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The Voice of GlaDOS Dreams of Murder

Voice actress Ellen McLain lets the sinister GlaDOS get under her skin

Nearly everyone’s heard of Portal, the hit 2007 platform puzzle game from developer Valve, in which players use a portal gun to navigate through increasingly dangerous test rooms at the behest of the sinister AI, GlaDOS.

GlaDOS is the game’s antagonist with a penchant for murdering her test subjects so perhaps it’s no surprise that GlaDOS voice actor, Ellen McLain says she has dreams about murder.

In a recent interview with Kiwi Talkz, McLain expressed that actors bring their entire self to every acting project which led to her discussing her occasional homicidal dreams.

“We all have everything in us. I’ve never been pushed to the point of murder in my own life, but I’m not saying that it couldn’t happen under certain circumstances.” McLain told Kiwi Talkz.

“Because I’ve had dreams—I’ve had murderous dreams. In my dreams, I’ve murdered people.”  Added McLain.

However, it isn’t as bad as it sounds as McLain clarified she only dreams about murdering in self-defense. Still, it is fitting that the voice behind GlaDOS would have such macabre dreams. McLain however, states she never shared any of these dreams with Portal developers because t writer for Portal, Erik Wolpaw had more than enough of his own ideas.

Creating the GlaDOS voice

The hour-long interview covers various topics including how McLain was unaware that her voice would be processed within the game.

She explained how the audition required her to sound as much like a computer-generated voice as possible.

“Now the reason that they had to get an actor to do it is because the computer-generated voice was copyrighted, and it would have cost them something. So, it was cheaper to hire an actor to do it.” said McLain.

Most exciting for Portal fans, McLain stated she would love to do Portal 3, telling fans, “Write in. Email Valve. You’ve got my blessing. Say, ‘Ellen wants to do a Portal 3’.”

While Portal 3 may not be in development, 2023 looks like a promising year for the game industry. Hogwarts Legacy will release in February while Robocop: Rogue City will launch in June 2023.

Written By

Jack Brassell is a freelance journalist and aspiring novelist. Jack is a self-proclaimed nerd with a lifelong passion for storytelling. As an author, Jack writes mostly horror and young adult fantasy. Also an avid gamer, she works as the lead news editor at Hardcore Droid. When she isn't writing or playing games, she can often be found binge-watching Parks & Rec or The Office, proudly considering herself to be a cross between Leslie Knope and Pam Beasley.

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