INTERVIEW: Ryan Culver – Playstation All-Star Battle Royale (PART 2)

<<<PART 1

JA: How did you manage to verbalize a character without speaking?

RC: It was a challenge.  I spent a lot of hours watching and studying the game to see how Drake moved and the way he responded to things when they happened.  From curious, to frustrated, to humored, to angry – he’s got a great range of emotion in the game, and I tried to tap into that heavily for a spot like this, that was all about the action, so it was clear to the audience.  There were also subtle things that fans would have recognized that didn’t make it into the final cut, but they helped me throughout the filming to stay in Drake’s world.Ryan Culver low res

Drake was also the guy you were gonna follow through the “story” of the spot, so that made it even more important to make his body language and facial expressions clear.  I really wanted to get it right, and the fantastic support and comments I’ve received from fans since it came out has definitely made me feel like the work paid off.

JA: What’s it like for you to do stunts? And what is the craziest stunt you have done in real life?

RC: I love doing my own stunts.  I will always choose to do as much as I can on a job.  I have a great respect for the professional stunt men and women who I work with, and we collaborate closely to be sure I’m doing things within my capability.  I do tend to push my limits a lot in real life, and I like to carry that onto set, but I understand that if I were to get seriously hurt trying something I wasn’t ready for, then it could stop the whole production, so I’m very conscious of that as well.

As far as the craziest, it’s hard to choose a favorite.  I’ve been stuck on the side of a 2,000-foot cliff face with no rope and only a couple anchors holding me to the rock.  I’ve been blind-folded and pushed out of an airplane without my parachute fully strapped on.  I almost got run over by a car while doing a stunt on a bicycle during a job, when the bike’s crank broke during a shot.  If it hadn’t been for the quick reflexes of the stunt driver, the car would have run over my head.  You know, normal everyday stuff like that (haha).
JA: What do you have in common with Nathan Drake?

RC: Well I like to wear a suit about as much as he does (haha) – I’m very much a t-shirt and jeans guy, so learning that about him was a welcome relief.

It seems we have a similar vocabulary as well.  I use phrases like “Aw, crap” in ridiculous situations, and I laughed the first time I saw the video game and realized how much he says that too.

And again, my globe-trotting, adventure lifestyle seems very similar to Drake’s in a lot of ways…okay, well minus the zombie killing.  And under that affable, wise-cracking exterior he’s got that quiet, intense side – which I’ve been accused of having before as well, though I’ll deny it if you ask me (haha).

Ryan Culver headshotJA: What has been your favorite role to date?

RC: Well as far as commercial jobs go, I’ve done some awesome stuff, but it’s hard to beat getting to play the real-life version of an iconic action character.  Nathan Drake has been a ton of fun and I would be honored to have an opportunity to jump into his boots again if the chance came up.

For other projects, I did a small film a couple years ago that gave me a chance to play a character that was a bit of a departure from what I would normally be cast as, and I got to grow some wild hair and let a little of my “crazy” out playing him, which was a lot of fun.

JA: Are you a gamer yourself? If so, what are your favorite games?

RC: Oh man, I am so terrible at playing the games, I respect the real gamers who make that look easy, cause I’m all over the place (haha).  I do have some family and friends who are big gamers and I like to learn about the games and watch them play.

I did grow up playing stuff like Mario Bros. and Punch Out, but got a bit lost when the consoles and games evolved and got more complex.  I still remember the day I found a Commodore 64 in a neighbor’s trash as a kid.  It had one game on it – Pong – there were no cartridges, you got to play that one game and that was it.  And I remember being totally amazed by it, by being able to actually control something that I was watching on my TV.  I am so amazed at how incredible the visual worlds are in games these days.   I can’t wait to see where gaming takes us in the future, and I welcome any opportunity to be a part of that world.


What are your thoughts on Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale? What character is your favorite? Which characters would you like to see on the roster? And finally, please discuss what you thought of Ryan’s answers and performance in the commercial in the comments below.

Special thanks to Ryan Culver for answering all my questions.

Follow him on twitter: @Ryan_Culver

Follow me on twitter: @james_arledge

About the author

James Arledge

James is a passionate gamer and artist. He attended ITT Technical Institute and received an Associates Degree in Graphic Design, which led him to get an internship with The Heat Magazine as a Graphic Designer. His passion for gaming has led him to create and take the title of Editor-in-Chief of good2knowgames on the world's premiere video platform, You Tube. The video game industry is rapidly growing and that is something James strives to continue to be an integral part of, for many years to come.