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Nolan North: The Humble Nathan Drake

You know Nolan North. Even if you aren't familiar with the name - although you should be by now - you know him. He has been the voice of Nathan Drake in the acclaimed Uncharted games, and he has also lent his considerable talent to roles in Assassin's Creed, Halo and the recently released Dark Void. Want to learn more about him?

GamePro conducted a lengthy interview with North, who says he gets paid now to do what used to land him in detention. He says he's "humbled by all this" and "feels blessed," mainly because like millions of other aspiring actors in the late '90s, North was going nowhere for a while. He got his "first real gig" in a short-lived soap opera called "Port Charles" but things didn't exactly escalate from there. Before this decision, he went to the University of North Carolina on a baseball scholarship and earned a journalism degree, although he only worked as a reporter for a year. Then, the world of gaming knocked on his door - see how in the interview - and his resume began to expand with game gigs. And now, he's pretty damn big...although not as big as Hollywood celebs, and you may feel sorry for him in that respect. But don't, 'cuz North is plenty happy with the way things are.

"I feel terrible for Brad Pitt. The anonymity of voice over is one the biggest advantages of the job. You make a great living, support your family, and nobody's going to bother you."

North, a clear family man, certainly appreciates the money and living a comfortable life in Southern California. He unsurprisingly attributes this comfort to Uncharted, and after another quick role in Prince of Persia, more opportunities kept popping up. "I've found my niche," he says. And as for the motion-capture stuff, which is new to him, North describes it as "doing theater," only he "doesn't have to shave." Lastly, we'll leave you with one quote we agree with 110%:

"Good voice acting is when you don't notice it, like how you don't notice the dialogue in a movie -- it's just part of the story."

North almost can't believe the success he has enjoyed thus far and he says he's "constantly waiting to be found out." It just feels like too much fun, apparently, and if they don't ever "find him out," he's gonna put, "He got away with it" on his tombstone. For our part, North's voice acting always adds a professional flavor to any game he's involved in, and he absolutely needs to keep working. Don't worry, Nolan, nobody will find out anything besides the fact that you're a damn good addition to a growing industry.

1/15/2010 10:38:09 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (40 posts)

WolfCrimson
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 11:03:04 AM
Reply

Best voice actor I've ever heard in any game. I love his voice acting. Best line I've heard him say "Don't you a**holes see the helicopter?!!"

Agree with this comment 11 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

SvenMD
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 1:12:23 PM

That game has great one-liners!

When Drake and Tenzin are in the caves and Tenzin is about to throw the grapple into the ice.

Drake says "Yeah good luck pal. That's almost impossible to - oh you did it. nice"

Agree with this comment 9 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 2:25:20 PM

Flynn wasn't too bad either, "There's a guy above you there's a guy above you" "There's a guy below you there's a guy below you."

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 1/15/2010 2:25:39 PM

Agree with this comment 6 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Scarecrow
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 3:46:11 PM

I disagree, MGS4 is still the best in that department imo

Solid Snake, Otacon, Meryl, Drebin, and even Sunny...

Though, it's a close call, one could go with either one. Though, I think MGS4 is better (more emotion overall)

Agree with this comment 1 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

bigrailer19
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 4:23:07 PM

I dont thin anyone is talking about a single game scarecrow. But yes MGS4 was great, but I think the acting really shined in UC2. Thats a great argument right there. Both games shined so brilliantly in that regard!

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Zorigo
Saturday, January 16, 2010 @ 11:06:04 AM

@scarecrow
emotion?
say no more, MGS4 was sooooooo good. it was very emotional when snake 'died'. that wedding scene was a scene that matches up to be one of the best scenes in movie history ever. not just gaming, movie. it qualified don't you think?

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NeoHumpty
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 11:08:45 AM
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He doesn't have time to be doing interviews. He needs to get to work on Uncharted 3. Put this man back to work. lol.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Shams
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 11:13:36 AM
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Uncharted wouldn't be the same without him.

Agree with this comment 15 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Arvis
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 11:28:17 AM

For sure. :)

-Arvis

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 3:16:20 PM

110% agreed.

I have to say that the voice work in Uncharted (both games) is exceptional. I love Claudia Black as Chloe, but let's not forget Emily Fisher as Elena and even Richard McGonagle as Sully.

Great voice performers all of them. I'll throw some more into the mix... René Auberjonois, Graham McTavish (Lazarevic) and Simon Templeman (Gabriel Roman in Drake's Fortune).

The voice casting that Naughty Dog does is really, really good.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

sazzrah
Sunday, January 17, 2010 @ 8:52:03 PM

Did you mean Emily *Rose* as Elena Fisher? :P

I agree anyway, it's an amazing voice cast - and despite the truth of Nolan's words sometimes I do notice the voice acting in uncharted - I sit there and think; it's astounding how far games have come - all these great actors, working on gaming with the respect that other entertainment mediums get. It's fantastic.

I mean, I'm sure most here remember the voice acting on games like Resident Evil 1? "Nuff said" I think is the correct phrase to use here.

Last edited by sazzrah on 1/17/2010 8:53:58 PM

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

fluffer nutter
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 11:25:53 AM
Reply

Did anyone watch the 12 behind-the-scenes videos for Uncharted 2 on the PSN? I thought those were awesome and had great insight that showed the quality that was put into this gaming experience.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WolfCrimson
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 11:48:09 AM

Weren't those videos already on the UC2 game disc? Or are they different?

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fluffer nutter
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 12:04:24 PM

I don't know. I haven't bought U2, yet, as I want to beat the first one and follow the games in succession.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

laxpro2001
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 12:50:57 PM

"I don't know. I haven't bought U2, yet, as I want to beat the first one and follow the games in succession."

Which is exactly why U2 sales doesn't reflect its amazing quality... just gotta give it some more time

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Feregrin
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 1:16:59 PM

Yeah it's the same for me. I don't intend to buy UC2 until I've got the first one and beaten it and I bet the sales are gonna keep on rising for a long time to come.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

OtisFeelgood
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 1:53:46 PM

What the hell are you guys waiting for?! Hurry up and get Uncharted 2!! >:o

Agree with this comment 6 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Superman915
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 12:29:41 PM
Reply

"I feel terrible for Brad Pitt. The anonymity of voice over is one the biggest advantages of the job. You make a great living, support your family, and nobody's going to bother you."

very true.

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laxpro2001
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 12:49:38 PM
Reply

Voice Acting...? wait so Nathan Drake isn't real? WTH

Agree with this comment 7 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Banky A
Saturday, January 16, 2010 @ 2:06:07 AM

WTH!

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Zorigo
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 1:08:43 PM
Reply

I love the guy because i see nolan north but i hear drake, the best video game character ever maybe?
for me, its him, solid snake or ash (pokemon, those were the days!!!)
just saw the list of games he's been in, this guy is a god damn legend!!!!!!!!!

Last edited by Zorigo on 1/15/2010 1:12:12 PM

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SvenMD
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 1:17:38 PM
Reply

Uncharted 2 did have great voice-over.

And it's true...The dialogue in that game sounds like a conversation. It doesn't sound rushed or chopped and edited together.

It just sounds like it could happen, which is awesome.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Douchebaguette
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 1:42:15 PM
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I reckon...that Nathan Drake is related to Desmond Miles.

They both climb stuff, both can stealth attack, both are practically trying to find & unveal treasures / secrets, and both UC2 & ACII have a tie to Marco Polo. Not to mention they have the same voice actor.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 2:24:35 PM
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If he spoke to me at the grocery store or something I'd be like "DRAKE!" I'd find him out.

Oh yeah, best one liners since Ash from Army of Darkness.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 1/15/2010 2:28:38 PM

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Scarecrow
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 3:47:52 PM
Reply

Really cool guy. Down to Earth kinda person and doesn't over do it.

That's Nathan Drake (and his voice actor, as he portrays him)

I like the fact that Drake acts normal. He doesn't try to be cool or be "suave" or anything. He's just him, kicks ass, does his thing, and gets the job done!

Can't wait for Uncharted 3

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

soli
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 4:54:53 PM
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its just a shame that he's being overused..if u check the latest games..hes like in every one of them..shame..

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bigrailer19
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 5:15:00 PM

Shame on what? Dont you like going to the movies and seeing your favorte actor?

The great thing about North is he is great at what he does! He fits every character he plays well, and sets them apart! Yea u know his voice. But you never say o so now Drake is in POP? Nah, but i will say i see a little Drake in there always because Thats his best accomplishment in my eyes!

Agree with this comment 2 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

soli
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 5:59:25 PM

i mean its a shame when i listen to a terrific voice actor lending his voice in generic personalities..like dark void or army of two..dont get me wrong hes fantastic, i just dont want his voice to lose that special something(and i enjoyed him in PoP)

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

FullmetalX10
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 5:34:35 PM
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I do get Soli's point though, unlike bigrailer I might be playing some new IP I never heard of, I hear the main characters voice and be like, whut, a spin off from Uncharted o.O
anyways, good to know mr. North is doing so well, he deserves every bit of it all.
Keep talkin Nolan.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

JDC80
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 8:50:26 PM
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I hope Paramount bring him back to voice Raphael for the next TMNT film in 2013.

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Banky A
Saturday, January 16, 2010 @ 2:08:12 AM

Thanks for that.
TMNT yeeeeah.

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BikerSaint
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 9:55:54 PM
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Holy cow,
NN should already be a legend....just look at his resume:

Live action
* Port Charles as Chris Ramsey
* General Hospital as Chris Ramsey
* Broken as Rob McCardel
* Six Feet Under as Soap Actor
* She Spies as Peter
* JAG as ER Intern
* On the Doll as Charlie
* The Last Stand as Scott Jacobs
* Ugly Betty as Morning TV show host
* CSI: Miami as Ken Walker
* NCIS as Officer Lou Giotti
* Modern Family as Donald Flum
* Invasion Of The Christmas Lights as Narrator


VIDEO GAMES:
* 50 Cent: Bulletproof (Spinoza)
* Age of Empires III: The War Chiefs (George Armstrong Custer)
* And Then There Were None (Patrick Narracott, The Harbormaster)
* Ape Escape 3 (Dr. Tomoki)
* Area 51 (McCan)
* Armored Core 4 (Sherring, VIP)
* Army of Two: The 40th Day (Elliot Salem)
* Ar tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica (Shun)
* Assassin's Creed (Desmond Miles)
* Assassin's Creed 2 (Desmond Miles)
* Call of Duty 2 (Sergeant Randall)
* Call of Duty: World at War (Dr. Edward Richtofen)
* Cars
* The Cat in the Hat (Fish)
* Crash: Mind over Mutant (Doctor N. Gin)
* Crash of the Titans (Doctor N. Gin, Tiny Tiger (Nintendo DS version), Dingodile (Nintendo DS version), additional voices)
* Crash Tag Team Racing (Doctor N. Gin)
* Dark Void (Will Grey)
* Destroy All Humans! Big Willy Unleashed (Trahn, Ratpoo, Corn Cob King)
* Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon (Emperor Meningitis)
* Dragon Age: Origins (Additional Voices)
* Driver: Parallel Lines (The Mexican)
* Dungeons & Dragons: Dragonshard
* EverQuest II (Assistant Draek, Lieutenant Daro, Rion Rolana, Medic Brendan, Grayl Turfstrider, Jorgie Icearmor, Royal Guard Novice #2, qeynosian infiltrator, Agent Vylo, a Dervish Kingpin, Dranok Bileblood, freeport mole, Voltari il'Ferceri, Volarr, Mikul, Sandon Breezebender, Tamera Brinebringer, Arconius, Maliz T'Raan)
* EverQuest II: Desert of Flames
* Evil Dead: Regeneration (Deadites #2, #3, and #4)
* Fable II (Male Hero)
* Final Fantasy XII (Vossler York Azelas)
* Gears of War 2 (Jace Stratton)
* God of War (Hades, Greek Soldier, Fisherman)
* GoldenEye 007
* Gun (additional voices)
* Halo 3 (Marine)
* Halo 3: ODST (LCpl Kojo "Romeo" Agu)
* Halo Wars (Sgt. Forge)
* The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction (Guard #1)
* Interstate '82 (Hinkley)
* Keepsake (Zak)
* Lost Planet: Extreme Condition (Joe, Narrator)
* MadWorld (Operator B/Master Father (Francis)/Yokozuna Daisangen)
* Marvel Super Hero Squad (War Machine)
* Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (Ghost Rider, Hawkeye)
* Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 (War Machine)
* Maximo vs. Army of Zin (Baron, Baron's Guard, Bandit)
* Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (various voices) [1] [2]
* Nicktoons: Attack of the Toybots (Factorybots)
* Nicktoons: Battle for Volcano Island (Crab Soldier #1, Crab Soldier #2, Crab Refugee #2)
* The Outfit (Allied soldier, resistance fighter)
* Power Rangers: Super Legends (Goldar, Operation Overdrive Red Ranger)
* Predator: Concrete Jungle (additional voices)
* Pr* Prototype (miscellaneous voices)
* The Punisher
* Red Faction: Guerrilla (various voices)
* Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time (Sigmund and other voices)
* Quantum of Solace (various voices)
* Saints Row
* The Saboteur (Crochet, various voices)
* Shadow Complex (Jason Fleming)
* Shrek SuperSlam (Quasimodo)
* SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Combined Assault (Vandal)
* Spec Ops: The Line (Captain Martin Walker)
* Spongebob's Atlantis Squarepantis (Some of the Atlantean guards)
* SpongeBob SquarePants: Lights, Camera, Pants! (Gill Hammerstein)
* SWAT 4 (SWAT Officer Tony "Subway" Girand)
* SWAT 4: The Stetchkov Syndicate (SWAT Officer Tony)
* Terminator Salvation (Dobkin)
* TMNT (Raphael (TMNT))
* Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2: Bush Rescue (Karlos, Duncan, Snappy)
* Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (Nathan Drake)
* Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Nathan Drake)


Feature Animation
* Ultimate Avengers as Giant Man/Hank Pym
* Ben 10 as Henchman, Teen Attendant
* The Wild as Additional Voices
* Ultimate Avengers 2: Rise of the Panther as Giant Man/Hank Pym
* TMNT as Raphael
* Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy Waking Nightmare / Beware of the Undertoad as Exercise Dude
* Unstable Fables: 3 Pigs and a Baby as Big Bad Wolf
* Hulk Vs. as Deadpool
* Wolverine and the X-Men as Cyclops, Pyro,Berzerker, Carl, Doctor, Dr. Brooks, Deadpool
* Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths as Green Lantern and Power Ring

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Banky A
Saturday, January 16, 2010 @ 2:06:39 AM

Yeah he's frickin' crazy

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

fooosie
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 11:21:44 PM
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Couldnt we get just one Uncharted 2 theme or wallpaper without the SHAMELESS product placement? Toyota is cool and all but COME ON

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

MysteriousMagus
Sunday, January 17, 2010 @ 6:28:39 PM

If you got the Limited Edition Collector's Box you get one without that... And I got it but isn't all that good.
I wanted a dynamic theme >__<

Now I saw how overpriced those editions are now... damn...
It was worth the ten dollar difference. :D

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THE NTMIDTR
Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 11:48:41 PM
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I thought I recognized the voice on the Dark Void demo... That guy has a great voice, and he expresses the moment or emotion very well. I hope game producers take the cue and put worth in this aspect of games.

I remember being blown away to find the Joker was Luke Skywalker!!!

Voice acting is an aspect in most games that makes the game stand out when it's good.

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Banky A
Saturday, January 16, 2010 @ 2:07:21 AM
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Nolan North is an amazing voice actor. He's in everythiiing.

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Gamer Girl Gemo
Saturday, January 16, 2010 @ 2:42:35 AM
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Nolan North's an AMAZING voice actor... I just love hearing him talk on Uncharted *Swoon*
Er... Anyhow, he'sdefinately hitting BIG with the gamers and I'll follow him through his work in the days to come! Keep up the amazing work Mr. North!

My favorite line of his: "Get off my train!"

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Snaaaake
Saturday, January 16, 2010 @ 2:53:30 AM
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I wouldn't say he is the best but he is certainly one of the best.

My favourite line?

"HOW THE HELL AM I SUPPOSE TO STOP A Hello....."

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

JDC80
Saturday, January 16, 2010 @ 4:26:36 PM
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@Banky A

What are you talking? Between the first live action movie and the last movie Mr. North was the best voice actor for Raphael. And if Paramount was smart they would bring back the voice cast for the reboot.

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