Aaron Staton will have come to most people’s attention via the AMC TV series Mad Men, but more recently the 31-year-old actor has become the face – quite literally – of Depth Analysis’ MotionScan technology, playing troubled detective Cole Phelps in Team Bondi’s groundbreaking crime thriller LA Noire. When he’s not starring in games, he’s a keen consumer of them…
What’s your earliest gaming memory?
I grew up gaming. I had a console in my room when I was five or six: an Atari 2600. And then I had a Nintendo, then a Sega Genesis – which I had for a while, even through the PlayStation generation. I was late on that bandwagon – I got the PlayStation in ‘99, or something. Then I took a break, and it’s been Xbox for me since!
Do you find much time to play these days?
In the past year, I’ll hop on for a few rounds of Call Of Duty mostly; just a little multiplayer here and there. But I haven’t been able to really settle in for the longer, epic games like, erm…
Exactly! I’ve played a little bit: I’ve made it to the homicide desk. I played a bit of Red Dead Redemption, too. But I’ve been playing games on my phone, and I used to play some old skool games like Mario and Golden Axe before they did away with a lot of the phone emulators – that was kind of a bummer. [Golden Axe] was an amazing game. For some reason, even though it was designed so you could only get so many potions from those little elves at each point, I thought if I just ran faster and hit them again I could squeeze out an extra potion! [Laughs]
Have any gaming groups formed among the Mad Men cast?
Yeah, actually! Rich Sommer, who plays Harry on the show, Michael Glottis, who plays Paul, and I would play quite a bit of Call Of Duty. Rich got a travel bag for his Xbox – he’d bring it to set and we’d all bring a controller [laughs].
There are lots of cameos in LA Noire from Mad Men actors…
It was really the casting directors who cast Mad Men; Laura Schiff and Carrie Audino worked with Rockstar and they were able to get a lot of people to be a part of LA Noire. I think it was a natural fit from the show to the game and a lot of people were interested to be a part of it because of the technology and story and working on a period videogame; to step into that world for a day.
LA Noire has proved popular with wives and girlfriends, which doesn’t happen with too many modern games.
I made it to the first two cases on the homicide desk. If I play with my wife then the interrogations go much smoother than if I play on my own; I am officially the worst interrogator [laughs]. But I’d heard that from a couple of other friends: they found their partners, girlfriends and wives were better at picking up the clues. I don’t know if it’s women’s intuition or something else, but I think it definitely has something to do with it!