Duke Nukem Doesn't Want Hollywood Stars Taking Video Game Work From Voice Actors

Illustration for article titled Duke Nukem Doesn't Want Hollywood Stars Taking Video Game Work From Voice Actors

It's hard out there for a voice actor. It doesn't matter if you're Nolan North, Jennifer Hale or Steve Blum, it seems that some companies are always going to look for big name "Hollywood" talent first.


This has been a thorn in the side of one particularly iconic voice actor - Jon St. John. You probably know him as the voice of Duke Nukem, but he's a veteran voice actor and radio personality with over 30 years of experience in the industry.

I recently stumbled across a video he'd made in which he blames Hollywood celebrities for the lack of work being given to legitimate voice actors these days.

Seeing that the video was uploaded back in 2010, I decided to reach out to Jon to see if he still felt the same way. As it turns out, he does:

"Film actors do not need voice acting roles in video games, or commercial projects. These roles are for voice actors not Hollywood celebrities, and when you consider the amount of money they make for each and every film project, it is unfair to those of us who struggle to make ends meet in our chosen profession. I have trained and worked hard for nearly 30 years as a voice actor, and when a film star lands a role in either a game or commercial project they earn far more than I do, even though I am also SAG-AFTRA union member. How is that fair? I don't appreciate them taking work from me and my fellow VA's."

Jon didn't comment when I asked him what he thought about companies who believed they could use celebrities like Liam Neeson and Patrick Stewart (who are both talented actors with recognizeable voices) to add value to their games - but I've no reason to believe he feels any differently.

To Jon, film actors are film actors and voice actors are voice actors and Hollywood needs to stay away from his bread and butter.

What say you? Do you agree with Jon that film actors have no place doing voice work? Or do you think that a talented film actor should be allowed to lend his or her voice to games as well?



Of course Hollywood actors should have a chance to do voice acting work. Though, the real issue is them getting paid significantly more than normal voice actors for that work. I can completely understand his concern over this special treatment and the way that some developers try to seek out this special talent more for their names than their skills. If I were in his profession, I would certainly be a bit insulted by this devaluing of their talents, suggesting that a name carries more worth to them than the skills of the voice actor.

Hollywood actors should be able to do voice acting work if they like, but for them to get paid significantly more than other voice actors seems like a legitimate thing for veteran voice actors to complain about.