Heavy Rain recently won three BAFTA awards for Original Music, Story and Technical Innovation, and won general acclaim for its mature story and cinematic flair. While the group of lesser known actors did a great job of carrying the story, there were options for better known actors.
“I’m interested in doing that if these people respect the medium, and come with a will of using their full talent and skills – not just to get some cash. With David Bowie [for Omikron: The Nomad Soul], he was fascinated by the medium, the game and the experience from a creative point of view, said David Cage, Heavy Rain Director. “There were some business things involved, of course, but that was not his motivation. He invested a lot of time, gave us ten original songs, voice-overs, motion capture and more. He had a real respect for what we wanted to achieve.”
“That level of respect is very difficult to find these days,” he added. “When you go to famous people, their first reaction is: ‘Give me one million dollars and I’m going to think about it.’ That’s not my approach. It’s not even a financial issue. At the end of the day, you may say: ‘Okay, one million, fine, he’s so talented he’s worth it.’ But if these people don’t understand what you’re trying to achieve, if they’re not interested in the creative adventure, there is no respect. If we’re talking about actors, I prefer to work with younger guys who are committed to working hard. They want to experience to succeed because they are at another stage in their career, rather than having an old famous actor who doesn’t care about anything but money.”
When pressed, Cage did admit to trying to bring on someone who had won an Oscar. “There were some discussions with big names on Heavy Rain, and it didn’t work out, said Cage. Again, that was not for financial reasons – but for the reasons I explain. At some point, we got the feeling that we didn’t get what we wanted in terms of commitment and talent. We decided to stop the process and it was not an easy decision, because when you have incredibly famous with established talent, it’s someone that every [customer] would recognize.”
“But at the same time, if he gives you just a tiny part of his talent, that is below your expectations it’s never easy to say: ‘Look. I don’t think this is working.’ He can say: ‘Who are you to tell me this ‘ But then I can say: ‘Well I’m the director of this game, and you should respect the director of a game the same way you respect the director of a movie.’ If that’s not the case, it’s just not going to work, he said.