Maggie Robertson interview — The surreal experience of playing Lady Dimitrescu

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The main delight of Resident Evil Village is Lady Dimitrescu, the gigantic vampire who has become extremely popular among cosplayers and fan artists. So it was interesting to see, Maggie Robertson, the voice actor for Larger-Than-Life Lady Dimitrescu, won the award for Outstanding Achievement in Character at the recent DICE Awards.

Last week I joined a group of reporters in the offstage winners’ room for the DICE Awards celebrating the best video games of 2021 at the DICE Summit in Las Vegas. Each group of winners through our room and we collectively threw a bunch of questions at the winners.

I asked the final questions, while the other reporters asked the rest. Here is an edited transcript of our interview.

Q: What do you think, as an actor, after working in these sports you can do now that you could not do before?

Maggie Robertson: Well, I think theatrical background is very important, especially in this type of performance capture work, because it’s about telling your body story. You have no set or costume or makeup to tell the story for you. You only have your body. I like to do a lot with animal work, animal studies. If you look at Lady Dimitrescu, she’s like a cat. She will become more sexy and curvy. She takes her time. Using it to create more specific physicality for each character can help you create really clear physical characters very quickly. You can use it as a jumping-off point.

Q: When your character was revealed, he set the internet on fire. What was it like for you as the person behind that performance?

Robertson: Oh, God, that was so weird. Especially strange because I was still under the NDA. I could not say anything. I couldn’t tell my roommates. I couldn’t tell my mom. I was scared to be alone in my room. It was surreal, and much more than I could have imagined.

I am extremely grateful for that. It has given me a platform to create a safe space for many different communities, such as the LGBT + community. I liked it. It is the greatest honor and privilege, and totally unexpected. Being able to give back and provide safe space means a lot to me. I like that Lady D loves.

Q: When you think you know your character for the first time, what was it about? Did you realize that it would come out in a series like Resident Evil?

Robertson: Well, it’s different anyway, but – I like the character design for Lady D. He was physically very special when I first saw him. I think Capcom has done such a wonderful job creating an image that already suggests a lot of character. You just look at her, and just before she opens her mouth, she slaps you in the face with her character. Again, they make my job a lot easier. I looked at the image and thought, “Oh, great. I now have 10,000 thoughts about what to do and who it is.” She tells a very clear visual story.

Question: Out of all the reactions you got from playing this character, have you ever been bored or annoyed by people? How would you deal with that?

Robertson: Oh, quite. Listen, when she first came out she was absolutely phenomenal. I was nervous about going into it even before the release came out. I was nervous that I would get that kind of thing as most of the interaction, because she’s so excited. But I will say that the community has been really wonderful. There is no escaping the fact that you are a woman on the internet. That stuff exists. But the overwhelming response from the community has been positive.

Maggie Robertson at the DICE Awards.

The first things I find are people reaching out to talk about my work and how much they appreciate what I’ve done in the sport. And strangely enough many strangers write to me telling me that they are proud of me after I won these awards. They are writing to say, “We are very, very proud of you.” It touches, moves a lot. It’s beautiful, actually, reactions.

Q: Has playing a character gained unpredictable popularity in video games શું does it open additional doors for you? Or, conversely, has it happened where people tell you that “we want you to play a character like that, but a little different”?

Robertson: It’s very interesting. Time will tell, because I don’t know – this is my first entry into the world of video games. I had to meet an agent a week before the game came out, so it’s hard for me to say that my new auditions and new bookings are because I have this shiny new agent, or I have this shiny new award. Anyway I’m very happy about them. But I think time will tell. This is a very small business. Relationships are important. I am grateful for working with other creators and collaborators on this game with whom I would like to work again, who are well-behaved and creative with people and are always open to new ideas, always ready to work with you and Not just you, but you. I value those relationships, and I hope they move on.

Question: Is it weird for you that the character’s face is different?

Robertson: To be honest, I find it liberating. It allows me to differentiate it, so that I can now watch the game and experience the game as a fan, as an audience member. I am not overly critical of my own performance. We’re feeling her, especially in terms of fatigue and this reaction – I wonder how Helena Menkowska, the facial model, feels about it. But I enjoy that degree of isolation. It allows me to have that little space and security around it. I can only enjoy it.

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