Over the years, Canada has become a household name for everything video game related. Whether it was manufacturing with Coleco in Montreal, QC, or design with Distinctive Software in Burnaby, BC, in the early 80s, the Great White North slowly but surely made its way on the podium of the gaming industry. However, there is another area that has seen Canadians shine over the years: voice acting. In our Voices of the North series, we highlight the Canadian voice talent behind your favourite video game characters.
Unless you have lived under a rock for the past decade, you are aware of the success of Rockstar Games’ biggest franchise, Grand Theft Auto, and in particular of GTA V. Released in 2013 on Xbox 360 and PS3, GTA V would later see a re-release on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. The publisher also announced that, for the first time in the series, it would have a third release on Xbox Series X/S as well as PS5! Although the main game is almost 10 years old, what keeps attracting players is the online counterpart simply named GTA Online, which see millions of players gather in an ever growing list of missions and in-game activities with their friends.
Now, what if we told you that one of GTA V’s main characters is played by a Canadian actor, not only in voice but also in appearance? Enter Steven Ogg aka Trevor Phillips, GTA V’s crazy, homicidal misfit. Along with Michael De Santa and Franklin Clinton, Trevor is one of the three playable characters living in the Los Santos greater area. He is also the most memorable of this motley crew. A borderline insane heavy-drug user, Trevor is always willing to share his conspiracy theories with whoever’s around whether they like it or not.
In real life, Steven Ogg is the polar opposite to the character he portrays in the game: he is fun, witty, and decidedly not psychotic. Born in Edmonton, Alberta but raised in Calgary, Ogg is a sports aficionado, and originally aimed for an athletic career, before an injury cut that dream short. As a result, he backpacked through Europe after leaving college, eventually coming back to North America, and more precisely New York City in order to take on acting. Ogg found his humble beginnings with small roles in TV shows like Law and Order. He then felt the urge to “go to the country and build a country house” in his own words, which he did in Connecticut, where he also started doing voice acting. Fast forward to 2010, where he would meet his partners in crime with Rockstar and take on a role in for what would become a genre-defining video game.
Ogg has also appeared in other video games, such as 2008’s Alone in the Dark and the survival-horror game Cursed Mountain.