By all accounts Christopher Judged fucking crushed it as Kratos in God of War (2018) and he, rightfully, received a bunch of critical praise for his portrayal of everyone’s favourite bearded video game anger-man. A fact that makes it kind of weird that Judge was dead certain that he didn’t want to voice a character in a video game.
In fact, Judge was so against lending his voice to a character in a video game that he’s gone on record as saying that video games are where “actors careers go to die“. A sentiment that’s kind of hilarious when you realise that Judge has voiced a character in a video game before. A character that oddly enough kind of looks like a balder, blacker version of Kratos.
In addition to this, Judge has also expressed that video game voice work is something that historically, at least amongst actors, is seen as being far less prestigious than other kinds of work and something you do just for the money. Judge also noted that appearing in a video game isn’t exactly something that’s going to give your career a shot in the arm, since, at least until recently, nobody in Hollywood gave a shit about them.
Judge’s dislike of video games was such that when the makers of God of War approached him to appear in it, his own agent tactically left out that God of War was a video game when he sent him the script. Because of this Judge spent much of his early involvement with the project believing God of War was a film, in which he was set to play the lead. This left Judge more than a little confused when he went to audition and they made him physically act out the scenes he was reading, something they don’t ordinarily do with traditional acting roles.
As it turns out this was necessary because Santa Monica Studios wanted Judge to portray Kratos in addition to voicing him via motion capture and they needed to see if he was physically large enough to play a character who is canonically like 7 feet tall. The studio also did this to test Judge’s chemistry with the actor set to play Kratos’ son in the game, Sunny Suljic, who was told that he had the final say on who to cast as Kratos.
The problem was, as soon as Judge realised God of War was a video game his first instinct was to turn it down, you know, because he felt that accepting it would be like a signal that he felt that his career had died. However, after actually reading the script and speaking with the game’s director about his vision for Kratos, Judge’s position softened and he decided that maybe the game was going to be a big deal. The fact becoming Kratos also guaranteed a paycheck for five straight years of production and an option to reprise his role in all the sequels probably also helped too.