Halo on CANAL+: how Pablo Schreiber became Master Chief

Hero of the Halo series, Pablo Schreiber lends his features to the famous character Master Chief. The actor tells us about the crazy experience of slipping into the Spartan costume emblematic of the video game franchise.

He slips into the skin of an iconic character from the world of video games and fans are waiting for him at the turn. Pablo Schreiberknown for his roles in TheWire, New York: Special Victims Unit and Orange Is the New Blackhas the daunting task of playing Spartan John-117 aka Master Chief in the live-action adaptation of the video game franchise Halo.

The half-brother of Liev Schreiber thus embodies the hero of this series, designed by the screenwriters Kyle Killen and Steven Kane and produced by Steven Spielbergin which he embarks on an intergalactic struggle against the Alliance, a dangerous extraterrestrial threat in the 26th century.

Hero pressure

Met during a round table with other journalists, Pablo Schreiber told us of his enthusiasm for this major role, and in particular of the first time he donned the armor of Master Chief:

“It was amazing. I had a pretty good idea, when I was cast, of what this universe and this role meant to the public. And I embraced it from the start. And I definitely feel a certain responsibility to Halo fans to try to make it the best possible experience in a live action show, so I have that pressure on my shoulders.

It’s the experience of a lifetime to wear this costume. Master Chief and Cortana have been an integral part of pop and video game culture for the past twenty years and they are very familiar to us. So to be able to play such an iconic character and be able to put on the armor was a huge honor from the very first moment.”

Halo on canal+: how pablo schreiber became master chief
Adrienn Szabo/Paramount+

Intense physical preparation

To slip into the shoes of Master Chief, Pablo Schreiber was treated to intense preparation. But nothing frightening for this actor accustomed to action films:

“I had a pretty thorough training but I’m used to it. I have quite a lot of military action films behind me, which gave me a good preparation after those few films I did for which I received quite intensive military training. The physical component was quite difficult and broad.”

The hardest part for Pablo Schreiber in his physical preparation was above all about wearing armor, which came with some inconvenience:

“You had to work months before to get the right body and maintain it throughout the series. I spent more than nine months in the armor and I struggled to maintain my muscle mass. I’m a naturally pretty thin guy so I have to work hard to get that type of body and keep it. And the suit only makes it harder because you sweat a lot in it and you can lose weight. It was a challenge of playing Master Chief and I learned to be resilient and tenacious through it.”

Halo on canal+: how pablo schreiber became master chief
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Get to know the Halo universe

Pablo Schreiber was not a fan of the Halo video games before getting the role of Master Chief and was introduced to the Halo universe quite late: “I didn’t have a TV or video games growing up in British Columbia, Canada. So I discovered Halo in high school, going to friends’ houses after school and playing games, but I never had played story mode or campaign mode.”

Like neophytes, Halo was only known to Pablo as a first-person shooter. But he immersed himself in the universe as soon as he had the role of Master Chief: “It was really the kind of eye-opening experience to find out how rich the mythology was, and not just through the games, although obviously the main games have their own mythology and history. elsewhere watched all the cutscenes.

But I deepened my research by also immersing myself in novels, animated shorts, graphic novels and feature films. And this whole learning phase was like a revelation for me. I understood that it was a special universe.”

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