Shawn Ashmore breaks into gaming with Quantum Break
Dressing up like a Teletubby for work probably isn't most people's idea of a dream job.
But once actor Shawn Ashmore got past his self-consciousness of walking around the set of sci-fi video game Quantum Break in a motion capture suit on the first day, everything soon became a breeze.
Speaking to The New Paper over Skype from New Zealand, the 36-year-old Canadian actor said: "The only really awkward moment for me was the first day when we put the motion capture suit on for the first time.
"Everyone looks silly in these really tight suits and it's weird because no one else on the crew is wearing them, just the actors.
"So you walk out in this neon-coloured suit looking a little bit like a Teletubby and you feel sort of silly walking around.
"But after about six hours, I got used to it and they're actually really comfortable. It feels like you're being hugged, a bit like a wetsuit that you get to wear all day, so it was kind of fun."
Ashmore plays Iceman in the X-Men movies and starred alongside Kevin Bacon in The Following.
Released exclusively earlier in the month for Windows and Xbox One, Quantum Break is an original sci-fi third-person shooter crafted by Remedy Entertainment - the Finnish developers behind the critically-acclaimed Max Payne series and Alan Wake.
Ashmore stars as protagonist Jack Joyce, who gains time manipulation powers after a time travel experiment conducted by his best friend turned antagonist Paul Serene, played by Aidan Gillen of Game of Thrones fame, goes awry.
Dominic Monaghan, who played the hobbit Merry Brandybuck in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, is also in the game as Jack's older brother William.
Other cast members include Fringe actor Lance Reddick as Serene's right-hand man Martin Hatch and relative unknown Courtney Hope, who starred in 2010 horror film Prowl and made a cameo in The Divergent Series: Allegiant, as double agent Beth Wilder.
While the game has players mostly focused on Joyce's character, a live action series consisting of four 22-minute episodes - which play at various points between the game's five acts - will expand on Serene's side of the story.
Ashmore also appears in the flesh in one of Quantum Break's in-game live action episodes. PHOTO: MICROSOFT
With developers increasingly relying on sequels of successful franchises to generate sales and a focus on multiplayer components to encourage repeat plays, a new game like Quantum Break that is single-player and story-driven certainly stands out.
Remedy's bold direction was certainly not lost on Ashmore, whose personal and professional interest was piqued when his agent contacted him about the job.
"I grew up playing games so I was initially interested and I thought that would be really cool," said Ashmore, who often plays StarCraft matches online with his twin brother Aaron.
"I'm also a big fan of Remedy's games - I beat Max Payne on the set of X-Men 2 - so I knew they made games that were character-driven, narrative and cinematic.
"All of these were things that I appreciated and I thought, as an actor, would be a good showcase to tell a great story. So I sat down and talked to Xbox, then flew over to Helsinki to talk to the Remedy team - (writer) Sam Lake and Stobe (Harju) the director.
"I thought (combining a game with a live action in-game show) was something I had never seen before and thought it was something that I would love to be a part of."
Even though Quantum Break was Ashmore's first brush with motion capture, he thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Having played and completed the game himself, Ashmore is extremely pleased with the final product.
He said: "I loved the experience of doing the motion capture. I loved working with the actors I got to work with - it was just an incredible cast.
"And I've played the game, finished the game and loved the game.
"It was a very challenging experience to make it, but when you sit back and get your hands on the controllers, push start and jump into the game, it was so much fun. It was so satisfying to play it and see the experience that Remedy was trying to create which I really think they captured.
"It was really, really fun, so I would do it again in a second."
Having just finished filming a pilot for a new NBC series called Conviction, Ashmore will appear in two upcoming projects - a TV series called Relationship Status and thriller flick Devil's Gate.