With Halo making the leap to live-action in the upcoming series for Paramount+, it is of course important to pay respect to the characters in the video games. The new show goes deep into these characters and their stories while also exploring the franchise from a whole new perspective. Like the video games, the Halo TV series will also follow Master Chief on a journey to discover his humanity while also finding a way to stop an intergalactic war from wiping every human out of existence. Along the way, there are other characters like Kwan Ha Boo who are new to the mythology and become a pivotal part of the story being shown here. We recently sat down with actors Pablo Schreiber and Yerin Ha about their characters in the series and their connection to the overall universe of Halo.
Schreiber has a large task ahead of him as he brings Master Chief to life in the upcoming TV adaptation of Xbox’s successful franchise. It also means bringing more depth to the super-soldier that hasn’t been shown in the games. “I have to perform the character in a way that I can connect to and feel authentically attached to or else no one else is going to connect with the performance at all,” Schreiber explained. The actor has huge respect for Steve Downes, the man behind the voice on the iconic character in the games and that was a key factor in the research he did for the character. “I’m personally a huge fan of Steve and the work that he did in establishing the character of the Chief over the last 20 years. One of the key pieces of my research was all the cinematics from the game, which contain his performance. He’s a legend and he’s an icon. He did create this character perfectly for the medium that it was established in.”
Since the Halo games are from a first-person perspective, Schreiber knew that there was more to Master Chief beneath that helmet and suit of armor. “For a television show, the most important thing to connect with a TV audience is that the performance feels authentic, true, and lived in. So, this version of the Chief is my version of the Chief. It contains huge respect to what Steve Downes achieved creating the performance of the Chief but it’s based on my own truth as a human being and my own physical capabilities, one of which includes the tone of my voice and how it sounds.” When it comes down to it, Schreiber hopes that audiences who were either fan of the games or new to them will embrace this version of John-117. “I’m looking really forward to audiences seeing this show and being able to experience the character of Chief in a way that they never have before. The process of the first season is the process of John discovering who he is and his humanity for the first time. We’re all as an audience going to be learning who Master Chief is with him in a way that the character was never gone into before.”
Joining the Spartan leader on his journey is Kwan Ha Boo, a survivor of an attack from the alien group known as the Covenant. This new character, played by Yerin, will cross paths with Master Chief as these two learn more about each other. Yerin shared some details on what we can expect with her character and how her bond with the Chief will grow throughout the season. “Master Chief comes at a really critical time for Kwan and kind of saves her despite the fact that he’s kind of her enemy at the same time,” the Australian actress said. She also adds that Kwan Ha will be more of the eyes and ears into seeing Master Chief’s humanity. “We see this special kind of bond happen between the two. For Kwan, she’s really letting the audience be able to see the really humane side of Master Chief and being able to chip away at this super-soldier kind of character that he has on and kind of able to really channel into those really intimate, more personal stories that he has to offer.”
Check out Halo when it premieres on Paramount+ on March 24.