Ever been playing Halo online and thought the person bad-mouthing you on the other end of a microphone sounded an awful lot like Cortana? Well, your mind might not have been playing tricks on you. Turns out, there’s a chance that you’ve been dissed by Cortana herself while playing online, as voice actor Jen Taylor reveals that she likes to mess with fans in matches.
Speaking at MCM Comic Con’s Halo panel, Taylor admits that she gets her husband to play Halo for her while she hops on the mic. Then, she says that she likes to “smack talk” other players, who are completely unaware that she voices Cortana.
This little anecdote came about when both Jen Taylor, who plays Cortana, and Steve Downes, the voice of Master Chief, were asked whether or not they’ve become Halo pros over the years. They both admit that they haven’t, though they can speak about their characters at great length.
“I’m bad. Real bad,” says Taylor, confessing that she’s yet to master the Halo series. “We’ve gotten to the point now when a game comes out, I forced my husband to play it. He’s not great, but he can make it through.”
Taylor continues, sharing her experience of playing alongside her husband. “We go online and I smack talk everybody. So it may be me smack-talking your friends.”
The actor is then asked if fans tend to recognise her voice and realise they’re being put down by none other than Cortana herself. “You know, it’s out of context, right? So I doubt it.”
This wasn’t the only story Taylor shared with the audience at MCM Comic Con this Saturday. Later on, she went over some of the initial directions she was given for her performance as Cortana – and it all could have gone very differently. For whatever reason, her initial brief for the character was simply, “European”.
“We go online and I smack talk everybody. So it may be me smack-talking your friends.”
“I think it’s really a shame that they didn’t use my vaguely European dialect,” says Taylor. “They had said, we want her to sound vaguely European. And I said, What does that mean? And they said European, but no specific country.”
Since Taylor revealed this to an audience in the UK, it was quickly pointed out that this hardly narrows it down, as each European country has multiple accents of their own. Thankfully, the studio let her give Cortana the voice we all know and love. Even if Taylor wasn’t willing to recreate her attempt at a European Cortana, I think we can safely assume that the change in direction was for the best.
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