One of the most prominent Valorant agents is the Australian initiator with nature-based Radiant Powers, Skye.
Skye joined the Valorant Roster with the 3rd Act of Episode 1: Formation. Her nature-based unique powers set her apart from Breach and Sova, the other initiators of Valorant.
Skye has been portrayed in Valorant by the talented Miranda O’Hare. The L.A.-based Australian actor also has multiple writer and producer credits to her name. Other than Skye in Valorant, she has portrayed Zephyr in XCOM Chimera Squad.
In an exclusive conversation with Sportskeeda Esports’ Suryadeepto Sengupta, O’Hare opened up about her journey, experiences portraying Skye and Zephyr, and her voice acting career.
The following is an excerpt of the conversation.
Q. Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself and your journey from Canberra Youth Theater to acting to lending your voice in video games?
Miranda: Well, I’m an Aussie actor and voice-over artist. I’m based in LA. I’ve been here for seven years now, which is crazy. I started performing when I was a kid and made the move to Sydney to do film and TV when I was 18. Since then, I’ve done a bunch of film and TV in Australia and LA but made the big move to LA in 2014.
In 2019, I was signed to a voice-over agency kind of randomly. Basically, I was there to have a meeting about signing with their commercial and print modeling division, and they asked if I wanted to audition for their voice-over department, and I said yes. Last year, I booked the voice of Zephyr in XCOM Chimera Squad and the voice of Skye in Valorant.
Q. You have worked on several notable movies and TV series. How was the transition from film to voice acting?
Miranda: You know, voice acting is a technical skill for sure, but it’s just acting at its core. A good voice actor is a good actor. I just think about who the character is and what their life has been like, and that informs how their voice will sound.
Q. What are the major differences between the two: acting in a film and video game voice acting? How did you adapt? In essence, which is harder, acting on screen or lending your voice to computer-generated characters?
Miranda: Well, it takes a lot longer to act for the screen because it’s recorded, obviously. So, going into a studio and putting down voice lines is easier. However, just having your voice to tell an entire story can be a lot of pressure. I think both are challenging and require certain skills, but ultimately, you are just a vehicle to tell a story in both.
Q. When it comes to voice acting, have you taken inspiration from someone?
Miranda: I haven’t taken inspiration from a particular voice actor, but I love animation. The Simpsons was my entire childhood, and I remember the first time I heard Nancy Cartwright in an interview (voice of Bart), and my brain exploded. I have always found voice actors fascinating. Growing up, I would always do accents for my sister, who I think just thought I was nuts.
Q, Were you an avid gamer before starring in XCOM: Chimera Squad and Valorant? What are some of the video games you enjoy?
Miranda: I actually don’t play games. I have literally no experience playing any, and it’s crazy that I’m so involved in the community now. I have learned so much. I have a lot of friends who play, but personally, I don’t. However, I stream on Twitch and mostly interview girl gamers and engage with the Valorant community, and I plan to try some games soon.
Q. Do tell us about the experience of lending your voice to Zephyr in XCOM Chimera Squad. How was the experience of portraying a video game character for the first time?
Miranda: I was just really excited. My attitude towards anything is to focus on the fun of it. I like to think of any work opportunity as fun because I like to live my life that way. I thought it was the coolest thing. I was nervous, but they were awesome and happy to explain everything to me.
I actually lost my voice after recording Zephyr, and I realized that I needed to protect my voice more when I’m in the studio. I love Zephyr because she looks so damn cool and has such a cool backstory. She’s such a bada**.
Q. Do you play Valorant on a regular basis? Is Skye your go-to agent, or do you find other in-game characters intriguing?
Miranda: I haven’t played Valorant yet, but of course, I would play Skye if I did. I want to try all the characters. I really like the lore of Valorant. The world Riot has created is incredibly impressive to me. I love Phoenix and Omen most at the moment because their voices are amazing. Every week, I have a new favorite.
Q. What’s the story behind becoming the voice of Skye? Was it something you expected?
Miranda: No, I didn’t expect it at all. 2020 was such a difficult year, so I was shocked something good had happened. Basically, I just got the audition brief for her character from my agency at the time. She had a different name, and it just said it was for a video game.
It didn’t mention that it was for Valorant. Video games are very secretive in the audition process and access, so I didn’t know anything at all. I got her character breakdown and saw that she was a bada** country girl from Australia, and I just felt that I knew her and her voice. It made sense to me. I recorded the audition, and then a few weeks later, I got an email saying I had booked the job. I was very surprised.
Q. How was the experience of becoming Skye in Valorant? Can you shed some light on some of the hurdles that you faced when voicing her?
Miranda: To be really honest, I didn’t face any hurdles. I went in and recorded her voice lines, and I felt like I was able to input anything creatively I wanted, especially in terms of dialogue as I am Australian and the writer Zach is American. It was a fun and uplifting experience for me. It actually helped with my confidence being relatively new to voice acting because Riot was so supportive.
Q. What is the process behind recording new voice lines for Skye to interact with upcoming Valorant agents?
Miranda: Basically, the director will explain the relationship between the two agents, and you record the lines by yourself. The relationship is the most important piece of information for the voice actor.
Q. How familiar are you with the lore and backstory of Skye? What are your thoughts on her story?
Miranda: I love Skye’s story. I love that she didn’t want to fight with the other agents initially because she was happy on the farm with her animals. I get that. I feel like I relate to her because I have a really special connection to all animals, and I actually found it really difficult to leave Australia to come here to LA to act. But like Skye, I felt a calling to something, so I followed that feeling.
Q. You have already portrayed Zephyr in XCOM and Skye in Valorant; which other video game franchise do you hope to lend your voice to in the future?
Miranda: It would be cool to do any of them. I really want to do animation work as well. That’s a huge goal of mine when it comes to voice acting. I just want to keep working, and voice acting makes me really happy.
Q. What is it like to finally start streaming and appear on Valorant media outlets like Valoranthub? Especially being with people like Zakky who are just passionate about the lore and characters of the game.
Miranda: It’s been such a crazy learning experience for me. I am so grateful to Zakky because he’s helped me and taught me so much. He’s someone I met through an interview, and we just clicked, and now he’s a dear friend. I really like connecting with the community.
Streaming for me is very new and something I like a lot but also something that I find emotionally exhausting at times, so I’m taking it slow and trying to not put pressure on myself, which is something I tend to do. I am really grateful to my community because they support me through everything.
All in all, I just feel so lucky to be Skye’s voice and to have been afforded all the opportunities I have been from voicing her. I can’t wait to see what lies ahead.