Most people had never heard of the actors involved in Red Dead Redemption 2, and that’s exactly what Rockstar wanted. “We no longer bring actors by name for their ego, and especially because we believe that we can get a better sense of immersion with talented actors whose voices you don’t know,” said Dan Houser vulture.
Casting so many actors also presented Rockstar with a new challenge: secrecy. Video game studios often like to play things close to their chest, but Rockstar wanted to keep Red Dead Redemption 2 top secret for as long as possible. That meant casting all of the roles in the game without telling a single actor what they were actually auditioning for.
On a board at SacAnime Summer 2019, the game’s main characters stated that none of them knew they would be on Red Dead Redemption 2 until they got their roles and got down to filming. Even Robert Allen Wiethoff, who played John Marston in the first game, thought he was auditioning for a video game commercial.
In addition to reading their lines for the audition, the actors also had to perform inexplicable actions, such as folding laundry, walking in circles or, like Roger Clark in one Interview at MCM Comic Con, crouch and crawl like a video game character. He said his walk, which the players would eventually watch for hours, was of great interest to the casting team.