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Chloe Hollings talks love of acting and creating a character with just her voice
As an actor, France's Chloe Hollings has a great command of her craft. She knows how to use her entire body to create an entirely new person, enchanting audiences and portraying a realistic performance without even speaking.

This is evident with her tremendous work in the French television show Versailles, where her on-camera death performance is haunting and beautiful, just through her body language. Audiences also saw her vast talent in the acclaimed film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, where she was able to become a being that was not human, seeming robotic through her movements. 

It is Hollings' versatility, however, that makes her such an in-demand actress. Not only can she charm audiences with her body, but her work in voice acting is just as captivating. She has millions of fans voicing the admired character Widowmaker in the video game Overwatch, widely considered to be one of the greatest games of all time. 

"With voice acting, I love the fact that I don't have to solely play blonde thirty-year old women, even though I'm a blonde thirty-year-old woman. I find it extremely liberating. I get to play tall, sexy femme fatales, or little boys that live in Space, or animal characters. I get to be older, younger, American, British, Irish, French, Italian," she said. "It is also very liberating to act in a booth, where only few people will see you. Unlike on-camera or on-stage work, I get to move around in unpredictable ways, as long as it helps my character, I get to make weird faces, etc. I can just let go and play, like I did when I was five years old! It's really fun."

She also lends her voice to another game, Bury Me, My Love, available as a phone application. Bury Me, My Love tells Nour's story as she flees Syria and tries to reach Europe. Bombs have been falling for years on Homs, Syria, tearing the city to pieces and spreading death. So, when her younger sister is added to the list of casualties, Nour can't take it anymore. She decides to leave for Europe, with hopes of a better life. Her husband, Majd, can't come with her. So together, Nour and Majd prepare her trip as well as possible. They study the maps, make a list of items she could use, gather their meager savings and buy two smartphones to keep in touch. They're both frightened and restless. One morning, Nour hops on a truck with her backpack on her shoulder. Before she leaves, Majd hugs her like never before, kisses her on the forehead and whispers a Syrian farewell saying: "Bury me, my Love."

"Everyone can relate to the story of this game, the feelings that are displayed: love, separation, fear, these are universal. The fact that this game makes the player understand that those are the emotions that 'migrants' experience when they leave their country, their homes, their families, their loved-ones, is a true gift to humankind right now. We tend to forget that migrants are people too. It is such an important matter and will become increasingly important in the decades to come. We need to be made aware of it and create a connection to these people that we consider mere strangers but who are other versions of ourselves, doing exactly what we would be doing if we were in that situation," said Hollings.

Hollings voiced the lead character, Nour, and knew that her performance must be compelling to make the game a success. Therefore, she created a connection with Nour, even though she's fictitious and absent. She wanted the player to contemplate the idea that this young woman could be his/her sister/girlfriend/mother/cousin and be truly affected by that.

"I had to be extremely convincing when portraying Nour in truly heartbreaking situations. She, as most people who migrate from one country to another, lives through a lot of dangerous situations, feels unsafe most of the time, doesn't know how long she will be able to survive. I had to be extremely raw and emotionally available. Again, the voice does not lie. I was not allowed to fake it. It was very intense," Hollings described.

When Hollings heard of the game, she knew she wanted to be a part of such a groundbreaking project.  The original idea was so smart and seemed important to the actress at the time of the recording. With the political situation in Europe and the world, there are stark contrasts in opinion regarding the migrant crisis. Hollings saw the opportunity that this game presented, not just simply to entertain, but also to educate.  

"Some people have been courageous enough to leave their country in which they no longer feel safe and have been making their way to Europe and have not necessarily found a warm welcome here. The idea that the player, through text messages to Nour, gets to understand a little more about the reality of a person who is 'migrating' felt like something we needed more of, and I was very proud to be chosen for this role. These kinds of projects are completely in touch with the reason I became an actress since they are a path towards empathy," she said.

Bury Me, My Love has seen great international success. Not only is it a popular independent game, but it has won several awards and recognition in the industry. Such success could never have been possible without Hollings as the lead, and she does not take that responsibility lightly, knowing that voicing such a game could help change a global perspective.

"I loved every bit of working on this. The intelligence in writing, for starters. I thought this game was much needed and revolutionary. I thought it was very audacious and brave to develop such a game at such a time. I loved my scenes and the fact that I needed to be true, sincere, authentic. I needed to work as an actress. To create this specific human being and imagine what it would be like to live through all these horrific situations. It was my mission, my challenge, to get it just right, because I knew the game would suffer if I didn't," she concluded.

Bury Me, My Love is available on The App Store and Google Play. Be sure to download it.

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