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Entering the World of Halo: A Conversation with Steven Waddington

07 April 2015

Halo: Nightfall is a live-action Xbox Originals webseries for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, and other Microsoft devices which was released in late 2014. Consisting of five episodes, the series was created by Scott Free Productions in conjunction with 343 Industries.

Serving as an origin story for Agent Locke, a secondary playable character in Halo 5: Guardians, Nightfall is intended to connect the stories of Halo 4 and Guardians. An ONI unit under Locke’s command is deployed on the distant human Outer Colony of Sedra to investigate terrorist activity. Sedra is described as a backwater world harbouring a disdain for the Unified Earth Government and the UNSC. During their investigation, a Sedran city is attacked by a Sangheili terrorist wielding a biological weapon that only affects humans.

Locke’s team is forced to work together with Sedran Colonial Guard commander Randall Aiken and his troops to track down the origin of the bioweapon. During their search, the unit is drawn to a partially intact section of Installation 04, the Halo ringworld destroyed by the Master Chief in the first Halo game. A grave threat present on the ancient construct soon turns the mission into a desperate fight for survival.

The Fan Carpet’s Marc Jason Ali spoke to Steven Waddington about his role of Randall Aiken, what made him get involved with the project, working with Alan Rickman and his own Directorial aspirations…



So after such a long and illustrious career what was it about Halo: Nightfall that made you want to be a part of it?

Pretty much a conventional approach and I’ve got a script which was interesting I hadn’t done many Sci-Fi Pictures before so that’s what I was immediately intriguing, also it came from Ridley Scott’s Production Compay [Scott Free], so that strikes you immediately, gets your attention.

So I went along thinking actually that it was actionable not knowing that it was going to be an episodic drama then later made into a feature length project.

So it was sort of intriguing from the start, something I’d not really done.  Also they were going to get this to the masses in an unconventional way, it was to be promoted through the internet, so it was new ground really.


Were you familiar with the Game Series and the story before taking the role?

Do you know what, I wasn’t. I’d obviously heard of it because it’s so famous, but I had sort of given up my gaming days in the Lara Croft era and never really got back into it.

It was a new thing to discover for me pretty much, although I had heard of th name and the brand.

One of the first things I watched was Halo: Forward Unto Dawn, when I realise how they were going to promote it, I viewed some of that. And we were really lucky that we had people come over who knew a lot of thing about it, you know we had people from Microsoft came over to Northern Ireland where we had our boot camp, it’s in book form as well and so it was really great to have them as advisers to us.


The setting of Nightfall is breathtaking, do you have any memorable moments from set?

Gosh I don’t know why, but a moment that just came to me was when Luke Neal was knocked unconscious as we were running away from the Yonder Worms that don’t really exist because the uniforms and armour that are so brilliantly made, are actually quite difficult to manoeuvre in, especially when you’re running backwards to a cavern with jagged rocks sticking out of the floor, because we we’re in Iceland by this point.

But there were so many great moments with it because we had this extraordinary weather in Iceland; it never stopped raining and it was just freezing cold and raining so we sort of had that to deal with.

And just being in Iceland and being taken to these extraordinary locations is just a privilege as an actor.


How did you find working with the Director and the cast?

It was fantastic, we gelled really quickly, it doesn’t always happen, but on this it did, so we were really lucky. It was quite a physical shoot for everyone, quite arduous for the actors, so I think that bring people together, it promotes the sort of camaraderie of soldiers, real soldiers go through. I’m not comparing our conditions to theirs, we were acting but because we we constantly soaked and running up and down difficult terrain.

We had to bring our own morale to the project, so it was great, it was a team of people hat clicked from the beginning.

The Director was fantastic, me and him clicked from the start in the audition, we were on the same page, which gives you a lot of confidence as an actor, he was a great leader. I think we all enjoyed the process.



You touched on the boot camp, was there any other training that you had to go through for the role?

We all went through the same training, we knew it was going to be physical and weapons training, we knew we were going to do some assailing at some point, running thought corridors to a little bit of climbing and sailing as well.

So they were the main things a part from the weapons training and positioning yourself how to use the weapons and then of course you have to relearn how to walk with the armour, and walk in this new way.

So we learned the same skills really, we spent a week learning that in Northern Ireland before we went to Iceland.


You said Lara Croft was something you played before, is there anything else you’re a fan of?

Gosh, I’m really old school, I have the fondest memories of when Space Invaders came out when I was a kid, and I was completely hooked. We had one at the Youth Club that I went to, you could never get me off it.

But I think as I got older, and the graphics became extraordinary, I was making a conscious effort to avoid them because I found with Lara, I’d lose days, I really got addicted. I wanted to use my time more productively, I love them, but I dared not get involved in them, in case I got sucked in, you think you’ll only play for a short time but it goes by really quickly.


What do you have coming up, what’s next for you?

I’m not working at the moment, but I have two films coming out; one is A Little Chaos with Alan Rickman, his second Directorial film and Kate Winslett is the star of that film, I have a really lovely part on that, and I believe it’s released on April 17.

And then I’ve got this other film, quite a dark film called Bridgend which is about a string of suicides in South Wales. That’s a really dark film that I hope will do well, it’s going to Tribeca in April so fingers crossed for that.


How did you find working with Alan?

Oh wonderful, he’s a dream to work with, I just suddenly got a call to go and meet him and the casting director and he was making this film and he thought of me for this part, I was honoured. And he’s an actor so he knows how actors work and I think that somehow helps.

It was quite a tough shoot, we got completely rained on again, but it was an absolute pleasure and it’s a lovely film as well. I’d love to work with him again.


And finally, do you have any aspirations of going behind the camera yourself?

Yeah, I’ve always wanted to write and direct, I’ve written several screenplays and I’m at the point where I’m ready to get one made. It’s a near impossible task, I have friends who struggle, but I’m about to start that process to see how difficult it is.



Steven Waddington Photos | Halo: Nightfll Film Page


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