Trevor Philips

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For the English television producer, see Trevor Phillips. For the footballer, see Trevor Phillips (footballer).
Trevor Philips
Grand Theft Auto character
Trevor Philips.Grand Theft Auto V.jpg
Trevor Philips in a promotional image from Rockstar Games
First game Grand Theft Auto V
Created by Rockstar Games
Portrayed by Steven Ogg

Trevor Philips is a fictional character and one of the protagonists of Grand Theft Auto V, a game in the Grand Theft Auto series by Rockstar Games. He appears as one of the three main protagonists, alongside Michael De Santa and Franklin Clinton. He is played by actor Steven Ogg, who provided the voice and motion capture for the character.

Rockstar based Trevor's appearance on Ogg's physical appearance, while his personality was inspired by Charles Bronson. Grand Theft Auto V co-writer Dan Houser described Trevor as purely driven by desire and resentment. To make players care for the character, the designers gave the character more emotions. Trevor is shown to truly care about people very close to him, despite his psychopathic actions.

Trevor is considered one of the most controversial characters in video game history. He has been criticised by many critics and players because of his violent personality and actions, but has also been praised for fitting in the world of the game. His design and personality have drawn comparisons to other influential video game and film characters. Many reviewers have called Trevor a likeable and believable character, and felt that he is one of the few protagonists in the Grand Theft Auto series that would willingly execute popular player actions, such as murder and violence.

Character design[edit]

Grand Theft Auto V co-writer Dan Houser explained that Trevor "appeared to [Rockstar] pretty much out of nowhere as the embodiment of another side of criminality [...] If Michael was meant to be the idea of some version of criminal control [...] what about the guy who didn't do that?"[1] He later described Trevor as "the person who's driven purely by desire, resentment, no thought for tomorrow whatsoever, completely id rather than ego-driven." He stated that Trevor "kills without remorse, like a true psychopath, but very sentimental for the right reasons when it suits him."[2]

Rockstar drew upon game protagonist archetypes during the scripting the characters; Trevor was considered to embody insanity. Houser said the team characterised Michael and Trevor as juxtapositions of each other. He said, "Michael is like the criminal who wants to compartmentalise and be a good guy some of the time and Trevor is the maniac who isn't a hypocrite". He said that having three lead characters would help move the game's plot into more original territory than its predecessors, which traditionally followed a single protagonist rising through the ranks of a criminal underworld.[3] In Grand Theft Auto V, Steven Ogg portrayed Trevor. During the initial audition process, Ogg noticed an on-set chemistry between him and Ned Luke (who portrayed Michael), which he felt helped secure them the roles.[4] Ogg said, "When [Luke] and I went in the room together we immediately had something".[5] While the actors knew their auditions were for Rockstar Games, it was when they signed contracts that they learnt they would be involved in a Grand Theft Auto title.[6] Ogg felt Trevor's characterisation had evolved over time. He said, "Nuances and character traits that began to appear—his walk, his manner of speech, his reactions, definitely informed his development throughout the game".[5]

The actors began working on the game in 2010.[6] Their performances were mostly recorded using motion capture technology.[7] Dialogue for scenes with characters seated in vehicles was recorded in studios. Because the actors had their dialogue and movements recorded on-set, they considered their performances were no different those of film or television roles. Their dialogue was scripted so that it did not allow the actors to ad-lib; however they sometimes made small changes to the performance with approval from the directors.[8]

Attributes[edit]

Trevor is depicted as a sociopath in Grand Theft Auto V. He takes action in relentless and psychopathic manners, easily killing without remorse. However he is honest about everything and rarely shows hypocrisy, which he often points out in others. He appears to be very insecure about being born in Canada, and takes offence to people mocking his accent.[9] Despite his psychopathic actions, Trevor shows a level of emotion not common in most sociopaths; he seems to care about people very close to him, and he can be truly loyal to them. These people include his mother,[10] Ashley Butler,[11] Patricia Madrazo,[12] Maude,[13] Michael De Santa and his children Tracey[14] and Jimmy, Lamar Davis and Franklin Clinton. Nevertheless, the other characters regard Trevor as dangerously unstable; during the prologue, Michael leads Trevor into a trap where he is supposed to be shot and killed, and later implores Franklin to plead insanity if he is ever arrested with Trevor. It is implied that the knowledge and extent of Trevor's crimes, the belief that Trevor's depravity escalated without anyone to keep him in check and his silence on the matter all weigh heavily on Michael's conscience.

When portraying Trevor, Ogg cites Tom Hardy's depiction of English criminal Charles Bronson in the 2008 biopic Bronson as a strong stylistic influence on his portrayal of Trevor.[15] Ogg reflected that while Trevor embodies the violent, psychopathic Grand Theft Auto anti-hero archetype, he wanted players to sympathise with Trevor's story. "To elicit other emotions was tough, and it was the biggest challenge and it's something that meant a lot to me," Ogg said.[16]

Appearances[edit]

Grand Theft Auto V[edit]

Main article: Grand Theft Auto V

Trevor is Canadian, born just north of the border of the United States. He grew up with a physically abusive father and an emotionally abusive mother.[10] Trevor had a brother, Ryan, who died prior to the game's events. Trevor's father abandoned him in a shopping mall, which Trevor burnt down in retaliation. This upbringing combined with Trevor's violent temper led Trevor to be severely unhinged, leading to numerous fights at school, including an assault on a teacher. Trevor loved planes, and at some point entered the military as a pilot,[17][18] but was quickly forced to leave after being reproved in a psychological evaluation.[19] Later on, Trevor committed crimes, the first one being a small robbery that landed him in jail for six months.[20] He would continue his criminal ways, including using his piloting skills to become a smuggler. Trevor eventually met Michael Townley and both men realised that they wanted to earn money by performing large heists, and both men became successful in doing so. However, their partnership began to strain after Michael married a stripper named Amanda and started a family with her.[19]

During one of their heists with their mutual accomplice Brad Snider, Michael and Brad are shot by police while Trevor escapes, and he believes Michael died and Brad was sent to jail.[21] Trevor eventually settles in Sandy Shores, Blaine County, where he establishes a small criminal enterprise that he dubs "Trevor Philips Industries"[11] that smuggles weapons and manufactures methamphetamine, which he hopes will grow into a large empire. Due to raging abandonment issues, Trevor surrounds himself with two loyal friends that he kidnapped and brainwashed from their previous lives[22] named "Nervous" Ron Jakowski and Wade Hebert. Trevor also enters an uneasy truce with his competitors in Sandy Shores, including The Lost Motorcycle Club led by Johnny Klebitz,[11] the Varrios Los Aztecas gang,[23] and the O'Neil Brothers.[24]

Nine years after the fateful heist, Trevor finds out that Michael faked his death, and is so spooked and enraged that he breaks the truce and kills most of his competition in one burst of violence, a deadly streak that continues when a potential game-changing deal with the Triads falls through.[24] He drives to Los Santos, taking over the apartment and ruining the life of Wade's cousin Floyd, and reunites with Michael, who now took on the name "De Santa". After Michael introduces Trevor to Franklin Clinton, the two perform heists again, this time including Franklin.[25] Trevor is determined to rob anything guarded by Merryweather Security Consulting, a private security firm that he dislikes,[26] but he often fails. After not getting paid for a job, Trevor kidnaps Patricia, the wife of kingpin Martin Madrazo.[27] Due to her kind maternal nature and his own abandonment issues, Trevor falls in love with her and only returns her after much demanding from Michael.[28] However, the two stay in contact until the end of the game.[29]

Trevor eventually discovers that Michael set him and Brad up, and that Brad is not in jail but buried in Michael's fake grave. This leads to Trevor vowing to kill Michael, but needing him alive for one last heist.[30] When that heist is successful, Trevor is so pleased that he lifts the death vow but still hates Michael.[31] Near the end of the game, Franklin is given a choice: kill Trevor, kill Michael, or let them live and face their enemies. If the latter is chosen, Trevor kills Haines, before capturing Weston, and killing him alongside Michael and Franklin. Trevor once again considers Michael his friend, albeit a friend that he hates, which Michael accepts.[32] If the second option is chosen, Trevor ends all contact with Franklin and says to stay away from him after finding out about Michael's death.[33] If the first option is chosen, Franklin meets up with Trevor, before chasing him with Michael to an oil plant. When Trevor crashes into an oil tank, causing himself to be covered in oil, either Franklin or Michael shoot the oil, setting Trevor alight and killing him.[34] If Trevor and Michael are spared, they continue to spend time together with Franklin, during which Trevor eventually admits that he over-reacted after learning the truth about Brad, and refers to himself and Michael as friends.[29]

Grand Theft Auto Online[edit]

Trevor appears as a main character in Grand Theft Auto Online, the online multiplayer mode of Grand Theft Auto V. He provides missions to the player character once they reach Rank 13; after the player steals Trevor's rolling meth lab,[35] Trevor demands that they are to complete jobs for him to settle the issue.[36] The jobs that Trevor demands generally consist of stealing drugs from rival groups, specifically the Lost Motorcycle Club, while killing the dealers.[37] The narrative of Grand Theft Auto Online is set a few months prior to the events of the single-player story.[38]

Cultural impact[edit]

Reception[edit]

Trevor's character was met with generally positive feedback following the release of Grand Theft Auto V. Edge singled out Trevor as the stand-out of the three protagonists, which they owed to his volatile personality.[39] Like Edge, Caroline Petit of GameSpot considered Trevor "a truly horrible, terrifying, psychotic human being—and a terrific character."[40] Eurogamer's Tom Bramwell, however, felt that Trevor undermined the other characters because he was a "shallow and unconvincing" sensationalised anti-hero, and that "his antics derail[ed] the narrative" and overshadowed the character development of Michael and Franklin.[41] Xav de Matos of Joystiq found all three character unlikable to the extent that they had an alienating effect on the story, noting that "though each character has a valid motivation for his journey, it's difficult to want them to succeed." He also felt that the ambivalence between Trevor and Michael was a tired device by the conclusion of the story as it became a "seemingly endless cycle" of conflict between them.[41][42]

Lucas Sullivan of GamesRadar praised Trevor for being the first character in the series that "makes sense". He stated that, upon their first playthrough of a Grand Theft Auto game, most players "carjacked some poor schlub, then started doing 90mph on the sidewalk, mowing over civilians", as opposed to playing peacefully. "Trevor's existence isn't a commentary on any group of people–he's just the first logical fit to the way people have been playing GTA games for the past decade," he said. Sullivan concluded that Trevor is one of the few protagonists in the Grand Theft Auto series that would willingly execute popular player actions, such as murder and violence.[43] Trevor has been compared to many other characters in video games and films. Calvin Khan of IGN compared Trevor to Heath Ledger's Joker in the 2008 film The Dark Knight. Khan felt that Trevor is the only character in Grand Theft Auto V not trying to fake his persona, stating "Trevor absolutely knows that he's a monster but just doesn't care. He enjoys causing misery and harm, lives for it and embraces it and – much like Heath Ledger's Joker – he exists purely for unadulterated anarchy." He also felt that Trevor's only reasoning for hurting people and messing everything up around him is simply because it's just too much fun not to. Khan concluded saying that it's clear that the world through the eyes of Trevor is already royally broken and he sees no harm in messing it up some more, hence the reason for Trevor's actions.[44]

Trevor won the Cheat Code Central's 7th Annual Cody Awards for "Best Male Character" and was nominated for various other awards.[45] Those include the Spike VGX 2013 for "Character of the Year", won by BioShock Infinite's Lutece Twins, Hardcore Gamer's Game of the Year Awards 2013 for "Best New Character", won by The Last of Us's Ellie and Destructoid's Best of 2013 for "Best Character", also won by the Lutece Twins.[46][47][48] Steven Ogg was also nominated for his work as Trevor in Spike VGX 2013 for "Best Voice Actor", won by Troy Baker, Telegraph Video Game Awards 2013 for "Best Performer", also won by Troy Baker and 10th British Academy Video Games Awards for "Performer", won by Ashley Johnson.[46][49][50]

Controversies[edit]

The mission 'By the Book' was criticised for Trevor using torture methods such as waterboarding to interrogate a man.

The mission "By the Book" from Grand Theft Auto V was criticised for its depiction of torture. In the mission, Trevor interrogates a man named Ferdinand Kerimov for information about a suspected Azerbaijani fugitive who poses a threat to the FIB (the game's version of the FBI). Trevor uses torture equipment on the restrained man, which players select from a table. Once Mr. K provides the FIB with the information, Trevor is asked to kill him, but instead drives him to the airport, providing him an opportunity to escape. While driving Kerimov, Trevor monologues about the ineffectiveness of torture, pointing out Kerimov's readiness to supply the FIB with the information without being tortured, and expressing that torture is used as a power play "to assert ourselves".[51]

Reviewers echoed that while the mission served as political commentary on the use of torture by the United States government, its use of torture was in poor taste. GameSpot's Petit felt that placing the torture scene in context with the monologue created a hypocrisy in the mission's function as a commentary device,[52] and IGN's MacDonald felt it "pushed the boundaries of taste".[53] In an editorial, Bramwell discussed whether the political commentary was overshadowed by the violent content, comparing the mission to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 '​s "No Russian" controversy. He considered the sequence lacking enough context to justify its violence and summarised its function as "flawed".[54] Labour MP Keith Vaz expressed concern that underage players could be exposed to the mission.[55] Keith Best of Freedom from Torture said the torturer role-play "crossed a line".[56] Tom Chick defended the torture sequence, and wrote that unlike the "No Russian" mission or the 2012 film Zero Dark Thirty, the underlying political commentary on torture in "By the Book" necessitated the violent content.[57]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bertz, Matt (December 2012). "Go Big Or Go Home". Game Informer (United States: GameStop) (236): 72–95. 
  2. ^ Simmons, Alex; Miller, Greg; Lynch, Casey (13 November 2012). "Grand Theft Auto 5: Meet The Cast". IGN. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  3. ^ Gifford, Kevin (14 November 2012). "GTA 5 writer explains the decision to develop for current gen consoles". Polygon. Retrieved 3 September 2013. 
  4. ^ Miller, Greg (14 October 2013). "GTA 5: How Trevor became Trevor, how you can play games with athletes - Up At Noon". IGN. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Bernstein, Joseph (30 September 2013). "An Interview With Steven Ogg, The Voice Of "GTA V's" Trevor". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Molina, Brett (9 October 2013). "Interview: Crime pays for 'Grand Theft Auto V' actors". USA Today. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  7. ^ Stuart, Keith (13 September 2013). "Grand Theft Auto 5 – inside the creative process with Dan Houser". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  8. ^ Tuffclub (17 December 2013). "GTA V's Trevor Talks To TSA: An Exclusive Interview With Steven Ogg". The Sixth Axis. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  9. ^ Grand Theft Auto V (Mission: "Rampages")
  10. ^ a b Grand Theft Auto V (Mission: "Mrs. Philips")
  11. ^ a b c Grand Theft Auto V (Mission: "Mr. Philips")
  12. ^ Grand Theft Auto V (Mission: "Monkey Business")
  13. ^ Grand Theft Auto V (Mission: "Bail Bonds")
  14. ^ Grand Theft Auto V (Mission: "Fame or Shame")
  15. ^ Borkowski, Andy (22 October 2013). "GTA V: unedited and uncensored Interview with Steven Ogg, the man behind Trevor Philips". O Canada. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  16. ^ Molina, Brett (9 October 2013). "Interview: Crime pays for 'Grand Theft Auto V' actors". USA Today. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  17. ^ Shuman, Sid (28 June 2013). "Grand Theft Auto V: What We Know". PlayStation Blog. Retrieved 30 June 2013. 
  18. ^ Aziz, Hamza (2 May 2013). "Grand Theft Auto V: Everything is bigger and better". Destructoid. Retrieved 30 June 2013. 
  19. ^ a b Grand Theft Auto V (Mission: "Friends Reunited")
  20. ^ Grand Theft Auto V (Mission: "The Paleto Score")
  21. ^ Grand Theft Auto V (Mission: "Prologue")
  22. ^ Grand Theft Auto V (Mission: "Hang Ten")
  23. ^ Grand Theft Auto V (Mission: "Trevor Philips Industries")
  24. ^ a b Grand Theft Auto V (Mission: "Crystal Maze")
  25. ^ Grand Theft Auto V (Mission: "The Merryweather Heist")
  26. ^ Grand Theft Auto V (Mission: "Scouting the Port")
  27. ^ Grand Theft Auto V (Mission: "Caida Libre")
  28. ^ Grand Theft Auto V (Mission: "Derailed")
  29. ^ a b Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar Games, 2013)
  30. ^ Grand Theft Auto V (Mission: "Bury the Hatchet")
  31. ^ Grand Theft Auto V (Mission: "The Big Score")
  32. ^ Grand Theft Auto V (Mission: "The Third Way"; Option C: Deathwish)
  33. ^ Rockstar North (17 September 2013). "Grand Theft Auto V". PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (v1.0). Rockstar Games. Level/area: Something Sensible. 
  34. ^ Grand Theft Auto V (Mission: "Something Sensible"; Option A: Kill Trevor)
  35. ^ Grand Theft Auto Online (Mission: "Meth'd Up")
  36. ^ Grand Theft Auto Online (Mission: "TP Industries")
  37. ^ Grand Theft Auto Online (Mission: "Lost My Mind")
  38. ^ R* Q (30 September 2013). "GTA Online Details: Game Day Access Info and More". Rockstar Games. Retrieved 27 July 2014. 
  39. ^ Edge Staff (November 2013). "Play: Economies of scale". Edge (Future plc) (259): 85–88. 
  40. ^ Petit, Carolyn (16 September 2013). "Grand Theft Auto V Review: City of Angels and Demons". GameSpot. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  41. ^ a b Bramwell, Tom (16 September 2013). "Grand Theft Auto 5 review". Eurogamer. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  42. ^ de Matos, Xav (16 September 2013). "Grand Theft Auto 5 review: How to take it in America". Joystiq. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  43. ^ Sullivan, Lucas (27 September 2014). "Trevor is the first GTA character that makes sense". GamesRadar. Retrieved 26 July 2014. 
  44. ^ Khan, Calvin (28 October 2013). "TREVOR PHILIPS: GTA 5'S MOST SENTIMENTAL PSYCHOPATH". IGN. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  45. ^ "CheatCC's Cody Awards 2013: The Best Male Character Winner!". Cheat Code Central. 7 December 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2014. 
  46. ^ a b Dane, Patrick (7 December 2013). "'Grand Theft Auto V' Tops Spike VGX 2013 Award Winners List". Gamerant. Retrieved 25 May 2014. 
  47. ^ HG Staff (21 December 2013). "2013 New Character". Hardcore Gamer. Retrieved 25 May 2014. 
  48. ^ Zimmerman, Conrad (24 December 2013). "The winner of Destructoid's best 2013 character". Destructoid. Retrieved 25 May 2014. 
  49. ^ Hoggins, Tom (31 December 2013). "Telegraph Video Game Awards 2013". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 25 May 2014. 
  50. ^ Cork, Jeff (13 March 2014). "Last Of Us, Tearaway, Grand Theft Auto V Win Big At The BAFTA Awards". Game Informer. Retrieved 25 May 2014. 
  51. ^ Rockstar North (17 September 2013). "Grand Theft Auto V". PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (v1.0). Rockstar Games. Level/area: By the Book. Trevor: The media and the government would have us believe that torture is some necessary thing. We need it to get information, to assert ourselves. Did we get any information out of you? / Kerimov: I would have told you everything. / Trevor: Exactly. Torture's for the torturer. Or the guy giving the orders to the torturer. You torture for the good times – we should admit that. It's useless as a means of getting information! 
  52. ^ Petit, Carolyn (16 September 2013). "Grand Theft Auto V Review: City of Angels and Demons". GameSpot. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  53. ^ MacDonald, Keza (16 September 2013). "Grand Theft Auto V Review". IGN. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  54. ^ Bramwell, Tom (22 September 2013). "Is the most disturbing scene in GTA5 justified?". Eurogamer. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  55. ^ Hern, Alex (19 September 2013). "Grand Theft Auto 5 under fire for graphic torture scene". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 
  56. ^ Hern, Alex (19 September 2013). "Grand Theft Auto 5 under fire for graphic torture scene". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  57. ^ Chick, Tom (21 September 2013). "Is Grand Theft Auto V the most relevant story about torture since Zero Dark Thirty?". Quarter to Three. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 

Sources[edit]

Preceded by
Luis Lopez
Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony
Protagonist of Grand Theft Auto
alongside Michael De Santa and Franklin Clinton
Grand Theft Auto V
Incumbent