GTA 5 vocal cast includes real gang members

Wednesday, 4th September 2013 05:14 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Rockstar brought in real gang members – some fresh out of prison – to voice Grand Theft Auto 5′s extras, and even asked them to rewrite part of the script.

In a WGN podcast, as transcribed by Polygon, longtime series writer and producer Lazlow Jones said he collected thousands of hours of people speaking naturally in their own homes for ambient audio, before getting in touch with a particularly helpful individual with gang contacts.

“In the game there’s these rival gangs. There’s Black gangs, Latino gangs. We recruited a guy who gets gang members, actual real gang members, like El Salvadoran gang dudes with amazing tattoos, one of which had literally gotten out of prison the day before,” he said, showing a careless disregard for an appropriate occasion to use the word “whom”.

“We get these guys in to record the gang characters because we don’t want a goofy LA actor who went to a fancy school trying to be a hard gang member. There’s nothing worse than that, so just go find the terrifying people and say ‘can you come in here please?’”

When the newly-recruited voice actors took issue with the lines written for them, Lazlow had them ad lib, describing his own writing as “irrelevant” to the pursuit of authenticity.

GTA 5 is coming to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on September 17. It is kind of amazing how close that is.



  1. domnage

    Oh yeah? So their criminal experience definitely contributed to their skill of delivering a good voice acting, huh? Pfff, we do not need those “goofy LA actors” who can actually do that specific work professionally… you know… as actual people who were trained for this?

    Seems a bit fishy to me.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. TheKeyPit

    This will add a lot of authenticity to the game.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Tormenter

    Nice to know that as someone who has tried all of their days to be a productive member of society, Rockstart expect me to fund some criminal scumbags just so I can play their game.

    There is NO WAY I’m paying good money for this game now, however seeing as Rockstar seem not to mind criminal behaviour and actually seem intent on rewarding those who perpetrate crime, maybe they won’t mind if I pirate it.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Consolegamer


    #4 1 year ago
  5. Hcw87

    You’re stupid.

    This only adds to the immersion.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Tormenter

    HCW87.. I’m stupid because I don’t think criminals should should profit in this manner simply BECAUSE they are criminals and have participated in criminal activities?

    OK, I’m fine with that, I’ll remain ‘stupid’ until the end of my days.

    ..and BTW, how would you actually know they were criminals if you weren’t told?, as Domnage stated, are they going to be better than professional or is it just that the level of amature would make you aware of it….. “It’s so bad, they have to be real criminals”?.. if that’s what makes immersion for you then you are welcome to it, however I doubt VERY much you would have noticed either way if you hadn’t been told… of course I haven’t allowed for the fact that you may be so intimately aquainted, or involved with crime and criminals that you would know right away if it wasn’t authentic.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. trtrtr

    R* confirmed all those gang members were PC beggars

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Francis O

    Thug life *cocks shotgun*

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Tormenter

    @Francis O …. says the 12 years old who mummy still takes him to school.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. monkeygourmet

    Yeah, this is bullshit.

    Absolutely no need to do this whatsoever.

    All it does it give more power and publicity to a set of fucktards.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. VibraniumSpork

    With the quote pulled like this it does feel like a pretty cheap publicity move but c’mon, stuff like this isn’t exactly uncommon and usually does add a sense of authenticity that benefits the audience’s experience, even if they’re unaware of it. Look at the The Wire and Goodfellas – both employed real-life criminals (gangsters and gangstas, respectively) in their productions in ways both big and small, but you could argue that both are the better for it.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. KAP


    You sir, are an idiot.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. NinjaHart

    I can understand their way of thinking tho, one thing is to act as a gang member in a movie, but being a real gang member is a whole different thing. I also do believe that real gang members can add a lot more to re-wreting som of the script than a Hollywood actor.

    But there is no doubt a lot of actors that does a great job as gang members in movies. Getting real gang members might also have been a lot cheaper for Rockstar.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. monkeygourmet


    Care to elaborate?

    I don’t think this will enhance the game in anyway shape or form. I see it as a marketing point, and for publicity (something they didn’t even need considering the games profile).

    Many works have fiction have been created without directly using real life individuals to ‘act’ in them. It is not required in the slightest, and no one would have known otherwise if R* hadn’t had put out this PR blurb.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. allftw


    Come on now, you can’t be thinking that Rockstar needs some cheap pr tricks to advertise this game, we all know how well it’s going to sell.

    As 11 said this kind of thing has been done before in many works of fiction and it worked really well. When tackling a subject it is always useful to talk to people who are/have been part of it. You have to go out there and make some research. And using these people for some minor voice acting work will increase immersion and there is no harm in doing so. I mean it’s not like they’re giving the guys a life long service medal. A few dollars for some honest work surely can’t hurt anyone.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. Hcw87

    Did you not watch The Wire? It had real life criminals aswell (some), and it’s one of the best TV series ever created.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. xxJPRACERxx

    The Salamanca brothers in Breaking Bad were real criminals and now they’re actors…

    Maybe some of those criminals R* hired will start thinking about getting a honest job after their nice little experience!

    #17 1 year ago
  18. Tormenter

    @ MonkeyGourmet.. Ah well, it really does look as if moral, ethical and social conscience is well and truly dead..

    @EVERYONE ELSE…. You make me sick, it’s your kind of ‘thinking’ (although I feel that ‘thinking’ has VERY little to do with it) that will lead the world even further into the toilet than we’ve already achieved, I’m ashamed to be the same species as you.

    You’re just a bunch of stupid children with no outlook past their own nose.

    #18 1 year ago
  19. fihar

    People made fun of Childish Gambino for constructing a persona for his musical career so I can actually see the logic behind Rockstar’s move.

    Being pretentiously gangsta is a much worse crime than being a gangsta itself it seems.

    #19 1 year ago
  20. Hcw87

    Were you gangraped as a child or something? Your sudden outbursts are just weird.

    Also, they’ve allready recieved their paycheck, they won’t recive more money just because the game sells more (or less). So buy it or don’t, you won’t change a damn thing.

    #20 1 year ago
  21. Sanwiches

    Tormenter lol. poor little guy can’t handle this, will commit a crime to avoid giving money to the devgods.

    #21 1 year ago
  22. CaptPierce

    So someone here is mad criminals are being portrayed as accurate criminals in a game about criminals robbing others for money, which also seems like a game he was set to buy.

    Welcome to the Internet folks.

    #22 1 year ago
  23. Lengendaryboss

    HAHA i missed that one :D

    #23 1 year ago
  24. DSB

    @1 Yeah spot on.

    That… And The Wire effectively proves the opposite.

    I don’t believe a word of it when Dan Houser tries to pretend like he’s never heard of David Simon. That’s the worst crock of shit.

    And if he hasn’t heard of David Simon, he should be educated on David Simon, because David Simon and Ed Burns have actually done what the Housers tried to do with GTA IV – With the defining difference being that Burns and Simons’ efforts actually resulted in something worthwhile.

    #24 1 year ago
  25. monkeygourmet

    You can spot the children a mile off..

    There’s a difference in researching RL people and employing said people to ‘act’ . I absolutely 100% guarantee that you won’t be able to tell who the ‘cool real gang members’ are, you’re just kidding yourself thinking you are going to get a more authentic product.

    This is marketing 101, nothing more, nothing less.

    Why not get real prostitutes and lap dancers to act too, wow, that would be super cool!

    If R* really had any balls with this PR shit, they would have given one of the main characters voice acting over to a ‘real gang member’, see how they get on with that…

    #25 1 year ago

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