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Best Leading Performance of 2021

Best Leading Performance of 2021 - Article

by Lee Mehr , posted on 17 January 2022 / 1,755 Views

In today's age, the demands for a lead voice actor can range from scripts weighing the same as a TV show season to something much more modest.  The expectations for talent are likewise high.  It's becoming less and less surprising for high-tier Hollywood actors to take on video game roles - even from indie teams.  Regardless of their main vocation, or how many lines they've read, the following nominees were among the best to inhabit their respective roles in 2021.


The Shortlist:


Steve Downes as Master Chief (Halo Infinite)


James McAvoy as the Husband (12 Minutes)


Richard Horvitz as Razputin (Psychonauts 2)


Jen Taylor as Cortana, The Weapon, & Dr. Halsey (Halo Infinite)


Steven Cree as Elvis (Bravely Default II)





The Winner:

Jen Taylor as Cortana, The Weapon, & Dr. Halsey (Halo Infinite)

Runner-up: Richard Horvitz as Razputin (Psychonauts 2)

One of the few 2021 titles to have two co-leads, Halo Infinite's story owes a lot to Jen Taylor's euphonious voice acting.  Having to harness three disparate tones for essentially the same person (Cortana & The Weapon are AI based on Dr. Halsey) is no easy task; and yet, Taylor pulls it off with grace.  Even though some of The Weapon's quips don't land, there's an innocent winsomeness to her that makes her feel like a genuine companion – reviving some of Chief's memories in the process.  Oftentimes, performance winners net gold by capturing one personality to pitch-perfect accuracy; this year's winner managed it for three.

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shikamaru317 (on 17 January 2022)

Congrats to Jen Taylor, she did a fantastic job playing 3 different unique characters which each have different ways of speaking and totally different personalities. The dry, professional Halsey, the confident and later broken Cortana, and the cheery, youthful The Weapon. She deserves the award simply for showing so much range in her characters, but what really nails home her win imo is the emotion she put into both Cortana and the Weapon during key parts of the story.

  • +12
Alistair (on 17 January 2022)

When I watched a bunch of reviews of Halo Infinite I was worried about her character in the game, but I actually thought she did such a great job I loved it anyways. She carried the game's story. Tough job.

  • +3
LivncA_Dis3 (on 17 January 2022)

2 halo characs talk about bias haha

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rapsuperstar31 (on 17 January 2022)

Wait two Halo characters? wouldn't that make one a supporting character? If multiple characters can be listed we should have had the main 10 characters of Persona 5 Strikers in the running.

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smroadkill15 rapsuperstar31 (on 17 January 2022)

It's called having co-leads.

  • +3
coolbeans rapsuperstar31 (on 17 January 2022)

Like roadkill mentioned, there's a difference between co-leads and an ensemble. The line between co-lead & supporting character can be precarious, but I think Infinite is a decent example for 2 people qualifying for this.

  • +3