For those of you who do not know, Sam Riegel is voicing the web head in the upcoming Amazing Spider-man Video game. We got the chance to talk to Sam about his role and how cool was it to play the most iconic Super-hero of all time. Check it out:
MTVN: So Sam can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Sam Riegel: Me? I’m just your friendly neighborhood voice actor, writer and director pursuing my dreams in LA. Been acting my whole life, and I can’t ever imagine stopping. Got my first big “break” at the ripe old age of 12, playing Gavroche in the touring company of Les Miserables, and I haven’t looked back since. Getting to voice Peter Parker/Spidey in this iconic franchise is pretty much a dream come true though.
MTVN: A lot of animation fans know Sam Riegel from Naruto or from the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, but none of us knew you as Spider-man before. How did you get to play the coolest super hero of all time, in the upcoming video game?
Sam Riegel: I wish there were a cooler story, but like pretty much every other big part I’ve gotten, it was a simple audition. I recorded a bunch of Spidey lines at home (I have a recording studio in my basement), emailed ‘em in and voila — I got the call 2 days later that Beenox and Marvel had picked yours truly to star in the game. When I hung up, I had a big smile on my face that still hasn’t faded. The best part was, I got to MOCAP my part as well. So when you watch the cutscenes, that’s my body moving around in addition to my voice.
MTVN: Knowing that Spider-man is played in the movie by Andrew Garfield, and that the game takes place in the same universe as the movie, did you have to try and imitate Andrew’s voice or was beenox more open for you to do your own thing ?
Sam Riegel: Others may disagree, but think Beenox was really smart in not casting the actors from the film. Don’t get me wrong — Andrew Garfield and the entire movie cast is incredible. But a movie is a movie, and a video game is different. This game is so good that it really goes beyond a “movie tie-in”. Whether the movie succeeds or not (and I’m hoping it does!) I bet fans will be playing it for years. And they’re not gonna be playing it to hear my voice, or Andrew’s voice — they’re gonna play because the story is compelling and the gameplay is awesome. So to answer your question… Beenox wanted the game to be its own thing, and encouraged me create my own take on Spidey. It’s not an imitation — it’s my own interpretation. And I hope the fans will dig it.
MTVN: How did you approach your role as both Spider-man and Peter Parker, and how different are they from each other?
Sam Riegel: To me, Spider-man and Peter exist in all of us. We all have moments of heroism and bravery, as well as shyness and insecurity. So in approaching the role(s) I just tried to channel the geekier side of myself for Peter and the more confident side for Spidey. It’s a subtle difference, but it’s there. I like to think it’s 50-50 in real life, but in all honesty I’m probably more like 96% Peter and 4% Spidey.
MTVN: I recently got lucky and was able to get the game early, and I can tell you that I am quite amazed by the work your have done. You definitely nailed the role. Spider-man sounds witty and funny, I mean some of the jokes were really funny, were those all written, or did you improvise a bit in the role ?
Sam Riegel: The writers did a great job peppering the whole game with witty one-liners. They spent months writing and rewriting the dialog, and we had 20 voice-over sessions over the course of 6 months to get it right. In addition, the other actors and I frequently got to record our parts together, in the same booth, which made the dialog flow much more realistically. Some of Spidey’s trash-talking was partially improvised, but for the most part I gotta give all the credit to the Beenox crew.
MTVN: Any chance we could see you in future Spider-man games?
Sam Riegel: I’m not the first Spider-man and I certainly won’t be the last. Some truly gifted actors have played the web-slinger’s voice over the years. People like Josh Keaton, Neil Patrick Harris, Ben Diskin, Paul Soles… all different, and amazing in their own right. If I get to play Spidey again, that would be tremendous, but if this is my only opportunity I’d still be one of the luckiest guys on the planet.
MTVN: What are the chances of Sam Riegel voicing spider-man outside of video games, like maybe in animation ?
Sam Riegel: Well, Drake Bell is doing the voice on Ultimate Spider-Man right now, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. He does a great job, and I LOVE that show. If the chance presents itself in a future series, I’d be dumb to say no.
MTVN: What are you currently working on and what are your next projects ?
Sam Riegel: Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of voice directing, for video games and animation, helping other actors craft their performances. Right now I’m voice directing a wonderful project for Disney Junior called “SOFIA THE FIRST” that premieres this fall, and starting on another super-secret show that I won’t be able to talk about for a while. As an actor, you can hear me on Nickelodeon’s WINX CLUB, as small parts on Disney XD’s TRON UPRISING, and in a bunch of new video games that I’m sure I can’t talk about.
MTVN: I know that a lot of fans out there would to get into the voice acting business, so what advice would to those who are interested ?
Sam Riegel: My only advice is to become an actor first, and a voice actor second. You have to know how to act with your whole body, mind, voice, and spirit before you can just focus on one of those. And don’t do it unless you can be happy doing it for free. Cuz it’s HARD to break in.
MTVN: On behalf of the Marvel Tv News readers, I thank for this great opportunity, and hope to hear you as Spider-man, in pretty much every future incarnation of the character :p
Sam Riegel: That’s nice of you to say. Hope your readers enjoy my performance and go buy the game!
I hope you folks have enjoyed this exclusive interview.