Playstation and Kojima Productions’ Death Stranding is arguably one of the biggest and most highly-anticipated games coming this year. Just a week before its arrival, Death Stranding‘s ostensible star, Norman Reedus, opened up about his role as the game’s lead character, Sam Porter Bridges. The actor also revealed the his involvement in Death Stranding never would have happened if an Oscar-winning director hadn’t introduced him to the game’s creator, Hideo Kojima.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Reedus revealed how none other than Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro was responsible for the Walking Dead alum’s eventual role in Death Stranding.
“I first met Hideo when Guillermo del Toro called me and said, ‘Hey, there’s a guy who’s going to call you and wants to do a video game with you. Just say yes.’ I said, ‘Who is he?’ And he said, ‘Trust me, just say yes.’ Guillermo gave me my SAG card and my first acting job and I trust him with everything. I knew this guy would be good if Guillermo was saying this.”
Reedus also shared that he, del Toro, and Kojima were originally planning to work on a Silent Hill game (can you even imagine?!) before plans fell through, leading them to Death Stranding. Now, three glorious years later, Kojima’s baby is about to enter into the world with Reedus’ Sam Porter Bridges leading the way in a compelling, heartfelt, intense story. For Reedus, the experience of working with Kojima in studios from California to New York was unlike anything he’d ever done — including working on The Walking Dead video games.
“A lot of times it was just me and Hideo. He would have a plastic baby doll on the ground and want me to cradle it and act like it’s dead. Then act like it’s alive. Then freak out because there’s handprints everywhere. You stand up and he goes, ‘Imagine there’s a thousand dead whales in front of you,’ and you’re like, ‘What?!’ His mind is on another level. He’s a genius’ genius.”
Reedus continued, discussing just how deep his working relationship with Kojima went:
“He and I got into a shorthand where he would look at me and he would point and frown and make a face and I would just go, yep, I got it. We sort of transcended the language barrier after a while. A lot of times a director will say, in this scene I think I should do it this way and they’ve rehearsed it in their head so much that when you throw something new at them they sort of short-circuit. There’s not room for interpretation. Hideo is the opposite. You’ll say, maybe I should do this, and he’ll say, yes! And then do this on top of that! He’s a collaborative mind. He wants to hear your input.”
If the trailers for Death Stranding are anything to go by, it would seem this unusual but fulfilling connection Reedus shared with Kojima paid off in spades. A newly-released trailer featuring eight minutes of story scenes from the game revealed the Death Stranding plot as well as other key characters played by Mad Mikkelsen, Léa Seydoux, Margaret Qualley, Nicolas Winding Refn, and del Toro.
Death Stranding arrives for PS4 on November 8. Watch the most recent launch trailer below and read more on it here.