To celebrate the Oct. 22 Season 8 premiere of The Walking Dead — the series’ 100th episode — Yahoo TV will be posting a new TWD-related story every day through the season opener.
He’s a high-ranking Savior and Negan’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) wingman on The Walking Dead, but in real life Steven Ogg is one of the good guys. When his villainous character, Simon, first came on the scene in TWD’s Season 6 finale, you may have noticed Ogg looked (and sounded!) a bit familiar. That mustache is hard to miss, but if you still can’t place the voice, we have the reason why you know it, as well as a few more fascinating facts about this talented Canadian actor.
1. He’s one of the most recognizable video game voices of all time. That voice! Yep, if you think it sounds familiar, it’s because Ogg is the man behind the voice of Trevor Philips from the video game Grand Theft Auto V. The 2013 game is one of the bestselling console games of all time, and Ogg is very proud to have been a part of it. The actor was so devoted to the role that he reportedly recorded some of his lines in his underwear so he could better get into character for Trevor’s undie adventures.
2. He’s an Old Spice pitchman. Ogg has an alter ego in Bob Giovanni, the wacky emcee who headlines a series of Old Spice campaigns. Ogg told Screenrant Giovanni is a fun character that he was eager to play as a way to offset his more serious roles. “Obviously he’s someone with a sense of humor and doesn’t take himself too seriously,” Ogg said. “It’s been fun to do that kind of a character — not that I don’t enjoy the nefarious characters that I get to play.”
3. He was on a path to be a pro volleyball player. Ogg played a serious game of volleyball for a while, but an injury sidelined any hopes for a pro career. In an interview with Absolute Music Chat, Ogg revealed that acting was always his first love — the acting bug bit him when he starred in elementary school musicals — but he also likes sports and was quite good at them. “I started with the acting, transitioned into athletics and specifically volleyball for a period, but eventually returned to my true passion,” he said. “I had teammates who played professionally in Europe, and that sounded great. … I always worked hard, but was always behind the ‘star’ players, and an injury combined with an opportunity to travel certainly helped me in leaving volleyball behind.”
4. He’s from Canada, but he spent his first American Thanksgiving with actress Rebecca Romijn. Ogg traveled the world on his quest for an acting career, but he told Absolute Music Chat that when he arrived in New York City (with just $500 to his name), he took refuge at pal Rebecca Romijn’s place after first meeting the supermodel in Paris. “She was incredibly supportive and allowed me to pay very little rent while living in her apartments,” the actor said. “I actually had my first American Thanksgiving with Rebecca, her mother, and sister. I remember seeing baked marshmallows on mashed yams for the first time and thinking, ‘You Americans are a peculiar lot.’”
5. He took six years off from acting to build a house in the woods. Part actor, part handyman, Ogg decided he wanted to bring the country as close as he could to the big city, so he settled on a piece of land in Connecticut. He took six years off from acting and designed and built a house (from scratch!) during his hiatus. Ogg said he used the project as a problem-solving exercise as he learned about the structural side of a house. (He even used 100-year-old hemlock that he had shipped from his native Canada!) The actor admitted he had a lot of help from a few good friends, but says the place is very special and leaves him with “goose bumps and inspiration” to this day.
The Walking Dead Season 8 premieres Oct. 22 at 9 p.m. on AMC.
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