Star Wars universe welcomes a Bermudian
A Bermudian actress has landed a role in one of the biggest video games of the year and a place in the Star Wars universe.
Kristen Darrell’s voice is among those featured in Star Wars Battlefront II, which has sold millions of copies since its release last month.
“Realising that I was going to be a part of the Star Wars universe was amazing,” Ms Darrell said. “It was like Christmas and my birthday all at once.
“I still can’t believe it has happened.”
Ms Darrell, who has appeared in numerous theatre productions locally, moved to London, with the goal of making a career in acting.
She has landed several roles since, including in music videos and a commercial for Kyleena.
“It’s been great hearing from people telling me that they have seen me on TV,” she said. “I came home for a bit this summer, and I was amazed at how often the commercial was playing. Every time I see it, I smile.”
She said her most recent role came about after her agent won her an audition.
“I loved the material they gave me at the audition and I really hoped I’d get the role,” she said. “I didn’t hear back for a while, and then my agent called me to ask if I was available for recording, and I said I was definitely available.”
“I enjoyed the voice acting process because you don’t have to worry about what the rest of your body is doing, you just have to make sure it’s all in your voice.
“It was challenging at times, but in the best way. It helps you to realise how important your voice is in acting, and that you need to take care of it just as much as the rest of your body.”
Unlike theatre acting, she said she had to create much of the scene and story for her character in her head.
“You have to have a really good imagination, and you have to be good at taking direction because they can ask you to do a take five times, and you have to do something different every time,” she said.
The game features a story mode, which details the period between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, and an online multiplayer mode set throughout the Star Wars series.
While Ms Darrell said she couldn’t say much about her character, she thoroughly enjoyed the game.
“I thought it was amazing,” Ms Darrell said. “It’s really cool to see the direction they took it, and it was amazing to hear myself while I was playing.
“It was distracting sometimes though, and I would lose a life sometimes because it took me by surprise.”
Ms Darrell has many other projects in the pipeline, many of which she cannot discuss, but she also has a role in the Bermudian-based Maternal Secrets.
Asked what advice she could give to other Bermudians looking to pursue a career in acting, she said they need to learn where their strengths lie as a person.
“When you get in front of people in the industry, they want to see you, not what you think they want you to be,” she said.
“Most, if not all, of the best actors in the business are successful because they stayed true to themselves. Also, if acting is what you truly see yourself doing, you have to keep at it. It’s not going to be easy, but eventually the hard work will pay off.”
Ms Darrell said those interested in acting can start locally by working with theatre groups around the island.
She said: “There are many local drama organisations that put on shows and workshops in Bermuda, and they are always looking for new people to get involved.”
“The advice and encouragement I got locally is one of the reasons I decided to pursue acting as a career, and I will always be grateful for it.”
•Star Wars Battlefront II is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows.