Halo’s Pablo Schreiber on Why Master Chief Will Take off His Helmet

Halo series credit Paramount Plus
Credit: Paramount+

The live-action Halo series is coming to Paramount+ later this month, and Pablo Schreiber (American Gods, Orange is the New Black) will be donning the Master Chief outfit. Master Chief is an iconic hero in the Halo video game franchise, and the new series follows the Spartan supersoldier as he deals with an alien threat known as the Covenant.

Halo fans are accustomed to not seeing the Spartan’s face, but that’s about to change in the Paramount+ series. In a recent roundtable interview with Schreiber, he reveals why the show unmasks Master Chief early on and also what it’s like to be a supersoldier on the set.

“I stand at about six-five outside of my Mjolnir armor,” Schreiber tells Nerd Reactor. “The boots of the suit add about four or five inches, where I think in Halo mythology, the Spartans are all supposed to be over seven feet. We’re not quite there, but we’re getting pretty darn close. And with the way things are shot on TV, you know, six foot ten or six-eleven in the suit looks pretty, pretty close to seven-foot, especially when you’re shooting. The Marines that we use are all people who are under six feet. So, the height discrepancy between the Spartans and the Marines should feel quite real and look the part.”

Halo Paramount Plus (16)
Credit: Paramount+

Paramount+ will be revealing Master Chief’s face, and Schreiber talks about the difference between the video game and television format and explains why the face reveal had to be done in the show.

“And it’s totally understandable when you realize that this is a character that, for the past 20-some years, we’ve all been playing as when we play the game,” Schreiber said of Master Chief during the roundtable interview. “There’s a co-ownership we all have over the Chief because we all have our own version of the Chief. He’s a symbol for all of us, right? And he’s been kept very vague because it’s a first-person shooter that we’re invited to play as him. So we fill in the opaque parts of his character with our own personality, and that was the setup of the video game for the past 20 years.”

“We’re making a television show,” he continued. “And it’s a long-form television series that we want to bring the audience along with us. We want the care of the audience to empathize with our protagonist. We want them to feel for him, and and relate to him. And the only way to do that is to have access to the face, so you can know what he’s feeling and what he’s thinking over the course of time. That’s how we relate to our television characters. And so it felt obvious and necessary that that was a step we were going to have to take and do it early to get the audience comfortable with it.”

Schreiber knows that there will be many fans who will have a hard time with the decision, but he hopes that they will understand it as the episodes come out.

“But we also realized how hard that was going to be for so many people, because of the feelings of attachment they have to the character,” the actor said. “And that’s all good, and that’s all great. And anybody who is willing to take that journey with us and experience the character of the Chief in a different way than they’ve experienced it before – because you’re no longer being asked to be a co-owner of the story – you’re now being asked to put the remote down, sit back on the couch, and learn about the Chief as he learns about his own humanity over the course of the first season. If you’re willing to come on that journey with us, I think it’s going to be incredibly rewarding.”

The Master Chief actor is also okay with those who won’t be okay with the decision, but he believes there is something for Halo fans.

“If you’re not and and you have an opinion that differs from that, I totally respect that opinion,” Schreiber said. “And you don’t have to. But, you know, I think it’s a world that’s going to be very pleasing for Halo fans because it feels so familiar. And it feels so much like the world that we all have come to love for so long. But I, just as much, am excited about exposing this world that I’ve fallen in love with over the past three years with people who have never played the game and to show them why we love it so much. The depth of this story and the amount of mythology and lore that have been established by some really creative and wonderful thinkers is such a wonderful place to be.”

The first episode of the Halo series will be out on March 24, 2022 on Paramount+.

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