Exclusive Interview: Emma Gregory on Minthara Baenre in ‘Baldur’s Gate 3’


Emma Gregory graduated from the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art and since has been adding to her resumé with an extensive theatrical career, as well as becoming an in-demand voice actor as a 5-star Audible reader with work on titles across a range of genres, and as a gaming talent as well. In the gaming industry Emma’s work can be seen extensively throughout the Warhammer 40k and Age of Sigmar franchises including Sisters of Battle, Celestine the Living Saint, Lavinia in the Angels of Death series, and others. Amongst her impressive resumé is work for Larian Studios beginning with Divinity Original Sin 1 & 2, and most recently Baldur’s Gate 3 as Minthara Baenre.

Nerds & Beyond had the opportunity to interview Emma about her work on Baldur’s Gate 3 and how it helped to shape Minthara into a character so beloved Larian had to add an additional recruitment method.

Note: This interview has been edited for clarity and contains spoilers for Baldur’s Gate 3.

Nerds & Beyond: We’ll take it back to years ago now when you were cast for Baldur’s Gate 3. When it comes to the first day of working on Minthara, what were your initial impressions and feelings toward her?

Emma Gregory: Oh, gosh. It’s been a long journey with her, and a wonderful four or five years with her, and she looked very different, of course, earlier on. She really has changed quite a lot. I think my favorite look of hers is the current look, definitely – I think that that suits the voice as well. 

But it’s strange on a project like this because everything is so top secret that you do get the role really not knowing anything about it at all. I was told she was a commanding, forthright character who is very set in her ways, very upright, very bound. And so I went into Pit Stop Studios, who recorded and directed us with everything, not really knowing much more than that. And I knew it was fantasy, but I didn’t know the name, so no background whatsoever, because everything’s top secret, as I say. 

They encouraged me to use my lower register all the time. I normally get cast in quite strong, forthright characters, and I’d worked with Pit Stop before and indeed Larian before because I was in Divinity Original Sin 1 & 2.

I was able to respond to what they were giving. So they’d give me a little bit of background about each scene and who I was speaking to, where I was, that sort of thing. And that’s about it, really. You kind of have to go off your imagination completely. And in the early days with characters like Minthara,  she wasn’t an origin character, of course, but they hadn’t decided then that she was a companion to go all the way through. So they were testing the water a little bit, I think, about her. 

And also I began to develop this wonderful relationship with Adam [Smith], my writer, where I would decide to deliver a line that he’d written in a certain way, and that would then inspire him to push the character in a certain direction. With “villainous characters,” with “evil characters” – although I personally don’t think Minthara is evil. She’s horrible but she’s not evil. I began to want to know why she is that way.  It’s a bit one dimensional to play an “evil character” as just pure evil. I wanted to know why she was like she was. 

And with Adam I would offer him something different on a certain line, perhaps some vulnerability, and  he’d go, “Oh, okay. That’s an interesting way to play that line. Maybe we should push her down this path a bit.” And equally he would give me something and I and I’d go, “Oh, now that’s interesting. Maybe a bit of humor here this time.”  It was a sort of dance between us, as I’m sure it was with all the other actors and their writers. We were discovering with Larian where they wanted to take the game. 

And I think this works in terms of her look as well, which was the case with all of the characters – as they saw through early access the response to the game and as they got to know us as actors and know our voices, and how we moved, I think that really helped them decide on the look of things. That’s why I think the final look of Minthara is the best. I know lots of people love her early access look, but I think the final decision on Minthara’s look goes really well with the voice.

It was wonderful to get to know her and to be allowed by Larian and Pit Stop to explore. I think that’s what is so exciting about the games industry. The scripts are way more detailed and it’s allowing actors to really explore characters and play.

Nerds & Beyond: I like that you mentioned getting to know Minthara, because it’s fairly safe to say that overwhelmingly when players do get to know her in their adventure if they haven’t killed her in Act I, they love her. So much so that Larian went back to add an additional recruitment method to bring her into your party. As a performer, what did it feel like to get the information Larian was making the edits to allow her to be more accessible? 

Emma Gregory: Absolutely fantastic. First of all, it was wonderful over the four years plus to be told that she was a companion character – that was fabulous. Seeing the response to her and the excitement toward things like the romance scenes was wonderful. Then to be told actually, “Okay, we’re going to listen to what people want and make it easier to recruit her as a party member.” It was  brilliant because like you say, it does allow people to actually get to know her. 

I think when the game came out fully, it was quite easy as people were excited and writing about the characters to say, “Well, Minthara is the evil one, and you’ve got to do a lot of evil things if you go with her, some people won’t want to do that so you can bin her off.” And actually, what’s lovely is that people started to then say “Oh, hang on a minute. There’s actually a lot more to this character.” Because I was sort of wanting to say, “But she’s brainwashed!” And I couldn’t say anything, of course, because you don’t want to spoil it for people.

The response that I’ve had to her has made me feel so honored to play her. It’s been amazing. She is a wonderfully rounded, complex character, and it’s been a pleasure to work with Larian and Pit Stop in creating that. I like that you can knock her out and recruit her because like you say, people get to know the fact that she was brainwashed and the fact that yes, she is a very difficult character to be around, but she also has a lot to give your party.

Nerds & Beyond: I need Minthara in my party for more reasons than anyone wants to read, but that wasn’t always the case. I aligned my first game pretty heavily with what Gale wanted, and this was when the game was released so I didn’t have Minthara around. But once I did recruit her things changed drastically and Gale has learned to deal with it. 

I can’t do the Dribbles storyline without allowing Minthara to pick up the body parts, because her commentary is absolutely hilarious. 

Emma Gregory: She’s actually very funny. And I think she has a fine sense of humor. Humor comes in lots of different shapes and forms, not just belly laughs. Some of the greatest humor can be just undercutting, and she’s extremely good at undercutting and has some extremely funny moments. I think she likes humor. She understands it. I mean, it might be sarcastic, but she gets it. 

I think it’s one of the things that proves that she’s not just an evil, horrible, negative, dark character without any depth or soul – she recognizes humor and sometimes her humor comes from a softer side.

And the banter that she has with Gale, I think, is her way of showing him that she likes him. I know that she can also be quite critical of him earlier on as a wizard, she’s not sure about him. But then one of the beautiful things about Minthara is that – which I think when people play her they realize this – is that one of the reasons why she has such great depth is that she’s willing to learn. She might be a tricky, horrible person, she wants power, she’s very ambitious, but she’s also someone who is incredibly lost. If you think about it, when you rescue her from Moonrise, she’s no longer brainwashed and is now in your party, you are all that she has. She’s left Menzoberranzan and she’s on a purpose now to seek vengeance against Orin. 

She doesn’t really have anybody. She’s on her own. Because if she goes back to Menzoberranzan, she’ll be killed outright because she’s forsworn Lolth, and she doesn’t want to go back under the power of Lolth anyway. She doesn’t have any friends, she has no companions, she has no family because they’re back in the Underdark and she can’t access them anymore. So she’s trying to seek a purpose. She has her main purpose, which is to seek vengeance on Orin and Ketheric  but one of the most wonderful and delightful journeys for her is making friends and understanding what companionship is.

I think she has some beautiful moments with the player. One of her greatest characteristics is the fact that she’s incredibly honest. When she says very direct lines – very honest, open lines to the player like, “You see me, let me see myself how you see me? Because I trust you.” She’s very direct, very linear about that. I think they’re beautiful moments of almost vulnerability. 

It’s quite easy to just label Minthara as evil and dark, but actually she’s much more rounded than that because she’s on a journey of exploration, she’s having to let people in to her. And one of the greatest assets of hers, I think, is the fact that she can do that through humor as well. Coming full circle back to our original point about humor and for example the banter that she has with Gale, I think it’s absolutely delightful and is her way of dipping her toes into the water of, “Oh, I like this guy. He’s nice, I’ll trust him.” That’s massive for her. 

Lovely examples like when Gale’s talking about a fine hunting ground for a tressym like Tara, and she says, “Oh, in the Underdark we have packs of winged hounds to deal with vermin like your precious Tara.” And he says, “Flying hounds, you’re pulling my leg, aren’t you?” And she says, “Yes, I am.” And then there’s a beat, and she says, “It’s the bats that would make a meal of her.” And so she enjoys testing him. And there are other times where she undercuts herself sometimes. There’s another time I love when they’re standing in front of Mystra’s likeness and he’s slightly misty eyed about it and she says “There’s a shrine to Lolth in the corner there, excuse me while I spit on it.” I just love it. I love how she can bounce, she’s not just so brittle. 

And then, of course, when she says “In Menzoberranzan after a house has had two sons -” I mean, here I am saying she’s not evil, and this is going to sound like a horrible line, and it is a horrible line, but she’s true to herself. She is a product of her birth, of her environment. She says “In Menzoberranzan after a house has had two sons, every subsequent male born child is slaughtered at birth, as it is useless even for breeding.” And then she says to Gale, “You have the aura of a third son about you.”

Nerds & Beyond: Thank you so much for bringing that last line up, because it made me laugh more than I can possibly put into words. I was in tears. The writing and the delivery paired together were just phenomenal. The initial reaction to hearing that is to laugh and say, “Who would say something like that?”

But the answer is right there: Minthara. That’s just who she is and she’s sharing that.

Emma Gregory: She’s being herself. That’s the thing. And I think because that’s all she knows. She’s like I say, the product of her environment, but at least she can laugh at it. And I love the beautiful webbing joke, I love that clown sequence. 

She’s delightful, I adore her – I do, I love her to bits. It’s interesting actually, because we’ve had just such a wonderful response from everybody since the game was fully released last year, and the responses from people are so kind. At conventions and events and meeting fans, it’s just been absolutely amazing.

And so I feel very protective of Minthara. I want people to realize that she’s not just an evil person, that she has every right to seek vengeance on Orin and Ketherick for what’s been done.

Nerds & Beyond: I also think it’s only natural to be protective of a character you’ve worked on, as you’ve said, for four or five years. You also worked on her for four or five years. 

Emma Gregory: And what’s lovely then is talking to people like you who then say, “We get her, we understand her. We see that she’s rounded, that she has depth.” That to me is absolutely fantastic. 

Nerds & Beyond: When we talk about her being well-rounded and having so many great humor lines, I think she also has some of the best romantic lines in the games for anyone who has decided to romance her. Are there any in particular that stand out to you moments or lines specifically that really showcase that unique romantic side to her?

Emma Gregory: Yes. I think one of my favorite scenes is if you choose to romance Karlach and Minthara together, she has this wonderful speech to Karlach. If Karlach is dying because of the fire in her chest, she says to Karlach that she survived it all and that you need not endure this pain and silence. “I know what’s happening. Your engine is failing, you are dying, and I won’t let that happen. And I hope that we might be able to enjoy the spoils of the city together, and we’ll return to Avernus and will avenge you against Zariel, and she’ll be sorry she ever laid eyes on you.” That whole scene. And then you know she will. She’ll find Zariel on Karlach’s behalf and she’ll punish her whether Karlach follows her or not. 

And then she breaks down. It was so fantastic to be able to take the character of Minthara to this level of pain and to allow her to feel that, because what it does is it shows her as a complete, rounded character. That she can love and she can be vulnerable with people that she’s fallen in love with and that she cares about. Hugging Gale, having this scene with Karlach, those are wonderful things, so she’s not just one dimensional evil. She has such a journey that she goes on. 

And she says all sorts of beautiful things, but what’s truly beautiful is just when she’s crying, and that’s why I come back to that scene with Karlach. To meet a wonderful creature such as Karlach and be totally taken by her and impressed by her is really something for Minthara. She doesn’t accept that Karlach is dying, but she tells her if she chooses to die, she will stay with her until the end. So I suppose romantic lines can be seen in a different way, can’t they? That it doesn’t have to be, “I love you,” but it can be Minthara choosing to say, “I will stay with you and I will avenge you.” That is massively romantic. It’s full of love and soul, and I was so happy that I was allowed to take Minthara to those places. I’m really grateful to Larian for letting her go there. 

Nerds & Beyond: We touched on some of her more complex scenes when we talked about rescuing her from Moonrise Towers. That sequence is, I think, one of the most heart wrenching and emotional scenes to experience in the game. As a performer, how do you get into that headspace to take on those deeply emotional and complex scenes?

Emma Gregory: You asked Scott [Joseph] a similar question and I loved his answer to this, and he’s absolutely right. Actors use all sorts of resources in themselves to to call on what they need, and Scott mentioned emotional memory, and I think that’s absolutely right.  I think it can be both that and feeling the character’s situation themselves.

If you’re lucky enough, as I was with Manthara, to really love the character, you feel them. I always felt Minthara’s injustices very deeply. When the director would lay out the scene I would take that on board as if it was me, because she’s me in that moment in the studio. I was feeling so upset for Minthara. 

So I think you have to listen as the actor and to really breathe and feel your way through the scene, listen to the lines, to what’s being said to you, what’s being asked of you and allow your imagination to go there.

I have to think of her having to fight her own mother to learn how to fight. That just upsets me dreadfully because I have a daughter and I can’t imagine turning around to my daughter and saying, “Okay, now to learn about life and to learn about fighting, I’m going to give you a sword and you’re going to try and kill me, and I’m going to try and kill you.”  Her story is her story. But I had to think of those things, what made her who she is and how uptight she is. 

I can understand being on the outside of a social group or feeling like you don’t fit in somewhere. I’ve had moments in my life where I’ve put on a mask to get myself through a situation, because actually, inside I’m really not coping very well with it. 

I could see those things in Minthara, and so I felt very close to her. And so for me, finding her emotion didn’t feel difficult because I felt like I understood it. 

Nerds & Beyond: Now that we’ve brought up her background and what has shaped Minthara into the character she is, I wanted to touch on the fact that she was born and raised within a matriarchal society. As a woman who lives in the real world with the unfortunate real world challenges presented by the patriarchy, is it in any way cathartic to play a character who is so deeply influenced by matriarchy? 

Emma Gregory: God, that’s just such an enormous question. I would say yes. Yes, of course it is, because I’m a woman. I’ve been very lucky in my life to basically do what I want to do. I’ve also been lucky in relationships. I suppose I’ve been lucky to have men in my life that have really loved women and understood, and not necessarily agreed with the patriarchy either. But then when I say that, then I think, “Yeah, but there’s also been a lot of times in my life where I’ve really felt that patriarchy,” of course as we all have. So I’d say yes it’s cathartic. 

I love the fact that Minthara can be open.  What’s wonderful about the game is that it is so diverse and inclusive. I  love exploring Minthara open to anything, I have enjoyed those aspects in creating her, helping her evolve. 

Nerds & Beyond: When we mention evolution, I have enjoyed a lot of the discussion around her and how that’s evolved over time, because as we’ve talked about today Minthara’s story is so complex and varied. It’s interesting to see some people try to put such a multi-dimensional character into a box she doesn’t fit into. 

Emma Gregory: You know, this is what I don’t understand. All of the characters kill things and do “bad” things. They’ve all got their qualities, and I don’t understand why Minthara is the evil one.

One of the wonderful things about Minthara is that she doesn’t do things without a purpose and a reason.  For example, if you decide to side with her and kill the tieflings, when you bring her into your party later, she can say to the player, “Okay, well, I was brainwashed, so I had a reason for doing that. What was your reason for doing it? What was your purpose? Why did you kill them?” So she’ll challenge you. It’s  not just, “Oh, come on, let’s be bad together.” There’s always got to be a reason and a purpose behind everything that Minthara does. 

Equally, when you rescue her she can ask you, “Why did you do that? What the hell was the logic of doing that? You rescued an enemy?  Surely the most logical thing to do would have been to kill me. I would have done, I would have killed me.” 

She’s not just a mindless, evil killing machine. She will challenge you. She makes you think about what it is that you’re doing. And, yes, she might have ambitions and quite fancy some power, but she doesn’t shy away from that. She doesn’t try and hide that she is who she is. 

Nerds & Beyond: This is a large part of why I love playing the dynamic between her and a redeemed Dark Urge, because it is that logic and that purpose driven mindset that allows her to often become the voice of reason. I loved that if you reveal to her your urges, she affirms that it’s normal to crave violence but ultimately it must have a purpose to be carried out. 

Emma Gregory: Exactly. And it’s not enough to just go, “Hey, I’m going to be bad. I’m just going to be a complete bastard and kill everybody.” Because Minthara is the person who will turn around and say, “Really? What’s the logic of doing that?” And if you don’t give her a good enough reason, she may kill you! You really have to think if you’re going to be with Minthara and do everything with a reason. 

In fact, she has that wonderful speech, doesn’t she, where she goes on about how she doesn’t want to be seen as someone like Orin. That’s what she can’t stand the fact she was brainwashed to behave the way she did. What people have to understand about Minthara is she cannot stand the fact that she was brainwashed to be an evil killing machine, because for her it had no purpose. It doesn’t make any sense to her. 

She says, “If you hadn’t found me, if you hadn’t seen me for who I am, if you hadn’t got to know me – the real me. I would have just ended up as one of your list of people to kill because I would have been lost to the madness of mindless killing for no reason like Orin, and I can’t be like that. I don’t want to be like that. And nobody would remember me for who I am.”

Nerds & Beyond: Her being brainwashed fundamentally changed who she was because so much of her background and her being raised by her family was killing with purpose, with intent, not being bloodthirsty, not being just absolutely indiscriminate about it. And that’s what Orin made her. 

Emma Gregory: Yeah, and that’s not intelligent to Minthara – she would say, “Yes, I want this. But there’s a reason why I want it, and the reason is this,” and be able to perfectly lay it out. Now, the reason might be power. It might be ambition, but it also might be love. Like with saying that she’ll go to Avernus with Karlach, it could be just purely support for and loyalty to her companions because she is a loyal character. She’ll really support you. She’s a good fighter. She’s a good politician as well. Her wisdom and her honesty I think are hilarious, but they’re rather wonderful as well because she doesn’t ever try to be anything else other than who she is. 

For example, when she says about the Baldur’s Mouth newspaper, “I would use the Mouth to ensure that people would not trust one another, because suspicion creates doubt and doubt creates dependency, and they would know that they can depend on me. So if I use a tool to create a lot of doubt and fear, I then come along as the savior and they’ll look to me and go, ‘Oh, thank God. Yes, here’s Minthara to save the day.’ I would be feared, venerated, adored, and I would be everything to them.” Now I as Emma Gregory, you as Hannah – we don’t think like that, hopefully. But my God, don’t we see that every day in politics? We won’t go down the political route, but you know what I mean. 

She’s a true politician. Now, we might not agree with that politics, but you’ve got to admire the fact that for Minthara. She thinks about what it is that she wants to do. She doesn’t just slaughter a load of children or refugees, she uses them. Of course, it’s a dreadful way to think. It’s horrible. But there is always a Minthara sense of logic and purpose behind her actions. We’re dealing with a fantasy realm here, we’re not dealing with real life. There’s a sort of purpose and logic to her.  It’s not just mindless. And it comes from being the product of her environment. 

Nerds & Beyond: Characteristics like that make all of the characters in this game, Minthara included, feel so real to players though, and are where that passion comes from. What makes people love them so much is that they all have qualities that … make them hard to deal with. But those qualities make them more believable and real in the fantasy setting.

It’s easy to say, “This is a fantasy character, and so they’re perfect because they’re in a fantasy world.” But what makes the fantasy more grounded and within reach is to make the characters themselves more grounded.

Emma Gregory: Exactly. One of the reasons why Baldur’s Gate is so successful is exactly as you’ve just said there. They’re characters that we can identify with – we can see ourselves in them, or we can see aspects of our society in these characters and that makes us feel at home with them, I suppose. It creates a greater bond with what you’re giving hundreds of hours to doing, which is playing the game. It has meaning for people, and I think that’s wonderful. 

Minthara runs the gamut of emotions the way any other character in the game does – self-preservation, paranoia, vulnerability, love, ambition, power, they all want all of these things. So to go, “Oh, well, you know, if you play with Minthara, you’re just going to have to be really evil.” It’s nonsense because you’ll only be that when she is brainwashed, and the rest of the time you get to know the real her.

I think she’s a really powerful fighter to have in your party. I saw a thing on the Steam community, which has a lot of great comments. Somebody made a comment and it made me really proud, talking about how important it is to have Minthara in your party because they saw her as one of the strongest party members you could have, because she’s one of the last characters standing in a really big boss fight. She’ll give it her absolute all. They said that she was one of the “tankiest” characters, which I thought was great. 

I’ve written it down here, they said, “Who needs four strikes from a fighter or a single use sixth level, 100 plus DPS spell when a paladin can take off a third of the health of any boss with an Obliterating Smite and can do that every round, again and again, and this while surviving things that bring down all the other classes?” I thought that was amazing.

I’ve absolutely loved learning about the whole gaming community because I’m not a gamer, But I’ve loved learning. 

I had a fantastic weekend once with some friends quite a while ago now, playing Call of Cthulhu, and I loved the whole aspect of role playing, and I remember my friend saying to me, “You should play some role playing games, because it would really appeal to you because you’re an actor, so you just use your imagination the entire weekend.” So we set up a weekend and it was absolutely fantastic. I don’t know why life just hasn’t steered me down that path, but I absolutely love entering the fantasy realm in other work that I do for Warhammer and things like that. 

But Baldur’s Gate has just taught me so much, and I really want to play the game and I want to play Minthara – I really do. And Karlach. So I’ve really enjoyed learning about it all and how much it means to people. I get that escapism. 

Nerds & Beyond: We’re onto the lighter questions now! If you were to take a weekend trip to any of the locations showcased in Baldur’s Gate 3, which would you choose?

Emma Gregory: I think I would like to explore Avernus. You see a little bit of Avernus in the prologue, don’t you? I’d like to go there with Karlach. That looks really amazing to me. And Baldur’s Gate looks really good as well. I’d like to take over Baldur’s Gate for the weekend. Lots of different interesting places within Baldur’s Gate.

But really I think Avernus to see what that’s all about. 

Nerds & Beyond: If Minthara could be transported into our universe for one day, what’s one thing on earth you feel she would have fun doing?

Emma Gregory: Any sort of underground city, which I was fascinated to go to last time when I was in Edinburgh. I didn’t know that there was a whole city underneath the city – there are tunnels of streets that were just simply built upon, built on top of. And actually, there are quite a few cities like that – London, Liverpool  – where there are amazing underground rooms and tunnels and streets and not just sewers, but that people have built for various reasons. 

I would take Minthara to Edinburgh Old Town to explore the old streets that were just simply built upon, and Liverpool and London. She would appreciate those, I think, because she’s from the Underdark and I think she would look at ways she could take over those cities by using the underground streets and tunnels. 

And I think she would love seeing places like the Barri Gotic in Barcelona or the Sagrada Família. I mean, the Sagrada Família looks like it’s from Avernus … that’s terrible, isn’t it? It’s a church, and I’ve just equated it with the hells. [laughs]

It’s such an extraordinary looking building. It looks like it could come from something out of Baldur’s Gate 3, and so I think she’d enjoy seeing that. I think she’d enjoy exploring the Barri Gotic, which is just so gothic, it’s extraordinary.

I think she’d also be really impressed with our mountain ranges as well. Like in Wales or in Scotland or in the Himalayas or the Rockies or the Andes. I think she’d really appreciate seeing the extremes of our planet, like the vastness of Australia or the snows of Iceland. It’s just really interesting to think of the ways that she could observe them and think about how to conquer them or how to use them for what she needed. The cities and villages that are built into cliff sides, like in Bolivia and Spain, the jungles of the Amazon; Victoria Falls or Niagara. 

We have so many places that I think she would love. The earth is just so amazing, so beautiful. I think she’d really love it but look at it from a tactical point of view all the time, but also really appreciate what it is that she was seeing. 

Nerds & Beyond: I love that thought process of, “Yes, everything is beautiful and I’m in awe, but how can I use it? How can I use this beauty to my advantage?”

Emma Gregory: That actually brings up an interesting point, because that’s one of the things at the end of the game in the epilogue when she’s almost at that point where she’s looking at the companions and she doesn’t need anything from them and that it’s enough for her to just have friendship and companionship that shows her growth. 

And  things like gestures, like hugging Gale say that. She’ll always have that overriding ambition, of course, and always have self-preservation. But, my gosh, she’s been on a journey through the whole game in learning about how to trust and learning about how to just have something and look at it without it having to be a deal all the time. She can just have friendship and companionship without it having to be an exchange process all the time. 

Now looking at your face now Hannah, you see that’s beautiful because you have such a look of sympathy and empathy on your face and that’s that’s exactly it. My point with Minthara is that she’s not just one dimensional.

Nerds & Beyond: When I realized that she had no one after Moonrise, that was such a profound moment for me. And then you get the privilege to watch her grow so much in that little amount of time between then and the end of the game. It’s just so beautiful.

Emma Gregory: To be able to learn and to love.

Nerds & Beyond: And like we’ve mentioned with her age, I think it’s even more impressive that she’s undergoing these changes after centuries of life.

Emma Gregory: I totally agree with you and I think that she does because she’s a noble character. She’s got a lot of nobility about her and I don’t mean just in a  power sense. I mean as a person, I think she’s very noble. I keep harking back to the fact that she’s a product of her upbringing, but she’s also a very honorable person. If you don’t mess around with her, she won’t mess around with you, she’ll stand by you if you stand by her. And standing by her doesn’t mean you’re going to go down some sort of dreadful, evil, killing everything route. It doesn’t. It can be purely for companionship. 

I think she can be very loving, very giving. I think that she understands herself enough to be so secure in herself physically that she can just go, “Yeah, I’d like you this evening,” or, “No, I’ll have you,” or “I’ll try this.” 

I think she’d make a wonderful companion. She’s funny, she’s gorgeous, she’s sexy. She knows herself. She’s a great fighter. She’s got depth of soul. She’s giving, she’s loving, she’s vulnerable. She’s hellishly annoying as well, which is sort of also quite endearing and charming half of the time. 

 I think she knows herself. But at the same time as my writer Adam [Smith] so correctly says, she’s also extremely paranoid. But she would be, it makes sense for her to be. Wouldn’t you, if you’d been cast out of everything you’d ever known up into sunlight, which you’re not used to, and brainwashed? 

And yet she stands tall and strong. So she’s a noble, honorable character, I think. That’s my opinion.  I’m a big fan of hers. 

Nerds & Beyond: Just the utmost applause to Larian for writing so many strong women characters in this game. It’s quite an impressive list. 

Emma Gregory: It really is. They really got it right, I think. I know we’ve all been saying it for so long, but it’s really true. We are all so grateful for being in this game, for being given the chance to to be part of it. It’s really true. It sounds quite naff when actors say that, but actually it really is true in this case. I’m so honored and grateful to be part of this incredible experience, this incredible game.

It harks back to the very first question you asked, which of course I can really only speak for my experience, but when we were given this we didn’t know anything about it, it was top secret like I said. But to suddenly know is just mind blowing, it really is. I’m in something that will never be forgotten. 

It’s been so wonderful to meet so many incredible people who just have loved the game and it means so much to them, be that on social media or at conventions or wherever. I’m very appreciative and have a lot of love for the BG3 community, I think they’re absolutely amazing.

Nerds & Beyond: It really is overwhelmingly a wonderful community. People are so nice and just so celebratory of all of the amazing things about the game and the creativity that’s been inspired by it.

Emma Gregory: It wouldn’t make sense not to celebrate a game like this. There’s no place for hate here, it doesn’t work with Baldur’s Gate 3. If you’re not gonna love everybody, don’t be part of the BG3. It doesn’t fit.

Nerds & Beyond: You’re absolutely right. I know we touched on you maybe wanting to get into tabletop RPGs a little bit more. Are there any other hobbies you’re hoping to spend more time on this year?

Emma Gregory: Well I said in another interview, my big thing is gardening. I really love plants. If I could go out and fill every space in the community with beautiful plants and bulbs and things, I would do it. 

Now this is me showing my age, but I do really believe this and it doesn’t really matter what age you are. I do really think in this fast pace, very much technology age, people really lose touch with nature, and I don’t think they should because I think just as I feel about the arts – which of course includes Baldur’s Gate 3 – I think that people need to get in touch with just walking in a park or in the mountains, going on day trips for the weekend. If they’re in the city, whatever gets them in touch with that incredible energy of nature. I think it’s essential for people’s mental health, and I think a lot of mental health problems that we have nowadays are because people aren’t given enough space and time to be in an environment like that. 

I only have a small garden, I have one small garden at the front and one small sort of yard garden at the back of my house, but I got really heavily into container growing, so that’s fruit and vegetables as well as flowers. I can’t tell you how much it just lifts me up and calms me when I feel up against it, as we all do with work and stuff like that, to just go and sit and actually grow something yourself, like tomatoes or dahlias or whatever it is that you like. Just grow some stuff.

To eat and cook food that you’ve grown yourself, even if it’s just some parsley, some mint, some herbs. It really makes you feel in touch with life, so for me I’m going to continue gardening. I can’t live without it actually. Tomorrow I’m going to be spending all afternoon doing that because I’m lucky to have a nice, busy schedule at the moment, but I need that time in my garden to breathe. 

Nerds & Beyond: I hope your weather will cooperate for your plans tomorrow.

Emma Gregory: Well, it’s raining here. Where I live it rains all the time, but it’s good. The spring is here too and it’s beautiful, everything’s just coming up. It’s that new abundance of life, it’s just so beautiful to see. So I love gardening because it’s art. Nature is art. I think all people benefit from it.

Nerds & Beyond: Like you said, most people don’t get enough of an opportunity to be just purely outside anymore.

I always like to finish off with the same question, and it’s whatever you feel comfortable sharing, of course, and that you can share. What’s something you’re looking forward to, both personally and professionally, this year? I know you’ve mentioned a busy schedule right now. 

Emma Gregory: Yeah, that’s very nice.

Professionally, I’ve been enjoying some recording. I record a lot of audio books as well, and recently I’ve been really enjoying recording some classics, so I just finished a load of [Fyodor] Dostoyevsky and E.M. Forster, which I love. And so I’ve got some more classics coming up in the next few months, which are very exciting. Writers I really love and so I’m very honored to be doing those. 

Personally, my daughter just turned 18, so that was amazing to see. She’s just really enjoying it, and it’s lovely as a mum to watch your child grow and become a baby adult. But it’s also sort of wonderful and heartbreaking at the same time because as a mum, you sort of miss them as a child, but you’re also very excited about them going out into the world and seeing what they end up doing in their life, and that’s beautiful. 

Nerds & Beyond: That’s a lovely answer, thank you for sharing. Happy belated birthday to her, and I’m excited to see whatever is in your schedule that has you so busy. 

I have to mention that before I began recording at the beginning we were chatting about things you realized you had in common with Tim [Downie] reading my interview with him, so I have to say I also spoke to Andrew Wincott recently and he’s also been loving audio book recording as well with classics. 

Emma Gregory: Really? That’s why I loved reading Tim’s interview, because I didn’t know that Tim liked M.R. James. Oh, Whistle and I’ll Come to You, My Lad is one of my favorites, and also one of my favorite films, directed by the great Jonathan Miller. He did an incredible adaptation of the story in the ’60s, its black and white version with the most incredible British actor called Michael Hordern, who’s one of our great classic British actors. But Miller did the most incredibly, unbelievably scary version of Oh, Whistle and I’ll Come to You., My Lad and my father and I used to just love watching that. Everything about it was spectacular, the way it was shot, the performances, the direction … just so beautiful. 

But M.R. James is a great favorite of mine, along with Edgar Allan Poe and Clive Barker. I think Clive Barker is an absolute master of horror, so obviously Hellraiser and all that sort of thing. And H.P. Lovecraft, the most extraordinary mind. His imagination was amazing. I think what I love about Lovecraft and Barker – and Stephen King does this too of course, he’s an absolute master – but what I love about Lovecraft and Barker in particular is where they let their imaginations go to is astonishing. 

I also love more modern horror, I loved Paranormal Activity. One of my favorites is Blair Witch Project, I thought that was an awesome film. I know it gets a lot of heat and I don’t understand why, because I think it’s so good.  It sounds a bit macabre, I suppose, but you know when you have films that are your “go to” “feel good” films –  I’ll always stick on Jaws, that’s one of my all time favorites, or if I want an older movie, I’ll always stick on It’s a Wonderful Life or A Matter of Life and Death, because I’m a big [Michael] Powell and [Emeric] Pressburger fan. 

I’ll also do Scream, which I see behind you, or Nightmare on Elm Street which I absolutely love. But one of my biggest favorites is definitely Blair Witch Project. There’s something about it I just love. I suppose I just love the vulnerability. I don’t know, it’s just I think it’s done so well. I get so invested. 

But let me tell you what I watched for the first time in a long time, and I originally saw it when it first came out in the cinema, is the first Saw movie. That type of movie is typically not for me – too much violence, or when there’s so little hope and it’s so despairing. I’m not a fan of blood, guts and gore that feels real, in a sense, which is why I feel the Saw movies are just too much for me. But the first one is really good. I mean, the tension that they keep.

Nerds & Beyond: I’m in the same boat as you. I love the first Saw, but after that I’m admittedly a bit indifferent. 

Emma Gregory: The others are just a bit too much for me. I don’t mind things like Evil Dead from Sam Raimi, because it’s so blimmin’ far fetched. It’s like a pantomime, I love them. I think they’re amazing because they don’t pretend to be anything else. With Saw, it’s too near the knuckle, you know. But the first one has Cary Elwes, and I think he is fantastic in it. The tension is brilliant.

Nerds & Beyond: He’s a long time favorite of mine. The Princess Bride is my favorite movie, and I’ll always take more of him.

Emma Gregory: Oh yeah. I love The Princess Bride. I’m a big Mandy Patinkin fan because I love his voice. I’m just in love with Mandy Patinkin and his singing voice, especially in Sunday in the Park with George. If you like musicals – which I do, I adore musicals – watch his performance, it’s on YouTube. Absolutely gorgeous.

Nerds & Beyond: I’m a former theatre kid and I feel that version is sort of “required watching” for anyone with an interest in musicals.

Emma Gregory: Yeah, I love it. That’s my favorite musical. And interestingly, and I didn’t know this until I was watching a bit of Mandy’s, that Jake Gyllenhaal had done it as well and that he is an amazing singer. His version of it is gorgeous. He’s so incredible as an actor.

Nerds & Beyond: Jake is phenomenal on stage. They recently announced he’s doing Othello in New York City spring of next year with Denzel Washington and I’m ecstatic. I’m not sure my bank account has ever been more ready for a ticket purchase.

Emma Gregory: Oh, my gosh, I might have to fly over and see that. I love that play so much. Maybe I could maybe try and tie that in with a convention or something. That would be fun.

Nerds & Beyond: If you do come to a stateside convention I will be trying to come. It has been amazing talking to you, thank you so much for your time. I hope your gardening goes well tomorrow!

Emma Gregory: Thank you so very much. It’s been a real pleasure to meet you, Hannah, and thank you so much for asking me. I’m really grateful.

Thank you again to Emma for such a fantastic conversation!

Hannah’s a lifelong nerd, but has been with the team since May 2021. Her life is easily classified by two abbreviations - BBG3 and ABG3 (before Baldur’s Gate 3 and after Baldur’s Gate 3). Especially nerdy about: video games, folklore, Star Wars, D&D, Spider-Man, and horror (all of it). Based in Denver, CO.

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