Neil Newbon Wins Best Performance At The Game Awards 2023

Neil Newbon wins best performance at The Game Awards for his portrayal of Astarion in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Actor Neil Newbon has just won best performance at The Game Awards for his portrayal of everyone’s favourite vampire, Astarion, in Baldur’s Gate 3.


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Newbon’s performance has been praised by fans for its versatility, as he plays many different versions of Astarion, navigating his newfound freedom. Without diving too heavily into spoilers for Baldur’s Gate 3, Newbon had to play Astarion as both cruel and kind, strong and vulnerable, but always as a survivor. His story of living with his trauma resonated with many, and it’s due in large part to Newbon’s take on the character.

Our features editor Jade King spoke with Newbon previously about his performance in Baldur’s Gate 3. Here, he said that he’s particularly loved how Astarion has connected with queer fans.

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“I’m not going to protect Astarion. That isn’t my job, my job is to go on this journey with him.”

“The big thing for me identifying with Astarion is that he’s pansexual,” Newbon said. “He’s attracted to anybody that he’s attracted to, and he loves anybody that he will love. I think that’s a beautiful message, especially these days when we’ve seen great strides in the LGBTQ+ community, but also seen this unfortunate right wing sweep back against us […] It’s important to keep pushing the message forward that you should love who you want to love, and that shouldn’t be an issue, and nobody should judge you for it.”

Newbon also admits that the level of Astarion’s popularity came as a surprise to him. In fairness, I think few of us could have predicted how popular the game would be on the whole, let alone one particular companion essentially getting a fandom of his own. But now with yet another award under Larian’s belt, it’s safe to put this down as a successful launch year – and a great year for vampire lovers.

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