Villain Media has an exclusive interview with actor Robert Craighead, who discusses his recurring character in Hulu’s Future Man, his voiceover work in Sony PlayStation’s God of War, and his success as a country music singer. Craighead reveals what keeps him going as his professional career thrives across the music, film, and television industry.
One of the most versatile character actors in Hollywood can be seen recurring in Seth Rogen’s new Hulu series, Future Man, as Det. Vincent Skarsgaard. Craighead was recently seen as a series regular on Tyler Perry’s Too Close to Home, as Sheriff Mobley. Currently in development, Craighead completed a screenplay about a country music singer and his son, entitled Catch a Fallen Star, in which he will star in and will feature original songs by Paul Overstreet.
Robert Craighead opens up about his film and television credits, while revealing his interests in the gaming industry. If you love hearing about behind-the-scenes tidbits, then you’re going to enjoy our discussion!
Villain Media: Tell me about playing the voice of Brok for the God of War videogame.
Robert Craighead: I worked on the video game, God of War, for a little over 3 years for Sony PlayStation over at Santa Monica Studios. It was really cool the way they proceeded and developed the characters and the relationships with the actors and crew. They started off by taking us all out on a team building adventure in the wilderness here in Southern California, and had survival guides show us how to make a fire with a bow drill, make cordage, and build a shelter from nature. It was all pretty cool and we got to know each other pretty well.
We then did the motion capture part, which was spread out over a couple of years, a few days here and there, and was very involved. The team at Santa Monica Studios is the best in the business. After that was completed, we started doing additional dialogue in the voiceover booth, which went on for about a year half on and off. I remember for my character, we had to do quite a bit more because we changed the voice and dialect a few times, before we landed on what you have in the game now. I am very proud of the way the character, Brok, came out and extremely proud of the success the game is having. It is really a visual masterpiece!
VM: Do you enjoy finding the character’s voice, like Brock or Mathias in Tomb Raider, or building the character, like Sheriff Mobley in Too Close To Home?
RC: Absolutely! That is one of my favorite aspects of acting is developing the character. For Mathias in Tomb Raider, who I also worked on with Sony PlayStation, I was able to fulfill one of my dream roles; playing a cult leader. It was especially exciting because I was able to develop the character as I manipulated Lara Croft in the beginning by putting on a weak and timid front, before I unveiled Father Mathias’ true evilness. It’s pretty much the same as creating a character in any medium be it mocap, voiceover, or film and television.
Sheriff Mobley in Too Close To Home evolved from many people I have known, especially back in my small hometown in Texas. I wanted to bring about a feeling of down home good ol’ boy, who was trying to do his job, but at the same time, also trying to protect his friends and loved ones in the community from getting in trouble. The situations would often times lend itself to some humorous anecdotes, where Mobley would wind up looking downright inept. Tyler Perry enjoyed my sense of humor and started writing it more into the second season, which was fun.
VM: I recently found two of your songs, “Same Old Me” and “That Jack Daniels Look,” on Reverb Nation. Tell me how your love for music came about.
RC: Oh thanks for listening! I have always had a deep love for country music and would sing a lot goofing around doing song parodies with friends, etc., and everyone always told me I should give it a try. I mean, I had done a few musicals on stage over the years but that was different for some reason. Then I did a world premiere country musical play two years ago, based on 17 of Nashville’s greatest songwriter, Paul Overstreet at The Ruskin Theatre, called “Sneaky Old Time,” by Steve Mazur. I sang several of my favorite country songs in that show with a live country band for about a 16 week run and I was hooked. I then turned around and produced a live country show with that same band, and a few guest artists at The Ruskin, and it was a big hit! So I recorded a couple of songs written by my friend Cliff Wagner and put them out on iTunes and Amazon etc…I plan on doing some more live shows soon.
VM: Tell me about playing Detective Vincent Skarsgaard in Future Man?
A: Oh Man…probably the most fun I have ever had working on a show!! It was nonstop laughs on set and the freedom the writers and producers gave us made it such a creative and fun atmosphere. I fell in love with my character, Det. Skarsgaard, immediately and knew exactly how I wanted to play him from my first audition. Thank God! They loved what I was doing as well.
I was initially booked for two episodes and as we filmed them, we had so much fun, the writers and producers kept giving me more, and I wound up doing six episodes the first season, and got to be the voice for the show…”previously on Future Man“…[laughs]. Which I think is a friggin’ awesome BONUS!
VM: I’m always waiting for news about Season 2 of Future Man. Would you like to see Vincent Skarsgaard return? Or are you satisfied with his arc?
RC: Well, without giving anything away, season 2 is currently filming and fortunately, I am a part of the second season. So yes, I am happy Skarsgaard is back and I hope I come back again and again and again! I love this show!!
VM: Tell me about Catch A Fallen Star, which you wrote/executive produced and has been selected by the Lionshead Film Festival.
RC: Catch A Fallen Star is a screenplay I wrote about a country singer/songwriter that has been kicking around in my head for years and after working with Paul Overstreet, I knew I had to finally put it down on paper. It’s a story about a man who was on the cusp of stardom in Nashville, when fame got the best of him, and he killed a family in a drunk driving accident, leaving a wife and baby boy alone, while he went away for over 20 years in prison.
This is a story about family, love, redemption, and of course country music. I gave the script to Paul, and he fell in love with it, and agreed to write the music for the movie. We have several songs put down so far, and are currently looking for financing to get started filming. I recently entered the script in a few screenwriting festivals, and it won the first one I entered, and is now a finalist in this one in Dallas. I look to get this into production within the year. I am very excited about this one!
VM: You’ve done writing for film, acting in television and games, while creating music, which outlet do you feel like changes you the most as an artist?
RC: I think everything you do changes you as an artist, especially everyday life and what we each experience. Love, heartbreak, joy, tragedy, everything only enriches what we do as artists. Having had a near-death experience, I go about whatever I do with a passion and love that is as if it may be the last thing I ever do. I can’t say that one medium over another actually “changes” me as an artist, but I do love finding the challenges that come from each. I hope to learn and grow and flourish from all I do.
VM: What are you working on now?
RC: Well, as you can tell, I do have a lot of irons in the fire, so I am pretty busy, but a new venture is that I have begun writing a pilot for a new half-hour comedy series for television. It’s about a small town in Texas, very much like the one I grew up in, it’s very funny, but also kind of a slice of life type show.
I have also started to make the rounds at comic cons and gaming conventions as a guest to meet the fans, especially for my character, Brok, in the newly released epic from Sony Playstation, God Of War. So look for me in a city near you soon!
[Writer’s Note: This interview has been edited for clarity. Links are highlighted in bold.]