A staple I do in all interviews in order to start things off is to ask that you elaborate a bit about your work, and this particular series for those not familiar with it?
Nick: My name is Nick Wolfhard, I’m from Vancouver Canada, I’m a voice actor and I play Jack Sullivan on The Last Kids on Earth. We just had a interactive special that just released and we have a video game coming out soon as well and there's a lot of exciting stuff happening.
In The Last Kids on Earth you provide the voice for Jack Sullivan, could you tell us a bit about the character and the situation he finds himself in within “Happy Apocalypse To You”?
Nick: What's going on in “Happy Apocalypse to You” is that it's June’s birthday and because you know the apocalypse is super crazy and everyone's scrambling to get supplies and trying to make friends with monsters and fight off others.
They want to try and give June the best birthday party ever and so they all have to go find these supplies like one of which is like a nacho cheese fountain, they have to get balloons, they have to get a cake and you the viewer actually have to decide what you want to go grab and there's so many different choices.
There are choices that leads to dead ends and you have to go back and choose other ones and there's also branching paths that leads to one scene that can go into another and it's great because there's just so much content there and it's great because the writers can put in these scenarios that wouldn't normally be able to exist in the normality of like the serialization of the TV show because it follows a set story line and the interactive special kind of exists outside of that storyline at least for a little bit.
With this being a Netflix Interactive feature did you find that different style impacting the voice over work you do for the series?
Nick: The only difference really was that I. Well, so I record in Vancouver with Charlie Demers the voice of Dirk and the other two actors record in Los Angeles. Montse Hernandez and Garland Whitt they're the voices of June and Quint so we kind of always bounce off each other in the booth because we record off a software called Source Connect and with the interactive special really I think the only difference is that we go to different scenes and each individual scene has multiple choices.
So I think what happened if I remember correctly we record one choice and then go back to the same scene record another choice, go back to the same scene record the final choice and then we move on to the next scene and do the next three from there. Yeah it's actually I think a lot like watching the special because you get to make the choices um but whereas the recording sessions actually I think followed a similar structure.
What was it like when you’d get to a point in the special where it was like, come on viewer, make a decision!?
Nick: Yeah it was fun to like kind of break the fourth wall a little bit and there's this great kind of joke they added where they there's this ancient book that Jack wants to open or it might actually be the scene after that where Dirk has to go into the basement in order to get something and you have to either decide to follow Rover or go on his own or go together where I think Jack says something like “we're usually not this disputed, how odd”.
Yeah little kind of like nods here and there but yeah it was it was a lot of fun and I mostly just love how many choices people can have whether they're smart choices or my personal favorite the choices that can get you in a lot of hot water like almost getting eaten or a bunch of other things that I won't spoil because they're just honestly too good to do so.
When you learned that this was going to be a Netflix Interactive feature, or well along the lines of a choose your own adventure setup were you surprised by this direction and have you tried it out?
Nick: I have tried it out, I haven't done every choice yet that being said I thought it was a fantastic idea because Black Mirror has done something similar, they did Bandersnatch. Carmen Sandiego I think as well did an interactive special and The Last Kids on Earth followed suit and I think it's great because Last Kids follows this kind of like adventurous kind of into the unknown a little bit structure that's great for kind of an old school choose your own adventure.
It's kind of like a modern version of that like of those choose your own adventure books you find in the 80’s on like ms-dos and you type it in and you decide to go one way. I hope Netflix does more because they allow not just creativity for the viewers to choose what they want, but it also allows creativity for the writers. Especially the writers because they can just go wild with ideas you know for the most part especially if it can in comparison to the confines of the regular structured show go outside of those.
What’s it like to see your voice attached to an animated character? I know I’ve asked this before, but for the video audience I think it’s a fun one to go over.
Nick: It's still a little surreal to me even after all of these. Even after like six or seven years of doing voiceover it is because as a kid I always loved cartoons and I kind of always wanted to be a part of cartoons, so to see myself you know in a cartoon no matter what it is it's still like that.
I mean voice over is like a passion of mine, acting kind of runs in the family I guess but yeah at first it was a little, I guess it was very exciting.
I was a little overwhelmed but over time I met so many great people and fans are awesome and it's just you know it's way bigger than just like me if it's a whole cast and crew that bring this to life and Max Brallier of course the author as well.
Yeah, it’s got quite a diverse cast with some really big names also that surrounds your supporting group.
Nick: Yep, we've got Rosario Dawson, Keith David, Catherine O'Hara, Mark Hamill and Bruce Campbell too.
With this Netflix Interactive episode being a bit of a standalone experience, do you have any idea where it might fit into the series chronologically?
Nick: If I had to guess and again this is like my, this is just my I guess head canon. Like it's pretty much a fan interpretation you know nothing official or anything like that my guess would probably be somewhere between Book One and Book Two that's what maybe I think it would be or maybe it yeah, or maybe it'd be right after Book Two.
I think honestly it'd probably be between Book One and Book Two but I don't know. That's why it's great because there's no real set timeline and that allows for I guess more like less kind of structured fun ideas to be shown whereas I guess that wouldn't really be possible before.
I guess yeah it exists outside the confounds of the set canon I suppose you would say. Yeah I’m actually not even sure it's canon so you would have to ask the writers or the showrunner about that unfortunately.
To build on that, I’ve noticed that your character Jack has some moments with June that have really developed over the last season and in this standalone. What are your thoughts on their adventures and particular connection?
Nick: She's very similar to Jack in that they both kind of like, they're both very similar and they're not similar at all. They're similar in the way that they both lost their families and the big difference there is that Jack doesn't really have a family or he didn't like his previous foster family and June loves her family and wants to do anything to like bring them back.
So Jack and June, Quinton, Dirk kind of have to come together and kind of create a family of their own at the moment and I think by the end of family it's just you know they're all always going to be like family.
It's just you know they gotta find a way to kind of bring everything back and they've really grown like a friendship over time. I think for Jack it kind of started out as a bit of a crush but I think it's really kind of sort of grown and grown into like a really good kind of friendship but yeah it's really cool to see what you know it evolves into.
Are you able to tease anything about future “The Last Kids on Earth” shows or content? Since that might be hard to answer, I’ll add a sub question by asking if you’d be up for another Netflix Interactive feature?
Nick: I would be absolutely up for another Netflix interactive special, I loved working on it. In terms of Last Kids on Earth content we have The Last Kids on Earth video game, The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom that's releasing very soon that’s going to be on PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One and then if you have a PS5 and an Xbox Series X or S you can play it on there as well because they’re both backwards compatible. So yeah, that’s going to be a lot of fun I think.
I understand there’s a game coming based on the show. That being The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom. Could you give us a bit of an overview of what the game is about and the play style of it? Prior to that I also want to note for those curious, it’ll be on Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One and Steam platforms.
Nick: There’s the characters, they kind of have a lot of different abilities and like for example Jack is really good with a melee and Dirk is like a heavy brute and I guess Quinn kind of like uses a lot of gadgets and June I think is probably very fast.
You can switch characters, I’m not sure I’m allowed to talk about that and the thing about the video game is I don’t know what I’m allowed to talk about. If you want to know all about the game the trailer right now is on Nintendo’s Youtube channel, or Playstation’s Youtube channel. There’s about two out right now that would give you good insight into what it is.
Since you lend your voice to the game, do you find that any different from the typical voice acting you would do for the character?
Nick: Voice over acting for games can definitely vary depending on what kind of game you’re making. So if it’s like motion capture for example you’re going to have to be in usually a suit and you’re going to have these white dots all over you.
You’re going to have like black dots on your face and you’ll have this little earpiece earphone down to your mouth and you’ll kind of almost act like it’s on camera but you’re also doing voiceover at the same time.
Other times it’ll just be in the booth doing voice lines as you would for something like a cartoon. Then other times you’d be dubbing work like you would be doing for an anime. So like you’d be doing the English voices for something that hasn’t be dubbed into English yet. So there’s many different ways of recording a video game.
For something more fun question wise, what’s your favorite “Jack” moment of the show thus far?
Nick: I really like the finale against Rezzoch where I kind of, well traps me in my own head and I’m kind of able to, Jack is able to overcome that by realizing that this is like his brain and not hers, not anyone else’s. He controls the reality of it and he kind of just needed to realize that which was really cool to see.
I also really liked the rising anguish moment during Book Two where he was training with Thrall and he kind of learned on his own the way of doing rising anguish which impressed Thrall pretty greatly. That was a great episode to record, but there’s honestly so many moments but those are probably like my favourites, at least for Jack.
Another fun quick question, since the standalone feature gave some quirky “end” moments for your team if the viewer chose them. What’s an ending you think might be fun for one of those alternate ending points?
Nick: I’d like to see Jack be thrown into a version of the nacho cheese fountain that’s giant and it’s like molten lava and he gets thrown into it and he’s like, does the Terminator 2 thing going down and that’s the end of Jack.
Lastly I would like to leave a spot for you to say something or go over anything I might have missed during the interview?
Nick: Happy Apocalypse Day to You is on Netflix currently and look out for The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom coming very soon and I’ve got other things coming up that I can’t discuss yet but you everyone will see what those are in due time.
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