Tears of the Kingdom Voice Actress Patricia Summersett on How Playing Zelda Changed Her Life

Patricia Summersett had no idea what she was auditioning for after being summoned in for a mysterious casting call in the mid-2010s. She was a veteran actress by this point of her career, lending her talents to a wide gradient of interstitial characters in both animation and film. (Summersett pops up in Assassin’s Creed: Rogue and Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. Rainbow Six fans will know her as Ash, the spunky FBI agent who brings a grenade launcher to a gunfight.)

So, when Summersett was handed a blank script with a few faint, Arthurian motifs, she treated it like another day at the office.

“It just looked like an RPG fantasy,” said Summersett. “I didn’t have any other information than that it was for a princess character who had a lot of weight on her shoulders.”

A few weeks later, Summersett heard the news. She would be performing the role of the titular Princess Zelda in Breath of the Wild — ringing in the Switch era for Nintendo, and breathing life into a character who was mostly mute and regal throughout the 40 year history of the series. Breath of the Wild is not a dialogue-heavy game, and Summersett wasn’t asked to do much more than offer a slurry of desperate pleas and words of affirmation to the eternal Hero of Time, but for long-time fans, it was almost whiplash-inducing to watch Zelda open her mouth and speak. Looking back, Summersett is glad she didn’t know who she was auditioning for before she earned the part. The gravity of the opportunity never put her under pressure.

“I have a feeling that if I knew what it was, I would’ve overthought the process,” she said. “I’m happy I went in blind.”

Summersett tells me that one of Breath of the Wild’s goals was to flesh out Zelda’s imprint on the cultural consciousness; illuminating her levity and emphasizing her darkness, which helped burnish this barren, post-collapse incarnation of Hyrule with human stakes. (The game was developed in Japan, and that meant Summersett was putting her own spin on a performance that was already conceived overseas.) Once the game was in the hands of players, Summersett emerged as a genuine voice actress superstar, which can only really occur when you step behind the visage of a legend, and beckon towards Link through the Sheikah Slate.

“In some rooms, nothing changes. I have a very ordinary life. In other rooms, you’re moving through space differently. In terms of fandom, playing Zelda has been next level. I’ve traveled the world and seen fans everywhere,” said Summersett. “It’s fascinating to see the differences and similarities people from different countries celebrate the franchise. You become a symbol for people. It’s not so much about you, but how much they love the series. You get to be the person they shake hands with. I have a special place in my brain for all the Zelda tattoos people have shown me. I wish I could thank them all.”

Summerset will be reprising her role in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, which is undoubtedly the most important video game on the 2023 calendar. In a rarity for Nintendo, the game is a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild, eschewing the elliptical, achronological pattern Zelda entries typically follow. The trailers have nodded towards what we ought to expect in the source code — we’ve watched Link fuse together mechanical contraptions with Minecraft-hewn engineering, and we’ve seen him scale some islands in the sky. Tears of the Kingdom takes on a more somber tone compared to its predecessor, and throughout the third and final trailer released in April, we can once again hear Summersett’s Zelda pine for his deliverance.

Summersett didn’t know she would be playing Zelda again until she received another casting call from Hyrule headquarters. Like so many other voice actors, she’s learned to never count her chickens before they hatch. (After all, would it be all that surprising if Nintendo went off in a completely different direction after Breath of the Wild? This is the same company who followed up Majora’s Mask with The Wind Waker.)

Summersett won’t divulge too many Tears of the Kingdom secrets to me — she’s bound by a strict NDA and is especially wary of spoilers. When asked if Princess Zelda will be increasing her range in the sequel, Summersett only drops a few cryptic hints.

“If you look at the trailers, you’ll see that the gameplay is indicative of a very large adventure,” she tells me. “Whenever you get to re-approach a game after having already played a character, you’re going to want to stretch as far as you can.”

“Plus, it’s Nintendo,” adds Summersett. “There’s always going to be some fun things.”

It just looked like an RPG fantasy. I didn’t have any other information than that it was for a princess character who had a lot of weight on her shoulders

I followed up with one more query. Is Tears of the Kingdom heavy on Princess Zelda fan service? The Zelda lineage is at its best when it unseals its titular Princess from gilded activity and lets her play with the big boys; think Ocarina’s Sheik, or Wind Waker’s Petra. So, when players finally witness all Hyrule has to offer in the new game, are us Zelda stans going to be satisfied?

“Yes,” she responds, without a shadow of a doubt. “Oh yeah.”

With Tears of the Kingdom out today, we can now uncover exactly what Summersett is hinting towards, as the world sets out on its latest excursion towards Death Mountain, Zora’s Domain, the Goron Village, and whatever other locales — both new and familiar — are hiding out in greater Hyrule. She’ll be here to field all of your questions and curiosities, as the legend roars to life once more. At last, Zelda lives.

Looking for more info? We have you covered with a full walkthrough of Tears of the Kingdom, the best things to do first, a guide on what the game doesn’t (but maybe should) tell you, and handy explainers on how to import your Breath of the Wild horses, how to unlock the full map, and so much more.

Blogroll Image Credit: Greg Doherty / Ziff Davis

Luke Winkie is a freelance writer at IGN.

Check out our Latest News and Follow us at Facebook

Original Source

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *