Steven Ogg Reveals How He Really Feels About Grand Theft Auto - Exclusive

You may recognize actor Steven Ogg from his roles on The Walking Dead, The Tick, or the new Snowpiercer series — or maybe you know him from the wildly popular Grand Theft Auto V video game, in which he's the voice and motion-captured inspiration behind career criminal Trevor Phillips. That 2013 role effectively launched Ogg's career, and he's been climbing up the Hollywood ladder ever since.


Grand Theft Auto V is an action-adventure game that follows three criminals as they commit crimes, usually involving gunfire, graphic violence, and car chases. It has sold over 130 million copies and generated more than $6 billion in revenue. In total, the entire GTA franchise, which Rockstar Games launched in 1997, includes 11 standalone games and four expansion packs; it's one of the most successful video game series in history — thanks in large part to GTA V.

In an exclusive interview with Looper, Ogg opened up about what he thinks about the franchise, his feelings about his role as Trevor, and what he knows about the next installment of the game.

Steven Ogg likens his character Trevor to Luke Skywalker

The enormous popularity of Grand Theft Auto V has left Ogg in a unique position: Despite a prolific career in television, his ultra-violent role in the video game garners him the most attention.

"It's sort of like, Mark Hamill is forever Luke Skywalker. I might forever have this Trevor Grand Theft Auto thing — which listen, I'm proud of it. It doesn't bug me because it was work I enjoyed," says Ogg. 


While Ogg has never played the game (he tells us that he hears it's "interesting"), he says portraying a motion-capture character was a blast. He tells Looper, "Be it theater, film, [or] TV, the words are the words and that's your job as an actor: to create these characters and say these words. But it's just the technique that differs [with motion-capture]. So it was sure fun to do this motion-capture and to create, again, this rather crazy impulsive character that I had a blast doing it. It was like seven years ago, but it was fun — a lot of fun.

Ogg also shares that portraying Trevor in the Grand Theft Auto universe has generated the largest fanbase out of all his characters — though he does have a legion of Walking Dead enthusiasts behind him as well, thanks to his role as Simon, the right-hand man to Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan. On a worldwide scale, however, there's a clear winner.


"The Walking Dead sort of then kept up with [Grand Theft Auto] too. So it would probably be GTA and then Walking Dead. But certainly globally, Grand Theft Auto," says Ogg. "It's pretty crazy. I've been all over the world — China, Brazil, Europe, Canada, the Philippines. I've been a lot of places, and the response to Grand Theft Auto is still crazy. [...] That's a pretty global, crazy thing. It's really nuts."

Will Trevor be in Grand Theft Auto 6?

However, just because Ogg contributed to the success of GTA V doesn't mean he knows anything about the next installment of the video game franchise.

"I don't know s***," he says. "Actors are the last to know anything. You want to know anything about any production — well, maybe not a motion-capture — go talk to hair and makeup or the special effects team because they have to budget the entire season. I spoke at the Vancouver Acting School or Film School and [they asked, 'What's your advice for young actors?' I said, 'The first day, be friends with hair and makeup because that's how you're going to know where your character's going and what you're doing. Because they know everything.'"


Still, Ogg speculates that his character Trevor probably won't be back — though he can't say anything with complete confidence considering he hasn't kept up with the Grand Theft Auto series.

"I didn't follow the video games. I don't know what they do, so I'm still not in that world," he admits. "I have no idea. I don't think they bring characters back ever; they all seem to be one-offs."

Where you can see Steven Ogg these days

Though Ogg's Trevor may not pop up in Grand Theft Auto 6, fans of the actor can still see his face on screen, just in a different medium. Ogg currently stars on TNT's Snowpiercer series as Pike, a career criminal and convicted robber who escaped the Cook County Jail and now leads the Tail of the titular train, serving as a warrior of lower-class passengers. 


His role on Snowpiercer season 1 is in a recurring capacity, but Ogg will become a series regular on season 2. Like we said, fans certainly haven't seen the last of Steven Ogg.