I recently got the chance to talk to Matthew Alan about his role as Walter Beckett in ‘L.A. Noire’. Here, Matthew talks about the game, how he got involved in the project and what a Matthew Alan day usually consists of…
Hey Matthew. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me. ‘LA Noire’ is currently in gaming stores right now. For anyone who hasn’t had the chance to play it, how would you sum up the plotline?
‘LA Noire’ has the backdrop of Hollywood’s Golden Age, in a time where crime and corruption envelopes the city. It’s a game unlike any I’ve ever seen before that puts the intelligence of video games to a whole new level.
Tell us a bit about the character you voice in the game…
I play Walter Beckett, an ex-military veteran. During the era, Beckett is looking for a new scandal to put into effect and make money any way possible. Phelps tracks him down in the “Manifest Destiny” stage of the game. Beckett is right in the middle of the crime scenes that are at the heart of the game.
Have you had chance to see the trailer / play the game yet? What did you think?
The trailers are amazing. I haven’t played it yet, but I can’t wait for the chance to check it out!
How did you get involved with the project in the first place? What was it about the project that made you want to say ‘yes’ to it?
The audition process was like a film audition. In fact, I didn’t know it was an interactive project because the script read like a movie, and the character breakdowns were just like the key players in a crime drama. I didn’t realize until I got to set how intense and high-tech the project was. I mean, I was working on a sound stage where dozens of cameras were tracking each and every move you make. The caliber of technology was unreal. It was then that I knew this was going to raise the bar for video games.
It’s got quite a ‘film noir’ feel to it – are you a fan of the 1940s crime film noir epics?
I love it. The crime film noir setting is such a fascinating environment for film. Who doesn’t love a good crime story surrounded by gangsters and corruption? The storytelling is so much more intriguing too. It’s like reading a good book, where the descriptions are so real you feel like you’re in that era. There’s an edginess to that kind of storytelling that’s unlike any other genre. I’m a huge fan of “Boardwalk Empire” lately too. I know it takes place in the ‘20‘s and ‘30‘s, but it has that “gangsters and corruption” storyline to it. The classic crime story will never die. And to turn it into a video game? What an awesome concept.
Let’s talk a bit about you Matthew – what made you want to get into acting and voice-over in the first place?
I went to school to be a teacher and public speaker. So the voice-overs seemed to make sense. However, when I got my first taste of acting, it changed things for me. I love the idea of living out different stories and different experiences through acting. While in college, I was fascinated with the playwright Moises Kaufman, who penned “The Laramie Project.” He believed you can truly make a difference through theatre. Ironically enough, the play was auditioning at the same time I was reading it so I went for a role. I was hooked from then on.
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to get into either industry?
It’s about persistence and passion. It’s a labor of love. Most careers – you go to school, leave, have an interview, then begin working. It’s a standard process you go through with most careers. The entertainment industry is different. You’re constantly interviewing for a job, then booking that job, and then losing that job. It’s a cycle you have to get used to. I’m always thinking ahead and thinking about the next job. And it’s that hunger that keeps most of us going.
Who has inspired you as an actor?
Who isn’t a Johnny Depp fan? He has mastered character development. I’m also a big fan of Mark Ruffalo, Ryan Gosling, and Ben Foster. All different types, but all of them make the most amazing choices. Aspiring to that level of commitment is what makes it worth it.
What does a Matthew Alan day usually consist of?
When I’m working on a project, call times are usually early. But I do most of my reading and rehearsing at night. Whether reading scripts, audition sides, or just a book, I find myself to be a night owl with that stuff. It’s relaxing. I try to hit the gym every day too. In fact, I’m currently taking a boxing class. It’s those kinds of activities I search for that keep me from going insane obsessing over my work. I’m also delving into the producing and directing sides of filmmaking. I’ve got my first short film – “Bowman” – on the festival circuit right now that I’m pretty proud of.
You’ve been in many TV series – such as ‘Ghost Whisperer: The Other Side‘, ‘CSI: Miami‘, ’Lost’, and ’Sons Of Anarchy’ – which has been your favourite to work on and why?
‘Lost’. Of course, being in Hawaii goes unparalleled. But being a part of one of the biggest television shows in history feels pretty cool. Not to mention every member of the cast and crew was amazing to work with.
You’ve just finished production on three films – ’Project Fear’, ’Red Tails’ and ’Beautiful Wave’ – what can you tell us about these projects?
“Project Fear’ was one of my first film projects. I spent a fantastic month in the Philippines working on it. It’s a thriller that follows a group of friends who are obsessed with an uncharted island. “Red Tails’ is George Lucas’ long-awaited film based on the Tuskegee airmen. Lucas is a perfectionist, and the film has been in production for a while now, so I can’t wait to see how it turns out. “Beautiful Wave” is an indie film with Lance Henriksen and Aimee Teegarden in. Really cool surf movie about soul-searching. I’m a HUGE indie film fan. These are the kinds of stories I love being a part of.
Thanks for the interview!