Speaking to NME, actors Neil Ellice and Barry Sloane discussed what it was like to play characters that had become fan favourites from the first Modern Warfare trilogy, and how they brought their own personality to the reboot.
Sloane, who plays Captain Price in the Modern Warfare reboot, says the response to his performance has been “fantastic” and adds that he saw playing Price as an opportunity because he holds Price’s original actor Billy Murray in high regard.
“Murray did an incredible performance, it was amazing,” praises Sloane. “That’s why people give a fuck about Captain Price from the get-go. However, I was the first actor with the opportunity to move him – physically embody that, and make it a 3D, modern version. I was excited, and I paid homage to him, I tried to add elements of his performance and choices, certainly in the tone.”
However, Sloane also had room to inject some of his own personality into the mix. “In the auditions, I played him Scouse and I was really pushing it because we don’t have enough Scouse superheroes in my opinion. But we decided to not go down that road, and to go somewhere around where Billy did it. Billy’s a little more clipped, a little more in the system – mine’s a little more working class, I think. I went from that perspective and put some of it in but then added aspects of myself, and I was afforded that by Infinity Ward.”
Meanwhile, Ellice – who plays John ‘Soap’ MacTavish in Modern Warfare 2 – says he’s “deeply grateful” to Soap’s original actor Kevin McKidd “for putting his time and talent into making the role of Soap MacTavish a legacy role, like Captain Price, so that guys like me can take a shot at it.”
However, Ellice acknowledged that it can be difficult to step into a legacy role, and stressed that it was important not to try and emulate it too much. “I think the best advice I’ve gotten is [to] commit to bringing as much of myself as I can into the role, even if that leaves me feeling exposed – because that’s an actor’s job, rather than leaning on anybody in particular’s performance as a crutch.”
“I think in the game you’ll see, particularly with the chemistry and relationship with Ghost, that we both bring some lighter moments into it as well, which is really closer to my own personality,” added Ellice.
Outside of the role, Sloane jokes that playing such an iconic character in Call Of Duty has afforded him “good ammunition” for a “fucking annoying question” that actors are asked.
“[If] you’re an actor, [people will] say ‘Oh, are you in anything I know?” You can…there’s loads of things you can say, and they’ll go ‘I don’t know’. But if you say ‘I do Call Of Duty‘, they go ‘You do Call Of Duty?!’ It’s instantly recognisable – it’s like saying you do Superman, or Batman. They go oh, it’s a real one!”
Earlier in the day, we also spoke to Glenn Morshower (General Shepherd) and Elliot Knight (Gaz) about what it was like to bring their own personality to the original trilogy’s characters.