Portal Voice actress Ellen McLane talks about her role as GLaDOS


The voice of the GLaDOS portal antagonist, Ellen McLane, spoke about her experience of a ruthless, but still funny robot opponent. Although the voice actress is mostly known for her work on puzzle games and other Valve games, Ellen MacLaine has also starred in some live-action films, including Pacific Rim and the Twitch adaptations of Marsha Norman’s play Night, Mother. She recently discussed her work as an omnipotent character, talking about her experience as a non-human.

GLaDOS is without a doubt one of the most memorable video game villains in recent history. While in the first Portal game she was presented as a pure villain, it was the continuation that allowed the character to develop into something more complex. Her relationship with Chell, the antagonist from both games, is more subtle than just a confrontation between good and evil. GLaDOS is not without flaws, as evidenced by the key moments of the sequel, and it is thanks to McClain’s talent that the main opponent of the story really shines, becoming iconic in itself.

During an interview with the YouTube channel KIWI TALKZ, as PC Gamer noticed, McClain discusses her role in Portal and what was expected of her from day one. She said that during the audition for the first game, Valve already had a computer-generated voice that McClain was asked to simulate. She goes on to say that the reason they wanted an actor to voice rather than use a computer was because the AI-generated replicas were copyrighted and it was actually cheaper to get a human to do the replicas. She also talks in detail about how she managed to reproduce the robot’s voice, noting that she made the word “Aperture” sound as if it had two fives in the beginning.

Portal is infamous for its quoted lines of dialogue, all of which come from McClain in the first part. Many, no doubt, remember the days when the phrase “cake is a lie” became a meme sensation. In many ways, this is why Glados is such a popular character, despite the fact that she is a villain. Her brash attitude to the course of the game sets her apart as something more than just an antagonist imitating SHODAN from System Shock.

It’s a pity that after the second game there was no Portal anymore. Although Valve had some desire to make Portal 3, it doesn’t look like the developer will give the world a third part. However, the first two games are still very much loved, and McLane’s voice acting is just one aspect that makes the series so beloved.

The portal is available on mobile devices, PC, PS3, Xbox 360 and Switch.


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