Halo’s Jen Taylor on Returning as Cortana in Paramount+ Series

Halo Paramount Plus (21)
Credit: Paramount+

Cortana is an AI being who helps Master Chief and has been an important part of the Halo video game franchise since its debut. She was even seen outside the realm of the Halo universe as Microsoft’s virtual assistant on Windows. Fans will be happy to know that Jen Taylor, who voiced Cortana in the Halo video game franchise, will be reprising her role in the Halo series on Paramount+. During a roundtable interview, she and fellow co-star Yerin Ha talk about the series and what it’s like being on the set.

“I am so grateful for this,” Taylor said about coming back as Cortana. “It’s overwhelming, and it feels simple at the same time, if that makes sense. It is such an interesting journey to be on. I feel honored by it and a little intimidated by it, in all honesty, because I understand how big it is and how much bigger than me it is. This story is just so huge. This world of Halo is so big. It is an honor to continue to work on it, to continue to chip away at it and try to make things more clear to myself and for the story and whatever. It is an exciting scary challenge and continues to be even after 21 years.”

Halo Paramount Plus (18)
Credit: Paramount+

Newcomer Yerin plays Quan Ah, a survivor who was saved by Master Chief, a Spartan supersoldier.

“I mean, what a franchise to come into and work on,” Ha tells Nerd Reactor. “But just the scale of everything you see, the sets and everything like that, all comes to life. And it’s just there. It’s like, you can touch it, you can feel it. It’s just amazing. And to see what everybody has made, and yeah, what an absolute blessing.”

“Yeah, indeed,” Taylor added. “I second that.”

Ha talks about her preparation for the role.

“I actually did a lot of physical training at the very beginning,” she said during the roundtable interview. “I was doing HIT workouts and all that kind of stuff. Then gradually, as shooting started to begin, I was so tired. I had to find a different way. I burned myself out way too quickly. But I realized that I had to walk because Quan also has a lot of emotionally active scenes. So just trying to figure out that balance of physical and emotional and mental, I guess, calmness and stamina. Yeah, the stamina is so important. But I mean, it’s really nothing compared to what Pablo [Master Chief] is doing, so I can’t complain. But yeah, I just kind of chatted with all the directors, the producers, I did all that kind of textbook, handy work as well. And that really helped inform my character.”

Jen is back as Cortana, but she reveals that she came in later during the production and wasn’t able to show her fellow castmates the ropes of the Halo franchise.

“I came in sort of late to it and things were pretty well established,” Taylor said. “And I think people were feeling pretty confident with the work that they have done. And you know, I’m not going to be able to add to their characters or give them any information about their characters. So no, I don’t feel like I shared much of my experience in that way onset.”

The Halo series will debut its first episode on March 24, 2022, on Paramount+.

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