By Martin Bourassa / February 24, 2021  

An Interview with Rupert Booth

We talk with the prolific FMV star to discuss his experience acting in some of this generation's best FMV games, including the forthcoming THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON.

FMV WORLD: Hello, Mr. Booth! Thank you very much for agreeing to this interview.

RUPERT BOOTH: Hello! My pleasure. Though what I haven't told you yet is that it's gonna cost you a kidney. If it was an on screen interview it would be both kidneys, your duodenum, and an eye. It's the government's fault.

(Laughs) I'll get you a kidney after the interview, but first let me say that I'm a huge fan of yours and it would be okay for me to have you in every FMV game. Now that it's out of the way, let's start the interview.

Ha! Well, that's very kind, thank you! I agree that I should be in every FMV game. Every. Single. One.

I'd really like to know how you got into acting. What started it all?

Extending illnesses to get more time off school. A cold would become a full blown flu, then practically death itself if it would get me another day. I was brilliant at it. Then by making amateur films in the 1990s. Learn by doing. After that, I veered more towards writing, so it's been a surprise to suddenly be seen as an actor again.

Could you tell us how you got to be in your very first FMV game, Contradiction?

Because of John Guilor. We knew each other and he suggested me for the part. That simple!

Really? How do you two know each other?

We had met a few years previously on a Doctor Who-related project, which was just after I'd finished writing my biography of Patrick McGoohan. As John was also a big Prisoner fan, that got us talking immediately.

Did you enjoy working together on Contradiction? Any plans of starring in another FMV game together?

It was huge fun working together, despite being a lot of hard work; more for John than for me. He was doing a lot of production management as well. As for future plans, nothing at the moment, no, but I'm up for it!

Were there any challenges to filming an FMV game?

Absolutely. When I first got the script I found it totally unlearnable. There was nothing to go on for who this guy was and lots of repeated lines which I couldn't fathom at all. Doing exactly the same scenes with very minor differences again and again confused the hell out of me as well. It wasn't until I saw the finished product that I started to realise how making interactive media works.

In Contradiction, you acted opposite the late, great Paul Darrow. How was it to share scenes with him?

Glorious. As well as being a great actor, he was also one of my heroes growing up for playing Avon in Blake's 7. To be acting opposite him was blissfully surreal. Lovely guy as well. I miss him being in the world.

Now probably the most crucial question of this interview. Did you keep the hat?

Yep. Both of them. And a replacement one which I currently wear when the mood takes me. I'm hoping they will breed and I'll have an endless supply but I need to build them a mating eyrie first and then somehow induce them to have hat-sex.

(Laughs) Does anyone ever recognise you from your involvement in FMV games?

In the real world, you mean? Yes, that's happened several times now. It's usually "Oh my god, it IS you!" and it's always about Jenks. Well, so far!


You've played an officer of the law in both Contradiction and The Shapeshifting Detective. What do you enjoy most about these types of roles?

I always chuckle about being cast as authority figures. I really don't have the face for it, so probably the inherent daftness. And in the case of Contradiction, it was fascinating to learn about acting in an FMV which requires some different disciplines. With Shapeshift, Dupont was a much better-defined character so I had more to go on.

Your role in The Dark Side of the Moon seems quite different though. Was it fun to get your evil on?

Oh, enormous fun! Though a bit strange to be shouting at Anarosa (Butler) and Darren (Hall), both of whom are lovely. But that's acting for you.

What else can you tell us about the game?

It's got a lot of heart, some great characters, and a sense of humour. It doesn't take itself too seriously. At core it's a very simple story, which is no bad thing, but it goes off into areas that I don't think people will see coming. I think it's going to be a lot of fun to play.

With now a fourth role in an FMV game, you are kind of becoming an icon of the genre. How does that feel?

Odd! Very flattering of course but I feel like a bit of an imposter. I just say the words that the brilliant minds behind these games have written. And I do feel like I have received a disproportionate amount of attention. But yeah, it's nice to have your work appreciated.

I'm curious to know, have you ever played an FMV game, either the ones you starred in or another one?

I'm not a gamer at all so the answer is no. Well, no, Anarosa and I did sit down once and try to play Contradiction, but we were no good at it and got drunk instead. Actually, she and I also did a live play of some of Doctor Dekker. We were no good at that either, but we didn't get drunk.

Rupert Booth and actress Anarosa Butler play The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker

Yeah, I saw the video. Anarosa and you seemed to have a great time. Doing a live play like that must have its own challenges.

Definitely. For a start, you have to be yourself. I'd much rather just be playing a character. Luckily for me, Anarosa holds my hand through such things. Then there was the fact that we're both inept gamers, that didn't help either, but that was nothing to what Tim Cowles had to deal with. He and Lynda were running the whole show live. Fortunately, Tim has a background in live directing so he was fine. We were vastly more impressed with what he was doing than with what we managed!

What are your plans for the foreseeable future? Another FMV game or something else entirely?

Lots of things are being discussed at the moment, but my main focus is going to be an interactive movie which I and my team have been developing for a while. And I can't say any more than that right now!

Intriguing! Thanks a lot for answering our questions Mr. Booth, and we will see you soon in The Dark Side of the Moon!

Thank you! Keep watching the skies...  ★

Rupert Booth can next be seen in the forthcoming THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON available March 12.

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