Before coming to the Tampa Improv, Aisha Tyler talks 'Halo: Reach'

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September

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Last week your humble Soundcheck editor interviewed comic Aisha Tyler, who is performing at the Tampa Improv this weekend, and found her to be a delight. Click here to read our interview, in which she discusses her diverse career, the underground world of secret celebrity speakeasies (they exist!) and how she's willing to fall out of a car without underpants to preserve her fame.

The interview was so fun, in fact, that we had to condense it a great deal. So we decided to share more of it with you here. And because this is the Internet, and all people who use the Internet are NERDS, we decided to share more of Tyler's thoughts on the much-anticipated new video game Halo: Reach, in which she voices a role.

Let's pick up there ...

What’s longer, the list of stuff you can say about Halo: Reach, or the list of stuff you can’t say? What can you tell me about Halo: Reach at this point?

I can tell you that I played it. I've actually played the game.

The whole game?

No, I've played about a third of a campaign. You can't take the game home yet. But Microsoft has this special underground playroom right now where celebrities can go play the whole game, and it's a secret, and you need a password. And it's awesome. There's no press involved; you just get to go play the game and have fun.

I love this this franchise. It was probably my gateway drug back into gaming. I was a big video game lover as a kid, but the first Halo game was what got me back into gaming as an adult. But the franchise has really evolved. I think people who played ODST ... it's gotten a lot more mature, and narratively a lot more sophisticated. This game is leaps and bounds above the previous four games, and it's awesome.

Who do you play? Can you tell me that?

I can't tell you that, no. But I can tell you that the character development is very complex, it's really beautiful. They've taken a big leap in terms of the look and feel of the game. It's very cinematic. And I can tell you about multiplayer, because a lot of people did the multiplayer beta online -- it was like the biggest online beta in the history of video game development.

It's hard to explain multiplayer gaming to people who haven't ever done it, but (it's good) if you're one of those people who, when you sit around with your friends, and you talk a lot of smack and show affection through insult, which is how my friends all interact. Like, you know your friend really loves you if he just spend an hour telling you how unattractive you are. (laughs) That's real love. About how you're never gonna get laid, or you're bad at everything you do. That's how you know your friend really cares about you. So multiplayer is just an opportunity to insult your friends by shooting them in the face. (laughs) It's really an enjoyable experience.

So I did the training video for people for how to play the beta, and was really involved in playing the beta online, and it was such a great experience because it really felt like you were helping to shape the game for Microsoft. And it's so funny -- you're on the headsets, and a lot of people are really rude and they say awful things, but occasionally you'll get a game where people are like, "This game is so awesome that even when you die, it's still awesome!" And that kind of pure, unfettered joy is why I love being a gamer and why I love gaming.

Your relationship with Halo goes back a ways. Did you have to audition for the part, or did they come to you?

 No, no. I'm such a geek, and have always been a real nerd. My dad would drop me off at the arcade. When you're a single dad, daddy day care is, drop your daughter off at the arcade with $20 in quarters, and go, "Don't talk to any strangers; daddy's got a date." So I was a big Defender, Galgaga person. So I was doing an interview with a gaming site, and they said, "What do you still want to do?" And I said "I would love to be a voice in a video game." They called three weeks later. I was like, maybe next time I do an interview, I should be like, "I would love for a bag of money to fall out of the sky! And I'd also love a pony!" (laughs) I need to be more ambitious with my requests.

But they called three weeks later and said, "Do you want to do this?" And I said absolutely. It was so fun, because I'm in this business, but I'm a real fan. And to be there, it's like, "This is SO AWESOME!" They were so funny, because we brought a couple of other actors in to do this, and they were like, "We had to explain to them the world, but we clearly don't have to explain anything to you." "No, you don't! Let's jam it!" It was clear that I loved the game and understood it, and I was able to ad-lib a lot. I came up with a lot of really aweome lines. Things that people won't be able to see unless they lock some of the higher levels on really difficult play levels.

Can you give me one line that you said in the game?

“Uh, dude? You’re kind of a douche.”

(pause) I hope that’s a line from the game and not a response to the question.

(laughs) It’s a line that I ad-libbed! It’s not directed at you!

Oh, good. Although I guess it was kind of a douchey question.

No, no! But I can’t tell you the context of where I say that.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt* (Click here for the full interview.)

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 1, 2010 10:44am]

    

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