We were able to sit down with Michael Antonakos at the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey launch party and talk about his role as the mighty Spartan Alexios.
Dave – Being Greek, how excited and honoured were you to find out that you would be the voice of Alexios?
I was taken aback at first because I didn’t realize the scope when I jumped on, but once I started seeing how big the game was and what was involved in recreating ancient Greece. I was floored and overwhelmed with joy. That is the only way I can put it into words with regards to representing my country. Growing up mostly in Canada and always spending my summers in Greece, but always feeling displaced, you never know if you will ever have the opportunity to represent where you are from. I could not have asked for a more honourable way to represent Greece and to be a mythological character. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is fiction, but now Alexios is a part of Greek history in our modern day and it’s now influencing the past history for us to go back and to look towards studying and finding things we didn’t know about ancient Greece. That is a huge honour.
Dave – What kind of emotions did you experience when seeing ancient Greek sites such as Delphi brought to life in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey?
Delphi was really a neat thing and I was really fascinated by it because it’s so broken down when you go there in person and then you see it brought to life in the game. The colours also fascinated me in the game as we always see the marble and everything in white, but to actually see all the colours of the world come to life was exciting. I know they also had to tone the colours back a bit because they are so fluorescent and bright and it was too much for the eyes. I thought that was funny, making it easier for the audience to see while playing the game.
Bobby – Were there any hurdles from the start to finish that you had to overcome in your performance?
There were some emotional scenes that had to do with certain family members and what it was like to experience those choices. When you have to make choices that are either a happy or sad choice, you really have to open yourself up to many different possibilities and some of them are really hard to make. You have to feel them or else what is the point. Going into a vulnerable place in those moments are always a challenge and making a choice like that would be extremely hard to do in your own life, but having to do it and own it was crushing some days, especially in the motion capture studio. There are always scenes that really tugged deep down and you had to go, they are beautiful moments, but also things you never really want to experience in life.
Theo – What was the reception like in Greece? What did your family think?
My dad was so happy because he is from Mani and said, “That is my son!” He is over the moon and proud over the situation that his son is now representing Greece. He couldn’t be happier. I worked with my brother and my dad to make sure my accent was clean and good. I knew it was good, but when I was starting out I told them they needed to start reading a lot of Greek things for me to make sure I am doing and saying everything correctly. My dad also helped me out with pronunciations with certain ancient Greek words and names. I couldn’t have been happier with how they felt when they found out and all of Greece has been super supportive. I just got back and it was a great reception with people treating Melissanthi and I wonderfully and they are proud Greece gets some limelight and acknowledgement for all of its beauty and contributions to the world. Greece is going through some challenging times right now, so this is a beautiful ray of light on a country that everyone needs and a reminder of who and what they are. I think that’s really special right now.
Dave – At one point in your life you needed to make a decision about becoming a priest or continuing into the world of theatre. Can you tell us how difficult that experience was for you?
It was a challenging point in my life as I was debating what is the point of life? Is it the service to this thing that is higher and using my gifts as a performer to bring people towards a higher way of thinking of light, of God, or continuing on this path that I was setting out to do and be an actor. I was very torn about having to make that choice. There were certain circumstances that led me to making a decision and I decided that in life there maybe opportunities that I am here for and maybe I am here to serve in this way and to bring my art and craft to the world and find a way to bring that same light as being a priest through performance, stories, characters, and sharing of other people’s lives and adventures and influencing the world in a positive way and challenging the world to find the best in them as if finding the Christos within them. I was happy I was able to make that decision, but it was one of the most challenging times of my life