‘Modern Warfare 2’ gave Shepherd and Gaz’s actors a “clean slate” to explore their characters

The actor behind General Shepherd says Infinity Ward "didn't have any interest" in him trying to emulate Lance Henriksen's original performance as Shepherd

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 actors Glenn Morshower (General Shepherd) and Elliot Knight (Kyle ‘Gaz’ Garrick) shared that they were both encouraged to create their own versions of the characters they play; rather than try to emulate performances of the characters that had already appeared in Infinity Ward‘s original Modern Warfare trilogy.

Speaking to NME, both actors revealed that Infinity Ward allowed them to explore their own versions of Gaz and General Shepherd, two characters that played huge roles in the first three Modern Warfare games.

“For me, it was fresh,” shared Knight. “Everything that I’d done in the audition process, and what the director had asked me for, was the foundation of the character we were building together.”

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“Obviously we owe the iconography of the roles to one, the fans who have fed them with such love and energy, but also all the actors who portrayed them before. But in my case, it felt very uniquely different. For me it really embodied the reboot of the whole Modern Warfare franchise, it felt like the most modern and relevant adaptation, so I wanted to honour that by starting fresh and letting it have its roots in the now.”

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Credit: Infinity Ward.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Credit: Infinity Ward.

“Whereas for other characters there may have been more room or it may have been more appropriate for them to be rooted in past iterations. For Gaz, it’s a clean slate,” added Knight.

Morshower also described his performance of General Shepherd as a “fresh start” and “clean slate” for the character, and said that although he’s worked with former Shepherd voice actor Lance Henriksen before, Infinity Ward “didn’t have any interest in me continuing him – or certainly doing a pitiful impression of him.”

The actor added that he was allowed to “put my own fingerprint on it,” and says he was “really grateful” for that approach – though ended up unintentionally tackling the character in a similar way to Henriksen. “I had already done quite a bit of Shepherd before I ever went back and looked at what Lance did,” explained Morshower. “And what we both came up with is a certain amount of gravel to our voice, so there’s some grit there. I think that’s just a bankable choice whenever you’re doing men of authority.”

Both actors play leading roles in the single-player campaign for Modern Warfare 2, which is available to play now for anyone who pre-ordered the game.

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