Hanging With David Hayter (aka Solid Snake)

Photo Credit: JTM Games

Believe it or not, David Hayter has been the voice of the iconic Solid Snake for the last 14 years. Hayter as Snake is perhaps the longest a voice actor had been associated with a character in an ever-evolving industry. That not only says a lot about the intricacies of the character itself, but the man behind the voice of the hero as well. In those 14 years, Hayter not only voiced Snake, but his biological father Big Boss in the Snake Eater/Portable Ops/Peace Walker games.

Despite his busy schedule as the host of the Canadian Videogame Awards and meeting fans during the Vancouver Fan Expo, David Hayter took a few minutes to chat with me to discuss a number of topics including his hosting duties, juggling busy schedules, Snake’s future.

Myself and David in Vancouver. (Photo Credit: JTM Games)

What surprised me was that David had a very quick wit and had no issues at all talking in the Snake voice whenever fans asked him to. By the time of the interview, David and I had met each other a number of times during the Fan Expo (and CVA after-party) so I had a sense of his style of humor. In joking manner I asked him who he was and what he did for work. David fired back with:

 “Hi I’m David Hayter. I’m the voice of Solid Snake and an excellent, excellent screenwriter.” 

We then discussed how he got the position as the host of the third annual Canadian Videogame Awards. Electric Playground’s Victor Lucas (whom he had met with a number of times before) had asked him if he would take the position, Hayter thought it would be “kick-ass,” immediately said yes, and began shooting hilarious man-on-the street vignettes for the award show.

 “Victor and the guys behind CVA asked me if I could do it a few weeks ago and I thought that would be pretty kick-ass. So I said yes, and then I prepared for it by writing all of my individual bits (including the surprise guest character appearances). We also shot a bunch of video stuff in California to put together for the awards.” 

We also discussed his secret to managing life as a father, an actor, a screenwriter, and a voice-over artist. I was curious as to how he balanced all of these projects he had on the go. David pretty much said that he takes each project a day-at-a-time and just honestly does everything he can to make each work schedule work out without a hitch.

 “Well it’s not easy; I mean you know, obviously my time is pretty occupied but I find that if you really want to work on something, you take the job and it tends to work out schedule-wise. I’ve just been fortunate enough that people want to hire me for things, and so I’m just making it through one day at a time really.” 

Of course, as with numerous people before me, I had to ask David if he ever sees himself voicing Snake in the future. I know I would love for that to happen, but really it’s up to Hideo Kojima, Kojima Productions, and Konami to make this into reality. Of course David had to answer my question with a gruff, raspy, but truly recognizable voice.

 “I certainly hope so.” 

This Vita just became inFamous. (Photo Credit: JTM Games)

During this time, David was called to leave for a meeting and we had to cut the interview short. Now, I believe myself as a consummate professional, however my inner fanboy came out and I couldn’t help but ask him to sign my PlayStation Vita (effectively making it one of the coolest gadgets in my apartment). It then hit me that I had just interviewed David Hayter, the Screenwriter for X-Men, X2: X-Men United, The Watchmen, and the v/o artist for Solid Snake. The word ecstatic pretty much described my feeling during that exact moment.

I would like to personally thank David Hayter for taking the time to talk with us given his busy schedule. As a big Metal Gear Solid fan since it’s beginnings on the PSOne, it was an honor to meet the screenwriter of some of my favorite films of the last decade, and the voice actor for the iconic Solid Snake.