The characters of Days Gone were not like any other cast I’ve seen in games. They were original, diverse, human and relatable. Each one played a key role in the story and their actions made sense. Without this group of characters, Days Gone wouldn’t have felt the same. That speaks to the level of writing and the performances by the actors and actresses. One character that left an imprint on player’s hearts was Iron Mike. Iron Mike represented hope in a cruel world, and was a crucial part in Deacon’s journey.
I had the opportunity to ask the man himself, Eric Allan Kramer who played Iron Mike some questions about his character. Eric Allan Kramer is best known for his roles in Good Luck Charlie and Lodge 49, but has appeared in numerous shows and films such as, True Romance, Robin Hood Men in Tights, American Wedding and recently appeared in the new show On Becoming a God in Central Florida. It was wonderful to talk about one of my favorite characters in Days Gone and to understand a little more about Iron Mike. Eric provides an in-depth look at who Iron Mike is, what type of person he may have been and his relationship with Deacon.
The Broken Road: This was your first acting gig in a video game, correct? How was your experience, and how did it differ from television shows and films?
Eric Allan Kramer: Very first. And probably the best way to get my feet wet in that world as everyone was incredibly helpful and available. Also some solid actors to play off of. The suit took a little getting used to but I was surprised as to how quickly I became comfortable in it once we started playing the scenes. Very different from one camera shows and films as you never had to move the camera, reset and relight to cover different angles. You were covered the entire time and could just run the scenes, very quickly finding a rhythm and flow. If anything it felt closer to Multicam shows.
Most people know you from the TV show, Good Luck Charlie as Bob Duncan. I remember watching this show in high school! What similarities if any do you see between these two characters, Bob and Iron Mike?
Ha! Not much, I think… Except both have to deal with other people who feel they know how to do things better. And I guess they are both exterminators in a sense, yes?
One of my favorite quotes in Days Gone comes from Iron Mike;
“We make the world what it is, by what we do. All of us.”
This quote resonates a lot right now with our current world state. What type of positive words do you think Iron Mike would say to the people?
I think he would say to look for the people doing good and encourage more of that. Help when you can, point out to others what can be done when you can’t.
How would you describe Iron Mike to someone who has never played Days Gone before?
Iron Mike, I think, is a guy who you want and, at the same time, shouldn’t have in charge. He is a compassionate leader, caring and looking out for the best interests of his community. But at the same time he has lived and seen too much. He is as broken as the world around him and I think that stops him from making decisions that he knows need to be made. He leans too much on compromise and lets his desire for how he wants things to be win out over reality.
How much of yourself was portrayed through your character?
I think there is always a bit of yourself that you bring to every role. Not sure how much of myself I recognize in Iron Mike, but there were certainly moments in speeches he had that hit home in a real way.
When Deacon first arrived at Lost Lake, he was reminded that if he stepped foot in the camp again Iron Mike would kill him. In your mind, what do you think changed in Iron Mike’s head to bring him back in?
Iron Mike always, whether he admitted it or not, looked for the good and the positive in people. Maybe because he felt he lost that in himself. Deacon’s journey was an honest one and I think Mike saw that, felt that, even if he believed Deacon was blind and it was foolish.
Iron Mike and Deacon have almost that tough father/son relationship. He even says that Deacon reminds him of his younger self. What type of man do you think Iron Mike was before the apocalypse?
I think Mike was probably a hell raiser. Lived on the edge. I don’t think you survive very long in that kind of post apocalyptic world without having that in you.
In the scene with Iron Mike and Deacon in Sherman’s Camp, the revelation of how it all went down was dark and really made you feel for Iron Mike. As an actor, how much does a scene like this impact you while you are giving out the dialogue?
What’s great about this game is the humanity that is at its core. Situations and dialogue like in that scene make the world and those characters far more real. And, as an actor, characters like that are very rewarding to play.
Even with Iron Mike gone, his legacy will forever mark the lives of Lost Lake including Deacon, Boozer, Rikki and Addy. Do you think Deacon can fill in those big shoes?
If anyone, Deacon can. I think the two of them showed each other the best of themselves along with a warning of the dark that lies underneath. I’m sure Deacon will carry that with him.
If you could change one thing about Iron Mike, what would it be?
I would keep him alive in case there is a Days Gone 2… Although, I don’t think we could ever rule out his spirit coming back and tearing someone a new one.
You can pick up Days Gone on sale for only $19.99 in North America right now on the PlayStation Store!
Thank you to Eric Allan Kramer for coming on The Broken Road to help celebrate Days Gone Week! For Iron Mike! You can catch all the latest news about Days Gone from Bend Studio on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.