Pablo Schreiber (Halo): “How I became Master Chief”

Halo
Canal +

The actor from The Wire puts on the armor of the super soldier from the video game Halo, in a long-fantasied adaptation, to see on Canal +.

In the 2000s, video games Halo was supposed to become a movie produced by Peter Jackson, directed by Neill Blomkamp and written by Alex Garland. A dream project. After years of hesitation and procrastination, the much fantasized adaptation ended up mutating into a TV series, produced by Steven Spielberg, broadcast in the United States on Paramount +, and deciding to finally give a face to the character of Master Chief, the iconic trooper always hidden behind his helmet. And it’s Pablo Schreiber, the actor of TheWire, Orange is the new black and American Gods, who has the heavy responsibility of “humanizing” one of the most mysterious characters in pop culture. During a round table, he explained to us how he did it:

The secret of a good video game adaptation

“I can’t pretend to know the recipe for a good adaptation, but one of the things that works in favor of ours, one of the key ingredients in my opinion, is the serial format, the long-term narration. Most bad video game adaptations are movies. When you only have 90 minutes, or two hours, you’re very limited in terms of storytelling. Especially with something like Halo, which has been nurtured by so much mythology and intrigue over the past twenty years. Impossible to transcribe this richness in the context of a film. At the heart of our series, there is a very intimate story: that of a soldier who discovers his humanity. I think it’s that element that can resonate beyond the circle of fans.”

Pressure

“I grew up in a world without TV or video games, in British Columbia, Canada. I discovered that later, in high school, with friends. I mainly knew Halo as a first-person shooter, without necessarily being aware of all the mythology. I then discovered novels, comics, short films… When I was chosen for the role, I knew how important this universe was for the fans. I feel a great responsibility. It’s an honor to be in the Master Chief armor! And we were of course aware that the unveiling of his face was a defining moment in the history of the franchise.”

Training and filming

“It was pretty intense. But I’m used to military training, I’ve done a lot of action movies that required getting in shape, like 13 Hours Where Criminal Squad. It took me nine months to get the right body and, as I’m quite thin by nature, I had to keep working to keep it. We lose a lot of weight during filming because we sweat a lot under this armor. The hardest thing, in fact, is not so much the weight of the tack as the fact that, once inside, the capacity for movement is extremely reduced. It is then the work of the camera and the special effects to give an illusion of mobility. But it’s good that it’s not necessarily a piece of cake to play Master Chief: tenacity is part of the character of the character!”

Halocreated by Kyle Killen and Steven Kane, with Pablo Schreiber, available on MyCanal, and Thursdays on Canal +.

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