speaking to NMEactors Neil Ellice and Barry Sloane discussed what it was like to play characters that had become fan favorites from the start. Modern war trilogy, and how they brought their own personality to the reboot.
Sloane, who plays Captain Price in the Modern war reboot, says the response to his performance has been “fantastic” and adds that he saw playing Price as an opportunity because he holds Price’s original actor, Billy Murray, in high regard.
“Murray gave an incredible performance, it was amazing,” praises Sloane. “That’s why people don’t give a shit about Captain Price from the start. However, I was the first actor who had the opportunity to move him, physically personify him and turn him into a modern 3D version. I was excited and I paid tribute to him, I tried to add elements of his performance and choices of his, certainly in tone”.
However, Sloane also had room to inject some of her own personality into the mix. “At the auditions, I played him as Scouse and I was really pushing him because, in my opinion, we don’t have enough Scouse superheroes. But we decided not to go down that road, and go somewhere where Billy did. Billy is a little more trimmed down, a little more into the system, I think mine is a little more working class. I went from that perspective and put some of that in, but then I added aspects of myself, and Infinity Ward allowed me to do that.”
Meanwhile, Ellice, who plays John ‘Soap’ MacTavish in modern warfare 2 – says he is “deeply grateful” to original Soap actor Kevin McKidd “for devoting his time and talents to making the role of Soap MacTavish a legacy role, like Captain Price, so guys like me can have a go.”
However, Ellice acknowledged that it can be difficult to take on a legacy role and stressed that it was important not to try too hard to emulate it. “I think the best advice I’ve ever received is [to] Commit to bringing as much of myself to the role as I can, even if it leaves me exposed, because that’s an actor’s job, rather than relying on someone in particular as a crutch.”
“I think in the game you’ll see, particularly with the chemistry and the relationship with Ghost, that we both also bring some lighter moments, which really gets closer to my own personality,” Ellice added.
Outside of the role, Sloane jokes that playing such an iconic character in Obligations has provided him with “good ammunition” for a “fucking annoying question” that actors are asked.
“[If] You are an actor, [people will] say ‘Oh, are you into something that I know of?’ You can… there are a lot of things you can say, and they’ll say ‘I don’t know’. But if you say ‘I do’ Obligations‘, they say ‘You do it Obligations?!’ It’s instantly recognizable, it’s like saying you’re Superman or Batman. They say, oh, it’s a real one!
Earlier in the day, we also spoke with Glenn Morshower (General Shepherd) and Elliot Knight (Gaz) about what it was like to bring their own personalities to the characters in the original trilogy.