|Born||1 July 1983|
|Residence||London, United Kingdom|
|Occupation||Actor/Voice actor |
|Agent||Brown, Simcocks and Andrews |
With video games, his most notable roles are as Anders in Dragon Age II, as Shulk in Xenoblade Chronicles and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, as Tintin for the video game based on the film, The Adventures of Tintin, as Pipin in the Final Fantasy XIV expansion pack Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward, and as Fenton Paddock in the point-and-click adventure game Lost Horizon. On television, Adam has done guest star acting on the BBC One soap opera Doctors as Martin Rivers (2008), Ben Hardwick (2013), and DC Gerrard Norcroft (2015), performances as Steven Lilwall on the BBC One series New Tricks, and two roles, as Fred and Jack Parsons, for the TV series documentary Dark Matters: Twisted But True on Science Channel. In theatre, Adam has worked on various plays, most notably during 2015 in the role of Stu for a revival of Anthony Neilson's play Stitching at the House of Wolf, and also the role of Dickie Greenleaf for the play adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley at New Diorama Theatre, for which Adam received a Best Supporting Male nomination at the Offies 2016 (The Off West End Theatre Awards). Regarding film, Adam has done main roles on short films like Towers by the filmmaker Azhur Saleem, but also small parts on films like Delicious and as Rupert Drummond on the horror film Scar Tissue. For his work in audiobooks, Adam has also performed narration for Wicked Beloved, a novel by the novelist Susanne Saville.
- 1 Acting bug and education
- 2 Voice-over beginnings
- 3 Notable video game roles
- 4 Writing interests
- 5 Stage work
- 6 Filmography
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Acting bug and education
Fond of acting since his early school years, Adam chose the subject for his GCSE studies, then his A Levels at the Strode College in 1999. Inside that school, Adam studied Drama, Film Studies, and English Literature until his 2001 graduation; moment where, as Adam left the school, he then knew that acting was his vocation.
Wanting the proper training and skills for his future job, Adam then auditioned at Drama schools. Eventually, he got accepted at the Drama Centre, location he much appreciated for its welcoming atmosphere from both the students and the teachers, but also for its rich actors pedigree (e.g Colin Firth, Michael Fassbender, etc.). Alongside other alumni like Ryan Gage, Rolan Bell, Gwendoline Christie, Jodie McNee, and Joseph MacNab, Adam studied important acting techniques (e.g. traditional Shakespeare, Stella Adler), including some involving his voice for, as he explains, "working on your voice is very important in all areas of acting, not just voice-overs."
Following his 2005 graduation, Adam's first TV role was as a student during "Slow Bomb", the finale of the action series Ultimate Force starring Ross Kemp. For that work, Adam took his breaks inside a trailer with Simon Lenagan, another guest-star. In that caravan, Adam discussed with his colleague how he wanted to do voice-over. And as the dialogue progressed, Simon encouraged Adam to present his voice reel at Just Voices, a voice-over agency he had co-founded. Which Adam did and since then, the actor started his career in voice-overs; first doing commercials (e.g.: Nintendo, Twix, Berkley, etc.) and corporate voice-overs. Soon came video games, with additional voices in Dragon Age Origins and Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening, then as Fenton Paddock in Lost Horizon (video game), a main role which Adam has, as he explains, "a soft spot for".
Notable video game roles
Various voice roles (Dragon Age: Origins/Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening) and Anders (Dragon Age 2)
For his first dive into the video game industry and BioWare's franchise, Adam auditioned for Dragon Age: Origins at the voice studio Side UK, reading and obtaining there a couple of roles. Directed by Catherine Livingstone, Dragon Age's voice director, he recorded various voices such as the Ostagar prisoner, which Adam has said he was "quite fond of" and "the first time I'd ever seen myself as a computer sprite." Alongside that performance, he worked as two Ostagar army minions (soldier and officer) and, for the Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening add-on, as the Constable Aidan.
Then for Dragon Age 2, released in 2011, came Adam's breakthrough as Anders. Originally played by Greg Ellis (actor) in Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening, BioWare offered Adam the part when Greg couldn't perform it due to unspecified reasons that reduced his involvement in the second part only to apparitions as Cullen. With that new role, Adam returned in Dragon Age's universe, recording his voices with Catherine Livingstone who, back in Canada, guided Adam in his sessions; either by advising him on Anders's progression — as actors do not receive a complete script for secrecy reasons — and checking over his voice tone so that it didn't derail. In preparation for the role, Adam also listened to Greg Ellis's performance. But as the character had evolved from the first installment where he was cheerful, Adam followed his instincts since Anders, as the actor explains, "is written quite differently. He maintains a sense of humor but you learn so much more about him in DA2 and you see a much darker side to him."
About those two projects, Adam is very proud to be involved in them, praising their diverse storytelling opportunities, with rich narration branches that allowed players to play again and uncover new secrets about its universe, unlike others which gamers complete once and then abandon. He also added that thanks to Anders, his popularity rose immensely as he noticed more supporters following his Twitter account since that role, and that it was the most frequent character fans ask him to pull out when meeting him. Concerning the controversy over Anders's actions in the game, Adam expressed his entire support for him, explaining that he was his actor and, as he learned at his acting lessons, actors must not judge their characters and must deal with their actions. He also, on episode 21 of the MCMBuzz Podcast, denounced and condemned the homophobia some YouTube and Twitter users have exhibited over a gay romance storyline between his character and Garrett Hawke, the hero of the game. During that podcast episode, Adam defended that romance storyline and also said — in reply to all the prejudiced Twitter users who believe that it must have been difficult for Adam to play the role since he's heterosexual — that he has acted other gay characters before (e.g. Hanschen Rilow in Frank Wedekind's Spring Awakening (play)), that performing a gay romance never bothers him, that it was a pleasant kissing session between his lips and his hand, and that his performance for this love storyline even got him praises from a friend who played the game and told him: "You do come on quite strong, now Adam."
Tintin (The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn)
Among his childhood reads, Adam always loved The Adventures of Tintin, created by the Belgian comic book artist Herge. So when Side UK passed video game auditions for the hero's voice, Adam was excited at the idea of performing as Tintin. Although one audition employee expressed doubts that Adam would obtain the role — as the character is sixteen years old and Howden in his late twenties — the actor refuted the man with an excellent Tintin voice audition. Therefore, Adam obtained the coveted role for this secretive project and also got to work thrice with Phil Evans, who had voice-directed him on Lost Horizon and Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Regarding its content, Adam described the game as a platformer inspired by Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson's production where, as he says, "they've taken two of the Tintin books and combined them for the film, and the game sort of follow that story of the film, but will also go on other adventures as well, so that you can do other things." But unlike Xenoblade Chronicles and the Dragon Ages which he recorded alone in the booth, Adam performed alongside other actors this time. Among them was Lewis MacLeod (actor), who voiced Captain Haddock and whose talent impressed Adam who described him as "just so confident and he can just do it. He just turns it on, he can change his voice, turn on a sixpence, and it's brilliant." In sum, Adam really enjoyed his Tintin experience and was impatient to play the game when it would come out in October 2011.
Shulk (Xenoblade Chronicles and Super Smash Bros.)
After a successful November 2010 audition for an unidentified Nintendo RPG, Adam was offered the role of Shulk, main hero of the video game Xenoblade Chronicles directed by Tetsuya Takahashi through his company, Monolith Soft. Already released in Japan for the Nintendo Wii on 10 June 2010 and set in Europe for 19 August 2011, Adam's job was to participate in Xenoblade's English translation for the 2011 release. Therefore, his recording — helmed by Justin Villier at Side UK — happened over four straightforward weeks; unlike the Dragon Ages' and Tintin's which occurred in separate stages set according to their productions' situations.
Like at his audition where he read the game's opening, Adam's performance had to correspond to the character's design and the casting director's desires. In sum, a bold and intelligent young adult who slowly becomes more mature during his quest; with, as Adam was told, "a neutral English voice, not posh sounding, but should sound educated." So Adam applied a tone which, as he says, "is not completely different from my own voice, it's a variation of my own voice. How I was when I was 19, probably!" And to ensure his acting corresponded well to Tetsuya Takahashi's intentions, he also listened to the Japanese voice track, which allowed him to find the proper emotion for his scenes. As the recording team's mission was a faithful and expert localization of Xenoblade's storyline, they also — along with a translator and a Nintendo producer — had to adjust their translation according to whatever problems in the booth. For instance, if the duration of the character's mouth animation didn't correspond with the voice actor's performance, the crew would either shorten or lengthen the dialogue while keeping fidelity with the original's intent. And if the crew had questions over certain lines or terms, the translator would help them.
Of the RPG, Adam described it as "a philosophical game. It explores our place in the universe, do we really exist, God, do we make our own fate or are we on a set course, as well as love, revenge, and friendship." On a personal note, he was proud of Xenoblade and wished the game had gotten more recognition for its merits. About his performance, the actor's work was applauded as he and the entire voice crew got a "Best Vocal Ensemble in a Video Game" nomination in 2013 at the BTVA Video Game Voice Acting Award. Also, as the original Wii game was re-released in 2015 for the New Nintendo 3DS XL, Adam performed as Shulk again for the English version of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U which came out on October 2014 (Nintendo 3DS) and November 2014 (WiiU).
Howden returned for Xenoblade Chronicles X in 2015 and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 in 2017, albeit in roles other than Shulk.
Apart from acting, Adam loves to pen down stories; which is, for him, "a good way to stay sharp when I'm not acting." Among those projects came "Bin Men" and "Dogging", two 2011 comedic shorts he shot with Jamie Baughan — his Drama Centre colleague — and the director Sankar Jayaraman, who filmed him in 2010 on "Bubble Burst".
Among Adam's other wishes would be to make a biopic about his mother's family life in 1960s East Africa and play his grandfather. As he explains, "I've been told so many amazing stories of their time there and having visited there myself I want others to see what a beautiful place it is. It's all in my head, I just need to write the bugger."
|2001||Twelfth Night||Antonio||Andrew Harries||Bath Theatre Royal|||
|2002||Fathers and Sons||Arkady||John Bechizza||Drama Centre|||
|2003||Pains of Youth||Alt||Georgina Sowerby||Drama Centre|||
|2003||Le Cid||Le Cid||Marguerite Forsythe||Drama Centre|||
|2003||Artists & Admirers||'Arry Brown||Di Trevis||Drama Centre|||
|2004||Romeo and Juliet||Romeo||Jon Lee||Drama Centre|||
|2004||Mary Stuart||The Earl of Leicester||Annie Tyson||Drama Centre|||
|2005||The Duchess of Malfi||Pescara||Di Trevis||Drama Centre|||
|2005||Mephisto||Hendrik||James Kemp||Drama Centre|||
|2006||Spring Awakening||Hanschen Rilow||Aoife Smyth||Union Theatre, London|||
|2011||The Malcontent||Malevole||Rae McKen||Custom/Practice at White Bear Theatre|||
|2014||Richard III||Buckingham||Rae McKen||Custom/Practice at White Bear Theatre|||
|2015||Romeo and Juliet||Benvolio||Rachel Valentine Smith||The Faction|||
|2015||Joan of Arc||La Hire/Montgomery||Mark Leipacher & Rachel Valentine Smith||The Faction|||
|2015||The Talented Mr. Ripley||Dickie Greenleaf||Mark Leipacher||The Faction|||
|2015||Stitching||Stu||Pip Minnithorpe||House Of Wolf|||
|2017||Beautiful: The Carole King Musical||Donnie Kirshner||Marc Bruni||U.K. Tour Cast|||
Feature films and shorts
|Year||Type of film||Title||Role||Director||Notes||Source|
|2005||Short film||Dancing with Lucy||Harry||Laerke Vindhal|||
|2006||Short film||Toast||Dave||Aneta Challis|||
|2006||Short film||Dirty Work||Special Agent 1||Carl Allegard|||
|2007||Short film||The Death Certificate||Mark Samson||Carl Allegard|||
|2010||Short film||Bubble Burst||Philip Mann||Sankar Jayaraman|||
|2012||Short film||The New Start||Tommy||David Elliot|||
|2011||Short film||Bin Men||Junior Bin Man||Sankar Jayaraman||Written and Produced by Adam Howden|||
|2011||Short film||Dogging||Junior Doggie||Sankar Jayaraman||Written and Produced by Adam Howden|||
|2015||Short film||Towers||Evan||Azhur Saleem|||
|2011||Feature Film||The Comedian||Adam||Tom Shkolnik|||
|2011||Feature Film||Scar Tissue||Rupert Drummond||Scott Michell|||
|2012||Feature Film||Delicious||Suited Man||Tammy Riley-Smith|||
|Year||Title||Role||Voice Director||Game Studio||Notes||Source|
|2009||Dragon Age: Origins||Various Roles (Ostagar Prisoner, Ostagar Officer, and Ostagar Soldier)||Caroline Livingstone||BioWare|||
|2010||Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening||Various Roles (Constable Aidan)||Caroline Livingstone||BioWare|||
|2010||Lost Horizon||Fenton Paddock||Phil Evans||Deep Silver|||
|2010||Fable III||Various Roles||Kate Saxon||Lionhead Studios|||
|2011||Inazuma Eleven 2||Various Roles (Prime Minister Stuart Vanguard, team members)||Mark Healy||Nintendo|||
|2011||Dragon Age II||Anders and Brekker||Caroline Livingstone||BioWare|||
|2011||Star Wars: The Old Republic||Various Roles (Overseer Prithor, etc.)||Phil Evans||Lucas Arts/BioWare|||
|2011||Dragon Age II: Legacy||Anders||Caroline Livingstone||BioWare|||
|2011||Dragon Age II: Mark of the Assassin||Anders||Caroline Livingstone||BioWare|||
|2011||Xenoblade Chronicles||Shulk||Mark Healy||Nintendo|||
|2011||The Secret of the Unicorn||Tintin||Phil Evans||Ubisoft|||
|2013||Soul Sacrifice||Player Character Male||Kate Saxon||Sony|||
|2013||Soul Sacrifice Delta||Player Voice||Side UK||Sony|||
|2013||Company of Heroes 2: The British Forces||Tommy||Side UK||Sega & Relic Entertainment|||
|2014||Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U||Shulk||Justin Villiers||Nintendo|||
|2014||Assassin's Creed Unity||Various Roles (Le Peletier, etc.)||Justin Villiers||Ubisoft|||
|2015||Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward||Pipin Tarupin, Various Roles||Matt Delamere||Square Enix|||
|2015||Xenoblade Chronicles X||Male Avatar (Classic)||Side UK||Nintendo|||
|2015||XCOM 2||UK Soldier||Firaxis Games|||
|2016||Battlefleet Gothic: Armada||Solar Admiral Spire||Side UK||Sony|||
|2016||Battlefield 1||Pilot, Various Roles||Justin Villiers||EA DICE|||
|2016||FIFA 17||Various Roles||Aaron McHardy||EA Canada|||
|2016||Horizon Zero Dawn||Various Roles||Jo Green||Guerrilla Games, Sony|||
|2017||Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood||Pin Tarupin||Matt Delamere||Square Enix|||
|2017||Xenoblade Chronicles 2||The Architect, Shulk||Jimmy Livingstone & Matt Roberts||Monolith Soft||As Shulk in the Challenge Battle Mode DLC|||
|2018||Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom||Leander||Mark Healy||Level-5|||
|2018||Super Smash Bros. Ultimate||Shulk||Mark Healy||Nintendo|||
|2019||Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers||Thaffe||Square Enix|||
|2005||Ultimate Force||Student||Ep.:"Slow Bomb" (Series 4, episode 5)|||
|2007||Holby City||Jason 'Bilf' Travers||Ep.: "Countdown" (Series 9, episode 37)|||
|2008-2009||New Tricks||Dr. Steven Lilwall||2 episodes: "Couldn't Organise One" (Series 5, episode 5) & "Death of a Timeshare Salesman" (Series 6, episode 5)|||
|2008||Doctors||Martin Rivers||Ep.: "The Ticking Clock" (Series 10, episode 32)|||
|2011||Whitechapel||Stuart||Third series role.||Adam's scenes were cut in the final edit.|||
|2012||Dark Matters: Twisted But True||Fred/Jack Parsons (rocket engineer)||Fred: "Pavlov's Children, Raining Aliens, Glow Girls" (Season 2, episode 12) / Jack Parsons (rocket engineer): "Magical Jet Propulsion, Missing Link Mystery, Typhoid Mary"(Season 2, episode 13)|||
|2013||Doctors||Ben Hardwick||Ep.: "Crossing the Line" (Series 14, episode 220)|||
|2013||The Intern||Lawrence Wright||Ep.: "Jess, Will and Andy" (Series 1, episode 4)|||
|2015||Doctors||DC Gerrard Norcroft||Ep.: "Best Laid Plans" (Series 17, episode 126)|||
|2012||Susanne Saville||Wicked Beloved||Ignition Studios|||
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