God Of War star Christopher Judge on breaking the glass ceiling: ‘Society told me I was ugly, too big and too black’ | Ents & Arts News
Christopher Judge is on a winning streak, having taken home the award for top performing artist at The Game Awards in LA (the equivalent of video game Oscars) in December and the award for best performing artist. Best Lead Actor at the BAFTA Games Awards in London this week. But his success was not easily won.
Speaking to Sky News on the BAFTA red carpet, the God Of War and Stargate SG-1 star admitted, “I grew up looking in the mirror and society told me I was ugly, told me I was too big. , too black.”
He said that date changed, which was the day he took on the role of the vengeful demigod Kratos in the PlayStation action epic God Of War, the highest-rated PlayStation 4 game for much of 2018.
Based on Norse mythology, the second era of God Of War is Big win at both The Game Awards And BAFTA Game Awarddominate each ceremony.
Judge said this is a role he never expected to get: “I’m going to be 60 next year and to get this role when I thought my career was going to go down, it was a dream. come true. I waited 35 years for this part and it almost felt like it wasn’t fair that I got the gift because I got the gift of this part.”
As a college football player, he transitioned from sports to showbiz after graduation, landing early roles in shows including The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, 21 Jump Street, and MacGyver.
He also starred in the Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises and as Chulak’s regular Teal’c in the military science fiction television series Stargate SG-1.
But after 10 years and over 200 episodes, Stargate was canceled in 2007. Judge was once again looking for work. And given the sci-fi and fantasy genre that isn’t known for its prevalence of black protagonists, it’s been an uphill struggle.
But after achieving success in God Of War, it’s a struggle that Judge is determined to alleviate for future generations of Black, Asian and Minority (BAME) performers. .
Last year, Judge hosted a panel titled Elevating Black Voices in Science Fiction, talking to a group of African-American creators from across generations about the battle for supremacy. featured in this category.
He explains: “Change is always going to be slower than we would like, but I think it’s important to always call for it, maintain progress and give young people [opportunities]. Like, we’re taking you to the door to finally implement these changes. So hopefully we’ve set the stage, if not done in their career, they can continue their journey through.”
He credits Santa Monica Studio – the video game developer behind the God Of War series – as part of that change: “I have to say that the leader of our studio is an Asian woman. [PlayStation dev Yumi Yang]. And we have producers of color and our diversity towards women and the LGBTQ+ community… I’d say it’s probably unparalleled and we’re all very proud of that. But it’s still a meritocracy. We hire the right people there.”
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Referring to a small but loud fan reaction to the casting of Laya DeLeon Hayes, his God Of War Ragnarok co-star, he said, “Our producers… they spent a lot of money to hire Laya to play the role of Angrboda [known as the “mother of monsters” in Norse mythology]but they never wavered.
“They never thought, ‘Well, maybe we should…’ No, she’s the best person for the job and she got it. And that’s Sony Santa Monica from top to bottom. And I’m very proud to be a part of that.”
In addition to impressing her co-stars, DeLeon Hayes was quick to prove her detractors false by adding in God Of War’s BAFTA award and taking home best supporting role.
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But despite taking the lead on change, Judge admits he’s only recently felt confident enough as a performer to speak up.
“Still on my mind, I’ve waited too long,” he said. “So I’m going against the tide, I’m trying to make up for what’s been lost during the years I’ve been successful and not to say I’m afraid of losing my position.
“But that’s what’s insidious about this ceiling – you live in fear of losing what you’ve achieved. And now that I live without fear, I have no reason not to be a leading voice. in there.”
As a family man (Judge has a son, Cameron, who is a Canadian football defender in the Canadian Football League), Kratos’ story in the most recent game goes from two-way to the bottom. a moving depiction of fatherhood, as well as sonship. .
Judge said that in some ways, the role has helped him become more in touch with himself and look back on past traumas to appreciate what he has achieved: “The difference with Ragnarok 2018 is that about my children and from within. This is truly my Story.
“I grew up looking in the mirror and society told me I was ugly, told me I was too big, too black, too anything. So I felt like I didn’t deserve to be loved, that made me unable to love. others.
“I actually got this job right after I first looked in the mirror and said, ‘I love you.’ And it’s been a real blessing ever since.”
So now that he’s at the peak of his career, and receiving accolades and accolades to prove it, where does he put all his trophies?
It’s a question Judge has in mind: “I’m actually redesigning my office… I’ve got a little case made for this incredible operation. [of award wins],” added with a smile, “so now it will be prominently displayed in all my Zooms.”
The BAFTA Games Awards are part of the London Games Festival, which runs through Saturday 8 April.