Rob Wietoff (AKA John Marston) Nave360 Interview – Nave360


Published on January 4th, 2011 | by Charlie


Rob Wietoff (AKA John Marston) Nave360 Interview

If you remember back at Gamenoob, we once got the chance to interview Rob Wietoff, who played John Marston in one of the Games of the Year for 2010, Red Dead Redemption. We also posted the interview here on Nave360 as well, so click here for that interview. But, we got to interview him again, 7 months later, updating some of the previous questions we asked him, plus a few new ones. It might help to read our previous interview first, but it’s entirely up to you.

Q1: So since the last time we interviewed you (via Gamenoob), have you managed to see the ending?

A: I have seen the end of Red Dead Redemption, in fact.  UGH!  Pretty painful stuff.  Ha! Without being a “spoiler”, I will say that I like the ending for the game. I’m not sure how to comment much further on this question without risking, like I mentioned before, spoiling anything for anyone. “Nobody is forgiven.  Nothing is forgotten.” -John Marston

Q2: Are there any other characters you connected with other than John when playing?

A: I would have to say that there was a time in my life when I could very easily relate with Irish.  Well, part of me could, anyway.  I can tell you that in all the years I spent bar tending, I met a FEW people that I would compare to Irish.  – Always drunk and making empty promises.  A bar tending job in Hollywood will put you in front of a handful of that kind of customer, though, I guess. – May God bless them all.

Q3: Were you voice recording alongside other voice actors for scenes of the game or were you on your own in a booth?

A: Quite a bit of both, actually.  We shot the motion capture for the majority of the game.  There were many hours I spent in a booth, too, recording sound effects and one liner’s that John would say or scream walking through town or during a fight or situations like that. The hardest sound effect to record was either the one where John was burning to death or when he was puking.  I have never screamed like that before (burning to death), thankfully.  It was a little scary to hear those sounds come out of my mouth, to be honest.  And making the puking sound effects, honestly, almost made me puke. In order to not have the person playing the game hear the same sound effects over and over, we tried to record numerous different sound effects for each situation.  They would tell me that they needed thirty different “fall off your horse” grunts.  In order to get 30 different ones, you end up making 100 grunt sounds to make sure 30 are different.  The first four or five are easy to make different.  After that, it’s hard not to make 7 sound like 3 or 14 sound like 5. Rockstar Games, again, showed a lot of patience with me while we worked through all of the sound effects. Most of the dialogue between characters that were on their way somewhere in the game were done in the sound booth, as well. This was tricky because you never knew if the character would be riding a horse next to a train or if it would be storming or whatever else may be going on.  Usually, they just told me to imagine that I was riding a galloping horse about 15 feet away from someone on another galloping horse.  I didn’t have to scream at the top of my lungs, but I can say that because of the physical strain hours of booth work causes I have a new appreciation for people that use their voice for a living.  I actually felt like I had done a bunch of crunches most of the days after I finished working in the sound booth.

Q4: Have there been any recently released games that you wished you had been a part of?

A: I can’t say that there are any other games that I wish I would have been a part of, really.  I’m not saying that there were no other games that I liked.  I just think it’s better to be happy with the fact that I was fortunate enough to have gotten the work that I did.  Of course, any actor that is looking to further their career would be thrilled to have as much work as possible.  I can’t ask for more than what I was able to be a part of, though. You have to remember that before I played the role of John Marston, nobody outside my family and friends (and the regulars at the bar where I worked) had any idea who I was.  I had appeared in some commercials and did a little print work before, but if I have ever booked work that was going to get my name out there Red Dead Redemption was it.

Q5: Is there anything you are working on right now?

A: At the moment, I’m living in Seymour, IN building a house.  I have taken a little time away from the Hollywood scene to catch up with my family and work on ironing out my future with my fiance.  Working construction with my high school, summer-job, boss has been a nice change of pace and has allowed me to “air out” a little bit.  The grind of an aspiring actor in Hollywood can get the best of you if you don’t take a breather now and then. I’m in negotiations for a couple of projects, but haven’t carved anything in stone at this point.

Q6: Did you record “Undead Nightmare” after or during voice recording the main game?

A: Undead Nightmare was shot and recorded, entirely, after the completion of Red Dead Redemption.  It was awesome to be able to get back to work with everyone from Rockstar Games.  I know that I keep saying how cool these people are to work with, but I really do think of them as friends at this point.  I’m not sure if most people know this or not, but I auditioned for the role of John Marston in December of 2008 and we started shooting Red Dead Redemption in January of 2009.  It’s been a long time between now and then and I’ve really gotten a chance to get to know a lot of people at Rockstar Games.  I have enjoyed working with and hanging out with them.

Q7: Have you had a chance to play “Undead Nightmare”, and if so, what are your thoughts?

A: I have played Undead Nightmare and I have enjoyed it.  I have to say that I still get a little embarrassed when I see my character as a zombie.  You know, John Marston didn’t act like a zombie for the first two years that I played that role.  After getting to know most of the people on the set for that amount of time and then have to act like a zombie in front of them was a little embarrassing.  Ha!  It was, certainly, a job where I had to check my ego at the door.  I guess that’s what it’s all about sometimes, though.  Good times!

Q8: How did it feel being nominated for Best Male Voice Actor at the Spike TV VGA’s? (We are also sad you did not win)

A: I was thrilled to find out that I was nominated for the VGA’s.  It was funny to see the other nominees and realize that I knew exactly who all of them were and that NONE of them had any idea who I was. I really did appreciate being nominated, though.  I worked hard and I’m thankful that people liked the work that I produced.  Although I didn’t win, it was still very cool to have been nominated.  –It’s hard to say anything that isn’t going to sound cliche right now, but this is the best I can do without running the risk of people thinking that I wasn’t extremely appreciative of the situation.  It was very cool and I would like to add a congratulations to Neil Patrick Harris as he is very deserving of the award.

Q9: Do you think Red Dead Redemption has made you more recognized, and if yes, how so?

A: I do think that Red Dead Redemption made me more recognized in some ways.  In other ways, because I don’t look exactly like my character, a person would have to hear me speak and know the voice to recognize me. I have certainly had more people interested in working with me after Red Dead Redemption than I did before.  There is no question about that!

Q10: Do you feel proud to have been a part of something that has won Game of the Year on numerous occasions (and received #1 in our top 10 games of 2010)?

A: Of course I’m very proud to be a part of something that so many people have enjoyed.  I want to thank all those of you who have played the game and responded with kind words and purchase recommendations, as well. I’m not sure if most people know how much time and work is spent in putting a game like Red Dead Redemption together.  I don’t even know, myself, to be perfectly honest.  I think they told me that Rockstar Games had been developing Red Dead Redemption for five years before they ever cast a single character for the game.  That is amazing to me.  I know, too, that there were several times that I would check in with friends that I met through work at Rockstar Games that would tell me how they were all working around the clock for seven days a week to get things done.  – I’m saying all this because I think it’s important to give credit where credit is due. I’m honored to be a part of something, as I’ve said before, that has been as successful as Red Dead Redemption. I wish nothing but the best to all those who were a part of making the game and I hope that the people who play it will always enjoy it. Thank you, Sebastian Gorgon, and Gamenoob [Nave360] for being so supportive. Sincerely, Rob Wiethoff [Thanks for talking to us again! We look forward to seeing you in many more projects to come!]

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About the Author

Some say I should be a video game journalist, others say a video game designer. Shame you can't be both.

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