up.


Peter: Oh, that’s right!


Courtney: So that was the last thing that I collected for me. And I'm like freaking out. Yeah, it was immediate like Chucky coming to life Josh: Wow, that's a very interesting, my son actually has a super Mario obsession. Now, everything regarding super Mario, if it's Mario, if it's a coveralls or anything having to do with Mario, he is all about it. And he knows more than I do. He's like telling me some of my, I had no idea that Mario did that.


Courtney: I know it's crazy. My godson, he just turned six yesterday and he was really into Scooby-Doo, but like over the past couple of years has been in the Mario. And so he said to my best friend, which is his mom, like a couple of weeks ago, he's like, I'm over Scooby. So she decked out his entire room and Mario, and that was one of the his sixth birthday presents. And he went in, I've never seen a kid more excited. He likes playing through the screen. He's just obsessed. And we were talking like how it's just a sustained that level of excitement for it and for adults for that long.


Josh: That’s pretty cool, it's interesting how things stick with you throughout your life. So, I mean, it's good to know that, you know, you have those things as well, that like they created the person or that you grew up liking these things and it kind of like molds you into the person you become in the future. I've always thought that nerd culture as scrutinized as it was in the past is, you know, it's a lot more mainstream, especially nowadays and especially even more now than everybody is kind of like shut-in and because of a COVID. So that’s very interesting. So I have a question, right? So what was it like working on Quantum Break as both a live action actress and the voiceover, like, and having your likeness in there, like maybe it was ahead of its time, a long, like coming in with a big TV show, like, you know what I'm saying? It was a lot of fun. I didn't actually know what I was auditioning for when I auditioned for it. So they just said, cause it was a live action audition. Not that the other ones aren't, but there was like, no voice-over involved. So I went and I tested and then I didn't hear from that to like eight months. And then they called my manager that because it takes that long for like everything to get going.


Courtney:

So when they called me, they were like, do you want to play the role of Beth Wilder? And I was like, who the hell is Beth Wilder? Like, it had been so long that I was like, I don't even know who you're talking about. So anyway, it was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed because also the directors of them are so different. It was like, I was used to the TV side. So like that was familiar to me. But the video game aspect, all of the mocap, all of that was new, but pairing them together. I mean, yeah. I feel like I really enjoyed it. I think it was a great, great idea and in a concept that they brought to life, but yeah, maybe it was a little ahead of its time. I know some people, some people were like the live action sequences were like quite long.


Courtney:

And I know sometimes as an actress, I enjoyed it. I thought it was cool that like we were heroes in one in the villains and the other. And like, you can get two different perspectives of it. I thought that was really interesting. I really enjoy it. I got to work with Patrick, which I didn't really get to do during the game. So I mean, as an actress, I loved it. I mean, I know that everyone's, it's hard to please everyone, if you try and please everyone, you're just, you know, God stretched way too thin. You'll never be happy. So I'm glad they tried it. I think I, I think that it was a beautiful experience for all of us, but yeah,


Peter:

That's interesting because I, after I beat Control the main story - I haven’t done the expansions. Quantum Break was on sale for PC for 10 bucks. So I bought it. I started playing last week and all of a sudden in the middle after act one, you just, boom you're in this hour long episode, which I thought it was a really cool. I wasn’t expecting it, but I can only imagine being, you know, a gamer and then boom, were sitting and through a cut scene for 40 minutes. So it's not, it's not really a cut scene.


Josh: So Peter at you and I both have extensive Metal Gear backgrounds. That’s just known for super long cut scenes so we’re kind of used to it.


Courtney:

Yeah. Yeah. But I totally see if you're not used to that. And then you get kind of thrust into this. You're like why I was like in the middle of playing, like I was like, just finished an energy drink. What are we doing here? Right.


Peter:

Cool. So I have an eight year old daughter who is actually a gamer. She's a surprise, surprise right, her dad is a gamer or whatever. I love all of the positive and strong female leads that we're getting in video games now, because when we grew up, we didn't see much of that growing up, you know? So do you ever think about how awesome it is to have portrayed such a strong remedies, first female lead and a video game and also what it means to be a part of that fantastic group of strong female leads like Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn, Ellie from the last of us, Alex from half-life Alyx, Lara Croft, you know, like what do you think about all of that and being part of that group now?


Courtney:

I mean, I am honored and, and I think it's incredible. I know when Sam called me, when he wrote the role, he was like, I wrote this with you in mind, would you love to play it? And I was like, yes, like you didn't have to say like what they was about. I just loved working with them and I know how great he is, but I just think it's incredible that I get the opportunity to do that. But then also that there are so many female leads out there. I know for me with Jessie and this is something that Sam and I sat down and with the other writers as well, and, and really, really honed in on what we want to Jesse to be as a female lead, because it was important for me to have her be strong, but still be empathetic.


I didn't want that, like for her to be too bad-ass without being relatable, you know, I wanted that strength, but I also wanted the vulnerability because when I think that that's in general, like that we had to kind of define what a strong female lead meant to us, because I think for certain people, like, it means different things, you know? But one of the things that is important, especially in Gaming is that you have females playing her and you have some men's men that are playing, want to be this strong female or the strong lead in general. But then you also have the men that have that care-taking side too that. We want to be able to see that vulnerability and feel like, find that balance between.


So I knew that that was something that Sam and I had talked about. And so it was cool to kind of find that balance and also find how she differed from Beth, because Beth was more militant. Jessie was more street and like how he could do that. But yeah, I mean, I I'm, I'm blown away by the women in this industry. And to be a part of it, yeah.


Josh:

So can you describe the process of how you, you say he designed the character like catered to you? Right. But how did you like describe the process of how did you actually landed the role? Like, did they have somebody else in mind where you contending with anybody else? I know that there was certain things that were created for you, right? Like with you in mind, but were there any other mock-ups of how she should have looked maybe? Or how did they land on exactly like your likeness? Cause she looks exactly like,


Peter:

It’s you, it’s her.


Josh:

Yeah, like it's her, that's her, there is no, even like hair and everything was the same. So just, I'm just curious about that.


Courtney:

Yeah. So he had,well this in the beginning, but then more elaborate, you know, afterwards, but yeah, he created the character. He really enjoyed Beth. He saw how much the fans really liked Beth Beth and Quantum Break was supposed to have a bigger, a part in it. But, you know, they were mixing with Microsoft and things got dropped. I was no longer a playable character. And I know he said that he just felt like there was more that he could do. So when he was creating Control he was like, immediately, this is Courtney. And so he said, he wrote it with me in mind. And then when I got there, that's when it became like, OK, what is Jessie going to look like?


And so I don't know if you've seen the, the book that they just created, which is like all of the designs behind Control.


Josh: Oh no I have not seen that.


Courtney:

Oh, so in there there's like tons of, all of the looks of like, was I going to have short green hair? Was I going to have blonde hair? Was I gonna have all these hairstyles? And we went through it and then the first time I went over there, I should, the first couple times I went through fittings, wearing all different outfits, all the different boots. Was I going to have like, you know, overalls? Was I going to have like what exactly I was going to be wearing? And then in the end it was funny. They were kind of like going with every hairstyle, but not red.


And then in the end, cause there was a short spike at one point I had like a Mohawk and it was like, like they didn't know, they were just trying to feel it out. And then finally they were like, lets try red and then I'm like, really? Thank you.


Josh:

I think it’s funny you say mohawk because mohawk is anti-protagonist hairstyle. It's always like a bad guy hairstyle in my opinion. You know what I mean? Yeah. That's funny that you mentioned.


Courtney:

Yeah, it was just, I think they were just trying things. And I think also too, because you know, in the beginning it's like how much influence from the streets are we going to bring in with Jessie and how much influence of, you know, what the story driven aspect is, is trying to find Dylan and, and overcoming this, this loss and her life and, and what exactly that is like, is it, are we, are we, it just, she looked like she came from coping on the streets or does she look like she's always been driven here and this is how she has. So there was a lot to it and I thought it was really cool that it looked like me. And the first time we played it, I sat down with my now fiance, but Ben, he was my boyfriend and we were sitting there and we were like, came on, like it started and then I could hear my voice. And then I saw my face and I was like, Oh my God, that's me.


Josh:

That's really cool. Yeah.


Peter:

I always imagined like playing yourself in a game or watch someone play is almost like the ultimate character creation feeling because a lot of us, we create, create ourselves in the video games, but this is like the ultimate character creation where you get to be in a game. Like that's probably like what, every, we always do a dream to have that. You get people in the face cam like in NBA 2K you can face scan yourself in the game, but yeah, you can actually use your phone, it’s not great. I mean there's some, some horrible things, but yeah, you can actually face on yourself and there are some good ones, if you can do it just. Right. And it's not easy, not like having probably a set and machines and have them scan your face a dozen times. And you know, its not quite the same as using an iPhone and scanning your face,


Courtney:

But it’s cool because at least you get somewhat of an experience, like a once in a lifetime experience to see that and to like, especially because they animated me in so many ways that like, Oh my God, I can freaking fly. Like what the heck? Like so many cool things- plus too was shooting this game, I didn't go over there with a bunch of the cast, like with Quantum Break I was doing scenes with other people so we could kind of see how the story was going on. But with this just because of, I was on a show, I was going over on dark weeks. So I never saw any of the other cast ever when I was there. And so that was really interesting watching the story play out because even though like I got everything that I was in, but I didn't get the full game to Read. So when I was playing it, there was moments where I was like, Oh, I remember this, but then stuck with Ahti and stuff with Dylan I'd never seen before. So it was like, there was moments when I was playing the game that I forgot it was me because I was like in the game, you know? But then I was like in the game and I was like, Oh, they got, where am I, where does the go to? You know?


Josh:

Was it hard? Like, because you don't have anybody to play off of, you know, like how I'm assuming that must be difficult because that definitely creates a better atmosphere, like I mean- exceptional talent on your part. Because I didn't know that you were not in, in the presence of other cast members, they were doing voiceover, a promotion or a mo-cap stuff. So it is very believable, like good job.


Courtney:

Thank you. Yeah, we went and we shot it. And then Ahti came and then- who else came, somebody else came. And then when we went back to shoot those scenes, they didn't match what that person had done in, in my response to it, they were like disconnected, you know, when you start a game, it like Trent, you think it's the start here. And then it kind of transforms into something up here. And so I ended up, we ended up almost when we were done with it, we went back and re shot in the beginning of the game because you know, we were like one Jessie was more flushed out then, but two, it was just like, we just want it all to match. So yeah, they were wonderful.


Peter:

that's a fun little bit. I did not know that. That's pretty awesome. So Ruthie our- I have to say cohost- tri-host? I dunno, but Ruthie, she's a voice actress, right? So she starting to break into it. She starting to get some success and now she starting to grow. So I wrote this question for her, but what would be your best advice for anyone who is trying to break into voice acting or what was the best advice you received?


Courtney:

To just continue to study and practice, you know, like as a musician, you don't just study when the concert is coming as an artist, you know, when there's that there's a gallery, a gallery showing. And that was something that really stuck with me, you know, with a voiceover there's so many different aspects to it, really knowing and fine tuning your voice, understanding how, what your range is, what you know, because every voiceover artist is different. Some people are great with impressions. Some people are great with different voices. Some people are very commercial, just finding what I always like to stay at keyboard and seeing what tunes yours are, what, where you can put your, your, your dials. And so that would be my advice is just continuing to, to study and have fun, you know, because I think that's the biggest thing in voiceover, more than anything else, you know, that like you go on a booze and you are yourself. It doesn't matter what you look like. I look ridiculous sometimes at a booth when I'm doing animation. Like I'm like, I'm not loving it. Oh my God. Like, what the heck are you? You know? And it's like, I don't care when you're on screen. It's a little different. So that would be, my advice is just to continue to study, but to also have fun and have faith. And if it's what you want to do, I believe anyone can do anything they want if they set their mind to it. So that's my advice. Never stopping.


Josh:

That's cool. So when it comes to the character of Jesse, you know, what was the most fascinating thing about her or what was something that just drew you to her as a character, like made you connect with her other than obviously, I mean, it's you on the screen, but like her ideals and how she feels about certain things, like did, did you have a connection with her on a personal level or were you just like, Oh, I'm just playing this character. I'm just reading lines or did you feel deeply connected to her? And what if so, what was that fascination?


Courtney:

Wow, absolutely. A great question. I immediately was connected to dressy. I think one of the things that, one of the first things Sam told me was just about having, like with Polaris, it's more of like this intuition, spiritual kind of voice that's guiding Jesse. And that's something in life I connect to. I love to, you know, I believe that were all connected and that we're, the life has a bigger than just us. And there's multiple other dimensions that are currently even with us. Like I just, that's something that's always fascinated me. And so that was something immediately that I connected with Jesse to, but I also, you know, just her mentality of finding out what's really, truly important and getting past all of the things that she feels like holds her back, overcoming them.


And I feel like that's something in life that I have always driven, like driven myself to achieve and accomplish and overcome is fear. And I think that that's something that I love about Jesse is that in the midst of the history, in the midst of, you know, the Bureau taking Dillon, like all of these things that could, you know, really just like, you know, drive somebody into the ground, it propels Jesse to go and take action. And that's something that I, that I love. And immediately I was like, I want to find that purpose, that thing that, you know, moves forward. And then the third thing is just how she embraces the weird, I that's one of my favorite things in life, you know, like we were talking about even nerd, you know, nerding out.


It's like, that's my favorite. I feel like people that are too cool. And it's like, they're boring. You know, they're holding back. I don't honestly, I don't trust people that think they're too cool. I just feel like I'm like, there are a lot, you're hiding something you're running from something I'm not sure, like the nerdy are the better. And I think that that is something with Jesse that like the weird, how she walks in and she's like, well, this is weird. I'm home. Like that was so cool to me. And I actually grew from playing Jesse in that area, like embracing the things that are different and really affected me in my own life. And I was like, I had to like take a step back and look at my own life and go, okay. Just because something's different. Doesn't mean it's a bad thing, you know? And how do I embrace that?


Peter:

That's really interesting because I was thinking about how the snarky-ism would come through in the, in the game. And I was always wondering, was it actually written or what was that something- some of you coming out in some of those snarky lines?


Courtney:

Yeah, there's definitely a bit of both. I mean, it's written that way. I feel like Sam is, is that way as well, but it was definitely aspects of it became more that as we went forward, because having that kind of like the too cool, like, like that, you know, sarcastic kind of like, okay, this doesn't really bother me. Like, Oh, well that was weird. You know, stuff like that. That was definitely something that was there, but then just embellished as we got into it. And I started flushing out Jesse


Josh:

I definitely identify with that whole, just approaching every situation with confidence because I definitely like detected that and the character that was portrayed, I'm playing and this weird things happen. And she's like, I'm the director now. So I guess I'll figure it out. That's a very common phrase in my line of work is even if we don't have the answer, we'll figure it out. It's not, it can't be too hard. You know? So I really liked that about that character, that, that, that front face of confidence of like, Oh, I can jump this building. No problem. I'll jump over this wall right now with one is not a single leap. I don't care. It's that confidence it's so attractive. You know what I mean? So that was pretty, that was it's, it's a good performance and I like it.


Courtney:

Thank you. Well, that means a lot. Yeah. Cause you know, I mean, I just feel like in life, in general, you know, especially in the, in the service, I, I did a, a shoot years ago. I guess you could talk about it at all because it's over and it didn’t really make the cut. They actually switched me with somebody else, but I did a whole shoot for call of duty years ago. That was like, Oh, everywhere. And I just blanked, Sparrow? Who's the one with the bow and arrows. I think it is. Yeah, well, they went Hispanic in the end.


Like we did the whole shoot and then they wanted to diversify it and which was fine, but I have all the original photos. So it's like, it's fine. It happened. I spent the whole day with a bunch of the other actors that were playing these other characters who were all in the military and I heard the coolest stories from these people and also like traumatic stories and just so much respect. And I think that that was something that when we were differentiating Jessie from Beth, because Jess, Beth was more militant in a lot of ways, just working for Monarch and in the way that that was, you know, her life that, but I felt like there was something very important and valuable that sometimes even being in the streets and being on your own and being around criminals and being around, like having to fend for yourself and having to kind of learn who you are at the core so that, you know, what you can face, you know, your limits, you know, where you are.


And you're also not afraid to fail because you know, that there's growth within that. And that was something that I wanted to bring in. But that was also something that when I was doing that shoot with a call with all these people from Call of Duty, that like, I mean, I just, there was a bunch of men and I just was like sitting there going like, man, like, damn man, like, you know, you had to have to have that. So I see where you're coming from. I see where you're coming from. And that makes me happy.


Peter:

I was going to say, this is what I, this is kind of like an inside thing. My wife was like, when you reach out to people put down that you were a veteran and you have are Veteran Founded like, no one wants to say no to a veteran. So I actually, I kind of sneak that in there, like, “Hey, we're, Veteran Founded, you know, like whatever, you know.” I got out a few years ago, Josh, that's how we met. That's how a Josh got to know each other. That was from the military. Did you get to keep anything cool from Control? Like, is that jacket real? What was that like? Did you get like a souvenir from, from working on that? A game?


Courtney:

Just my memories. No, I didn't. I didn't get to keep anything they had. There was a jacket will obviously the jacket and the blue, and then a lot of people thought it was black, but it's actually a blue, dark blue, actually a friend of mine owns the leather store here and she gave me a blue jacket. But no, I mean, I think because most of the stuff in the game, like I had from, I did get to keep something, but it was like a strapless bra.


Peter:

Just get that framed if, you know, put it in your living room.


Courtney:

Yeah. It was the only one that I had because it fit really well. It was like a finished one. This is, that is the true, that's the only thing I have from that game. But yeah, because most of it was just the costume designer. She was fantastic. And they designed it all and I worked for the shoot and then they kept, they have it there at Remedy. So maybe they'll put that out.


Josh:

You can email to somebody, Hey, I need it. I need that.


Peter:

That’s not right. I feel like you have got something you should have got the jacket or something.


Courtney:

I know…


Josh:

The jacket makes part of a look like the contract.


Courtney:

I know it was actually funny because when we did the final shoot, so my hair grew obviously, because when I first started, it was shorter. So you can see it in the game, in my hair shorter. And then every time I'd go back there, my hair would get longer and longer. And then we kept having to do the shoots. And so at one point it was like these pieces, which are now down here when I started, they were up here. And so I was like having to like pin them and all this stuff. And so it was funny, like with the jacket, one of the times I went in for one of the shoots when we did, there was a part of a game where there's like a live action where Jesse is like, kind of her head is going in all different directions. There's a lot- when the Hiss takeover. And I remember we were, we were a little concerned that my hair was a little longer and then somebody said, well, she's wearing the jacket. So, you know, that's all that matters. Like for her it's a little longer, it's totally fine. I was like, we're not cutting my hair.


Josh:

Oh my goodness. Speaking of like those noticeable differences, is there any, like any aspects of her that you considered to be completely polarly opposite from how you are Like, you see, you know, Jessie does something and you're like, I would never do.


Courtney:

I definitely don't empowers. (laughs) I know what you mean. You know, I feel like, I mean, I will be honest. I wish I could run into a, I'm a pretty strong, competent person. And I, like I said, I always try and tackle my fears, but if there was like a bunch of these like crazy demon look in things flying around, I probably would not run in, like I got this. I don't really feel like Courtney.


Peter:

Nope, I’m out.


Courtney:

Exactly. I'd be like, well, shit.


Josh:

Exactly. Yeah. Hey, just so everybody knows, I don't actually fly. So don't leave. I'm going to be over here.


Courtney:

Exactly. I would love to pick something up and throw it at them. Yeah. The one thing that maybe at some point I could get there-


Josh: Maybe science is the science is rolling. Exactly. You just never know. Yeah.


Peter:

That's that's this is great. I'm cracking up over here. Well, so you got a lot of critical success. I feel like from Control. So I know you were nominated for a BAFTA game award, the Game Awards as well, and you ultimately won best acting and a game category at the New York video game awards. So what does that all mean to you being nominated and ultimatel, winning that award?


Courtney:

No, it's, it's just a nice little accomplishment. I think. I think it's cool. We, we all put so much into that game and you know, just, I, for me, I was really proud of, like I said, I was also working on a show as well, and I'd go over there on my dark weeks and just how much, how much time I spent in Sam spent and all the writers and the directors, you know, Hannah was fantastic. And I felt like it was a win, not just for myself. I felt like it was for all of us. I feel like we just all kind of collaborated together. And, and it made me feel like I had done my job, you know, that people were affected by the game, which, which In, which in the long run is really why, you know, Sam creates those games and why I'm an actor, you know, we want to tell stories and have people feel connected and seen and heard. And so just being recognized for that stuff and, and being up for those awards was really an honor.


Josh:

I'm, I'm glad that somebody is so deserving, you know, is the one that is in front of that award. So congratulations.


Peter:

You were up against some tough competition. I can't remember exactly. They don't have it on my list, but I remember looking for who you're going up against. I was like, man, like that's tough. And I think that is an honor in itself to be considered. Yeah.


Courtney:

Well, I thought it was really cool. I just, for the Game Awards, when I found out that they do male and female, and so I thought that was kind of cool because I was like, I don't know when this is ever going to happen again. I just thought it was cool that it was like, based on like the artist, you know, I'm all for splitting the categories for things because the roles are different. And, but yeah, when, when I was up and I found out that I was up against, Oh my God now I can't remember


Josh:

Was it Norman Reedus.


Courtney:

Norman Reedus! When I found out that I was for the Gaming words. And I found out that I was against Norman Reedus and I loved the walking dead. I love him as an actor. And that was something that was just so cool for me. I like, I saw him after the game of words and I totally went and got him cool. He gave me and my boyfriend a water bottle that says, Reedus on it. And then he had gotten from a, I think it was a YouTube. I don't know if he was supposed to give those out, but he gave them to us. So this one that says, read this, and I know that this is so silly, but it just was cool to be like, recognized and be up against not just him, but everyone that we were up against is just awesome. Because video games, you know, they're no joke when you're creating 'em, there's a lot of content and it's, you know, you, you just, a lot of it, like with this game, it was, you're doing the facial capture. You're doing the voiceover, you're doing the mock happen. And you know, we were with Quantum Break so some of the scenes you're doing three times in three different ways and it's just in your matching at all.


Josh:

And I'm assuming there comes a strong desire to get it right. I mean, I've always said like, I'm a nerd, but sometimes like nerds can be mean like, would they're so overly critical about, Oh no, this is the color. No, it should. The boots should have this many lace holes, like so specific about the little things that, that they like. So, I mean, we've never done that before, when you talk to a wonderful job, you did a wonderful job and congratulations



Josh:

So actually to follow up on what I just said, what is the best thing about acting in video games in live action? Do you prefer one over the other is one, which one would you rather do if you were to be offered a job that you wished it was this tomorrow? You know,


Courtney:

Man, that's so hard because I always love to, I'm inspired by the character that I get to play and what they overcome. I think that's really cool, man. I don't know. I, I would say if I had to pick two things to do for the rest of my life, I mean, it would obviously be the live-action and, and like mocap, the video game stuff. Cause I've done, you know, commercials and modeling and all of that. And the video game world and the on-camera world are my favorites, man. That's a really hard question because I really want to do like Marvel and DC films. Like that's always been like one of my number one goals, but I feel that they got to kind of accomplish a little bit of that playing Jesse because you know-


Josh:

I mean, you have powers.


Peter:

You are superhero. Yeah.


Courtney:

Right, exactly. So I feel like I kind of got the best of both worlds there, but I, I really enjoy, I enjoy the live action stuff. I enjoy the mocap and I, I don't know. It's hard. I love it all. I love what I do.


Peter:

Peter is no wrong answer here.


Courtney:

And I really do love all of it. I will say the one thing that was the most challenging. If I could just say what I grew from the most, which I would like do more of, because it is a skill is the facial capture, because you cannot move to the rest of your body. You literally are standing there still. And it's like, okay, Jesse now is falling off of, you know, the, the cliff and you're, you just have to sit there and be like, (screams) but like, you can't move your head. You can't move anything. And like, or like when Jessie, you know, when she's going along the way, the train or with the movie when she's chasing, you know, the movie camera and all of that is like my face. But like not moving any part of my body to have to be like, watch out, Oh, it'll go that way. No, no, no. And it's like, and you want to like Dodge the stuff, but you can't move. So that was an acting challenge if I'd ever seen.


Josh:

Wow. I had no idea that they did that like that. Like, do you have to like stand in a booth? Like, do they give you something to brace yourself with? Like, how does that work?


Courtney:

You have a bar behind you and then you have a ball, a tennis ball behind your head. So you kind of lean your head on it. And then you're like, gripping this. So I always like under grip it like this and like tighten my back. So I don't move. But like, yeah, you can't, I can't even do that. So that was, and that was, that was new. I remember when I first did that for Quantum Break Shawn Ashmore and I were like, excuse me, you want us to do what they were like, what do you mean? Yeah.


Josh:

Wow. So having been having revealing this wow moment, at least to me, what were some things on Quantum Break or Control that like, for example, were you ever given a demo of what's supposed to be happening or shown like, Oh, your character can do these things or was it all revealed to you? Like once the game was released or you got an early copy or something like that.


Courtney:

So for Quantum Break I didn't get to see a lot of that stuff. I remember when we were in the volume, which is, you know, where you shoot the mocap, there's like this big studio. I don't know if you guys know it. Yeah. So when they were putting together, like all of the pipes, there was the big bridge and they were like, okay, so this is the bridge. And you're looking over at the, at the boat, in the water over there, and you're having to visualize it all. And that tennis ball is where the boat is. And like, and I remember we had shot from maybe about a week or so. And Shawn and I were, I don't know if he knew more than I did, but I kind of gathered that he didn't at that point. And then they flipped the monitor around. And that was a first time that we could see, we were both frogs (laughs) they made us frogs. So we were like, no frogs, like that was so we didn't get to see ourselves. I didn't know what I was looking. Like, I just, we just both were frogs. Cause that's what they'd animated us as it, that one point. But that was a first time I could see the dark, like aesthetic of like what the game was going to look like now with Control I got there and they had already like first off they had my face from Quantum Break. So they had already done some generating on that stuff. So I could see what the oldest house was going to look like. And I got to see a lot of that stuff beforehand, which was cool, but like my walk changed and a lot.


Courtney:

And then as we went on, I could see like, Oh, I can Dodge, Oh, I can do this. And, but yeah, it was a very different, was there anything like during that process that once you saw it in, they were like, wow, like they can make me do that. Like, that's crazy. Like what are some things that I can fly like that? What was the same? That was the main one where I was like, wow, that's so cool. Like the levitation and like, and like coming down, like the little stuff when, like I came down and that was really cool. I thought, you know, the, you know, when you're throwing up the shield and stuff like that stuff was, I mean, all of it was just really cool, but that was the biggest one. I think the levitating and the, and the flying, which I was laughing sometimes when I was taking the elevator.


Courtney:

Cause I'm like, I can just like go up there. I know I actually really enjoyed those, those like physical, like those physical descriptors, I guess, of like you flying, like it literally, it's not like in most games that you just like take off, but like, you feel the weight of your character. Like you feel it even though your holding a controller, but you really feel the weight of, of, of Jesse's like body, I guess, like moving as she, as she She waves around in the air or when she pushes things, like, it feels like you can feel the bass, you know what I'm saying? So that's, that's pretty interesting. We did a great job of that. I know we did one photo shoot where I was jumping and I had to look like I was like with my one foot up and that was difficult jumping and kind of trying to hold as if like, because they want it to look like I was levitating and the sun is easy.


Courtney:

It looks not that easy. They did a really good job of finding that the point of movement and making.


Peter:

I remember when you, when you figure out that you can fly and I was like, Holy shit, we can fly ? Ge out of here! Like this is, this is such an amazing moment. All right. So I've got, I just got one more question for you. I told Josh I wanted to ask this because when I was as a kid, I was a huge max Payne fan, like one and two. And I remember just this bullet time and just that game was so gritty and the storytelling was just superb even by today's standards. So I wanted to know, can you describe what it is like to work with Sam Lake or, and like, how is he. Like, what kind of person is he?


Courtney:

He is a brilliant human being. He is probably one of the most well-dressed human beings I've ever seen. He looks great. He, you know, he is a very complex and I don't mean that in a negative way. Like he just, he, so in depth as an artist and as a human he's very humble. And I think that, that's why I think that's why his storytelling is so great, because I feel like he really gets to the heart of human condition. He's very interested in general in the weird he's interested in, you know, like loves Twin Peaks, loves like all of those. So, and when I first met him, I didn't know what to expect. And, you know, I, I was really blown away cause everyone that I talk to in the game, like when I first started to like, you're working with Sam Lake and so I didn't know who he was. I didn't know what it is up for her. And when I first met him, I was like, beyond my expectations. Like, he, I felt like he was going to be this guy that like you can talk to and was like, maybe is like totally quirky, you know? And he, he definitely is, but yeah, he's great. And I love his Max Payne face. Everyone's always like, make the face, you know,


Peter:

I've watched during- I was telling my wife, I said, I got to play this game for research. Cause I might, she might come on our podcast and she's like, get outta here. But I remember watching some of the con's and everyone's like can we see the face. And you know, we had a show like, as I wrote that's actually I was, I don't know what Con was,


Courtney: It was New York.


Peter:

You were on with Sam Lake it was you. I think it was before the game came out and it was, yeah. Yeah. And it was with not Patrick, James McCaffrey, I think was who you were with, which is funny. Cause he's like, I've never played a game before. And then, Oh, you were also on there with the voice of Alan wake, Matthew Porretta oddly enough I just found out he was on Robin Hood Men in Tights and he played, I forgot his name, but one of the great characters, I love that movie and that I was looking at the time. Yeah. He was in a Robin hood men and tights for a while. One of the characters in there that I just loved


Courtney:

New York Comicon was the first time we all met each other really Caffrey and Matthew Beretta. Oh, that's awesome. Yeah. We had just met each other. And so it was kind of cool, like seeing him that, well, I don't know if they met each other before. I don't want to say that, but the first time I had met them at least started like, and we we're all in the game. So we all were sitting next to a nice to meet you. Well, look at us.


Josh:

(laughing) Nice to meet you. Nice to meet. You have a complete game.


Courtney:

Sam is incredible to round that out. He is absolutely incredible. And I'm just blown away by his storytelling and his creativity. I think you guys have already seen that from all of his games. So I have this idea and it's just like, especially when I played Control of the way through, like I said, cause there was a lot of surprises for me in there. Where does this come from? You know, it's not just him, it's also his team. He's a great leader


Peter: