For many Capcom fans and pretty much all Devil May Cry fans, Reuben Langdon is a familiar name. In addition to providing the voice and motion capture performances for protagonist Dante in Devil May Cry 3 and 4, he’s worked heavily with Capcom and many other major video game creators as an actor, stunt coordinator, and mocap expert on an impressive list of hit games.
Reuben recently took some time to field a brief interview with me in celebration of Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition’s release earlier this summer. Hit the jump to read on.
Capcom Unity: Some folks may not realize that you’re the man behind a number of beloved Capcom characters and games—not just Dante and Devil May Cry. For the uninitiated, can you give us a quick run-down of your various contributions to Capcom games?
Reuben Langdon: Yes, for many years I have been portraying or embodying Capcom characters. It started back in 1997 when I was selected to do the motion capture for Chris Redfield in the Dreamcast version of Resident Evil: Code Veronica. The audition and job took place in Japan and from what I understand it was the first time motion capture had been used in the game.
Several Years after that I worked on Resident Evil Outbreak, doing some Zombie moves then I was cast as Dante in DMC3. I revisited the Chris Redfield role in Resident Evil 5 and 6, performing the motion capture for the character and also revisited Dante in DMC4, DMC4 Special Edition and Marvel vs Capcom, performing both voice and motion capture. Another Capcom fan-favorite has been the voice of Ken Masters in the English versions of Street Fighter 4.
↑ Reuben in character as Chris Redfield
CU: You’ve been dealing closely with motion-capture technology for many years now; were there any notable improvements or changes to the technology between DMC3 and DMC4, and then from DMC4 to more recent video game projects you’ve done? And if so, what effect have those had on your work?
RL: Yes, the tech is always improving. The big leap from DMC3 to DMC4 was the use of facial capture. In DMC3 we didn’t do that, it was all animated by hand. For DMC4 we used a head-mounted camera system which got in the way of the big action sequences and even the more intimate scenes. Nowadays we use pretty much the same set up but the headcams have gotten smaller and easier to work with.
CU: To what extent did the mocap and voice recording process itself help flesh out Dante as a character? Did you find that you were doing a fair amount of adlibbing and figuring out the character on the fly, or were his mannerisms and behavior pretty much set in stone from the outset? What guided your performance?
RL: For DMC3 it took a couple of days to really get a “feel” for the character. There were a lot of notes to read and become familiar with, because in DMC3 Dante was a complete re-creation of the character. Maybe not as much as the more recent DmC but still a big difference from the first two games in the series. Everyone seems to have a different take and it was very frustrating to try and make everyone happy. I finally got so frustrated at all the over direction that I just did my own thing and I used the frustration to create the character. He came out to be a cocky, rebellious teenager. Everyone loved it!
Dante in DMC4 was different and I started getting a whole new set of notes, but Itsuno-san being a fan of the Macross series told me that his image of Dante in DMC4 was Roy Fokker. Being a big fan of Macross myself, and Fokker being my favorite character, it was easy to relate.
↑ Suited up for a shoot.
CU: How do you expect motion capturing technology and techniques to evolve from here?
RL: It is evolving quickly and I do see that one day we will have markedly less capture. Meaning we won’t have to wear the silly spandex or the head cams. Might be a while down the road but that day is coming!
CU: What have you been up to lately? Anything you’d like to plug or tease?
RL: Ken Masters in Street Fighter V!
CU: Any final message for all those adoring fans out there?
RL: I love the fans as I am one myself. For years I have been playing Capcom games and have fallen in love with the characters. I feel so blessed to have the opportunities to work on such epic games and help to give life to these amazing characters. It is a dream come true! I really honor the relationship I have had with Capcom over the years and I look forward to more collaborations in the future! 🙂
Big thanks to Reuben for taking the time! Can’t wait to see more of him in action.