- Axel TWD is responsible for this interview, conducted on May 13th, 2013, updated on July 4th, 2013.
TWD Wiki: How did you get the role of Molly in The Walking Dead Video Game?
I had been introduced to Telltale’s games years ago by my boyfriend, Nick Herman, who is a director at the company. Early last year, Nick urged me to try my hand at VO and audition for a role in episode 2, but I was too intimidated by the whole recording process; I come from an opera and theater background, so I was nervous about relying solely on my spoken voice, acting out of context/order, not having any rehearsals, etc. Then Nick tried again and suggested that I audition for a role in episode 4, only this time he showed me the character breakdown. I was immediately drawn to Molly and realized she was too juicy a character to ignore.
I recorded my audition on a headphone mic and sent it in. From there, my audition was added to the pile that was being reviewed by the episode’s design team, including Nick as the director, writer Gary Whitta, and designer Andrew Langely, among others. I was called back and asked to record the meatier, more emotional monologue (Molly’s confession about her connection to Crawford). I know it sounds like cheating to have my boyfriend on the casting board, but his ultimate goal was to make a good game, and he wasn’t going to vote for me if he, and the others casting, didn’t think I was fit to play the zombie-slayer. Apparently they deemed me fit, and I eventually received the call that I was cast.
TWD Wiki: Did you watch the TV show or read the graphic novel prior to getting a role in the Game? And if so, do you have a favorite character?
I started watching the TV show back when it first aired, but have fallen completely behind. I read the first compendium of the graphic novel before the game began development and the TV show had aired, and I fell in love with it. I ripped through those 1088 pages over one weekend and loved every deliciously vicious, heart-wrenching, and disturbing moment. I’ve fallen a bit behind on the most recent volumes as well, but I just discovered the second compendium has already been released. I’m so ready to sit down and have it tear my heart out. Andrea and Michonne tie for my favorite character. I love Kirkman’s handle on Andrea’s transformation throughout the series; she’s one of the most human characters. Michonne…I mean, come on. Talk about tough and deadly.
TWD Wiki: What was it like to work with Dave Fennoy and all the other amazing voice actors in the Game?
Melissa Hutchison and Dave Fennoy
I never worked directly with any of the other actors since we all recorded alone, but I did have the extreme pleasure of running into Dave before one of my sessions. After confessing myself to be a total VO newbie, he gave me some advice and guidance on how to train to become a better VO actor while he sat eating a sandwich. It was a wonderful little moment. That same day, after my session, I sat in on Melissa Hutchison’s session and was absolutely blown away by her ability to convey the naiveté and subtle snarkiness of Clem, in addition to her perfect tonal quality that carried Clem’s youth.
I also ran into Adam Harrington (Andrew St. John) recently, and he was incredibly generous in offering his time and knowledge of the VO industry. I haven’t had the chance to meet with many of the other actors, but seeing as I was a player of the game before I was a participant in the process, I am in awe of their talent and continually have to pinch myself when I see my name amongst theirs in the credits.
TWD Wiki: In what ways are you similar to, as well as different from your character Molly?
Well, I can’t comment for certain how I would react to or change during a zombie apocalypse. I am definitely not a parkour expert, nor am I an ice pick wielding ninja. I do, however, make my own share of sarcastic comments, have a sister whom I love, and have a preference for boots. As much as I wish I could be the independent boss that Molly is during the apocalypse, my survival skills are not nearly as numerous or strong, and would probably need to stick with a group in order to maintain my health and my sanity. I think Molly is always trying, though not always succeeding, to look past mere survival instinct to see others in their humanness, and rediscover those human qualities that had been lost during the apocalypse; I would hope I, too, would fight to see that clearly.
TWD Wiki: Do you have any interesting or funny stories to tell that occurred in the process of making the Game?
The crayon drawing of Walter the dog.
One that comes to mind, because I just discovered it a few minutes ago, is that Dr. Logan, the doctor in Crawford that you see on the tapes, is apparently also known as Dr. Walter Ashe; that’s my dog’s name and my last name. Also, as I was playing through episode four, I noticed that the dog you have to steal the collar from is also named Walter. I was not happy about having to dig up a dead Walt, but I was happy to see the crayon drawing of “My dog Walter” on the fridge inside the house.
TWD Wiki: Molly has a signature weapon, an ice pick, whom she calls Hilda. What would your weapon of choice be in a zombie apocalypse?
I’ve mentioned in a previous interview that if I had my choice of any weapon, given my current strengths and abilities, I would choose an ice pick. But if I could choose anything and be inherently good at it, my ultimate preference is a bow and arrow. It’d be nice to have a crossbow like Daryl’s on the show, but a simple bow and some arrows could be fashioned out of natural resources, so I wouldn’t have to worry about being weaponless should something break, and I could whittle my own arrows.
TWD Wiki: What was your favorite scene to record?
Definitely Molly’s speech about her past at Crawford and her sister. It is one of the few moments that Molly allows herself to speak to another person in a human way. It was a simple speech syntactically, yet it was a beautifully complex moment for Molly. In trusting and confiding in Lee while reliving hurtful memories, Molly feels a bit of relief in having someone to share her pain with, all the while knowing that the relief doesn’t change the past or the way she dwells on it, nor does it change the current hell they are living in. I think, as the player behind Lee, it provides much insight into why Molly is the way she is; although, a lot of players don’t see or hear her speech if they don’t find the final tape or confront her about it.
Molly and Lee.
TWD Wiki: What was your reaction to hearing that The Walking Dead had won the Game of the Year award at the Spike VGAs as well as the huge success of the Game in general? Did you ever expect it to become so successful?
Nick and I were sitting in our seats about to see The Book of Mormon in San Francisco when we heard TWD had won the VGA’s GOTY award. Most of all, I was proud of Nick and overjoyed that all of his and his coworker’s insanely hard work had been noticed. I then relished in how grateful I was to have been able to play a small part in it, especially since it was my first VO endeavor. And then my smile grew wider and wider as the game surpassed 80 total GOTY awards. I had always seen Telltale as the indie adventure game company that made fantastic puzzle and narrative-driven games that were just never featured on the same level as your common FPS or RPG. It was absolutely thrilling to see Dan, Kevin, Jake and Sean walk the stage with Kirkman on national television, knowing that TTG was finally receiving the recognition they so-long deserved.
TWD Wiki: Since Molly's fate is never explicitly revealed at the end of the game, would you return to voice her or other characters in Season 2 of the Game?
I would hope that I would voice Molly if she is brought back in season 2. But I really know nothing about season 2. I do know that Molly’s ambiguous fate is ambiguous.
TWD Wiki: Do you know of any roles or stories in the Game that were eventually changed or removed altogether? For example, a line or scene that was meant to occur but was removed or otherwise changed?
Not that I know of!
TWD Wiki: Did the cast and crew do anything special after the Game was finished?
The VO actors of episodes 1 and 2 gathered at some point to play through the first two episodes. Each actor played through whatever moments their character was featured in; meaning they often had to choose the fate of their own character. This all happened before I even auditioned for Molly, but I hope it happens again sometime so we can all gather and play through the rest.
TWD WIKI: Are you currently working on any other projects?
I just finished recording Bonnie for the WD DLC "400 Days," and I'm currently working on an unannounced project. I am continuing to strive to improve myself as a VO actor and am auditioning for whatever comes my way.
TWD Wiki: Thank you again on behalf of the entire wiki! We appreciate it very much. Congratulations on being part of what is surely one of the best video games of all time!
|To read an interview with Melissa Hutchison, the voice actor of Clementine, click here.|
To read an interview with Mara Junot, the voice actor of Christa, click here.