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How Nolan North tried to channel the Stan Lee energy for his meta 'Uncharted' live action cameo
"It’s a quick little thing, and it works for the scheme of the film and it’s fun. Like Stan Lee’s stuff in Marvel movies."
Now that Uncharted is finally playing on the big screen, voice actor Nolan North has opened up about his meta live-action cameo in the blockbuster film adaptation. North, who voices Nathan Drake in the hit video game series published by Naughty Dog, appears just after the big action set piece on Moncada's cargo plane that was ripped straight out of the third game in the franchise, Drake's Deception.
Young Nathan (Tom Holland) and Chloe Frazer (Sophia Ali) stumble out of the ocean and onto the beachside property of a luxury resort in the Philippines. A man lounging in the sun (North) asks, "Whoa, what the hell happened to you two?" Without batting an eye, Nathan responds, "Fell out of a car that fell out of a plane..." This doesn't seem to faze the man who answers: "Huh, you know...something like that happened to me once."
Speaking with Variety about the short exchange, North admitted that he wasn't entirely sold on the idea of making an appearance. In the end, he agreed to take part in the project, viewing the guest role as something similar to Stan Lee popping up throughout the MCU.
“I think cameos can be touchy," he explained. "I told them, ‘I don’t need to be in the movie just to be in the movie.' I don’t like to be taken out of a movie. When I’m watching one, I’m focused in. From what we did, it’s just enough of a nod that everyone goes, ‘Ah, that’s the guy!’ And then we’re right back into the film. I was adamant with them, I didn’t want it to be self-indulgent. It’s a quick little thing, and it works for the scheme of the film and it’s fun. Like Stan Lee’s stuff in Marvel movies. They always were perfect."
As for Holland's performance, North was impressed, "not only his talent, but the person he is and watching him interact with the cast and crew," he continued. "At the beach, there were so many extras and people who wanted to see him. There were crowds of young girls waiting to see him come off the set, and he waved and they screamed. I waved and they didn’t scream, but that’s OK. Some of their moms did."
If a sequel is made, the man behind the virtual iteration of the globe-trotting treasure hunter has an idea of how he can return. “Maybe some day they find Drake’s long-lost father, I’d be old enough by then,” North said. “‘You’re the guy from the beach! I’ve been watching you, kid. You’re doing great.'”
Even if he's not asked back for another adventure, however, the actor still has high hopes for a potential follow-up film, which he'd like to see feature elements from the second game, Among Thieves. The movie's mid-credits sequence definitely seems to be pointing in that direction with Nathan and Sully (Mark Wahlberg) after an old Nazi map — presumably one that leads to the fabled Tibetan location of Shambhala from the game series.
Uncharted is now playing in theaters everywhere. Despite so-so reviews, the film opened above projections with $51 million domestically and $55.4 million globally for a sizable worldwide total of $106.4 million over the extended President's Day weekend.