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Bioware Superstar Alix Wilton Regan on Life As a Voice Actress

Alix Wilton Regan Alix Wilton Regan is a British voice over actress probably best known for her work with Bioware, including providing the voice of the Female Inquisitor in Dragon Age Inquisition and that of Specialist Samantha Traynor in Mass Effect 3.

Dreaming of becoming an actor for as long as she can remember, Regan views her current line of work more as a result of “pursuing her vocation” than choosing a career path. “I am an actor and an activist…” she says, “I always have been and suspect I always will be both. Because of this, I decided to go straight to drama school after finishing my A-Levels instead of university. I was eager to get started!”

However, voice acting, wasn’t initially on her radar as an option. “I was very lucky to be awarded two special commendations when my drama school did the BBC Radio Carlton Hobbs Award,” she says, “one for Best Shakespearean Monologue and one for Best Contemporary Duologue. Although I hadn’t thought about voice acting before, this really sparked an interest within me… When I graduated I sent out three consecutive mail-outs over the course of a year and a half. Although I was rejected on the first two mail-outs, I managed to get lucky on my third mail-out. Looking back on it, my first agency meeting was very embarrassing, they asked me to do a voice for a cartoon pig and I really, really went for it, but in the end it got me the agent and into the world of voice acting.”

As for the unique challenges of voice acting, she does sometimes find life in the recording booth lonely, but believes that teamwork and communication can smooth out any rough patches. “Occasionally it is hard to act without the other person opposite you or in the room,” she says, “and/or you might have a different interpretation of the role to the person directing you / guiding your sessions. But, in general, collaboration, communication and cooperation are the recipes to success for all forms of creative process.”

As a writer and translator in her own right, she even gets to rewrite and rework dialogue as needed. “Luckily for me,” she says, “directors and producers increasingly trust my judgment in how a script can developed and how a character should be portrayed to the audience.”

She is also quick to defend her work as a voice actress, seeing it as just as, if not more important than other kinds of acting. “When voicing characters you are given a shell and really have to fill it out and bring the character to life in the eyes (and ears) of the gamers,” she says, “as well as honouring the journey that the character goes on and their relationships with other characters. Portraying all the emotions necessary with just your voice can be even harder work than just regular TV/film acting. On top of this it is an incredibly physical job where I pour sweat and tears into my sessions… In short, it’s not for the faint-hearted.”

As for how she got involved in video game voice over specifically, it all comes down to one developer. “Believe it or not,” she says, “Bioware actually gave me my first video game job as Ser Cauthrien in Dragon Age: Origins, and from then on I was lucky enough to be cast in further games of theirs and allowed me to develop a relationship with the powers that be.”

“Working with Bioware has allowed me to voice some of the most amazing characters, I was so proud to be the voice of Traynor in Mass Effect 3, not just because she’s such an amazing character, but also because she’s a character only into women, and such a good role model.  I’ve also really enjoyed working with everyone at Bioware, from Caroline the director of my voice in Mass Effect 3, to the script writers so wrote the most amazing script for Traynor, which I personally found incredibly moving.”

Mass Effect 3

“And this was something I found throughout all of my Bioware projects; in Dragon Age: Inquisition, I was overwhelmed by how kind and committed everyone was. Bioware have done so well with their games and characters and to this day Traynor and Inquisitor are definitely in my top five favourite roles.”

“Inquisition will always hold a special place within my heart, simply by virtue of the fact that the recognition that both I and the game got has helped springboard me to bigger and better roles in the acting world. It was truly a game-changer (pardon the pun!) for me.”

As for playing games herself, mostly she plays the games that she is in, but she’s also a huge NBA video game fan. “My boyfriend is a big fan” she says. “Basketball rules! I am legally bound, under the terms of my current relationship, to support the New York Knicks… However badly they may play.”

Mariko McDonald
Mariko McDonald is a freelance writer and blogger based in Montreal, Canada. She likes writing about video games, playing co-op games (badly) with her husband and obsessing over her cats. Follow her on Twitter.
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Mariko McDonald
Mariko McDonald is a freelance writer and blogger based in Montreal, Canada. She likes writing about video games, playing co-op games (badly) with her husband and obsessing over her cats. Follow her on Twitter.

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