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Grand Theft Auto 5 voice cast includes real-life gang members

"We don't want a goofy LA actor."

Rockstar has employed real-world gang members and criminals to provide hours of voice acting in Grand Theft Auto 5.

No one can speak more like a gang member than an actual gang member, Rockstar decided, so it went about finding a few.

"We don't want a goofy LA actor who went to a fancy school trying to be a hard gang member," Grand Theft Auto 5 writer and producer Lucien "Lazlow" Jones told WGN (thanks, Polygon). "There's nothing worse than that, so just go find the terrifying people and say 'can you come in here please?'

"When we record all these ambient characters we go towards authenticity," he added - and that means "actual, real gang members".

"We recruited a guy who gets gang members, actual real gang members, like El Salvadoran gang dudes with amazing tattoos, one of which had literally gotten out of prison the day before." No one from Croydon, then? Shame.

Gang members would sometimes look at scripts and say, "'I wouldn't say that,'" Jones explained. "So we say, 'OK, say what you would say.' Authenticity."

To find the game's rural voice cast, Jones journeyed to Memphis and then "drove an hour and a half south, near the Alabama border" to find suitable-sounding locals.

"We burned furniture and drank moonshine and every few hours we'd go record some more. I bought fireworks, liquor and slabs of things to barbecue. It was all expensed."

Grand Theft Auto 5 finally arrives worldwide on 17th September.

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Tom Phillips avatar

Tom Phillips


Tom is Eurogamer's Editor-in-chief. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.

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