Troy E. Baker is an American voice actor known for his lead characters in video games. He was Booker DeWitt in BioShock Infinite, Joel in The Last of Us, The Joker in Batman: Arkham Origins and Batman: Assault on Arkham, Talion in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Jack Mitchell in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and Pagan Min in Far Cry 4. He also voices in a number of English adaptations of Japanese anime shows including Captain Yamato & Pain in Naruto: Shippuden. Baker is also a musician in Akira Yamaoka's Silent Hill band, where he plays bass and sings backup vocals. Before pursuing acting, Baker was the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the indie-rock band Tripp Fontaine, which released the radio single "Burning Out" from their debut album Random Thoughts on a Paper Napkin in 2004. His first solo album, Sitting in the Fire, was released on October 14, 2014.
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Hi guys. I'm originally from Texas. Moved to California 8 years ago. Since then, I've been lucky enough to have a meteoric rise in the video game space. Besides playing characters like Joel or Jack Mitchell, 2014 saw my return to my first love of music, with my debut album Sitting in the Fire. You can check it out here: http://troybaker.net/ and I look forward to hearing what you think.
Victoria's helping me out today. AMA!
Update: Thank you so much for your support. It's only because of that that I've been able to see a lot of my dreams come true. I hope I can return the favor. Keep playing, keep listening, and keep sharing!
What happens when you and Nolan North are in the same room? Does it endanger the game-space-time continuum?
It does. And we apologize for the collapse of the universe.
Thank you for the countless gruff protagonists in the past. At what point do you think voice actors and actors will start to merge together, if at all? I ask because motion capture in games such as The Last of Us is really starting to blend the two together. I would call you an actor above all else. I would love, someday, for voice actors to be as popular as Clooney or Pitt, so my question is do you think that will happen?
I am standing on my chair, applauding you sir.
That is exactly what I think the goal is. There is no difference between acting with your voice, acting with your face, acting with your body. At the end of the day, it's all acting, and I'm glad you see that.
So after playing Batman, Joker, Two-face and Robin. Have you ever considerd making a batman movie by yourself?
Um... never. It's too much fun to work with other people.
What was it like working with Kevin Spacey in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare?
He was an absolute prince. Often, when big name celebrities are attached to video games, along with that comes a diva or a huge ego. And that was not the case with Kevin. He came in, he put in the work, he surprised us with several quotes from USUAL SUSPECTS and other movies (much to the joy of every member of the cast & crew) and we had a fun time swapping music, cuz he's a singer, swapping stories and laughing a lot. I was honored to work with him.
Where do you buy your socks and how do I keep my sock game strong?
Love your work
Just remember that life is too short for boring socks. I love Paul Smith, or Ted Baker socks.
When you played Joel, did you do a lot of crouching around as a way of getting into character?
There was enough crouching, I didn't need it for character preparation.
Hey Troy! If a movie was made about you, and then that movie was made into a video game, would you play the role of Troy Baker? (No, you cannot play yourself in the movie. Benedict Cumberbatch has been confirmed to play you already.)
I can neither confirm nor deny the Cumberbatch!
Or Nolan North!
What was to hardest role to put your mind into?
Um... that would be... again, every one of them has its own challenges. There was a lot about Joel that was very hard. And also the Joker, that's a very dark place. You don't want to hang out in that mindspace for very long.
Hi Troy,how is to be the most desirable man in the universe by both male and female?
Um... I'm Ryan Gosling?
Afternoon Troy, evening for me.
I first just wanted to say thank you to you, Travis, Laura and everyone at Sucker Punch for Infamous Second Son. Not just for the amazing game but, for me on a personal level; I lost my mum suddenly in April and was playing Second Son at the time. If I hadn't had my ps4 and such an immersive game to play to distract me from losing someone I loved as well as a release from caring for my younger brother and Father, I'm scared to think where I would be right now. I'm forever grateful to you, the characters and the story of Fetch, Delsin, Eugene and Reggie.
Do you think video games have the power to change people's mind sets? The Infamous series are, to me, games that show what it's like to be an outcast in the place you call home. Not saying politicians are going to listen to video games but at least in gamers psyches, do you think issues like homosexuality, race, immigration can be tackled in games to try to influence social change? Especially outside of western culture?
Keep doing what your doing. Love the album too :D Take care.
You are the proof that they can, and that they are. They are doing just that.
And you are a shining example of the fact that these are not just games, but these experiences help us cope, help us comfort, can guide us and teach us as well as just be an escape. But yes, you are proof they can do much greater things than just entertain.
And I think they already are. I see the conversations that were sparked by BIOSHOCK, Infamous, Last of us, that touched on very relevant, serious, grounded issues like homosexuality, loss, racism, nationalism, and the conversations that were had were not over how to defeat this boss or this level but it's what it means to us as people, as a culture. And those are the conversations that spearhead true change.
I just wanted to ask, how did you become the new voice actor for Ocelot in MGS5. Did Kojima come to you, or did you audition for it?
Chris Zimmerman (who's the performance director) approached me about it, but I had to audition just like everyone else, and thankfully Kojima thought I was right for the role.
What was the first video game console you got as a child?
I had an Intellivision. I was probably...5? 6? Somewhere around there. Then it was the Atari 1600, with the wood grain and silver toggles.
Are Baker and North the De Niro and Pacino of voice acting?
Yes, but which one am I?
What got you into voice acting?
A door opened, and I wish I could say it was by design, but it was really by accident. But it certainly wasn't what i was looking for. So if nothing else, that's a wonderful lesson to learn - the path that you think you're on may not be the path you're going to be on, so you have to be open to opportunities as they present themselves. Be open to what is happening, not what you think should happen.
How did Dan Ryckert manage to convince you to record the audio book of Air Force Gator in such dulcet tones?
Haha! It was "hey, you wanna come over here and do this?"
What's it like being a part of Uncharted 4 after being a fan of the series since the first one?
I'm pinching myself.
I was a fan of Nolan's before i was a friend, and being able to work with him is a joy & honor. To be able to play his brother is nothing short of a dream come true.
If you could pick one older game (to voice a character in) that lacks voice acting, what game would you pick and which character would you be?
Pac-Man. I would have an entire sub narrative about why I'm chasing ghosts and why I'm never satiated by glowing white pellets.
Would you consider doing a live show in Sweden sometime? Love your music bro!
AB-SO-LUTELY. Stockholm here I come!
I've been wanting to know the answer to this questions for seconds now,
What is better? Creamy or crunchy peanut butter?
Oh dude. Creamy.
I'm a huge fan of yours as well as the MGS series. How is your experience doing the voice of Ocelot? Did you do the mocap of him gun spinning?
You're pretty good.
It was split between an actor in Japan doing the body, and me doing the voice and the face.
I LOVED saying that line.
What's it like to finally get to be in Uncharted? You're the only thing the series was missing!
Oh man, again, dream come true. As a fan, as a gamer, as an actor.
Favourite video game soundtrack?
If it's too hard to answer (which it would be for me!) - top 5?
Huge fan of JOURNEY. THE LAST OF US score is probably the most incredible score ever. But those 2 would definitely take the cake.
I heard Nolan North does a mean Chirstopher Walken. What's your favorite impersonation that you can pull off?
Oh man, I thought i could do Walken until I heard Nolan do it. And you're right, he does the absolute best job. I think my best impersonation is Nolan North doing Christopher Walken.
What's the strangest fan encounter you've had?
Nothing suitable for these innocent eyes to read...
Yo! Thank you so much for doing this AMA, I love the shit out of you. Before I ask my question, I just want to tell you that you’re my favourite actor, and I absolutely love The Last of Us. I cannot overstate this, its such an amazing journey. I never truly saw video games as an art form until July 2013. THAT GODDAMN GIRAFFE SCENE. I am in love with the game. I can’t praise it enough. Seriously ugh. Also, your (’s and Ashley’s!) was terrific, terrifying and downright awesome! You can do amazing things with your voice. Also quickly I drew this picture this evening, and thought I may as well post it here. I kinda rushed the clothes a little cuz I realised this AMA was in an hour. Hope you like it :S. http://imgur.com/U4b73hg
Well dammit here’s my question. Are you up for a sequel to The Last of Us, and if so, what do you want it to be about?
Again thanks a bunch for doing this AMA. I love you. Please reply, it would make my year.
I’ll go now.
God I feel like such an awkward teenager.
Of course I would - I leave that in the hand of Neal (hashtag: 2015Made!)
Do you ever start conversing with your previous characters when you're alone? How much does that worry your therapist?
Hahaha. My therapist is grateful for the amount of work i've done, because of the amount of issues to deal with. I would say of all the characters I've done, Joel is the one I find myself thinking about the most... and he's the one I've missed the most. They're not just characters, they're real people to me, as psychotic as it sounds.
Who's the better singer? You or Ned Luke? :D
Ned Luke killed it. I would never go toe-to-toe with him in karaoke again.
What do you use in your flawless hair and how do you style it? Thank you.
Angel tears and dragonscreams.
Um... it's gotten so long these days, I typically have it pulled back or put into a beanie. I don't know! I just kind of go with whatever's available, really. Butter or blood, I don't know.
Will you comeback to a new Tabletop Episode? You and Wil Wheaton are just the best!
I would LOVE to. I love Wil, I love that show, I have to defend my title.
Last of Us is amazing, if you didn't already know :P
So Mr. Baker, what games are you currently playing?
Just cracked open FAR CRY 4. I have a huge backlog of games, but I'm still loving playing the online multiplayer for GTA5. But FAR CRY 4 and Lego Batman 3 are on deck!
Hello! First off, I just wanted to say thank you so much for taking some time to be here and answer our questions (It would have been nice if it was December 18th, but I won’t hold that against you .) But seriously, you have one of the longest résumés when it comes to video game voice acting, and have starred in some of the most critically acclaimed and/or popular games (The Last of Us, Bioshock Infinite, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Arkham Origins, etc.) You’re also an amazing musician. Needless to say, I’m a huge fan.
Anyways, here are the questions I’d like to ask. There’s a lot of them, so I don’t expect you to answer them all.
1. What game do you get most recognized for? (Like, someone coming up to you randomly and saying: Oh, you’re that guy from __)
2. What character(s) have you played that relates to you the most?
3. What would you say was the most fun voice to do?
4. How does one get into the voice acting industry?
5. Can anyone train to do voice acting, or is there a level of talent you need first?
6. Are you going to be working on the sequel for a “certain game”? (cough cough The Last of Us cough cough)
1) I would say it's honestly a tossup between THE LAST OF US, BIOSHOCK and Arkham.
2) Already answered... each for their own reasons.
3) Lego Batman was hilarious. When it comes to being fun - and I'm having a TREMENDOUS amount of fun on Borderlands.
4) One does not simply go into voice acting... again, the door will open for you in whatever manner it chooses to.
5) I would say talent is inherent... skill is learned.
6) I hope so, but I have heard nothing yet.
Hi Troy Baker
Were you born with the talent to manipulate your voice, or did you gain it through practice?
Did you name that magnificent beard?
Um, not yet but it definitely has taken on a life of its own.
Hi Troy, love your work. Question I have to ask is has Hollywood come calling yet?
I mean, to me there's no delineation between TV, film or games. Have I met with TV studios? Yes. Have I met with film studios? Yes. I love working with games. I feel like what games are doing for the entertainment medium as a whole is way more interesting.
You've played a few villains in your time doing voice acting, what has been the most fun and who would you love to work with that you haven't before and why?
I mean, Joker is always going to be a favorite for sure, as far as villains are concerned, but characters like Pagan Min are refreshing to know... that my version of a villain isn't just one note, so I look for more roles like that.
The gag scene in the Last of Us with the singing in the operating theatre was one of the best things I'd ever seen. Other than that, what's the funniest thing you've done on set?
Gosh... wow, these are great questions... let me get back to that one, let me think...
When can we expect the release of the audiobook for Air Force Gator by master author Dan Ryckert?
1) What music/musicians have you been listening to lately?
2) Ever thought of opening up your own cake shop called "Troy's Bakery"?
1) I think going back catalogue, almost always in rotation is Beatles, Jeff Buckley, lot of jazz like Nina Simone... I honestly listen to a lot of classical music, which I know sounds lame, but when I have a chance to listen to music, it's exactly what i need. So typically either jazz or classical that I'm listening to.
2) It was already done in GRAND THEFT AUTO ;)
Hey Troy. I was just wondering if you could voice any superhero/action hero not counting the ones you've already voiced who would it be?
I've always wanted to do Daredevil, because that's like one of my favorite superheroes, so I'm excited for the new Netflix series to see how well Charlie Cox does.
Hello Troy. I'm a big fan of your work. Loved you as Joel and I'm looking forward for seeing you (or should I say hearing you?) in Uncharted 4.
My question is about The Last of Us: is there any aspect of Joel's personality that wasn't on script originally, that you "copied" from yours? If there is, would you mind sharing it with us?
Thanks for doing this AMA.
We had a lot of freedom to improvise, to put our own fingerprint on these roles. But honestly, it was so well-written that there wasn't much that we had to change or had to evolve from. Most of the characters in the story were born out of conversations about a scene, and once we found out what was at stake in every scene, which goes back to David Milch who was the creator of DEADWOOD, that's what he always focused on - so once you find that, it's what will guide you the rest of the way.
Any sekrit news about a new bioshock or anything you wanna totally not tell us?
Ha! No news. I know nothing.
Hey Troy! Long time Twitter follower of yours before you hit your first 1,000. What is my prize?
Jk, what are your thoughts on the upcoming movie adaption of The Last of Us and who do you think would do a great job?
I think that the story transcends any medium, so I am all for the movie. And I trust Neal and the producers implicitly on who fits the character right.
Have you ever "discovered" a voice you didn't know you could do? Or do you know your range so well you can just hear it in your head and do it.
IE like first time trying to do joker.
I never know I can do it until I've done it. Sometimes I can, sometimes I can't.
Are you into esports at all?(dota, LoL, starcraft)
I greatly respect it. I would lose my life to them, if I got into them, but DoTA, League of Legends, I think it's fantastic that it's become such a prolific sport.
Kind of a simple question, but what has been your favorite game to voice for?
Oh man, I get this question a lot. And it's too hard to pick a favorite. Just because each opportunity gives you, teaches you something unique that makes it your favorite. So every one of them has been my favorite for its own reasons.
What made you decide to make an album in the first place? And why is it so damn good?
The short answer is: catharsis. I've been wanting to do this for over 10 years. And thankfully, I've finally been in a position where I've met the right people & was in the right place to do it, and it's the result of a lot of people's hard work, that's why it's so darn good.
At what age and how did you find out you had such a great voice?
When someone hired me a second time.
I had like, the highest voice when I was a kid. Everyone thought when I answered the phone I was my mother... it's weird how much life prepares you for the right moment, and then when the right moment happens, you're equipped with the right tools to meet it head-on.
For videogames, when it happened, a friend of mine who was a fellow musician said "We need a guy who has a cool voice to be in our video game. YOU have a cool voice." And that was the first time anyone had ever said that to me. And that was a game called "Brothers in Arms."
And the rest is history.
Hi Troy Apologies I've never used reddit before but seeing this I had to come on!
What do you see as your next big challenge? You've accomplished so much so far it's there anything that you consider your ultimate or "top" goal?
Sam Hughes UK
I don't know. I think I'll know that challenge or goal when I see it.
Who's your favourite marvel character?
Definitely Daredevil! But really, any of Stan Lee's creations are just incredible, and I love how they've evolved over the years.
I absolutely love Sitting in the Fire. I honestly think it's the best album of 2014. I was wondering, do you have a favorite song off of it? Personally, mine is Apparition.
Oh, fantastic! I love it when people tell me what their favorite is. "What we lost in the fire" definitely is one of my personal favorites. Each track has its own story, almost like - it's very synonymous to what's your favorite role, it's hard to pick my favorite song because they've all taught me something.
Thank you for doing this AMA, you have amazing talent!!!!!
I wanted to know, is there any way you'd be participating in the soundtrack for Silent Hills if Akira Yamaoka composes for the game?
Also, your voice is just.....amazingness! Thank you for your time!
I would play with Akira again, as often as possible, and would love to do more with him in the future!
If you could colab with any artist for your next album, who would it be and why?
Austin Wintory (who's the composer of Journey) - he and I are talking about collaborating... I'd love to do something with Paul McCartney, because if Kanye can do it, why can't I?
How did you role as Rhys in Tales From The Borderlands come about, and do you like playing him?
Again, the voice or performance director asked if I would be interested in the role, and I let the guys from Tell-Tale hear what i would be like doing Rhys, and I'm having the time of my life.
What is one thing you dislike about voice acting that you wish was diffrent?
Less emphasis on voice, more emphasis on acting.
Of all voice/motion characters you've done (or a selection of your favorites) which one comes out on top in a Royal Rumble?
Side note: Listening to your album you might like one of my favorite acts, Shayfer James. You share a lot of tonal similarities.