Uncharted: The Claudia Black VO Experience Rant

As a 30 something male living in the year 2010 it might be a little difficult for you to avoid knowing who Claudia Black is. Most of  those who know her name do so because of her work in the Sci Fi genre.

She was Ayrun Sunn in the award winning animatronics heavy Aussie centric Farscape Series. A wormhole adventure through the universe with Ayrun being one of the Sexiest main characters in the show.

A few years later after farscape was wrapped up (a polite term for canceled) we got to see her again in a series filmed close to where my wife grew up in Vancouver BC. Her character switch to a more sleazy thief was quick to wipe away the crush I had for her during my Farscape days… and toward the end of the series (I think she joined 2 seasons before that show was canceled) She didn’t register with me much.

Voices In Films

I am pretty good at recognizing voices. I mean I could listen to one of those animated movies and pick off who is who in a pretty short time. Some voices don’t register because they really aren’t that impressive. The example that comes to mind is Angelina Jolie, if she was a voice actress and only that … she would have very few accolades to her names. Her performance in Kung Fu Panda was nothing to write home about and in the end I think they could have paid allot less for a full time Voice Actress to go in and do the role and be allot more effective.

The same thing happened with America Carrera in How To Train Your Dragon. Don’t get me wrong I think she was great in Ugly Betty but her performance just didn’t register with me and when I read the credits it just floored me that I couldn’t recognize her voice. I knew I knew it … I just couldn’t figure out who it was … and her performance really didn’t strike a chord with me.

Her co-star on the other hand fellow Canadian Jay Baruchel seems to be the opposite. Not so good on screen with movies like “Knocked up” and “She’s out of your league” but behind the mic the guy shines magnificently.

The List of big name actors who aren’t so special behind the mic is long and studded with A-listers. Bob De Nero was ok as a shark in Shark Tale. Jack Black shone brightly in Kung Fu Panda … but in Shark tale… uninspired.

Brad Pitt and Will Smith each tried their hand… and failed miserably.

The King

The king of Hollywood Voice acting in my opinion was, is and might always be his Bi-Polarness… King Robin the Williams.

The man is just a natural… and the fact that he played a voice actor in Mrs. Doubtfire makes my point even clearer. It doesnt hurt that his character’s ethics in the movie mirror mine in so much that I would never voice anything for children that might promote something negative (not that I would wear prosthetic and pretend that I am an aging Scottish woman to be with my kids… I’d find another way).

I think Arabian Nights was probably my favorite Robin Williams animated extravaganza. The Genie made the movie (ironically) more magical and without that character and how it was played the film would have flopped on its face.

Uncharted 2

Uncharted is a game franchise for the Playstation 3 and one of my favorite games. I recently completed the 2nd installment of the game and was pretty impressed with the gameplay… but not so much the new characters.

I recognized one of the voices from the new characters… I’ve heard it for hours upon hours and it seemed older than the character it was portraying. It was kind of out os Sync with who the character was and so I didn’t pay it much attention… but it did nag at me.

In fact, at one point it nagged at me so much that I looked up the character voices online before I finished the game and found out that my old Crush Claudia Black was that same character.

Now I have seen the making of for the old Uncharted game and I didn’t expect this one to be much different. The actors are suited up in movement tracking suits and they run through the game’s action cut scenes as if it were a real movie. The voice actor playing Nathan Drake (the main character) is superb. Doesn’t look like his character much but still he nails the performance and increases in the enjoyment derived from the game.

When I completed the game I was allowed to check out the making of sequences hidden in the game’s bowls and as impressive as the technology used was. The fact that they recorded the audio while the actors where performing and choosing from several takes… that this wasn’t just someone in a booth… that was all great. I’m a geek and I love seeing the “behind the scenes stuff”.

I feel terrible even saying this.. Claudia your farscape acting was amazing and the series remains one of my favorite sci fi shows of all time… but for this job.. I felt you got miscast and it breaks my heart.


  1. Eeenteresting… not sure I agree with you there – I thought her playfulness in particular really suited the character. I don’t think her writing was as strong as Nate’s, but I enjoyed her character.

    She also played Morrigan in Dragon Age, which is worth checking out for the strong writing and voice acting if you haven’t.

    Quiz question: there’s another link between Uncharted 2 and Dragon Age…

    1. Haven’t played Dragon Age yet… waiting for a friend to bring it with him from Canada. I can get back to you on the link once I’ve played it.

      Although Claudia was playful there was something lacking in her performance. It could be the script writing like you said. Maybe the meant for her to be a secondary female character. The problem is that she never quite did it for me.

      I don’t doubt Claudia’s talent… maybe if they made the character look like her a that would have clued me to her and would have influenced me to recognize the voice faster, unfortunatly that would have just made me feel in awe but not appreciate her performance.

      That is the trend these days with animated movies isn’t it? where they make the main character kind of look like the actor playing them. That wouldnt work with monsters inc or finding nemo … which is what made them more performance based rather than a built up on the fame of the voice actor (like shark tale).

Comments are closed.