Bleeding Edge voice actor Tahlia Norrish on becoming Gizmo
When we played Bleeding Edge’s beta, we were thrilled to discover that one character, Gizmo, is an Aussie. Hailing from Broken Hill, NSW, Gizmo built her first robot before she was 10 years old and was a deadly mech-fighter before she could drive. In Australia, this could mean 16-years old, when we are eligible for Learner’s Permit or 18 when we get Probationary Licenses.
Thankfully, Ninja Theory has hired an actual Australian to provide the voice for Gizmo. Too often, British or American actors attempt an Australian accent and while they might think it sounds fine, to Aussie ears, it’s a hate crime.
Tahlia Norrish is the actor who brings Gizmo to life and she was kind enough to give us some of her time to talk about Bleeding Edge.
Bleeding Edge Gizmo
Norrish told me she was asked to audition for the role of Gizmo and when I press her on what Ninja Theory was looking for she explained that she wasn’t entirely sure. However, she said, “I was asked to audition for Bleeding Edge in the last few months of my final year at drama school and was absolutely thrilled to book the role after the initial rounds of auditions.
“Gizmo was pretty well-formed by the time I got to her and isn’t too dissimilar at all to the Gizmo we have today. “
Like me, Norrish was excited to see an Aussie character in Bleeding Edge.
It was awesome to see a developer like Ninja Theory include an Aussie voice and story in Bleeding Edge. I really appreciate that they’ve pulled together such a motley crew of characters who – hopefully – we can all feel somewhat represented by.
It might sound like a cop-out answer, but I fell in love with Gizmo immediately. Her past, her attitude, were all so endearing, and I felt like I had a really tangible sense of who she was.
If you’ve played Bleeding Edge, you’ll know that Gizmo is a cheeky, fun-loving, energetic rascal and that’s exactly what Norrish and Ninja Theory set out to create. Norrish told me, “The Ninja Theory team seemed to have a pretty solid image of who Gizmo was from the get-go, but at the same time, were really open to any offers I brought to the table.” On that note, I asked her if she gave any insight into Aussie slang, culture and the accent.
A couple of times, yes, haha! You forget that phrases like “fair dinkum” and “drongo” mean absolutely nothing outside of Australia. It provided a couple of chuckles during recording though, as I wasn’t always able to coherently articulate what these things actually translated to
Norrish added that although she had plenty of leeway, she didn’t really feel the need to go off-book as the material Ninja Theory had written was so solid. “The Ninja Theory team wanted Gizmo to be as authentic as possible, so after we had covered the main material for the day, they’d let me play around for a bit,” she said. “That said, I didn’t really feel the need to add much to what was there – I was in extremely competent and capable hands!”
When I press Norrish to give me some details about Bleeding Edge, the lore and the story, she’s tight-lipped. “I don’t want to spoil the fun for anyone! It’s a world that’s probably best-enjoyed diving into head-first and just being up for anything and everything.”
Bringing Gizmo to life isn’t Norrish’s first experience with video game voice acting, having appeared in Eclipse: Children of Exile. That game was developed by a much smaller, indie studio and Norrish said, “the two experiences are quite disparate. The common thread, however, is that I adored working on them both and have vowed to pursue as much gaming work as I can.”
Being able to bring a video game character to life sounds like a dream come true and for Norrish, it’s even more special as, in her words, she “grew up a pretty passionate little gamer.” Introduced to Crash Bandicoot, Donkey Kong, Need for Speed and GTA by her older cousin, Norrish and her brother would play all the time and have shared multiple consoles over the years.
However, she has a special place in her heart for Pokémon; “How could one resist catching them all?!” she laughed.
When it comes to Gizmo, I wanted to know what Norrish likes best about her.
Gizmo is such a naturally loveable character, so I’m really blessed to be her voice. She’s also exactly the kind of badass character I would have loved to have played as a kid or teenager (and let’s face it, even now), so hopefully my fellow players can enjoy her as much as I do.
It’s always exciting to see Australian characters in major video games and when they’re voiced by actual Aussies, it’s even better. Gizmo has that combination of cheeky, energy that makes her seem truly Australian and we can’t wait to see her in action again when Bleeding Edge launches.
Special thanks to Tahlia Norrish for her time.
Bleeding Edge launches for PC and Xbox One on March 24, 2020 and will be included with Xbox Game Pass.