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Maggie Robertson Discusses How Orin The Red Consistently Pushes Player Boundaries in Baldur’s Gate 3

by Lidia Lucovic

Baldur’s Gate 3: Maggie Robertson Talks About the Complex Character of Orin the Red

The much-anticipated release of Baldur’s Gate 3 has finally arrived this month, marking a return after more than two decades since the last installment in the series. Developed and published by Larian Studios, known for the Divinity franchise, this Dungeons & Dragons-based RPG initially entered early access in 2020. Over time, it expanded to encompass the extensive narratives, exploration, and character options seen in the final release, garnering praise from numerous players.

Baldur’s Gate 3 boasts an impressive voice cast, including renowned actors such as J.K. Simmons from Spider-Man, Neil Newbon from Detroit: Become Human, and Maggie Robertson, who gained fame for her portrayal of Lady Dimitrescu in Resident Evil Village. Her performance earned her the Best Performance Award at the 2021 Game Awards, propelling her into various other projects like God of War: Ragnarök and Back 4 Blood. In Baldur’s Gate 3, Robertson takes on the role of Orin the Red, arguably the most formidable member of the game’s villainous triumvirate.

Screen Rant had the opportunity to engage in a conversation with Maggie Robertson, delving into her portrayal of Orin the Red, her personal gaming background, and the significance of telling the stories of villains.

Screen Rant: I came across an interview where you discussed your approach to portraying Lady Dimitrescu, emphasizing the creation of an internal and external rhythm for the character. I’m curious if you applied a similar approach to Orin, and if so, how you defined these two rhythms?

Maggie Robertson: You’re diving right into the intricacies of acting, and I’m here for it; I wasn’t expecting to delve so deep right off the bat. My approach to each character tends to evolve uniquely, considering their distinctiveness. I don’t consciously focus on rhythms, although I believe they unconsciously play a part in my creative process, aiding me in swiftly shaping distinct physical traits for characters. In the case of Orin, I was drawn to her agility of thought.

Upon initially reading the script, I immediately observed her swift transitions between thoughts; it’s astounding how she leaps from A to Z in a single bound. Instead of the usual “A, B, C,” it’s more like “A, Z, T, E.” It’s a chaotic flow. Thus, my task as an actor became, “How can I connect these thoughts coherently?” Consequently, a lightness emerged in her use of language, coupled with an almost childlike playfulness, which starkly contrasts the ghastly and violent nature of her words. Conveying a childlike sense of play while uttering gruesome content is truly terrifying.

This led to a focus on creating unpredictability and flipping the script continually to keep players off balance and heighten the sense of unpredictability surrounding Orin. Her unique terror lies in her enigmatic nature; you can never anticipate her next move. If I were to address rhythms, hers is light and agile, as she swiftly changes direction. Yet, the character’s duality is what makes her truly captivating. Surface-level, she appears light-hearted, but beneath that, there’s an intense determination, a relentless pursuit of her goals. This imparts a sense of profound gravity, an inescapable foreboding whenever she’s present. This interplay is perhaps her captivating duality.

Are there any scenes that stand out to you as being especially rewarding or difficult to get right? I know there’s a lot of stuff that maybe would be a spoiler in that regard, but speaking in more general terms.

Maggie Robertson: That’s a challenging question. As you mentioned, I don’t want to spoil anything, but let’s just say that Orin’s storyline delves into some very dark territories. She’s always pushing the boundaries of the player, so brace yourself for a series of unsettling and horrifying acts from Orin. Personally, I found it enjoyable when the three main villains in Baldur’s Gate came together, allowing me to witness their interactions and understand their distinct roles within the evil triad. It’s fascinating to see how different types of villains – and this is something noteworthy about Baldur’s Gate – coexist; General Ketheric Thorm, Gortash, and Orin possess diverse character traits.

What was it like to work with J.K. Simmons and Jason Isaacs?

Maggie Robertson: Interestingly, we didn’t actually work together physically; they had already recorded their parts beforehand. However, what I found fascinating was that their recordings were already integrated into the game when I started my work. This allowed me to hear their performances during interactions between characters. I could have their voices in my mind while making choices like, “Okay, he’s portraying it this way, so let me respond like this.” That was the most enjoyable aspect. Of course, the sheer fact that I could share scenes with these industry titans was beyond amazing, an absolute honor, and incredibly exciting for me on a personal level. I admire them greatly.Speaking of the voice actors involved, you previously worked with Neil Newbon in Resident Evil Village. What was it like reuniting with him? I also understand he had a role in directing, so I’d love to hear about that.Maggie Robertson: Neil is truly one of my favorite individuals worldwide. Our collaboration began with Resident Evil, where he happened to be the first person I met on set. He displayed incredible generosity with his time and energy from day one. Given his extensive experience in performance capture and directing, he took me under his wing, offering guidance on how things work and ensuring we rehearsed scenes together thoroughly. His generosity as a person and an actor makes every interaction a joy. Working with him is always a pleasure, regardless of the context.I had the opportunity to see him while recording for Baldur’s Gate. While he didn’t directly oversee my work, I was able to greet him enthusiastically and share an embrace when he entered the studio. He even sat in on a few of my recording sessions. Being around him and being part of the Baldur’s Gate family was genuinely delightful.The atmosphere at Larian and PitStop is filled with warmth and generosity. Throughout my experience, I was struck by their commitment to fostering a sense of community and collaboration among artists. This resonated with me deeply, as art is never a solitary endeavor; it’s a collective creation. Being in an environment where fellow artists and creators collaborate is truly invigorating and inspiring.

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