AC/DC's BRIAN JOHNSON Reflects On Voicing Character In 2004 Video Game 'Call Of Duty: Finest Hour': 'It Was Fun'
December 2, 2022
In a new interview with Baltimore's 98 Rock radio station, AC/DC's Brian Johnson spoke about voicing the character Sergeant Bob Starkey in the 2004 video game "Call Of Duty: Finest Hour" by Activision.
Johnson's character plays the leading role during the harrowing British campaign in "Finest Hour", for which Johnson carries an important personal connection. His father served as a Sergeant Major of the British Army's Durham Light Infantry, and Johnson brought much of his father's experience as a "Desert Rat" to his character in the game.
Noting that his father fought Nazi Gen. Erwin Rommel's army in north Africa, then faced off against Benito Mussolini's army in Sicily and Italy, Johnson said "it was fun" to be involved with "Call Of Duty: Finest Hour", explaining: "I just used his voice. That's how he spoke. When he spoke, he didn't say 'you' — he said 'you' [in a stern voice]. I mean, I thought my first name was 'Hugh' until I was [a few years old]. He was just a hard man who never spoke about the war — never. It didn't matter how many times you tried to get him. He'd just go, 'No.' That was it: 'No.'"
In "Call Of Duty: Finest Hour", Johnson's character says stuff like "Bloody hell!" and "Top shooting, my son!" while fighting Nazis in the African theater.
Back in 2004, Brian told Herald-Tribune that he was immediately intrigued when he was approached by the makers of the game.
"My father was 5 foot 2, and looked 7 foot," Johnson said. "He was an evil little bugger when he got goin.' But he got the job done, y'know?
"One of his friends said to me, 'Son, your father fought with [British military leader Bernard] Montgomery, and he fought with Rommel. He couldn't get on with anybody. [Laughs]"
Creators of the game went to great lengths to be accurate, even going so far as to study old military film footage and interview veterans to construct storylines.
"I remember asking them to send me the script of some of the English soldiers, and I read the script, and I was just howlin,'" he told Herald-Tribune. "They said things like, 'go, go, go...' I said, 'Only the Yanks do that. A British soldier just has to be told [expletive] once.' "
Johnson went on to say that it only took a few hours for him to record his parts for the game. "I'd never done it before, so it was great," he said.
Brian is currently promoting his long-awaited autobiography, "The Lives Of Brian", which arrived in October — a year later than originally planned.
The book was published in the U.K. by Penguin Michael Joseph, a division of Penguin Random House, by publishing director Rowland White. It was published simultaneously in the U.S. by Dey Street Books, an imprint of the William Morrow Group at HarperCollins.
Johnson joined AC/DC in 1980 after the death of previous lead singer Bon Scott.
His first album with the band, "Back In Black", went on to become the biggest-selling rock album of all time.
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