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Interview: L.A. Noire's Patrick Fischler Spills The Beans On Playing Mickey Cohen

JGaskill
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Posted May 17, 2011 - By Jake Gaskill




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Years after that stylish and visually stunning teaser trailer wowed gamers, L.A. Noire, Rockstar Games and Team Bondi’s newly released detective simulator, has finally arrived, bringing with it a gameplay experience unlike anything we have ever seen. As you’ve no doubt heard/seen by now, what makes L.A. Noire such a defining moment in games is its use of MotionScan, a facial performance capturing technology that brings actors to life like never before.

One of the game’s many shady characters is the notorious crime figure Mickey Cohen who is brought to digital life by the supremely talented Patrick Fischler, who you might recognize from his work on Mad Men and Lost or in films such as Mulholland Drive and, fittingly enough, The Black Dahlia. We recently chatted briefly with Fischler via Email about his work in L.A. Noire, and what it was like portraying such a famously bad dude via such groundbreaking technology. But first, here's a clip of Fischler in action:

L.A. Noire Mickey Cohen »


Dig inside for our hard-hitting interview!

G4: So how did you get involved with L.A. Noire?

Patrick Fischler: The casting directors who cast Mad Men worked on L.A. Noire which is why you’ll see lots of Mad Men faces. When they called to see if I would be interested the time period grabbed me right away. I love 30’s and 40’s Los Angeles.

G4: You play the infamous Mickey Cohen in the game. What was it like bringing such an iconic figure to life, and for the first time, at least to my knowledge, in video game form?

PF: I’ve always been interested in the gangster genre so to play Mickey Cohen was a real thrill. It’s always fun to do your take on someone so iconic.

Interview: L.A. Noire's Patrick Fischler Spills The Beans On Playing Mickey CohenG4: L.A. Noire is the first game to use MotionScan. What was that performance capture process like? From what we’ve seen in behind-the-scenes videos it looks wild.

PF: The whole process of making L.A. Noire was amazing. Truly. These guys are geniuses. They make me feel like a moron. I mean honestly, who invents this stuff? The first half of shooting was great cause we were in scenes with all the actors in a black box. It felt like we were rehearsing for an amazing play but everyone was wearing black leotards and purple and green balls all over themselves. The second half of shooting, which was the face recognition section, was really challenging. You have to sit so still in a bright white room out of 2001: A Space Odyssey. You really get to act in those scenes cause they’re capturing every moment on your face. A slight smile. A small frown. Everything.

G4: Do you think more actors will be drawn to games now that this technology is available and capable of so completely capturing performances?

PF: I absolutely think this will change the game (pardon the pun) for actors. No longer are you just using your voice or your body, but you are using every part of yourself. It’s fantastic.

G4: You’re appearing in one of the most anticipated games of the year, so I have to ask: are you a gamer?

PF: No I am not a gamer. Not since the days of Atari. Wow, I just aged myself. Crazy.

G4: Has this experience compelled you to give slightly more modern games a shot? Have you played the game yet?

PF: This game makes me want to jump back in, and I’m not just saying that cause I’m in it. I haven’t played it yet, but what little I’ve seen of it looks incredible. Fun and challenging. What more could you ask for from a game?

Interview: L.A. Noire's Patrick Fischler Spills The Beans On Playing Mickey Cohen

G4: Any chance we might be seeing you in any more games down the line?

PF: If they’re anything like this, then yes. But this has set the bar so high we’ll have to see.

Interview: L.A. Noire's Patrick Fischler Spills The Beans On Playing Mickey Cohen
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