Modern Family star Ariel Winter has a brand new project out, which fans of the actress will find is very different than what she has done in the past. Winter stars in a new horror video game titled The Quarry. The game follows a group of summer camp councilors who must “survive a night at the Hackett’s Quarry.” Recently, Winter sat down with PopCulture.com to talk about the game, as well her love of horror films and which scary movies are her favorites.
“So I got the offer for The Quarry and I read through it and I was like… First of all, I love horror. Super awesome. Second of all, I have never done this before, I have never done a mocap game, I’ve just never done that in general and I’ve always loved doing video games and voiceover,” Winter told us. “This is basically a mix of voiceover and live acting, and I was like, ‘You know what? This sounds freaking awesome!'” The actress went on to praise the creative forced behind the game, saying, “And the people who made this are awesome and I just would absolutely love to be a part of it. And 2K’s super cool and Supermassive and our director and we worked with Digital Domain and they were incredible and all the other actors, it really was just like, ‘Wow, they are interested in me. Awesome. I would absolutely love to be a part of this.’ So awesome new experience. I really was super excited and it was a no-brainer to say ‘yeah.'”
While Winter has done a lot of voiceover and animation work in the past, The Quarry was a completely new experience due to the motion caption process the game used for herself and the rest of the cast, which also includes David Arquette, Miles Robbins, Halston Sage, Zach Tinker, Brenda Song, Evan Evagora, Justice Smith, Siobhan Williams, Skyler Gisondo, Ted Raimi, Lance Henriksen, Ethan Suplee, Lin Shaye, and Grace Zabriskie. “It’s super different,” Winter said of working on the game. “It is so, so different because usually, regular voice acting, I just go into the studio, I’m in my PJs and I just go for it and we record, nobody sees me, there’s nothing crazy, I’m in and out, it’s so different.”
She continued, “With this, it was like full days of body scans, face scans, everything, you’re in a giant orb of lights and cameras and you’re sitting there and they’re like, ‘Be extremely still.’ And then you just hear thousands of flashes and the lights are going off and everything and then you do body scans.” Winter then joked “You’re standing there in a bra and shorts and you’re like, they scan every part of your body and… Well, not every part, thankfully, but most parts.”
The actress added, “We do all these crazy faces and we scream and we pretend we’re falling and we pretend we’re dying and we walk in circles, we fake run, we do all sorts of things, we say these absolutely bizarre sentences in so many different ways, like, we’ll say something like, ‘Sally went and picked seashells down by the seashore,’ like super angry, then super sad, then super everything, just to get your face and to be able to digitize that, and it is so incredible and so different and it’s a lot more work, but it is so rewarding when you see the final product, because it really, like they did such an incredible job, it looks exactly like me. Like, it really looks exactly like me, we all look exactly the same as if it was a live-action movie. Obviously, slightly different because we are digital, but it looks just like us so it really is so fulfilling to do work like that.”
Regarding what it’s like to work with a co-star during mocap filming, the Alex Dunphy actress explained, “It’s crazy, when you’re doing the scenes, like you have a kissing scene with somebody and it legitimately looks like you’re kissing the person, but you are in a helmet, a Velcro suit and your helmet has a camera and you’re not touching the other person and you have your arms outstretched and you’re doing weird kissy faces into this camera. And they turn that into an incredible scene that looks like just a regular live-action kissing scene. So it really is so different and I love all the different types of acting I do, but this one was just a whole new experience and it really was so cool.”
Taking on a big horror project like this was somewhat of a dream come true for Winter, because the actress has been a fan of horror for many years. During our conversation, she shared which horror flicks were the ones to make her a fan. “Well, Paranormal Activity definitely was one of the first,” she revealed. “Paranormal Activity, The Ring, those were sort of my first forays into horror and I just loved them. I mean, talking to the supernatural horror things, I have always believed in ghosts and all that stuff and it’s always been, like, ‘Oh, my God, I think it’s real. I’m scared, like whatever, but it’s so cool.’ And so I always got into that and loved all those movies.”
She continued, “And then I just started to be like, ‘All right, there’s not enough for me to watch. I’m watching them too fast. I need to venture into everything. I need to watch everything, all horror things.'” Still, there are some horror films she has yet to try out, as she’s not too certain she’d be able to make it all the way through. “I don’t think… I definitely haven’t seen Saw,” Winter confessed, “because that one, I’m like, ‘Okay, I think it’s a little bit too gory for me.’ But everything else, I’m pretty interested in.” She added, “I always loved it, like I just got into it and I was like, “This stuff is really cool. This is so cool. I’m scared, but I’m intrigued and it’s entertaining.” And I believe in that supernatural stuff, so yeah, I’ve just always been into that, so it was definitely cool to get to venture into this, also in a genre that I think is really awesome.”
This leads us to a whole new aspect in the attraction of horror: engaging in fearful situations without the danger. For Winter, this is part of the draw of a game like The Quarry, as it allows the player to still be part of the terror from the safety of their home. She explained, “It’s like you watch it and you’re like, ‘All right, this is super cool. I’m basically watching a movie, but I’m also deciding if this person runs from the creature or not, or if they hide from the creature or does this person kiss this person? Does this person like this person.'”
Winter continued, “You basically make your own game. And yes, it’s scary, but I think it helps a little bit for people who might be too scared or think it might be too scary to be like, ‘You get to choose.’ It’ll still be scary regardless because the choices are pretty scary, but it takes you, I think a little bit… I think it helps people who are a little bit scared when you get to make those choices because it takes you out of sometimes, maybe you’re like, ‘Oh, my God, I’m so scared.’ You’re like, ‘Okay, I get to make a choice now. Hold on. Pause the scary. Pause the scary for just a second. Let me make this choice and then let me be scared again.'”
Finally, the actress also heralded the game for appealing to casual gamers who love playing, but aren’t necessarily competitive. “I just think it’s a great game for people who may not be great at video games or even maybe particularly like them at first, I think they’re going to see this and be like, ‘Wow, it’s beautifully done. They have done it so incredible, and I like movies so let me try this. Maybe I’m going to love video games.’ And yeah, so I’m excited for people to see it and have it reach a very large audience and I don’t think a lot of video games do that.”
The Quarry is out now, from Supermassive Game and 2K. It’s available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, as well as Windows. Click here to learn more!
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