Scottish actor James Cosmo is best known to American audiences these days for playing Jeor Mormont, Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, in HBO’s award-winning Game of Thrones TV series. He reprised that role in Cyanide Games’ Game of Thrones role-playing game, which was based on author George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice. Gamers are about to get a double dose of the actor courtesy of THQ. Cosmo provides the voice of Maker Elder Eidard in Vigil Games’ Darksiders II, and he also stars in the new live-action trailer from Hammer Creative for the game called “The Last Sermon.” Cosmo talks about filming the trailer in the Czech Republic and offers his thoughts on the opportunities video games offer today in this exclusive interview.
I’ve worked on some movies with big sets, but never on a trailer for a game before. When we went to Prague, it was like shooting on a really, really big movie set with all the logistics that were there. Only it was a very constricted time. It was like three days. So I felt very much at home just on a big film set, but it was fantastic.
What were the production values like compared with Game of Thrones?
Oh, absolutely comfortable. It was terrific stuff with a great DP David Myrick and director Abdel Abonamous [who] were just tremendous. They had a great handle on how they wanted to interpret the creators’ idea from the trailer. It was just like working with really good directors and a really good crew. It was absolutely comparable to Game of Thrones. Absolutely.
What do you think of the concept behind this game which involves the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?
I think it’s a game that’s been waiting to be made. It’s such a wonderful idea that Death is actually there, as a savior if you like. Death is going to solve it all out. It’s really changing things around and it’s set in this apocalyptic world of everything falling apart. It was just wonderful. When you see the trailer, suddenly all these things are just flying past the windows and you think, “My goodness, what is that.” It’s tremendous stuff. My kids are absolutely desperate to get their hands on it.
Did you see the game or use the game at all as preparation for this?
No, I haven’t. Brett Hocker from Hammer Creative gave us a heads up on the idea of what they wanted and I took it from there. The development of the character of the young priest and what he was doing. I didn’t use the game, but I have plenty of background from [THQ’s] Jim Huntley and Brett.
Well, it’s interesting – and I’m certainly not the first to say it — but the video games and movies are merging together and the quality of games is moving at such a pace, becoming so easily interactive. For what it’s worth, I think that the whole future is complete with real entertainment merging into one. It’s incredible how much can be done and how quickly and how easily it can be created. Technology is just astonishing, just being able to move the camera around within the computer system. It’s beyond comprehension. It’s mind boggling.
Did you ever play videogames at all growing up?
I played Space Invaders and those games, but I gave the games up after that. If they’re kind enough to send me a copy of Darksiders II, I know that I’m going to be watching my boys play it and I think it will be an absolutely fabulous game. It looks wonderful.
What role do you see video games playing today in the overall entertainment landscape?
I think possibly that the gamers are going to have decision-making as far as the evolution of games and where they want the story to take them. It’s just going to be a more involved process or a more inclusive process for a gamer, not standing outside the game playing shoot em’ up but actually being involved in the construction of the game and where it’s going…joining the two regions together.
We’re seeing a lot of actors delving into video game roles today. How have you seen that evolve over your career with games opening up opportunities for acting?
I think it’s a really exciting area. Absolutely. I’ve have a lot of friends that now work in video games and I think that it’s an area that’s going to be ever increasing. It’s a very exciting area.
What are your thoughts on all of the Games of Thrones video games coming out?
Well, I’m actually one of the voices that gives advice in the Game of Thrones game, so I’m hoping it does incredibly well. I think it’s a series that lends itself very much to video games because of the world that it occupies. It’s a game that’s quite a bloody, dangerous, adventurous world. So I think Game of Thrones will do really, really well, yeah.
No, I haven’t. I just noticed it’s out, but I haven’t put my hand to it yet. It’d be a bit odd. I’d be taking advice from myself on how to play.
How did that game work compare to Darksiders II?
Well, it was really interesting because Darksiders II had actually approached me about a year before for me to do the voice that leads the player around, if you like, which I did. I really enjoyed that. Then I was asked to come and do the trailer, but the fact is that they had decided to use me for the trailer, but they didn’t know that I had already done the voice in the game. So two different parts of the company decided to ask me to become involved. It was quite extraordinary, the chances of that happening. I’ve been involved in both sides of Darksiders II, so I’m really in there with the bricks and hoping for success.