Even in case you’ve simply barely scratched the floor of Starfield, Bethesda’s huge new spacefaring RPG, you’ve most likely met companion Sam Coe. The only dad who at all times wears a cowboy hat is out there to hitch your crew early on alongside together with his daughter, Cora, who tags alongside in your ship. And since he’s bisexual, he’s romanceable for any participant character, regardless of their chosen gender. Together with his gruff however tender cowboy vibes and easy-on-the-eyes visage, Sam Coe has shortly develop into a favourite character for Starfield gamers across the globe, and the good efficiency by his voice actor, the distinctive Elias Toufexis, performs an enormous half in his reputation.
Toufexis isn’t any stranger to voicing iconic characters–his work as Adam Jensen within the Deus Ex video games is so memorable, he reportedly struggled to get different voice over roles due to it. However Toufexis, who’s at the moment additionally taking part in alien villain L’ak on Star Trek: Discovery (although he can’t speak about that as a result of ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike), landed a stellar function with Sam Coe, whose voice is now the middle of the universe for six million Starfield gamers. And because of his hilarious web presence, we are able to’t cease speaking about Sam Coe and his dang cowboy hat.
Starfield voice actor on Sam Coe
Toufexis had a ton of artistic enter when it got here to creating Sam Coe, extra so than with roles in video games the actor has labored on beforehand. “I dove a little bit bit deeper into Starfield than most different tasks I do as a result of I used to be invested closely as an actor and voice director and in different artistic roles proper once I got here on about 5 years in the past,” Toufexis informed Kotaku over e mail. “I discovered much more in regards to the story and total gameplay and I met much more of the crew behind the sport than I might have simply approaching as an actor.”
And although Sam Coe at all times wears a cowboy hat (“He sleeps together with his hat on. That’s bizarre,” Toufexis joked.) Kotaku can verify that Toufexis didn’t put on one within the sales space.
One other notable side of Sam Coe’s character is his sexuality–he’s bisexual, and Toufexis didn’t hesitate to make it infinitely clear that he performed the character with that in thoughts, even within the face of backlash from conservative avid gamers. Toufexis even quote-tweeted a unfavourable response to Sam’s sexuality, writing “really, I performed Sam as bisexual” in response to their overblown disgust. As a result of gamers can romance any of the 4 romanceable characters regardless of their chosen gender, Toufexis mentioned that he “had no alternative actually to not less than play [Sam] with an openness when it got here to his sexuality.” However he “determined early on that it was higher to play Sam as having a bisexual previous as an alternative of justifying being romanced as a shock within the second. Form of like Ooh yeah, I’m cool being romanced by one other man as a result of I’ve achieved this earlier than.’ It simply made extra sense to me to play it that method.”
And since Toufexis was extra concerned within the total artistic course of than in different video games he’s labored on (he’s additionally offered voices for Saints Row, Gotham Knights, Horizon Forbidden West, Name of Responsibility: Black Ops Chilly Conflict, and numerous different video games) he “had a ton of context and conversations with all creatives on board” about Sam’s background and his character. “I adored Sam from the start. He and I are very comparable so it was loads simpler to play him. I used to be simply myself, with my voice, no accents or affectations. Quite a lot of enjoyable,” he mentioned.
Toufexis’ voice is an iconic one–barely husky, considerably deep, and soothing, like a voice you’d wish to learn your bedtime tales (Cora’s a fortunate child). I requested Toufexis how he felt about AI getting used to duplicate the voices of iconic VO actors, a phenomenon that has just lately develop into a significant speaking level within the business–and one which will outcome within the inclusion of voice actors into the continuing SAG-AFTRA strikes.
“If I discover somebody is utilizing my voice for revenue or promotion with out my permission, I’ll ask them to cease. In the event that they do, that’ll be the top of it. I can’t search for them. I can’t pursue them. But when they don’t, I’ll search for them, I’ll discover them, and I’ll… nicely let’s simply say we have now to guard actors from alternative. It’s a harmful slope. If my voice could be changed, that’s nearly actually resulting in taking meals out of my child’s mouths. It is a big a part of my livelihood,” Toufexis mentioned, earlier than persevering with.
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“I actually really feel that AI can’t change actual actors in the long term. However it could possibly take away a complete slew of jobs that usually go to actors. Massive roles like Sam are most likely secure. AI is only a software that steals from different folks’s work and tries to create actuality. Nevertheless it’s not actuality and I consider folks will know the distinction and wish the actual factor. However it might take a while. I take a look at it like NFTs or 3D TVs. There might be a short while the place folks idiot round with the brand new tech, however ultimately they’ll notice how pretend it’s.”
If the continuing push for AI use in video video games continues, Toufexis is aware of that it might outcome within the strike extending to his voice-over work, not simply his present on-camera function. “If AI protections like alternative aren’t being regulated vehemently by the gaming studios, there’s probability it’s going to get folded into the movie and TV strike. Then I’ll be in much more of a panic because the months go by,” he joked.
However for now, he can not less than discover solace in how beloved Starfield’s Sam Coe is for the tens of millions of individuals touring the celebs with him. I requested how he felt in regards to the reactions to Sam and his daughter, which he mentioned are “ninety % constructive.” “I’m very proud of how each Sam and Cora have been acquired,” he mentioned. “In fact, there’s the opposite facet. Not everybody goes to like what I do. Not everybody loves the sport.”
Among the backlash Toufexis has acquired isn’t simply rooted in Sam Coe’s bisexuality, nevertheless, however is clearly a part of the continuing console wars between Xbox and PlayStation followers. “I personally don’t perceive how somebody attaches their character to a sure gaming system or in opposition to a sure recreation so vehemently that they spend time on social media attacking folks,” he mentioned. Neither can we.