Recently, we heard legendary Transformers voice actor Peter Cullen talk not only about becoming an hero to millions for his portrayal of the heroic Autobot leader, Optimus Prime, but also about being the first person to play the role of video game icon Mario. But today, he focuses more on the recent Transformers video game release, War for Cybertron.
Following are some excerpts from an interview Cullen recently conducted with Techland.
On how the Optimus Prime seen in War for Cybertron differs from the versions seen in other branches of the franchise and its multiverse:
“In the game it’s perhaps a little different in that he jumps around saying things that are activated by the actions of the player. There will be a consistency in his character but you won’t be able to find the same significant emotions he would have with a written script in the movies or cartoons. From what I’ve heard and what I’ve seen of the game it’s a very interesting combination to have an individual play into, let’s say a cartoon, he’s now in the cartoon with Optimus Prime and I think that’s a very special ingredient to have.”
On whether or not he was able to improvise while recording the game, as he has for the Michael Bay films and other mediums:
“Somewhat. There were opportunities to perhaps change an attitude that wouldn’t be consistent with Optimus as he would be in the series or the motion picture but they were rare. The character was pretty much “spot on” as the Brits would say. Outside of a couple of changes whether he would say something or not and or according to the powers that be what could be said and what couldn’t be said in terms of verbal selections or something a little less violent. But they stuck pretty close to the original fabric of Optimus.”
On his opinion of the story presented in War for Cybertron:
“Generally speaking, I’m always impressed by the writers that have imagined and conceived these plots and adventures. They’re brilliant people and overall they write really well, for me at least. They’ve come up with so many great one-liners that memorable and universal almost. As I said, generally speaking, I am amazed by the writers from the very get-go. There are so many sub factors and tangents with the Transformers that the imagination can take you almost anywhere you want to go in the future as they’ve done in the past. I’m always amazed and look forward to where we’re going to go now. What’s next!”
In addition, Cullen confirms that Optimus Prime was the only voice he provided in War for Cybertron.
Other questions covered in the interview include what routines he has to get into character, whether or not he reads any of the Transformers comic books, bringing emotion to a robot, what sort of Transformer he might have wanted to be if he hadn’t become associated with Optimus Prime after all these years, and if the lips on Michael Bay’s version bother him at all. Read all about it in the full interview here.