"If we were to change these characters, we would be operating out of fear of something that's outside the game. [...] I stand by that 110 percent and I wouldn't change anything," said Uncharted 4 director Neil Druckmann. He was speaking at Sony's recent PlayStation Experience event, during which he was questioned about the decision to cast an actor out of caste. Specifically Laura Bailey who plays the ferocious Nadine Ross, seen manhandling an unsuspecting Drake below:
As the clip above makes abundantly clear, Bailey, a white voice actor, is playing Nadine, a decidedly not white character. This alleged example of 'whitewashing' attracted controversy from forum users on sites like NeoGAF, but Druckmann sees it differently:
That, to me, is what’s so awesome about our medium. Your awkward appearance doesn’t matter at all. If it did, Troy [Baker] couldn’t play Joel in The Last of Us. Ashley Johnson couldn’t play Ellie. In a movie version they couldn’t play those roles, but they played them to perfection.
Furthermore, Nadine's character design had not yet been finalized when casting began, so the team looked for a unique voice and found it in Bailey. The ethnic difference was thereby rendered moot.
We just had kind of who she is, the army she runs, and that she’s from South Africa.
Bailey turned up to the audition and “just killed it," becoming the obvious vocal frontrunner. Watch Druckmann's full response below:
As he said:
I stand by that 110 percent and I wouldn't change anything. I'm so proud of Laura's performance and I hope none of this takes away from what she was able to accomplish.
'Uncharted 4' launches in March 2016 exclusively for PS4.