Page goes Beyond her actor duties

Canadian actor Ellen Page plays Jody Holmes, the lead character in Quantic Dream's new game,...

Canadian actor Ellen Page plays Jody Holmes, the lead character in Quantic Dream's new game, Beyond: Two Souls. (Handout)

Steve Tilley, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:18 PM ET

Canadian actress Ellen Page's next big role will see her leaping from a moving train, wrestling with attack dogs and fighting off a small army of cops by blowing up pretty much everything in sight.

But just because the Oscar-nominated Inception and Juno star didn't get her hands dirty playing the heroine of the upcoming PlayStation 3 video game Beyond: Two Souls, it doesn't mean she didn't work damn hard at the job.

"We wanted to be very clear (working on the game) wouldn't be recording a couple of voice-overs in a sound booth," said David Cage, founder of Paris-based game development studio Quantic Dream, on how he pitched the project to Page. The game is due for release early next year.

"It would be about being on stage for the same amount of time as a real movie, it would be very physical, very difficult," Cage said. "You would be on stage with no wardrobe, with no set, with no props, nothing -- you would need to imagine all these things."

The follow-up to Quantic Dream's groundbreaking game Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls tells the story of a woman named Jody Holmes who is symbiotically linked to a ghostlike entity that can aid her with its supernatural powers. Players will control both Jody and the entity through a story spanning 15 years, as Jody discovers the entity's powers but also tries to learn its ultimate purpose.

The game's developers relied on technology similar to that used in James Cameron's Avatar to simultaneously record Page's voice, facial expressions and body movements as she performed scenes on a barren motion-capture stage, giving her digital doppelganger an impressive range of emotional depth.

In a demonstration of Beyond: Two Souls shown at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles this week, Jody flees from police by leaping off the roof of a moving train. Over the course of the half-hour demonstration, which represents one small portion of the game, she eludes her pursuers in the woods and fights off a trio of police dogs. When she's eventually attacked by a SWAT team in a small town, she instructs the entity to defend her by any means, including possessing police officers' minds and causing them to turn their guns on one another.

Cage said Page was the person he had in mind all along for the gritty and mature game. In fact, he used a picture of the actress as a reference when writing the character, long before he considered approaching her to actually star in the game.

"I was really looking for someone special, an actress who could really give life and body to Jody's role in a unique way," Cage said. "She did absolutely fantastic work on that."


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