With the upcoming spring release of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeros I found it fitting to look back at the Metal Gear Solid series. Each game delivered an amazing and immersive experience largely due to its memorable characters. A huge part of what made those characters so great was the voice actors who played them. Recently I had the pleasure to interview one such voice actor, Heather Halley, the voice behind Paramedic, one of the characters in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.
Greasyjoystick: How did you get into voice acting?
Heather Halley: I have always loved the art of Voice Over Acting ever since I was a little girl. My Father worked for Walt Disney. Dad inspired me not to be afraid of always retaining a child like quality. He was a big kid, and so am I. I began recording when I was 5 years old, thanks to my wonderful Mother. She would record my Brother John and I. Then, she would send our recordings off to my Grand Father Ben in Kansas City, Missouri. I fell in love with it right then and there. It wasn’t until years of doing theatre that I decided to make a go at doing Voice Overs professionally. It was a match made in Heaven for me.
Greasyjoystick: What was the first video game you worked on?
Halley: The first video game I ever worked on was, EverQuest II. It was a huge learning experience for me. I did a lot of different characters. I remember one of my characters had to be drowning. I gulped a glass of water for about half an hour straight. What a work out. There was water everywhere. Especially on me.
Greasyjoystick: How did you get the role of Para-Medic in the Metal Gear Solid series and what was it like playing the character?
Halley: Voicing Para-Medic was awesome. I am so grateful. I went into audition for Director, Kris Zimmerman. I auditioned for every role except for Para-Medic. As I was about to leave, Kris said, “Hold on a second.” She gave me the script for Para-Medic. I read for the role, and was fortunate to get the part. I really had no idea how big Metal Gear was at the time. I was still playing the old school games I loved. Myst and Tomb Raider were some of my favorites. Playing Para-Medic was a blast. She is sincerely so much like me. Not to mention, working with Kris Zimmerman. Every time I would go into record, it was always like doing a Master Class in Voice Over.
Greasyjoystick: Was there a particular scene you enjoyed working on in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater?
Halley: I really enjoyed the scenes talking to Snake about the various films that I loved. Working with David Hayter was pure joy. I am very lucky to be able to call him a good friend. One of my all time favorite scenes is when Para-Medic is hiding up in the trees, with her trusty horse on the open field. She keeps telling Snake, “Don’t even think about eating the horse.” I then repel from out of the sky onto my horse and body slam Snake. It is genuinely out of love. I always believed that Para-Medic was a bad ass, and she had a huge crush on Snake. Who didn’t really? Para-Medic has the utmost respect for Snake. He is her hope.
Greasyjoystick: Earlier this year it was made public that Kojima Productions and Hideo Kojima had decided to not cast David Hayter as Solid Snake in Metal Gear Solid 5, any comment on that?
Halley: I don’t know why Hideo Kojima did not cast David Hayter as Snake for the Metal Gear Solid series. David is a very busy guy on his own. I personally don’t think anyone can replace David as the voice of Snake. The game just won’t be the same with out him.
Greasyjoystick: Has being a voice actor for video games especially the Metal Gear Solid series changed your life?
Halley: Yes, absolutely! Being in video games, especially Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater has changed my life for the better. I have met some of the most amazing people from voicing video games. There really are no better fans than Metal Gear fans. They are some of the most intelligent and genuine people I have ever met. Including you too Victor!
Greasyjoystick: How was it working on the Honey and Clover anime?
Halley: I had a blast working on the Honey and Clover anime series. Voicing the English version of Hagumi Hamamoto was an honor. I got to all 24 episodes of the anime series. It was extremely important for me to make sure I kept to the original Japanese version. It was great to be able to take a character like Haumi from when she first enters the world of Honey and Clover, and watch her grow up and change before my very eyes. Fantastic character arcs!
Greasyjoystick: Are you a gamer yourself?
Halley: Yes! I am a gamer. I wish I had more time to play though. I need to make more time. As I had mentioned before, I am old school. Shout out to all the old school gamers out there! I would turn out all the lights in my room, and play games like Myst and Tomb Raider on my very first computer, which was a PC. I loved escaping into the wonderful worlds of video games. Before I knew it, I would look at my clock and it was 4 o’clock in the morning. I was very fortunate to live announce the Video Game Awards two years in a row. I just kept writing down all of the games I wanted to play.
Greasyjoystick: Are you participating in the upcoming Metal Gear Solid game?
Halley: No, I am not going to be in the upcoming Metal Gear Solid game. Hopefully, Hideo will bring Para-Medic back to life again.
Greasyjoystick: What other projects are you currently working on?
Halley: I have Dead Rising 3 coming out November 22, 2013. I play Elka Baranski and Kyla Newart. I am also getting ready to film my Hosting Demo Reel this December. I am really looking forward to my journey into Hosting. I am grateful to have mentors like, Marki Costello guiding me. I love interviewing people. Hosting has been a dream of mine for a long time. I am finally going for it. I also just signed with the William Morris talent agency for Voice Overs. I am thrilled to be working with them. Amazing people.
Greasyjoystick: Thanks for your time.
You can find Heather Halley on Twitter @heatherhalley and at www.heatherhalley.com
Follow Victor on Twitter @explicitbaron and for more Metal Gear Solid content click the links below.