On January 3rd, I had a unique experience getting to talk to the voice of Barret from the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, coming out March 3rd, 2020. We talked in length about what the audition process was like, what it means to be such an influential character in this RPG series, and how video games are up to par with other forms of entertainment, like movies and TV. If you would like to hear the full interview, the link below will take you to the MGB YouTube Channel where you can subscribe and listen to this interview and many others.

YouTube Channel

Question: What was the audition process like?

JEB: I got a phone call from our casting director; we had just finished a smaller project where they wanted me to come in and do some voices for a game, and she said, “Hey, y’know, there’s this Final Fantasy game they’re doing and we would love to have you come and audition for Barret.” And I said, “Sure!”, but she said, “Do you know anything about it?” and I said, “DO I KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT IT!?”, Y’know, that’s a game I grew up on; I think I got married in ’96 and the game came out late ’96, early ’97, and my wife got mad at me ’cause I was playing the doggone game all the time! But… I was excited to do the audition, I came into the audition with several different ways that I thought Barret could be played, especially given what I grew up on and looking at the character, having the feel and the characterization, the drawing, the rendering of MR. T, but I just didn’t wanna do it like that because I figured it had already been done enough and that was that era so I wanted to bring him up to our day and age and I also wanted to give him a flavor that didn’t make him out to be just this big, black, angry brute. I didn’t wanna do that at all, I wanted to have depth in this character and not be a caricature, so that was an exciting audition.

Question: Have you played any other Final Fantasy games other than 7?

JEB: Yeah, someone told me I was in one of the Kingdom Hearts game and I didn’t believe ’em and then I looked up my resume and I was like, “Oh! I never knew that was Kingdom Hearts!” But yeah, I started on XV and I haven’t had a chance to get back to it cause my boys are hogging the systems playing Red Dead and Call Of Duty, y’know? And now, we got Star Wars, and so everyone’s playing Star Wars, so between my four boys, my wife and I, I haven’t had much time to get into XV but when March 3rd comes, I already told my boys to back off the systems cause I’m playing.

Final Question: Do you feel as if video games are finally becoming more main-stream like Movies and TV?

JEB: 100%. Dude, just look at the last ten years! You got games like Red Dead telling one of the best Western stories in recent years, you got games like DMC just being off the wall crazy… Tell me that people wouldn’t wanna see Dante on the big screen? Hell, I would. But yeah, video games are no longer just a waste of time like people say. They tell better stories than most movies do! And that’s because you got some of the most genius people running ’em. The guys at Square Enix are insane! They got these stories in their heads that no one would ever think of! You can’t do that in movies! Like The Witcher! I haven’t seen all of it but damn! I was surprised that was Superman! But yeah man, video games should no longer be considered toys. They tell stories that are thoughtful and give off even more heart than you think. That’s all I gotta say.

If you would like to listen to this episode more, there is a link above to both the episode and the channel. Stay tuned for more interviews from MGB, posted on JOAC.

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