Carlos Ferro Interview: Da Vinci's Destiny
Our community admin Colum Blackett had the opportunity to interview veteran voice actor Carlos Ferro, best known for voicing Leonado Da Vinci in the Assassin's Creed series and Dominic Santiago in Gears of War.
Behind the Voice Actors lists 30 roles that Carlos has been credited with, but he has also provided additional voices such as NPC's and background characters in many games and TV shows.
Carlos' first career in the entertainment industry was as a DJ. Leaving music for a career in theatre and television, his work eventually led to a stint as an artist in residence at Cornell University.
He has since gone on to receive a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award nomination for Best Solo Performance for his portrayal of Sal Mineo in the show SAL. He has continued acting in television, both on-camera (in Star Trek: The Next Generation episode Genesis) and in animation voice-over (Justice League, Spawn). He also had a short speaking role as Olivero Sisko in Big Top Scooby-Doo!. He has worked with director John Landis and actors Jerry Lewis, Harvey Fierstein and Dudley Moore. (Wiki)
His most recent credited voice acting performances were for the 2019 adventure game Shenmue III, where he lent his voice to multiple characters.
Col: Hi Carlos, thank you for joining us today! Please could you tell us a little bit about yourself, and the time you spent working on the Assassin's Creed series.
Carlos: Thanks for having me! I’m an actor/voice actor that had the privilege of portraying Leonardo DaVinci in the Assassin’s Creed franchise!
Col: In Assassin's Creed 1, you voiced the leader of the Assassin Bureau in Damascus. The character adds an element of much needed comic relief to quite a serious game. How did you find the interactions with Altair?
Carlos: I wanted to give that character a bit of snark. Let’s just say, it came naturally. LOL
'Most impressive, my friend. The others said you make a mess of things, but not I. No, I was sure you'd come through. And come through you have.'
Col: Have you completed AC1, and would you be interested in returning to the series if Ubisoft were to remaster it one day with additional content?
Carlos: I try to complete all the games I work on. AC1 blew my mind, to be honest. I would be honored to return in any capacity.
Col: When you were first brought in to work on the series, what were your initial thoughts? Could you see the franchise becoming as big as it is today?
Carlos: Nobody can really predict that kind of success. Putting History, Geography, Science Fiction, and Action in a gaming context knocked me out. I wanted to be as good as the rest of the cast.
Carlos regularly attends comic con conventions. Here is with Assassin's Creed Community members.
Col: Do you have a favourite moment of AC1, and are there any elements that you would personally consider vital that all Assassin's Creed games should try to incorporate?
Carlos: I’m a big fan of Desmond Miles. I like the idea of ancestors and what may come with them.
Col: Moving onto AC2, had you ever had to speak Italian for a role before voicing Leonardo?
I have. Though not as much as I do as Leonardo. Michael Corleone springs to mind. I was blessed with Dialect Supervisor Ida Darvish-Gadd being at all my sessions to make sure I didn’t slip up.
Col: Most of Leonardo's key moments are in his interactions with Ezio, where he provides the role of both friend and inventor. What was it like working with Roger on these moments, and do you have a favourite?
Carlos: Roger Craig Smith is one of my favorite Voice Actors. Whether we were at sessions together or I was hearing his voice in my headphones, it was very easy to get into character. My favorite scene is when I communicate to him that “women provide little distraction.” His delivery of, “I don’t get it” is perfect and hilarious.
Col: Have you kept in touch with any of the other voice actors from the AC games, and have you worked with any of them on other projects since?
Carlos: Video games have such huge casts, it’s thrilling to see actors I’ve worked with before or actors I admire, in the cast list. Though we rarely record together. Where I see my colleagues often is on the road at Conventions. Roger Craig Smith, Adrian Hough, Matt Ryan, Cas Anvar, Victoria Atkin, and Paul Amos are some of my favorite people and world-class actors. My dream is a full-reunion event with the fans.
Col: Other than Leonardo, who else would you have liked to have voiced in the games?
Carlos: I want to play an Assassin.
Col: Other than the games, you also did the voiceover for Assassin's Creed: Ascendance, a short 8 minute animation where Leonardo warns Ezio about the Borgia influence in Roma. Did this project feel different to working on the games, and how long roughly did it take to record the lines?
Carlos: One full day, as I recall. The process was the same but I was knocked-out by the DaVinci styling in the animation. It’s one of my favorite things.
Col: Leonardo returned in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, and even got his own DLC. How did you prepare to take on the role of an older, wiser Da Vinci?
Carlos: Having created the character from scratch in AC2, it was pretty organic.
Col: One of the reasons Leonardo remains so popular is his positive mentality, somehow always managing to see the best in humanity in the darkest of times. He is a true ally to the Assassins, but also helped to provide some of the more challenging missions in Brotherhood. Do you ever hear fans mentioning the difficulty of the Da Vinci's War Machines missions?
Carlos: I hear about that Tank...all the time. LOL Personally, I love the flying machine.
Col: When you meet fans at events, what are the most requested Da Vinci lines people want to hear?
Carlos “HOW EXCITING!”
I’m also fond of “I’ve taught a man to fly!”
Col: I would like to personally thank you for signing my Hidden Blade, which I now keep in a glass cabinet. Do you own Assassin's Creed merchandise, and did you keep anything at all from your time working on the games?
Carlos: I have displays from stores, figures, the flying machine. Though my favorite AC treasures are DaVinci inspired art and gifts from the fans.
Leonardo Da Vinci art by Lisa Zaman.
Col: Do you have any tips for our audience on how to get into voice acting? What would you say is the first step?
Carlos: Be an actor first. Study and prepare. That was where it started for me.
Col: Have you ever cosplayed as Leonardo. If not, would you ever consider doing so?
Carlos: I would! But it would have to be perfect. I’m that guy. LOL I’m blown away by the craftsmanship cosplayers around the world have brought to Leonardo and Ezio. It’s beautiful.
Col: Have you been following the more recent games, and where would you like to see the series to explore next?
Carlos: I keep up. There was an Assassin’s Creed inspired art exhibit in Paris some time ago. There were Assassins in every time and from every country, it seemed. I remember loving a female Assassin flying through the air with laser hidden blades. I think the sky’s the limit. Literally.
We would like to say a huge thank you to Carlos for joining us for this interview, and to Kim Beacham for making it possible!
You can also book a personalised message from Carlos on Cameo
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