By Marty Mulrooney
A talented actress, Alexandra Boyd is both versatile and adventurous. Her career has spanned across many mediums, including television, film, theatre and of course, video games. Adventure gaming fans will know her best for her voicework as Elaine Marley in the classic Lucasarts game The Curse Of Monkey Island, and most recently reappearing in the role for Telltale’s Tales Of Monkey Island. Here, Alex takes some time out of her busy schedule to talk to Alternative Magazine Online about life across the pond, a blossoming film career, and much more…
Hey Alex, thanks for talking to us! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
Sure! I started my career as a dancer, but re-trained as an actress at The Drama Studio London. When I graduated I started a theatre company with fellow graduates that performed at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival and toured Italy. I lived for 17 years in the USA (Florida, NYC, Seattle and finally Los Angeles). I had a wonderful time there working in movies like Mr Holland’s Opus and Titanic, smaller independent films and I did lots of TV commercials and animation voices. I moved back to London 3 years ago and have since worked on Coronation Street (Clarissa Mason), last November, I did a film in Paris with John Travolta called From Paris With Love and I am in the new series of New Tricks with Dennis Waterman.
How did you originally get the part of Elaine all those years ago?
I think I had worked for Darrah O’Farrel, the original director, before and he brought me in to read for Elaine. I figured I got the part because I have red hair like her!!
Did you know anything about the series beforehand, or anything about the character?
No. Nothing. And not much more afterwards because in that first game Elaine was turned into a golden statue very early on so I didn’t have much to do. Shame!!
What other voicework had you done/ done since?
I have played a little girl (Victoria) in The Wild Thornberrys feature film, I played a beetle in The Adventures of Tom Thum and Thumbelina and lots of other radio ad type VO’S.
Did you ever play The Curse of Monkey Island yourself?
They sent me The Curse Of Monkey Island to play but I wasn’t very good at it and didn’t get very far!!
Where you disappointed when you were not asked to reprise the role in Escape From Monkey Island in 2000?
I didn’t realise they had done another one without me until I read the blogs/forums on the fan websites!! I thought ‘oh well, that’s show biz 😉
Was it difficult to return to the character after 12 years?
Oh no!! She is very well written and it’s fun doing all that shouting at LeChuck and Guybrush!! Exhausting but fun!!
Is there anything about Elaine that mirrors your own personality?
Ask my friends!! Probably – opinionated? Bossy? Takes control? In a word: yes!!
Did recording for Lucasarts in 1997 differ much from recording in 2009 for Telltale?
No different except the first we recorded in Los Angeles and now, because I live in London, I was in a studio here and they patched us through, with SKYPE, to the west coast. It’s done digitally so they can email the whole thing pretty much as we record it!!
Was it fun recording with Lucasarts again for the Special Edition of The Secret Of Monkey Island?
Of course!! Lots of shouting though so I was very tired after three hours!!!
Can we expect more from your character in future episodes? Elaine has some great lines in “Launch Of The Screaming Narwhal” before she disappears!
I think so, but that’s not for me to say!
You have had great success both in Britain, and across the pond in the United States. What made you move back from L.A to London in 2006?
After 12 years there I was a little burnt out in LA and at the same time very homesick for London. It’s great to be back!!!
What do you enjoy most, your theatre work, your film work or your voice work?
Definitely TV and film now – theatre is a lot of work and rehearsal time and not so immediate (although I’m about to do a short run of a play at The Camden Fringe Festival here in August http://www.camdenfringe.org/index.php?action=&id=3&disp=details&acts_id=234.) Working on Coronation Street was a blast and challenging because everything is shot so fast but allows you to make quick choices and be very spontaneous. Voicework is wonderful: no make up, no learning lines and a few months later there is your voice coming out of some cute/strange/funny creature on screen!!
What are you recognised most for by fans?
Will you ever return to Coronation Street?
You have your life saved by John Travolta in a new film out at the end of the year, written by Luc Besson. (From Paris With Love, mentioned at the beginning of the interview!) Can you tell us more about the film and your experience of being involved?
I play the Chief of Delegation. A type of VIP/American Ambassador. My motorcade is held up by someone who is bringing down terrorists in the Embassy. All I know is that someone has made me late and I want the person responsible fired – that’s John Travolta of course!!
What else do you have planned for the future?
Still waiting to find out!! Lot’s of possibilities, but in the meantime I’m enjoying the summer. Watch the blog on my website for updates!!
Thank you for your time Alex!