STAR WARS: VADER IMMORTAL Exclusive: ZO-E3 Mo-Cap Actress On Learning To Ride A Hoverboard For The VR Game

STAR WARS: VADER IMMORTAL <font color=red>Exclusive:</font> ZO-E3 Mo-Cap Actress On Learning To Ride A Hoverboard For The VR Game

The droid ZO-E3 was created for the Playstation VR game Star Wars: Vader Immortal. Actress Julie Nathanson recently told us that she had to learn to ride a hoverboard to provide the character's mo-cap!

Star Wars: Vader Immortal is a virtual reality video game available for Playstation VR, despite having been designed as an exclusive for Oculus. Episode I of the three-part series was initially released in 2019, and featured both returning characters and originals created for the title.

One of the game's original characters is a droid called ZO-E3, who is voiced by Maya Rudolph (SNL, Bridesmaids), and our friend Julie Nathanson (The Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, Avengers: Assemble) provided the motion-capture to help bring the droid to life.

When we spoke with Julie recently about her work on projects such as Guildlings, the topic turned to Star Wars: Vader Immortal - Episode I, as she was a consultant for the virtual reality game. She told us that when they asked her if she could ride a hoverboard for a potential motion capture role, she went out and bought one to teach herself to ride it! Ultimately, she got the part, and Julie now shares her perspective from behind the scenes.

To hear our chat click the podcast player below. Fans of Julie can also find our last conversation with her embedded along with the transcript below. The trailer and synopsis for Star Wars: Vader Immortal - Episode I are also included for interested fans.

Julie Nathanson: I had started in New York as an on-camera and theater performer, but I also was a playwright, and I did some playwriting there. When I came out here to Los Angeles, I thought, let me try writing a screenplay, which I was doing while here for on-camera pilot season, and it tested very well.

So I was out here for pilot season. I was fortunate and testing, but I was bored. I didn't land anything, but I had all these test deals. And it let me see if I can write a screenplay. I wrote a screenplay, left, went back to New York. I was bi-coastal at the time. And my roommate out here gave my screenplay to his agent, and the agent ended up calling me and saying, "Hey, by the way, we're signing you, we've taken your script. You have twenty meetings in the next two weeks. Get on an airplane."

So I got on an airplane and came out here. And so I ended up moving to Los Angeles because of writing opportunities. I did some pitching and wrote some screenplays, but I was ultimately staffed on an NBC show called Just Deal, a half-hour single-camera, kind of like a teen show. And I was on it for all three seasons. And it was wonderful. Then I left there to do a few writing assignments for Disney.

Since then, my writing has moved into working on my own stuff. There is a book I am trying to write. I've continued to be in some playwriting stuff, and I'm always writing new things. And along the way, I also started writing for games and doing some consultations. So I wrote a lot of the scripted dialogue for several Disney mobile games.


And I was also a consultant on Guildlings, a really cool indie mobile game that just came out in the past year. And I was also a consultant and really part of collaborating in developing the character of ZO-E3 for the Star Wars: Vader Immortal VR series. And so I made all of the motion captures for ZO-E3, just the motion capture, not the voice; the voice was Maya Rudolph.

And then I got to ride around the stage on a hoverboard, which I did not know how to ride until I was offered the job. And they called, and they said, "we know you do mocap, and we might want to use you for this. Can you ride a hoverboard?" And I was like, "stand by, let me get back to you." I went to Best Buy, bought a hoverboard, taught myself to ride, and took a video of myself on the hoverboard. And I was like, "it looks like I can!" 

But yeah, back to the writing consultation stuff. So, I ended up doing some consultation for Star Wars: Vader Immortal as well. So the writing has morphed along with whatever I need it to be at the moment, but I still love it.

*This interview has been edited for clarity.*


 
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Star Wars: Vader Immortal is now available on Playstation VR.

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