Interview #001: Doug Cockle
Updated: Aug 29, 2018
Doug, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m American, but have lived in England since 1999. I’m a military brat; my father was a Marine Corps officer (Hoo Raah!). I majored in Theatre with an Acting emphasis at Virginia Tech and then went on to do an MFA in Acting at Penn State University. I am married and have two teenage boys and a little Border Terrier dog named Digby. I play guitar badly. I play ukulele even worse. I love to read fantasy and science fiction mostly.
I speak a tiny bit of several languages, but none fluently enough to understand the answer to the question I’ve asked in each of those languages (which has got me into embarrassing situations more than once). In the right company, or even the wrong company, I tend towards a naughty sense of humour (which has gotten me into even more embarrassing situations more than once). I like wolves. I overuse emojis... gleefully. 😉
Growing up, did you consider yourself a gamer?
Nope, but I did play games. I loved Risk and played Dungeons and Dragons loads. I had the original Atari and played hours of Pitfall. Never considered myself a “gamer” though. I just played games. I’ve always played games and probably always will.
Let’s talk about your career. Did you always want to pursue acting?
No. I was always a bit of a performer. Loved putting on shows at home with my sister for my parents. Did high school drama, but went to University/College as a pre-Medicine, Biology major. I was going to be a doctor, but some soul searching and a failing grade in Chemistry helped me decide to about face and pursue my real passion. I changed my major to Theatre and never looked back.
Who are some of the greats that inspired you?
I could point to so many! I’ll start with a very simple one though, my sister. She was in a show when she was in 6th grade I think and she played a jester in The Sound of Music (don’t ask... makes no sense I know) and she was hilarious. I wanted to be hilarious too! Then, I was taken to see Les Miserables at the National Theatre in Washington D.C. when I was about 17? Blew my mind. I’d never seen anything like it. Made me cry and I think my real love for Theatre started there. As I evolved, so did my sense of what was “great”.
Now, I think there is no one or two individual actors who have inspired me, but a whole host of actors and performances that have moved me or made me feel joy or excitement or whatever. I am inspired, I think, by really good storytelling above anything else. Give me a good story, well told and performed, and I’m yours.
Could you share some insight as to how you prepare for a new role?
This all depends on the project, but mainly I learn all I can about the character, the world he exists in, his relationship to his world and the people in it. I learn my lines, if that is possible. I warm up in whatever way seems appropriate for the performance being asked of me. Then I turn up and PLAY.
In addition to acting, you’re also a director and acting teacher. What made you want to expand beyond acting?
Wow, I think I always had a bit of wanting to tell other people what to do in me. Therefore, teaching and directing is a natural progression for me. I’ve over-simplified it of course. Good teachers and directors don’t tell people what to do. Instead, they facilitate a learning/discovery process and provide the structure in which to do that work. Ideally a positive, constructive and supportive environment in which everyone is involved and working towards a similar goal. I always knew I would teach. It was just part of who I wanted to be, which is someone who shares their knowledge and understanding. Directing just seemed like fun and when the opportunity arose, I jumped. I like to think I’ve become a good teacher and director over the years, but you’d have to ask my victims! 😊
The final piece to your profile is you are also a voice over actor, most notable for your role as Geralt of Rivia in the The Witcher video game series, Victor Vran in Victor Vran and Richard Nolan in State of Mind. How did you come into these role?
I got into video game VO acting by accident almost. I had never thought about it. I had just moved to England and was in a stage production of The Glass Menagerie at York Theatre Royal. An agent I had invited came to see the show and we had a chat afterwards. We stayed in touch and a couple weeks later she sent me to an audition for a game called Independence War 2: Edge of Chaos. I got the lead role and the rest is history. Oh... and I ended up being with that agent for 17 years... 😊
I'm really excited that State of Mind from Daedelic Entertainment has finally come out! That one has been recording for awhile and I've been awaiting its release. I really enjoyed recording that one. The character was fun to play with and he's a bit of an ass as well...which can be a fun change.
Playing Victor Vran was great fun as well! A very familiar voice of course, but in a completely different context and slightly different style of writing. It's coming out on the Switch on August 29th, so hopefully it will reach a whole new audience.
What has it been like to be part of The Witcher series since the beginning and to be recognized for your work through multiple awards?
Being part of The Witcher has been an amazing experience. Not often do actors get to spend so much time with a single character. Most of us move from one project to another frequently, so the opportunity to spend over 10 years playing Geralt and being part of his evolution has been magical. Being part of that world is incredible and I’ve loved every minute of it. Hopefully we’ll see more of him in the future!
Are there any upcoming projects you are able to tease today?
Other projects coming up?... I could tell you... but then I’d have to kill you... 😉
Finally, is there anything else you’d like to add?
Be cool... Live, Laugh, Love... have fun! “See Ya...” 😉.
Oh yeah! Look out for Victor Vran coming out on Nintendo Switch soon! Demon killing on the go!!
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