March 29, 2017 Leave a comment
Today’s feature for our Voices of Fallout 4 series is a seriously interesting specimen. Not only has Jonathan Roumie done no less than three very interesting characters in the Fallout 4 series, he has also worked in the voice over world in other spectacular projects, and also had a very different gig in the entertainment world prior to finally putting his amazing vocal chords to work.
Prior to Jonathan’s work as characters like Jack Cabot, Honest Dan, or Doc Weathers in Fallout 4, he had a very different career as a location scout. He was scouting locations in one of the biggest cities in the continental U.S., for some of the biggest projects you know and love. From films like Spider Man, to National Treasure, to I Am Legend, Mr. Roumie was there at work. But, what is most incredible about his work beyond the world of Fallout, is some of his other impeccable work in the world of voice over as well as on screen acting. He voiced several characters in the hit MTV claymation series Celebrity Death Match. He’s also worked on very popular video games like Evolve, Mafia II & III, and The Darkness II. On screen he has appeared in such hit television shows as The Good Wife, As The World Turns, and Castle. He’s a real force of life this one, who has worked on so many different aspects of the entertainment world.
And we are so fortunate to have been able to have Jonathan on the site to tell us all about them. He is a fascinating cat, and a very provided amazing voices in our beloved Fallout 4. Especially with Jack Cabot, who I always look forward to murdering when the time comes. Seriously, who could really side with him over is creepy and rightfully psychotic father? Anyway, please enjoy some amazing words from an even more amazing actor and voice over artist, Jonathan Roumie! Enjoy!
When did you first realize you wanted to join the world of acting and voice over work? Was it always a passion of yours?
My first love as a performer was for voice acting. I never actually wanted to be an actor or work on camera but my dream was always (and still is) to work on an episode of The Simpsons. I’ve always been a good mimic so as a kid I’d act out scenes for my friends from The Simpsons and many other animated shows of my childhood; G.I. Joe, Thundercats, The Critic among others.
When I finished college in NYC, I actually tried to figure out how to get into the animation business – not the easiest thing to do when you don’t know anybody. So I persisted and dug and asked around and did the research, which eventually led me to MTV for the show Celebrity Deathmatch in the late 90’s – early 2000’s.
You have also worked extensively in the film business as a location scout. I have to be honest, this sounds like a freaking dream job to me! How was it for you? And how were you ultimately able to decide that a location was right for a film?
Yeah it was pretty sweet. I got to explore New York (as well as other cities) very intimately, with access to areas that most civilians never get access to; rooftops, subway and abandoned tunnels, etc., simply because of my job working on movies with folks like Robert DeNiro, or Anthony Hopkins or Will Smith. It’s a part of my life and my career which I look upon with extreme fondness and gratitude. It the reason I ultimately broke out of my shell as a person to be comfortable enough to legitimately consider acting as a profession.
Travels were typically limited based on where you were scouting. A scout’s strengths are based on how well he knows an area so NY-NJ-CT were the areas I focused on since that’s where I lived at the time. There was one time where I actually got to go to Martinique in the Caribbean to work on The Thomas Crown Affair (with Pierce Brosnan). My job there was to basically look for a secluded island hideaway, so for two weeks I drove around the island with a guide exploring different homes tucked away in this tropical paradise. It was extraordinary.
Did you get much time to enjoy yourself in different places? Any cool stories?
When I was Martinique for example, evenings were spent drinking great wine and smoking Cuban cigars so yes, I would definitely say I had some time to myself to enjoy just hanging out. One of the most interesting areas I got to scout was while on the movie I Am Legend with Will Smith. I got to explore these abandoned tunnels that run alongside the entrance to the George Washington Bridge, in New Jersey. They were using those tunnels as storage when I last scouted them, so you had these artifacts and pieces of construction history from New York City that are just lying in boxes in these tunnels for 30 years. Some pretty amazing stuff.
Not sure if this counts as a cool story or more of a one-of-a-kind experience….I worked on the first two Spiderman movies with Tobey Maguire and director Sam Raimi back in the early 2000’s. I photographed a lot of rooftops as you can imagine while looking for the right location and I would have to say that one of the most breathtaking views of Manhattan is standing on the rooftop of the Flat Iron Building in the middle of Chelsea in New York City. It’s so central and so immersed in the middle of all these vertically constructed icons of the NY skyline, there aren’t very many views like it. It’s not the tallest but it’s definitely one of the prettiest in the city and knowing that is a spot most people (for liability reasons) would never be able to experience that is something I cherish.
Some of your earliest voice over work was on the amazing show Celebrity Death Match. How was it working on this program? What would you say was your favorite match you provide voice over work for?
Yeah, that was my first foray into the animation industry so I have to say I learned about this world in a trial by fire. It was a great experience and Eric Fogel (one of the creators) were really supportive of me, knowing I was a newbie to the game.
My favorite match? That’s a tough call. I’d say it’s a toss up between playing James Hetfield of Metallica fighting Fred Durst and playing Russell Crowe fighting Charleton Heston which i think you can find online as one of the series’ top 10 matches. But every episode was a blast to work on.
You had some of the best characters in Fallout 4, in my opinion. And you voice them amazingly well. How did you become involved with this project? What drew you to the Fallout world? Where you previously a fan?
Thanks man! This was particularly one of this gigs that my agent submitted me for and I booked. When Voice Actors first read for these types of projects, we generally don’t know what we’re going in for which was the case for me here. This situation is actually something that the actor’s Union (SAG-AFTRA) is trying to change in order to give us more time to prep and really knock auditions (and the gigs themselves) out of the park.
It was also my first time working with the guys from Bethesda who were awesome, Kal-el Bogdanove, Wes Gleason, Phil Bache; they were all awesome Voice-Directors. Really great experience for me.
I was definitely a fan of the franchise but had limited experience playing because I didn’t have a newer system until recently.
What are you thoughts on the final product that was Fallout 4? Have you been called out as Honest Dan or Jack Cabot on the streets?
This game is phenomenal. The breadth and depth of the world is ridiculous.
I’ve never been called out on the street, though from time to time I actually look like a younger version of Honest Dan. But I have been acknowledged by the amazing fans online, specifically on Instagram by folks like @Fallout_temple, @nukacola_ceo, @falloutziege and a bunch of folks on Twitter as well. The fans are straight up hardcore and some of the most dedicated and best out there. They respect the storytelling and the voice-actors bringing them to life. Much love for the Fallout Fanbase!!
Well I’d love to plug a couple of games coming out in the next year or so that I worked on but I’d get sued, lol. You’ll just have to keep an eye out. 😉
I’m also gonna be playing Jesus for a film in Chicago later this March so that for me will be a challenge. People don’t realize how complex a character Jesus actually is. Truly an actor’s role. I’m psyched to tackle it.
What was the last thing that made you smile?
My girl is competing at Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Sports Festival this weekend in Columbus, OH, so watching her run her routine is pretty amazing. She’s super-talented so I can’t help but bust a smile watching her be awesome. So proud. @jaggasaurus on Instagram.
The other thing is getting to respond to these questions. It’s a real honor that you guys take interest so thank you for this!
Check out Jonathan Roumie in action as Jack Cabot in this YouTube video courtesy of FluggyNinjaLlama: