Far Cry 5 stars Greg Bryk as antagonist Joseph Seed, who leads a religious cult called “Project at Eden’s Gate.” But Ubisoft struggled to find the right man to play the part for a long time.
A new interview between Ubisoft Montreal’s Dan Hay and GameSpot reveals the studio didn’t find an actor to play Seed until halfway through development, which resulted in some serious friction within the company. In one case, Hay even worried the game was in trouble.
“We took a long time to find him,” Hay told GameSpot. “To be honest, it was a little bit scary because it went around in circles for a while. Everything hinges on finding the right guy.”
At the time, Hay’s team was working hard on building different characters, and it was relatively easy for Ubisoft to fill in the game’s supporting cast. But the team still couldn’t quite figure out who should play Seed, which gradually created an environment where “things got pretty heated.”
Then, about a year and a half ago, someone in the office pulled Hay aside and told him to watch Bryk’s audition. He loaded up the film and saw a “riveting” performance from Seed that felt perfect for the role.
“I think part of me—it’s interesting to breathe a sigh of relief at the same time as holding your breath,” Hay explained. “Because as soon as he started talking, I was riveted. I was like, ‘Thank god we found him,’ but at the same time, I was holding my breath because his performance was so good. I was in this loop of breathlessness.”
Bryk didn’t feel like a smooth talker or hypnotist, Hay stressed. Rather, the actor had the ability to convince the listener to simply abandon their biases and consider his point. This, Hay concluded, was perfect for Seed, and it demonstrated how cult leaders actually take advantage of people.
“After about a minute, he finished his monologue, which didn’t feel like a monologue, it almost felt like a love letter,” Hay told GameSpot. “I really had a hard time [believing] that someone was going to be able to convey that to me—to join their cult. He didn’t do that. He didn’t try. What he simply tried to do was challenge my assumptions that everything is OK.”
Players will get the chance to square off against Joseph Seed’s charismatic preaching once Far Cry 5 lands on March 27 for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.