INTERVIEW | Nicole Tompkins, the voice-over actress and mo-cap of Jill Valentine in Resident Evil 3

Alongside EvilHazard, we had the special opportunity to interview Nicole Tompkins, the voice-over actress and mo-cap of Jill Valentine in Resident Evil 3. We appreciate your kindness and attention, Nicole! Big thanks for our partners on EvilHazard for this opportunity as well!

1. How was the invitation to get in the production of Resident Evil 3? Was it a big surprise for you to receive the call?

After a pretty intensive casting process I was beyond thrilled to receive the call that I had been asked to be the new Jill. From the auditions alone I knew that I was in good hands with a passionate and talented team with whom I had a shared vision for how this iteration of Jill would interface with the world.

2. Were you familiar to the Resident Evil franchise before working as Jill in Resident Evil 3? Were you aware of the success of the franchise?

I was familiar with the Resident Evil franchise and its massive success as well as how beloved Jill has been to fans since the 90s. I absolutely felt the responsibility to do her justice.

3. Jill Valentine is one of the most iconic videogames character of all time. How do you feel by giving your voice to her?

It’s pretty unreal. Not only was I able to lend my voice but we also did full performance capture and facial capture, so I was able to fully immerse myself in all of her scenes. There is nothing quite like getting to fully jump into and create the physicality and voice of a character and play on the Mocap stage and I think that shows in our performances.

4. How was Jill described to you? And what is your opinion about the character?

In the initial breakdown Jill was described as strong willed, logical, and someone with a deep sense of right and wrong. Our amazing cinematic director Steve Kniebihly and I were given some wonderful freedom to take that description and through the script develop and play into her humor and sarcasm that you find in the final game. She is a woman on a mission, incredibly passionate, and resilient as hell.

5. What were the most memorable moments that you lived when playing your role in Resident Evil 3 as Jill? Was it your first time as a video game character?

It’s so hard to pick a single moment, but the whole package of being flown to Japan (a place, culture, and cuisine I absolutely love, go if you can!) to play such an iconic and badass role model with a passionate creative team has to be one of my favorite adventures so far. Before Jill, I played Idril the shield maiden of Gondor in WB Games Middle Earth: Shadow of War.

6. Could you tell us when Resident Evil 3 project started? Could you tell us a little about your interaction with the other voice actors on the project?

Because there are so many people involved in making a game like this I’m sure it has been in the works for many many years! I know I and the actors have been working on the project since 2018! Because we all lived in Japan together for a minute we all became quite close! I swear Jeff Schine is and will continue to be good in every take and role he does (but don’t let Carlos hear me say that). He is an incredibly generous and supportive partner, paired with a wicked sense of humor, so we had a lot of fun. Neil Newbon, a dear friend and all of my enemies, played Nicholai and Nemesis so there was never a scene we weren’t sparring and we wouldn’t have had it any other way! Darren O’Hare, Bill Hope, and Sterling Sulieman each really brought it and I would be lucky to work with any of them again! Also, shoutout to Todd Haberkorn who voices Murphy who I will never be able to shoot in the face because just look at his face.

7. What did you think of the final result of your performance as Jill? Have you ever had the opportunity to play Resident Evil 3?

I get to play the game the same time as everyone else! From the demo and what I have seen, it looks AWESOME. It has been a joy watching all the trailers drop and Friday, April 3rd will be filled with RE3 play at my house just like yours!

8. Could you tell us about the dubbing process of the character? How did you prepared yourself to do Jill’s voice?

I was lucky to embody all of Jill and vocal performance is always influenced by the physicality of a character so I had a leg up in that all of the cut scenes were performed live with other actors to work against. When we were dialing in her sound it was balance of understanding how tough she has to be to survive Raccoon City, how experienced she is as a S.T.A.R.S. operative, and at the same time that she is one of the youngest S.T.A.R.S. members and also a real person. Getting bit by zombies or grabbed by Nemesis tentacles hurts man… and wait, now he’s got a flame thrower? COME ON!

9. Is there anything in Jill’s personality that you identify with yourself? What would be your greatest virtue?

I think in a context where survival is key, she has a whole lot of selflessness with a deep desire to uncover Umbrella and save who she can. I think that’s a quality we can respect in most heroes. It’s that willingness to go where you know you might not come back when you are certain of your duty. And let’s admit it, she also manages that with a whole lot of style.

10. Do you consider yourself a gamer? Do you play often, as a hobby, or prefer other activities in your free time?

I do! I play pretty often and though I miss more shots than I make, I have a heck of a good time! We have many a console at my house, and some pretty sweet set ups. I love playing games to support people that I know but also just to unwind. I keep a pretty busy life with many hobbies, so it’s all a balance of work and play!

11. Is there any other character in Resident Evil that you admire? What were your main artistic references when composing your work as Jill on Resident Evil 3?

I mean, Nemesis, that dude is persistent as hell. I kid. I think I’m going to send this one over to one of the other badass ladies of Resident Evil and give a little Claire Redfield love. I definitely referenced the past iterations of Jill and wanted fans to recognize the woman they love, while knowing I would be working with the game makers and my own vision to move the character forward. Thankfully I had a passionate team around me and a wonderful director!

12. Would you like to be invited to work again in the Resident Evil franchise, in a future game or even in a film production or streaming service production?

Yes. Yes. And YES. Absolutely. I would be honored to work on other games and it would be a dream to bring a role to the screen! It’s such a fun universe with a passionate fan base. It makes nerding out with others really rewarding. I do have some other titles in the pipeline that I can’t wait to share with gaming fans!

13. What do you know about Brazilian culture? Would you like to leave a message for all Brazilian Resident Evil fans?

I know that I would love to visit Brazil! Thank you so much Brazillian RE fans for welcoming me into the Resident Evil family! I hope you enjoy the game as much as we enjoyed bringing it to life! Come say hello on social media @nikileetompkins, I’d love to hear from you!

Resident Evil 3 is now available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC!