Far Cry 5 hopes for a cult following

For new game set in the U.S. and made partly in Toronto, finding a charismatic villain to go with its political territory was one of the challenges.

What do you do when you have a cult but no leader?

That was the conundrum for the Ubisoft team behind Far Cry 5, the latest in a game series that has become known for putting players in exotic locales to deal with the machinations of a chaotic and charismatic villain. For the latest game, out Tuesday, the developers chose to set the game in the wilds of Montana, where the player would have to liberate an area from a heavily armed death cult. But as production got underway, the team was having trouble finding the right person to fill the role of the cult leader, Joseph Seed a.k.a. “The Father.”

Enter Greg Bryk, a Canadian actor who had played a number of roles, including as a villain in A History of Violence — even if he was, at first, dismissive of performing in a game.

“When I was first approached about playing this character, I wasn’t interested in being in a video game. I was ignorant,” he says during an interview at Ubisoft Toronto’s motion-capture studio, the place where most of his efforts were filmed. “I didn’t get where the world was, and then I was sent a monologue of The Father, and it just resonated so acutely for me. It was his origin story of sorts and the monologue takes a very dark descent, but to me it was just very beautiful. There’s a lot of uncomfortable truth in what I say (in the game) as well, so it’s really thrilling. It’s not just a great character in a video game, it’s just a great character.”