Thanks to the nature of the gaming industry at present, playing host to constant leaks of information and having rumours flying around all over the place, it is perhaps unsurprising that Nintendo would hold back as much information on its major projects during development as possible. It would seem that even those lucky enough to be working on such projects are sometimes kept in the dark, too.
Joe Hernandez, the voice behind Daruk and Yunobo in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, has revealed in an interview with CatWithMonocle that he was never specifically told what he was auditioning for.
Cat With Monocle: How did you get the roles of Daruk and Yunobo in Zelda: Breath of the Wild? What did you enjoy the most while recording as these characters?
Joe Hernandez: Originally, I was sent the audition around March of 2016. As is the case with some high profile video games, we were never told specifically what we were auditioning for. I remember the specs calling for a British/Mid-Atlantic voice, which was in my wheelhouse. I remember nothing in any of the audition copy made reference to Link, Zelda, Hyrule, etc. so again, we were a little in the dark as to what project it was.
Now, if you ask any voice actors out there, rare is the day that the entirety of info is shared with talent by the time they audition. Some of that is done by design, because they don’t want any important info getting leaked, but another reason is that so much of the games are still in various stages of development, so things can change drastically, (Daruk wasn’t called by that name when I had gone into audition).
The casting director had given me a sort of Lord of the Rings direction as to the world in which these characters lived. He wanted me to think of my character as this big, larger than life kind of gentle giant, (a la Gimli in LotR). it helped set the tone for what I had read for and allowed me get specific with his voice and characterization. After the initial audition, I was called back again to re-read for them. Shortly thereafter, I was told that I had booked it and we didn’t begin recording until August/September of that year.
Joe isn't the only one that was kept in the dark, either; Patricia Summersett, the English voice actress for Zelda herself, revealed that she only found out what she was auditioning for well after landing the role.
Can you imagine finding out that your most recent job interview was actually for the next big Zelda title? Of course, we might need to learn how to actually act before that can happen.