I found it quite interesting to hear of how much Franklin’s voice actor, Shaw Fonteno, relates to the character he played.
In a wonderful interview with GQ, voice actors: Shawn Fonteno (Franklin), Steven Ogg (Trevor) and Ned Luke (Michael) spoke of the characters they played, the success of the game and more about the smash hit. Everyone who played, or is playing GTA V, must agree that the characters and the dialogue are some of the best and most entertaining we have seen in videogames, and the actors who played them should take a bow.
We would expect nobody in reality to be quite like Trevor (for our own safety), but interestingly, Franklin and his voice actor are not all that different. Fonteno candidly told GQ that he feels like changing his name to Franklin. The voice actor explained that his life has followed a similar path to the character he portrayed.
“Everything he’s doing, I’ve done it. I don’t want to put myself out there on blast, but I’ve done it. I’m an ex-gang member. I’m an ex-thief. I’m an ex-car stealer. I’ve done it. I know what it feels like to be on both sides of the gun, go to jail, et cetera,” he said, claiming that he and Franklin are “tied together forever”
On a more serious note, the actors were asked if they were concerned about working on game which had received some criticism about its violence and treatment of women.
Fonteno says playing the role in a videogame “has to be treated the same way as the movies.”
“Scarface. Boardwalk Empire. You see all the same stuff that’s happening in these games in comic books and TV shows,” he explained.
“It’s just a script. We’re having fun. They have to treat this the same as they treat the movies.”
Ned Luke, who played Michael, says he looks at it like “satire.”
“GTA is what it is. Anybody that expects anything different is fooling themselves. I love women. I’m crazy about them. I have a beautiful wife, who’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me, and I teach my son to respect women and other people’s position in the world, whatever it is,” claimed Luke.
“People are always looking for something to hate on. If this is something for them to target and hate on, that’s their thing. I look at it as satire.”