“Are We In Trouble?” – Finding Far Cry 5’s Cult Leader Was A Real Challenge
One of the more intriguing elements of Far Cry 5 is the story–which focuses on a cult called Eden’s Gate in Montana, USA. The leader of the cult is Joseph Seed, a creepy and charismatic madman of sorts whose followers call him The Father. Actor Greg Bryk (Saw V, Netflix’s Frontier) brings the character to life in the game (and the live-action short film), and from what we’ve seen and played so far, his performance is outstanding. He’s chilling in how he believes his cause is the right one and will stop at nothing to get his way. The character is integral to the story, and Ubisoft knew it had to find the right person to play him to get the message across in the right away. As it turns out, Bryk was a late addition to the lineup, a fact that led to some amount of stress and scrutiny within Ubisoft. The game’s executive producer, Dan Hay, thought the game might be in trouble.
Speaking to GameSpot, Hay said Ubisoft was able to build out the game’s supporting cast with relative ease, but it struggled to find the right actor to play Seed. “We took a long time to find him. 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,” he said.
“We were doing all this work and building all these characters, and we … felt good about all these different characters. But we still hadn’t found the Father,” Hay explained. “We had good writing and everybody was feeling good about it. Things got pretty heated, and I was thinking, ‘OK, are we in trouble?’ Meanwhile, I’m trying to put on a brave face.”
About a year and a half ago (“somewhere in the middle of development,” Hay says), Hay was shown an audition tape that would change the course of Far Cry 5. Specifically, Bryk’s audition made Hay believe in Seed’s extreme cause and position and challenge his own thoughts. That’s precisely the kind of compelling cult leader Ubisoft was looking for.
“Somebody pulled me aside and said, ‘You gotta watch this.’ So I went over to my desk and I loaded it up, and it was Greg,” Hay said. “And I think part of me–it’s interesting to breathe a sigh of relief at the same time as holding your breath. 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.
“After about a minute, he finished his monologue, which didn’t feel like a monologue, it almost felt like a love letter,” he added. “And I was just like, ‘This is the guy.’ We all think we’re pretty smart and we think that it’s hard to allow somebody to swim in our minds and take us away from our lives and go into theirs. I really had a hard time believe 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. As soon as I believed that his opinion that everything was not okay and that it might be prudent to be prepared for the 1 percent chance that it wasn’t going to be OK. I was like, ‘OK, that sounds reasonable.'”
“Thank god, that was a close one,” Hay recalls saying about casting Bryk. “That was more stress than I need at my age.”
Far Cry 5 launches on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on March 27. In other news, Ubisoft recently announced Far Cry 5’s Season Pass, and it takes players to places like Mars and the Vietnam War. We also recently learned more about the game’s microtransactions and how the campaign is playable offline. In other news, the game could take you 25 hours or more to complete.