Troy Baker Got Far Cry 4’s Pagan Min Role by Threatening an Ubisoft Worker
One of the top voice actors in the industry, Troy Baker, speaks out about the creative freedom that helped get him the gig of voicing the despotic dictator Pagan Min in Far Cry 4.
If you tried any must-play game over the past few years, it's likely that you encountered Troy Baker's voice. Just to name drop a few roles, Baker is known for playing Booker DeWitt in BioShock Infinite, Joel in The Last of Us, Talion in Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Delsin in inFamous: Second Son, The Joker in Batman: Arkham Origins, Two-Face and the Arkham Knight in Batman: Arkham Knight, Ocelot in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Sam Drake in Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. Despite such iconic roles and so many noteworthy accolades throughout the video game and anime industries, he still has to audition for his roles like every other worker in the 'biz. Luckily, his renown allows him to take a few chances when it comes to auditions that most rookie voice actors wouldn't be allowed to make.
During a panel at Indy PopCon 2015 (courtesy of Destructoid), Baker elaborated on how he scored the role at Ubisoft for voicing the tyrannical leader Pagan Min in Far Cry 4. Due to Baker's experience and reputation, he was able to take a few creative leaps off-script, leading to what Ubisoft was exactly looking for. At first, Ubisoft's VA team wasn't really sure of what they were wanting with the character.
"We have an idea of what the character is, but we want to see what you come up with. One thing: We don't want the Joker," recalled Baker about what Ubisoft's team members told him during the audition.
Meanwhile, an Ubisoft assistant walked into the room, refilling everyone's coffee and water at the table when Baker jumped into character and addressed her as Pagan Min would have:
"I'm sorry, who is this? Who is this walking into this room right now? No, no, no, no, don't leave. Sit down. Have a seat, please. Make yourself comfortable. Would you like some coffee that you brought in? It looks very delicious. Now, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to murder her right in front of you all," Baker said to the assistant in front of the Ubisoft staff. "I'm going to peel your face off and put it on my own. It'll be the most glorious makeover I've ever had."
And that's how Pagan Min was born.
"I love playing the villain, because I like to parse out the minutiae that makes a villain really, really interesting," Baker said.