Doug Cockle, best known for his role as the Geralt of Riviafrom ‘The Witcher’ was in Abu Dhabi for the Middle East Games Con last week. We caught up with the voice actor, talking about the cult status of Geralt of Rivia, his brief work in Captain America: The First Avenger and pursuing voice acting.
How did you begin your career in voice acting, since you were a theatre-trained actor?
I was primarily a theatre trained actor and I worked in film and television. But, one day, my agent sent me to an audition for a video game. I never even thought [about] this. It was the early days. It was 1999. Voice acting for video games was a fairly new thing. So, I went to this audition not knowing what to expect. I auditioned and got the lead role for ‘Independence War 2: The Edge of Chaos.’ That company got me back for other games like Time Splitters 2. Eventually, I was called in to audition for ‘The Witcher.’ It was based on a series of books and they hadn’t translated them into English, so nobody in the West knew about them, or what The Witcher was about either.
Did you expect Geralt of Rivia to become a cult figure in the gaming scene?
I didn’t expect Geralt of Rivia to become an iconic character in video games at all. I did ‘The Witcher 1’ and it was a fun thing to be part of. It did fairly well. As fans know, it kind of snowballed. ‘The Witcher 2’ came out and that did better than the first edition. ‘The Witcher 3’ was the big bang everybody remembers from 2015.
Which is better, acting or voice acting?
I do acting, whatever the medium is. I enjoy them all for different reasons. I joined theatre because I liked the interaction on stage with an audience. In film and television, there’s just something exciting about the set and it’s a very immediate environment. Things happen very quickly, so you have to be on your game. When it comes to voice acting for gaming, I really enjoy it because I can wear whatever I like and look horrible. It doesn’t matter as long as my voice sounds good. It’s a different kind of challenge in voice acting.
Did you expect where Marvel would reach when you were shooting ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’?
They already knew they had a good thing going. If you go back to the Marvelcomic books, why wouldn’t they do well? Their comic books were brilliant. Not to dismiss DC or anything like that, but Marvel is fantastic. So, that whole world is just right for making films. Obviously, Hollywood knows that as well because that’s why we have so many Marvel-based films.
How was it working with Chris Evans?
I loved doing Captain America. It was a very small role, but it was an exciting one because I got to act with Chris Evans, so that was good fun! He was a nice guy on the sets as well. I even got to meet Stanley Tucci and the entire crew. It’s always fun to do something like that.
How do you find the gaming scene in the Middle East?
It seems very vibrant I haven’t been hanging out with people on the streets or something like that, it’s just been the conventions. But all the people I meet are excited and friendly. It’s a cool community to be part of and it seems the Middle East has a vibrant community of gaming.
What can fans expect from you in the future?
There are several works, but I can’t tell them. It will come out soon.