Cissy Jones, the BAFTA-winning star of smash hit games like The Walking Dead, Firewatch, Life Is Strange, Fallout 4, Horizon Zero Dawn + countless more, discusses her atypical journey into acting. Starting out working in Silicon Valley, she made the move into voice acting within the space of two weeks. Here, she discusses the value of playing flawed, three-dimensional characters, her hopes around complex roles for women in the future of games and the worst thing about voice over work.
An actor's self-doubt
Despite her widespread acclaim and extensive portfolio of award-winning work, Jones admits that she's not immune to the waves of self-doubt to which so many actors are susceptible.
Have I been replaced? Have they found someone else? Am I still in the running? Is it still gonna be me?
In fact, she was offered the role of Delilah in Firewatch years before recording began. It was actually the role of Henry, against whom the wisecracking Delilah plays, that proved difficult in the casting process before Rich Sommer (of Mad Men) put himself forward for the role.
Realism in games dialogue
Jones praises the natural-sounding conversations that characterise more and more games in the industry, particularly Firewatch, which she and Sommer recorded together via video chat.
To have this game that really hinges upon believable dialogue [...] was game-changing. Pun intended.
Social responsibility in the workplace
Powerfully aware of the need for diversity in the games industry, Jones notes that the ability to produce a game using a small team means anyone can do it. She also discusses doing her best to take roles that don't infringe on minority demographics in order to save those roles for people who would more accurately represent them.
Games in particular...I think there's enough work for everybody.
Succeeding as a voice actor
If you're looking for the big secret to success in the voice acting industry, look no further! Jones, who took voice acting courses after ten years of establishing a corporate career and landed an agent just two years later, says the key to excellence is actually quite simple.
It just matters if I can do it believably and interestingly. That's it. That's the secret sauce.