Jonathan Dubsky Talks Watch Dogs 2
Canadian actor Jonathan Dubsky voices the lead character of Josh aka “Hawt Sauce” in Ubisoft’s open-world action-adventure game Watch Dogs 2.
Set within a fictionalized version of San Francisco, Watch Dogs 2 is played from a third-person perspective and its world is navigated on-foot or by vehicle. Players control members of the hacking group DedSec, including Josh, a socially awkward and genius hacker,to take down the city’s ctOS 2.0, an advanced surveillance system.
Here’s what he had to say about working on Watch Dogs 2, his favourite cartoons growing up, and why he’s petrified of technology.
Tell us about Watch Dogs 2.
Jonathan Dubsky: Watch Dogs 2 is an open world game that takes place in San Francisco. Gamers play as Marcus Holloway, a talented hacker who is recruited into a hacktivist group called Dedsec and your mission is to bring down Blume, a “big brother” corporation responsible for creating the CtOS2.0 central operating system. CtOS 2.0 is responsible for everything from timing traffic lights to collecting the personal data of everyone in the city in order to profile them and predict their behaviour. Beyond that, gamers also get to explore San Francisco, pet dogs, hack people, buildings and cars and play an array of creative, thrilling side quests throughout the city. It’s pretty fantastic! I’m about 10 hours into the game myself and I’m quite addicted.
Have you ever done voice work? What is it like (what do you like/dislike about it)?
Other than Watch Dogs 2, most of the voice work I’ve worked on has been through radio spots or commercial voice overs. There’s a sense of freedom I have when I’m behind a microphone that I don’t get when I’m on set and the camera is inches from my face. But for Watch Dogs 2, the bulk of the work was done like any other film or TV job. We did performance capture for the cutscenes and cinematics of the game, which isn’t too different than anything live action. The motion capture records your movements and the helmet captures your facial expressions, mouth and records your voice. Voice work does have its challenges though. Sometimes I don’t have the luxury of recording dialogue for a scene with the other actors, so I have to rely on my imagination and hope when things are pieced together, the scene comes across authentic and believable. I absolutely love doing performance capture and voice work and I pray my future holds many other opportunities doing both
Any other projects that you’re currently working on?
Watch Dogs 2 has taken up the majority of my time in 2016, so most of what I’ve been working on includes solo projects and developing television shows with my writing partner. I’m also finishing up a short film called Reaching for Happy, which I shot and directed in the summer and it should be out sometime next year. Other than that, I’m grinding and seeing what new opportunities arrive now Watch Dogs 2 is out.
What was your favourite cartoon growing up (or now!)?
So many come to mind. Denver the Last Dinosaur, Samurai Pizza Cats, Darkwing Duck, Chip and Dale, Tailspin, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Just thinking about these titles gives me nostalgia overload. As if I’m back in elementary school getting up early on a Saturday morning. These days, I’m all about South Park, Rick and Morty and my all-time favourite, Futurama. It’s a great show.
What’s one thing that people would be surprised to know about you?
Well, considering that I just spent the last year and a half playing a brilliant computer hacker, people might be surprised to know that I’m absolutely terrified by those damn contraptions. I need computers for most everything I do, but they are the bane of my existence. And my brother can vouch for me on this. I have this incredible gift where I make these machines break, for no apparent reason at all. Most would consider it a curse and I would as well, but that thought makes me sad. So calling it a gift puts a positive spin on the whole matter.
Photo: Lane Dorsey