After the critically acclaimed launch of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart I was able to chat with Courtenay Taylor, the voice of Mrs. Zurkon. Ms. Taylor has also leant her vocals to many other iconic video game characters. From Ada Wong in the Resident Evil series to Jack in the Mass Effect franchise her resume is vast. She is one of the most prolific voice actors in the gaming industry today!
The History of Mrs. Zurkon
Mrs. Zurkon made her first appearance in Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction as an enemy looking to destroy the dynamic duo. Hop a few dimensions in Rift Apart and she is now an ally selling you weapons to takedown the bad guys. As she doles out the armaments, she also delivers some hilarious one-liners and expresses an attitude all her own. In this Q&A with Ms. Taylor we get a behind the scenes look at the making of Rift Apart and one of the series’ most iconic characters, Mrs. Zurkon.
Matthew: Playing through the game, I loved your portrayal of Mrs. Zurkon as a helpful yet feisty ally. Many of your lines are a roasting of Ratchet and Rivet, did you improv any of these lines?
Courtenay: “I love that she is an ally in this dimension. It’s a fun juxtaposition to her prior iteration as a boss. Her attempts to be conspiratorial and undercover were some of my favorite moments! I am incredibly grateful to the Dev team at Insomniac Games. It was a joy to work with what was already on the page, but they were also really open to improvisation.It’s the best kind of collaboration, where they say, ‘here are the lines we’ve written and the ideas we’ve had on this character. Now what’s your take on her?’
Her Casting sheet asked for a rockabilly chick, and I had so many ideas! I loved that she turned into this irrepressible, funny mama hen type. Even though the sessions had to be remote because of COVID, they were pure fun. We all sat on the line and just giggled at stuff everyone came up with and riffed on in the moment. That is the second Insomniac project I’ve done in two years (the first was Strangelets) and the way they work is addictive!”
Matthew: What is one of your favourite lines that you delivered portraying Ms. Zurkon?
Courtenay: “’Well swat my hind with a melon rind!’ I’ve been waiting to say that all my life!”
Matthew: As the arms dealer in Rift Apart, I must ask, what is your favourite weapon in the zany arsenal and why?
Courtenay: “I really love the Topiary Sprinkler. I mean, how many games have you played that allow you to turn your enemies into hedge sculptures? I need that in real life. Somebody cuts you off in traffic? Boom, they’re now a box hedge snipped into the shape of a bunny rabbit! HAHA!”
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart Is Available Now
There you have it, from one-liners to the best weapon in the game Mrs. Zurkon herself delivering the inside scoop. A special thanks to Ms. Taylor for taking the time to speak with us, looking forward to her next big performance!
If you haven’t had a chance to play Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart it is available today for purchase online at bestbuy.ca and in-store exclusively on the PlayStation 5.