Friday, 21 September 2012

EXCLUSIVE - Jen Taylor talks to Little English Halo Blog

Jen Taylor - the voice of Cortana - was kind enough to take some time out of her schedule to answer some of my questions about her work on Halo 4. Unfortunately I wasn't allowed to ask about competitive ranking systems, clan support or what the heck is on that second disc..

Hi Jen, in the recent ViDoc, we see you in the recording studio with Steve Downes, I believe this is new for Halo 4. How has working more closely with Steve affected your performances?
I adore Steve Downes!  It was a unique, wonderful opportunity to work with him in the studio.  We have a lot of fun together which I think will be obvious in the more lighthearted moments.  He is a good, gentle, steady rock to have in the room during the more intense scenes as well and made them so much easier.  We’re a good team and it feels like we’ve actually weathered a few of these battles together.   He does like to rustle his script during MY lines though… for which I kick him. 

From the glimpses we’ve seen of Cortana in Halo 4 so far, it’s clear that she’s much more distressed and emotional than we're used to. Have you enjoyed this shift in tone? Has it been difficult?  
It is exhilarating!  I’ve been voicing Cortana for over a decade so it is incredibly gratifying to flesh out this character even more and to explore different aspects of her personality.  And, honestly, I love getting all messy and emotional on the microphone.

Other than getting in the studio with Steve, has there been any other differences now that you’re working with 343 Industries?
Everything was different as this is a different group making this game but we all got to know each other quickly and managed to have a ridiculously good time creating Halo 4.

With the substantial breaks between Halo games, do you find it difficult to slip back into character? Do you have a process to help you get in the mood?
I’ve been developing this character for a while so it gets easier and easier every time I voice her.  At this point, I don’t have to “go searching” too far to find her.   Although I do have a blue, spandex suit with LED attachments that I MUST wear in the recording booth. 
As well as Halo you do a lot of voice work for other games, how does working on Halo compare to the other franchises you’ve worked on?
It feels very comfortable since I’ve worked on the Halo franchise longer than any other game.  It is a wonderful rarity to get the opportunity to evolve with the game and refine my performance.  I’m looking forward to the next Halo journey.

Of the games you've worked on, which has the best fans? (totally loaded question :p)
Oh this question doesn’t need an answer, does it?  You know which!

Massive thanks to Jen for taking the time to talk to me!

- Cowboy Out.


  1. Wow, great little interview. You must have worked your balls off to get THE Jen Taylor to answer your questions. I'm impressed!

  2. Great interview! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Blimey, Jen looks awfully dishy there. I like the bit about "Although I do have a blue, spandex suit with LED attachments that I MUST wear in the recording booth." Better not think about that too much! I haven't been following H4 developments at all, but if Cortana's going to feature in it a lot, that's gotta help. I use Cortana as my Reach Firefight voice, and it's great. Jen did such a fantastic job with that.

  4. Heh. Nice. :D