Interview: Master Chief! (Steve Downes)

It probably wasn’t the Halo related interview you were expecting(the Eric Nylund interview should be posted next week), but anyway, I asked Steve Downes (voice of Master Chief) some questions and am here to give you the answers! Thank’s Mr. Downes for the interview!

1) How were you first approached about doing voice work for Halo?
I had done some voice work for Marty O”Donell prior to HALO & he liked my work and asked if I’d be interested in voicing The Chief.

2) Do you keep up with the universe of Halo? Have you read the novels?
I check in with the universe, from time to time, but I have not read the HALO novels.

3) Do you think after Halo 3, you will continue to provide your voice to different games? Or would you rather take a break?
Voicing for video games is like no other voice work. It’s very intense for a short period of time, and then there’s long stretches where you’re not involved with the character at all. It’s good that way. When it comes time for HALO 3, I’ll be chompin at the bit to bring the Chief back to life.

4) Do you play video games in your free time? Not necessarily Halo.
Not really.

5) Have you seen the Halo 3 script? And do you know when you’ll record your dialogue?
I have not seen any script yet, and usuallly don’t until it’s almost time to record.

Not much in the way of new info, but I thought you guys would like to see it!


89 thoughts on “Interview: Master Chief! (Steve Downes)

  1. I know, it kind of suprised me too. I think it sucks that the one guy that voices one of the greatest characters in Video Games, doesn’t play them, and knows virtually nothing about them. I think the Nylund Interview should be more revealing. He at least knows whats going on…

  2. i love interviews with steve downes. they are so rare. there was an audio one once and it was great. imagine somone asking questions, and the MASTER CHEIF responding with really weird intelegent answers, but answers that showed he knew nothing about halo. he said something like “I was at a friends house, and some kids were playing halo, and at the time I didnt really know how big halo was and stuff. and then i said to them, is that halo? and they said yes. so i go, i think i have a part in that game. i think its a big green guy. and instantly they go “THE MASTER CHEIF?!” and i go, yea, thats it, the master cheif.”



  3. what is he doing??the voice of the master chief but he don’t even know who it is!!!!he should go in jail for that!!!
    Ican’t believe it he’s a boring noob!!!

  4. i dont believe it master chief doesnt play the halo game… its the best game ever made and the chief himself doesnt even care!!! well thats put a downer on my day…. m aster chief more like master chump!!! got to say do love his work the chief voice is crazy…” i need a weapon”” UNREAL

  5. Steve is a DJ on 97 FM The Drive here in Chicago. He may not be much of a video game guy, but he sure knows his music. I listen to his show on the way to work and it’s great cause you hear good tunes and then the Master Chief comes on and tells you a story about Lindsey Buckingham or someone.

  6. What the hell is the matter with you people? If anyone here thinks Steve Downes is a “boring noob”, that is the fault of the person who conducted this disappointing interview.

    Steve Downes is an actor. Voice Talent. He’s a Rock-n-Roll radio personality. That’s his gig. He contributed something crucial to a game that you love to play. That is your gig.

    You had the chance to learn more about him, and you asked “Do you play video games?” If you couldn’t do any better than that, you should have left him alone! If you had the chance to interview Hugh Jackman, would you ask him if he spends all of his time reading comic books?

    Steve is actually an interesting person. He is humble and personable, despite the fact that he has met more Rock Stars than you will ever see. If you really want to know Steve Downes, listen to this interview.

  7. Hey XerxdeeJ,

    This site is called Buttonbasher, and we are a gaming site. I’m sorry that the interview is disappointing to you, but I’m not about to go ask of the Rock bands he get’s to talk to on a daily basis. I asked gaming questions because this is a gaming site. Note the fact that this interview occured in July. Compared to a more recent inteview: check back next week when I post an interview I recently did with Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam (Wii) developers: Toy’s for Bob, I think you’ll notice that the quality is higher. Why? This was my first interview. Ever. I found out about it about an hour before I did it. Again, sorry that my interview didn’t knock your socks off.

  8. Those of you getting upset about him NOT being into the role of the Master Chief makes about as much sense as meeting the guy that plays 007 and being surprised that he’s not all-knowing of SPY stuff.

  9. to jhon:

    Ur right. yust because he doesnt play video games, it doesnt mean hes boring. he yust got other things he like.

    p.s. did u guys know halo is also very popular in europe? i come from holland and i know a lot people who think halo is awesome. 1 thing, it is

  10. yo you guys i am a huge fan of halo & i know how much it rox. but i also know a ton of way cool people who dont know much about video games and they are awsome, so if you think someone is boring because they dont play video games get a life. this was an awsome first interview.

  11. I’ve just been wondering… if the Master Chief takes off his helmet in Halo 3, will it be Steve Downes’ face? but without the facial hair. and I cant blame the guy for not keeping up with the story, he’s just a guy doing his job. its not like he’s some phycho that plays games 24/7. (which about every person that commnets is. including me) If you look back, he’s only had about thrity lines, tops

  12. Wow, alot of nubbies are really tweaked about Steve Downes not being into Halo as much as they had hoped. In regards to this I would like to say to them Chillll ! lil’ spartys ! ! And give the dude credit where credit is due ! If it wasnt for his great voice acting the MC would not sound like the Bad ass he is! And since im on my soap box giving out kudos I’d just like to say Great Job on coming up with those questions 4 your first interview ‘BttB’. Being a huge Halo fan and online player (over 8000 matches and counting:) If I had my chance to interview Steve Downes I probably would have asked the same questions myself ! And on that note last but not least your obviously not much of a Halo fan, Mr. XerxdeeJ, becuz those questions nailed down what kinda knowlege Mr. Downes has for the Halo Nation in which he has been in service of. Although his interest was a lil disappointing hopefully the next time he gets an opportunity to chop it up with BttB or whomever else, he’ll have a better understanding of just how big a deal it is to be the Voice Of, the Master Chief.

  13. Wow….. For all the spazzzes that have put Steve down … forget you .. hes doing his job and hes getting paid …. so what he doesnt play he Halo game now who said he wouldnt later .. ??
    Josh – read the Halo books…. there you will find alot about the master chief that they dont have in the games ….. they are awesome :-D

    p.s. Anybody know anything about the Halo movie..?? i heard Steve is going to be doing the chiefs voice in the movie aswell..

  14. Yo this is so weird, when is 3 comeing out im so sad it hasent com out yet.

    This sucks.
    Master Chief is as older than i thought

  15. Halo Wars the game will come out soon! I cant wait. I saw a suit of the Master Chief that som guy made, it was so cool.

  16. what’s up with all the delays and postponements on the release of Halo 3? We keep getting all excited about an anounced release date, then they postpone it again and again!!!!!!!!

  17. ^I have no idea what you said. At all. Halo 3 has been announced as coming in 2007. Then they narrowed it down to Fall 2007. Beta’s out on May 16. They’ve never postponed it.

    You must be crazy.

  18. If you all did know your background, you would know that Master Chief’s hair is red, he is white and he has freckles. (I do not know what his hair color is of Steve Downes, because there is no color picture of him that I could find, so it could be red).

  19. Wow and i thought that everyone played halo 2 and…….i was wrong i meen even the man who plays the voice of Esko (Master Chief) doesn’t even play the game but he plays the voice of the star of the game.

  20. Sorry…………………………….and John i have the Halo 2 Collectors Edition and i read this thing and it said the name of Master Cheif and then it said Esko

  21. Even if he isn’t as much aware as you about his charachter’s and halo game series storyline, it doesn’t make him booring person. ( at least not to me )
    I like his work in bungie as much as Martin O’Donnel. Steve Downes brings the Master Chief alive. Even many of us have read the Halo novels think about Halo 3 without Steve Downes what it would like be? And now ill mention that Im also fan of Martin O’Donnel. He makes awesome music in Halo and for sure for anything he makes music its awesome.

    Personally i think Steve Downes is a great man and absolutely right man to articulate Master Chief’s voice.

  22. this is for Azn Fricker.
    “I wanna see a vid that has Steve in the vdeo so i could see that hes doing the voice”

    You can. In Halo 2 limited collector’s edition there is a video “making of halo 2” there is a part where all voice actors are shown also Steve Downes. It shows when he says following lines. “This place is falling apart” “I need a weapon”


  23. long time fan of halo this guy sucks ok he played the master chief but he boring but i still hope they use his voice for the movie but some one else to move him because he just doesn’t look right. or they sould make the movie anamated.

  24. sorry, but i think Mr. Downes needs to upgrade and
    start playing Halo ….. omg he’s Master Chief … this is really
    weird. Maybe if they started talking about a movie he would
    wise up

  25. thats just bogus… he has the role of one of the best voice in a game and plays the main character but doesn’t play the game >_> or knows shit about halo

  26. this guy is lame as a pile of horse shit he looks like my grandpa and doesn’t even play the FUCKING GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! who wouldn’t play the game that their in I mean COME ON!!! I would die and go to hell and come back to be the voice for master cheif this guy’s like oh yeah just another stupid game It’s so hard I don’t know if I could go on it’s so hard. All I have to say to this lameo guy is @@@@@@@@@@@@#@##########$$$$!@@!@!@!@!@ FFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! wwwwwwwwwwwwtttttttttttttttttfffffffffffffffffffff.word.

  27. SPARTAN-II Master Chief Petty Officer John-117. There are also Spartan-IIIs. I wonder if they’ll appear in Halo 3? I saw in EGM that the SPI armor from Ghosts of Onyx will be available for online play. Steve Downes has an awesome voice, and I wish he could play a role in Gears of War: Emergence Day.

  28. Lolz. You guys are so dissapointed with mr. downes for not being interested in halo. The comments are hilarious. Some even argues what kind of guy he is. way to go lemmings.

  29. U didnt read right beast…. they as do u play OTHER games BESIDES halo? He said No meaning he does Play Halo just not any OTHER game.

  30. i read that there is a minigame on the bonus disk for the collectors edition and legendary edition. does anybody know what the hell this mini game is supposed to be thnx

  31. For all those of you complaining about master chief’s voice actor being a boring, non video gamer think about what you’re saying. Does Master Chief himself really strike you as the type to sit around all day and play video games? i think not. He doesnt seem the type, either to go out and party… in fact the only type he seems is the type who would blow a hole in your stomachif you ever thought about crossing him.

  32. not to say mr downes would blow a hole in anyone… but still. Also, the question was: Do you play video games in your free time? NOT NECESARILY Halo. So you dont know if he plays it or not.

    Oh, and the mini game is pretty lame. you stick a mine under the wart hog in a small screen and try to blow it into little images that i think are supposed to look like covenant battle ships or phantoms. its gay if you’re not like 5.

  33. ^You have some facts wrong about the mini-game. BOLL made the flash game based on what people would do in Halo CE. You manipulate grenades and such to try to hit the flood engineers, not ships.

    It’s not “Gay” it’s fun for those who respect the characters used.

  34. To all the people who says he sucks….. You obviously have no idea what it would be like to be part of one of the most anticipated game of the year and have loads of people just totally criticize your life and the way you would feel on the matter. So what if he doesn’t play Halo. Maybe he’s not totally self-absorbed like a few of you, or maybe he just gets tired of hearing him self….or he might have a REAL life and not have time to play like the guys who beat it the day after the release. Unlike the guys who say “he sucks” or “it’s disappointing” …………. hope your views on the matter change… you all suck except for the ones who totally respect, i mean give the guy some credit.

  35. Are you people listening to yourselves? I mean seriously, you’re all arguing over how ‘gay’ Steve Downes is because he doesn’t sit on his ass all day && play Halo. Who cares? Halo is a kick ass game, && Downes did a kick ass job voicing the Chief, but does it honestly matter that he doesn’t play the game all the damn time? You know, he never said that he doesn’t or hasn’t played Halo.. so get off his damn back about it. Besides, if I had the role of voicing our beloved Chief, I don’t think I’d want to play all the time anyways. It’d probably get really old, really fast.. considering the fact that he spent all that time bringing our beloved MC to life. He did a spectacular job, && that should be enough for you.

  36. Look, heres what doesnt make sense. u guys praising a man that said some lines. he didnt put lots of work into it, like someone tried to mention. plus his voice isnt that special, i mean there are plenty of movie preview narrators with badass sounding voices as well. comedian Pablo Francisco even talks about it. and even then, steve doesnt say enough to truly make MC. us gamers R the ones who decide how badass MC is when he’s in a firefight, not steve.

  37. Wow. Just because he voices MC, yet doesnt know a thing about him, doesn’t mean you can rant and rave about him being a “boring noob”, when he obviously has better things to do that sit down and
    stare into a TV screen all day. The dude’s a rock and roll DJ, and has some musical experience himself. I’m pretty sure you guys wouldn’t even think about how much of a “noob” you’d be if you tried out his professional career.

    He’s great.

    To buttonbasher: So what? you nerds can talk all you want about video games. You never said you talked about the person themselves. So why bother him?

  38. ^Are you asking why I asked him for an interview? If thats the reason, I figured some of my readers would be interested in reading that kind of thing. I’m not taking sides on any of this, I just wanted to put this interview up. Although it was over a year ago that I did this interview, and if given a second chance to interview him I would come up with much better questions spanning his entire career.

  39. I have no problem with you interviewing him, what i’m trying to state is that why he should be criticized against these people, who most haven’t gotten much out of a guitar, about what he does and what he doesn’t do.

    All who dont understand:

    The Halo Series is very popular, and i like the games myself. Also, it was thanks to Steve that we have such a forcefully sounding Master Chief as a playable character.

    In English (all who dont understand) excluding buttonbasher:

    He did the Master Chief voice-overs for you, so shut up and be satisfied.

  40. Yeah I’m trying to stay neutral on the whole thing. I admit that I was surprised to hear he didn’t have much knowledge about the games, but I accepted it and moved on. You may notice the date on this interview too. I still think very highly of him, and hearing more recent interviews he seems like he knows enough about the universe. But you can’t blame him for it either. That would be like trying to talk deeply about a movies backstory with an actor. The actor’s responsibility is to know enough about the role to capture it in a way that is approved by the director. That’s their job. They don’t need to know everything about it. Steve does that, and he knows a bit about the backstory too. The fact that he doesn’t play the games or devote his life to it really doesn’t matter.

  41. I accept and agree highly with your statement.

    Basically, this man did all he could for these players, and he did his most excellent job at it too, most importantly for the director. Like you stated, he might know enough about the universe, and what life has to offer, but he doesn’t need to devote his life to a game, even though he plays it’s greatest achievement’s voice.

  42. To Buttonbasher:
    Gears of wars emergence day was when the locust came from under ground and attacked. Marcus abandend his position to try to save his father but it was too late. he was thrown in prison and that is where the story starts. it all in the game manual thet comes with it. :)

  43. bull to all those who desecrate the chief himself
    if downes hadn’t taken that role you ‘d have no chief to idolize
    would you like a sqeaky, or even a female 117?
    no?well then shut up and leave the guy in peace

  44. i think the game is freaken awsome i mean i play the hole game every day thats how good it is. The voice to every character is so sweet. Im 13 and i think its freaken fun. who ever doesnt play this game is a nerd.

    So go halo 3……………………..

  45. I dont really mind that Steve is not into halo cause its not about the voice actor, its about the GAME! all i wanna no is if he is doing the voice for the chief in the halo movie cause if it is anyone elses voice i dont think it would work, so, ROCK ON HALO & STEVE DOWNES :P

  46. I love it… Master Chief rocks, in his stern, round about way. :D leave him alonez! his a good guy but im surprised he did get hooked playing himself on a video game. (What if he was in a spartan suit and walked into your house and played you on Halo? then we’d see…

  47. Those who are pissed, your all guirs! I think Steve Downes does a great job on the Master Chief, so just play the game, and be

    PS. You guys gotta get the skareb gun on H2. YOU SHOOT IT AND ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE!!!

  48. He’s an actor. That’s it just an actor. There is nothing wrong about that. Just be glad he does a good job when he adds his voice to Halo.

    I have two other friends that are voice actors that work for cartoon network and they do not play any video games. These two friends of my would not even know how to pick up a control and turn on a video game system.

    So if one of them did a voice over job for a video game, most likely they would not even play it. They just do not know how to play video games.

  49. Like Mike says, Steve is an actor, just and actor and a very nice guy. Because he doesn’t lock himself in a room to play for hours like we do doesn’t make him bad. Do you think Christian Bale lives in a cave and wears a black suite. Just an actor folks but a great guy.

  50. I think the guy is like 50 so im not suprised he doesnt relly no the story or plays the game but he is just asome, but i didnt relize how much voice acting he does untill i look at his web sit, he does carnival cruise, shark week, promos, this guys is great


    I’m from Chicago and I listen to him on 97.1 FM The Drive. He’s got the coolest voice ever. He may not give a shit about video games but he knows anything about everything when it comes to music. He is awesome so don’t diss him just because he doesn’t do everything thats Halo related. This guy is a legend.

  52. oh my fucking god shut the fuck up you sons of bitches go to hell who cares if he hasnt played the game hes still fucking awesome as hell and he isnt a noob he doesnt waste his life playing halo in every second of his free time! good for him!!!!!!!!!

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