Will Poulter’s acting career has been on a trajectory recently that he only noticed when a friend pointed it out to him. Poulter, who recently starred as ’80s game developer Colin Ritman in interactive Black Mirror Netflix movie Bandersnatch, has now moved on to playing a character in a video game that is also focused on choices and consequence–The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope.
GameSpot’s Kurt Indovina caught up with Poulter recently as part of Play For All, and you can watch the interview in the video below. In it, Poulter reflects on the connections between Bandersnatch and Little Hope. “I thought, you know, the project that you played a games developer in was also a multi-strand narrative, choose-your-own adventure,” he says. “I had sort of a little bit of a mind blowing moment. I feel like the folks on Black Mirror may still be watching me, to be honest.”
Poulter says that the going from Bandersnatch to Little Hope, the follow-up to Man of Medan, was a lateral move. “I think the crossover–at least from a creative standpoint, if I sort of hold the two projects up side by side—is that they’re both inherently cinematic,” he says. “Little Hope, like a lot of games across the Dark Pictures Anthology, is very filmic. There’s a real emphasis on authentic performances, and on a really intriguing film-like narrative.”
Poulter is playing three characters in the game–Andrew (present day), Anthony (1970s), and Abraham (1692), and they’re all connected across time. He says that the characters are all quite similar to one another, at least in terms of performance, but he tried to set them apart in their characterizations, but scenes where the characters directly communicate with each other across time were “a bit of a brain scramble.”
The process of filming the game’s motion capture was very different–and it was the first fully motion-captured performance he’s ever given–but in some ways it was more straightforward than working on the Netflix film. “Honestly, I found entertaining all the different kind of potential choices when it came to shooting Bandersnatch really, really difficult,” Poulter reflects. “And that was because we shot out of continuity. Whereas with Little Hope, although we had to entertain lots of different choices, luckily we were kind of able to pretty much shoot in in sequence.”
According to Poulter, shooting a motion capture performance for the first time was a “fun exercise in imagination,” and more intense than many of his previous acting experiences. “The pace that we move that was pretty was pretty intense,” he says. “That was something that I wasn’t used to. I thought TV pace was was heavy, but game game making pace is like sprint work.” He says that director Nick Bowen encouraged him and the other actors in the game to “go for authenticity,” and to avoid “anything too theatrical” in their performances, despite the horrors their characters encounter.
Poulter says that he’s not much of a gamer himself, but if he was to play another game character, he’d like to be Sonic the Hedgehog. “Maybe that’s just because maybe that’s because I’ve never been fast,” he quips. “I’d like to know what it’s like.”
Watch the full interview for more details on Little Hope and Poulter’s performance in it. The game is due to release for PS4, Xbox One, and PC before the end of the year.
GameSpot’s Play For All–a celebration of all things gaming–is ongoing. Join us as we bring you the summer’s hottest news, previews, interviews, features, and videos, as well as raise money for COVID-19 relief efforts and Black Lives Matter with the help of our friends from around the gaming world. Check out the Play For All schedule for more.
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