MI6 chatted to Tim Bentinck, who supplied the voice of James Bond in the 2000 game "The World Is Not Enough"...

Tim Bentinck Interview (2)
3rd November 2004

"The name's Bond, James Bond" - one of the most famous lines in movie history, as well as video games thanks to EA's 007 licence to thrill in the digital domain. One of the men lucky enough to say the line as 007 is Tim Bentinck, who played James Bond for the 2000 game "The World Is Not Enough".
Tim Bentinck Interview - Part 1

How do you feel modern technology benefits a voice actor when trying to create believable voices?

Modern digital recording combined with ADSL international links has changed everything. It's all so quick. When you worked on tape, you had to wait for ages for the edit, and you didn't feel so free.

With digital recording you can cut and slice in seconds, so you can have more fun. Post production EQ and treatment can also place a voice much better in the picture. We always work close-mike, but after 22 years in The Archers, where we work a good three feet and more from the mike, I'm not sure that some real radio acting wouldn't suit some games better. There's still a lot of stilted amateur work out there, which needs correcting!

Because there has been much low quality voice work in the game industry, do you thing the expected standard of voice over in games today is lowered?
Yes, you need people with experience, raw talent, or preferably both. A game won't survive nowadays with crap acting - at least the bar has been raised and everyone is aware of the need for proper acting talent.

Above: Back in 2000, character models like Zukovsky and M (as seen above) were at the cutting edge of console graphics.

Do you feel it is an advantage to have on-screen acting talent when providing voice-overs for scenes in a game?
Without a shadow of doubt. You mustn't use artists who only do voiceovers. I'm a pretty decent film actor as well, and I take that experience into doing games. There's no point getting someone who's going to just pretend, who reads it off the page without understanding the meaning or the context, and puts on a 'funny voice'. That's what's been so wrong with games for so long. At last the writers are realising that a good game is significantly improved by good acting, and indeed good dialogue.

How do you train to become a voice actor?
In my case I won a radio award from drama school and did six months on the BBC Radio Repertory Company, doing loads of radio plays. I then got into voice work which includes commercials, narration, language tapes, dubbing, loop groups, station announcements (I am "Mind The Gap" on the Piccadilly Line), corporate training, interactive training CDs and the rest. I also work extensively on stage, television and film. It's called being an actor!

Above: Tim Bentinck.

Is it a profession that anyone can get started in?
First become an actor. There's no security; 95% of the profession are out of work at any one time; unless you become very famous there's no promotion; unless you have talent you won't make it without being famous; unless you're successful you're on the dole; many of my trained, talented friends have given it up, because you do need some luck. Footballers try to become actors - Vinnie made it, and that's all. Models try to become actors - Charlize Theron ain't bad. Dustmen become actors - John Henshaw is one of the best actors I've ever worked with.

Okay now start working with just your voice and try to make something you read sound as though you just thought of it. Try "New Deodo-Rub. Is your body special enough?". Now do it again and shave half a second off it. Okay now do it again and really MEAN the word "Deodo-Rub". Okay now keep the speed and the way you said "Deodo-Rub" and feel really excited about "New". Okay now let's hit the audience, let's hear "your", "your body". Okay good, I think we're getting somewhere. I'm missing "special" though, I think you're not getting across how special this f***ing ballsacheing ponce-juice is gonna make you feel, are you with me Tim........ etc, etc.

In `Everything or Nothing` EA enrolled the likeness as well as the voices of Hollywood actors. As game production budgets increase, do you think there will always be the need for actors like yourself to replicate other voices?

Yes, because we're a lot cheaper!

You’re also credited as working on `Everything or Nothing`, what was your role?
Pierce did all the cut scenes, but they wrote some more, and they couldn't get him back, so about 10 animations are me, and I'm better at it this time!

00-Seven Questions

How were you involved in the Bond series?
I voiced the role of James Bond in the videogame "The World Is Not Enough" and some lines in "Everything or Nothing".

What was your first ever Bond experience?
Reading all the books.

Which is your favourite Bond game?
I've only played the one I'm in.

What did you think of the last film, "Die Another Day"?
I fancy Rosamund Pike!

What is your favourite Bond film?
From Russia With Love

Which Bond girl should come back?
Rosamund Pike!

What is your favourite Bond moment from the series?
The bungee jump from "GoldenEye".

Above: Listen carefully and you might just recognise Tim voicing the part of James Bond in sections of the 2004 videogame "Everything or Nothing".

Many thanks to Tim Bentinck. Images copyright EA Games.