Norman Reedus Discusses Death Stranding Production and Hideo Kojima
"He’s like the Beatles. Grown men in their 40s are screaming with tears in their eyes like Elvis just walked into the room."
Death Stranding had its launch trailer officially revealed earlier today, and while Hideo Kojima heads around the world as part of the games World Tour, Norman Reedus has detailed his experience on working with the founder of Kojima Productions.
The interview comes from The Hollywood Reporter where Patrick Shanley asks questions about the production of the game that has been underway for a number of years.
According to Reedus, he met Kojima after Guillermo del Toro reached out saying someone wanted to make a video game with him. Reedus asked who, to which he was told, “trust me, just say yes.” He explains that for Death Stranding he was “wearing a motion capture suit with Velcro all over me. It was a blast, I have to admit.”
He details that filming the motion capture scenes took place in various places, sometimes in Calfornia and New York for face recognition, and all these took place between his filming for The Walking Dead TV series. When detailing the suit he wore he said,
“you squeeze into this tiny little suit that is very revealing and embarrassing and you’re strapped in. You have a helmet cam on with a big arm sticking out the front of it. Anytime I had to kiss somebody or hug somebody, our heads are bouncing off of each other.”
He also explains that when he was filming with Hideo, “he would have a plastic baby doll on the ground and want me to cradle it and act like it’s dead. Then act like it’s alive. Then freak out because there’s handprints everywhere.” Then he says that Hideo would say “imagine there’s a thousand dead whales in front of you, and you’re like, ‘What?!’ His mind is on another level. He’s a genius’ genius.”
Reedus praises his relationship with Hideo during production and mentions, “He’s a lot of fun to work with. If he ever did a movie or anything else I would be there in a heartbeat.” He also mentions that he has attended The Game Awards with Hideo and that, “he’s like the Beatles. Grown men in their 40s are screaming with tears in their eyes like Elvis just walked into the room.”
When asked if he knew about the story of Death Stranding from the start of production, he admits that “He revealed it in bits and pieces”. He also explains,
“in between takes I’d take a sip of water and wipe my mouth with my sleeve and he’d be like, do that again. It happened so much and I kept saying, why are we doing so many of these little Norman things? He told me pretty early on when I asked him that everyone was going to play me in this game and he said, no, they’re going to be you.”
The reasoning behind this was, as he explains it, “He wants you to feel emotion towards your player because the emotion you feel towards the player is part of the game.” He goes on to explain an interaction with Grimes who attended filming one day and after a discussion with the artist, he said “I understood what Hideo is going for. The human interaction you have with this character and you meet other people who are having the same interactions and you are building something instead of breaking something down — there’s elements of horror in there, elements of action and adventure, but there’s also an element of connection.”
The interview comes to an end with Reedus being asked if he’d be interested in acting for video games again, and he explains that it’s “fascinating”. He says he asked Kojima when referencing how realistic the graphics are if there would be a day that actors aren’t needed anymore, Kojima’s response was, “no. You could never do that. You need the soul. You need a real human to have real human emotions.”
Death Stranding is due to launch on PS4 on November 8 and on PC in Summer 2020.