You think that if you starred in the world’s biggest football game then you’d get to meet a few famous players, right?
Well, for FIFA’s The Journey star Chris Walters, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
In fact, Walters, who has played Danny Williams since FIFA 17, didn’t even manage a snap with players from his beloved Blackburn Rovers.
“You would think that I would have met some, but unfortunately that is incorrect. That was a bit more Alex’s (Adetomiwa Edun who played Hunter) area, he got to do the photoshoot with Madrid,” he said.
Walters wasn’t overly disappointed that he didn’t get to rub shoulders with the best of the best, instead, the actor regretted that, as a Rovers supporter, he didn’t get to meet his home side. However, that still remains a dream.
“I would love to meet the Blackburn players, but also hope to meet other high-profile players now,” he said.
Despite the fact Walters didn’t get the opportunity to meet any Blackburn players, his role in FIFA 17, 18 and 19 was pivotal in the actor’s career, even though it was like any other audition to Walters at the time.
“I am based in Vancouver and the audition came out there, it was looking for British accents and that’s where I have a bit of a niche in the market.
“I just went in to audition for it, I mean I saw the signs it was all about football, I was very excited about it and I had an inkling it could be about FIFA, however, they weren’t giving the title away at that point.”
After receiving a call back, Walters got confirmation the role would be in an upcoming game, FIFA 17.
“Having played football at an amateur level for the majority of my life and grown up within the media of football, looking at the ins and outs of what happens behind the scenes, you have knowledge of what happens,” he said.
“I think that gave me a great basis and grounding as a way to approach what I was given in the audition to do.
“I thought that was very helpful especially again with the Canadian actors who may have been able to put on a perfect British accent but possibly didn’t know the ins and outs of football the way I have, growing up in England.”
Walters was confident his superior knowledge of football would help him land the role most kids could only dream of – the fact the role was for a video game didn’t dissuade the actor either.
“I have played FIFA since the very first one, since FIFA 95 when they didn’t even have licensing!” added Walters.
“I probably haven’t bought it every year, but it’s every two or three years. The next one was ’98 and then 2000 and what not.”
Not only did Walters have to voice Williams, but he also had to do all the movements as well via motion-capture.
“It was a chance to do motion capture, which is a different skill and is extremely useful in this day and age, especially given the extent it’s being used in films,” he continued.
“Being able to point to my resume and say I’ve worked on FIFA 17, 18, 19 – it’s a great skill to have!
“It was combining my desire to be a successful actor with being a lifelong football fan and always having boyhood dreams of playing football.”
One perk of living in Vancouver?
The locals are more focused on ‘pucks’ than ‘footballs’, meaning Walters doesn’t have to cope with any Williams’ fans mobbing him.
“I do have to explain what FIFA is to a lot of people, so it’s a little bit insulated over here in Vancouver.
“I did go to the closing down party for FIFA 18. All of these tech guys that I don’t know and had never met were coming up to me, cause they had obviously been staring at my face for every minute of the day for the last three or four months.
“They knew my face better than I did. They were all very nice and excited to see me. I knew they had been working on my animation for ages.”
Having had ‘three very good years doing FIFA’, Walters is keen to star in more video games in the future.
“I would absolutely do more video games, it is just a question of opportunities,” he said.
Although EA has said The Journey was only a trilogy, we could well see a new star emerge come FIFA 20.