In the near-future tech dystopia of San Francisco, a new era of gaming is about to unfold. The Tournament of Ruin introduces Neural Reality, a fully immersive technology allowing players to enter a world where the lines between reality and virtuality blur. But what happens when the game turns into a nightmare, and the players become trapped, hunted by something brutal and mysterious within the game? Welcome to Ghosts of Ruin, a series that promises to redefine the boundaries of interactive entertainment.

The Stars Speak

In an exclusive interview with the stars of Ghosts of Ruin, Karen Strassman, John Bentley, and AleXa, we delve into the characters, the unique aspects of the project, and the groundbreaking interactive elements that set this series apart.

Karen Strassman as Auntie Lila

Karen Strassman, who plays a mysterious character of a certain age, teases the enigmatic nature of her role.

“Auntie Lila… I can’t tell you too much because I can’t reveal too much, but my character is a character of a certain age. And there’s a lot of mystery about her, so that is all I’m going to say.”

-Karen Strassman, Auntie Lila in ‘Ghosts of Ruin’-

John Bentley as Dr. Brennan

John Bentley, portraying a character he describes as “deeper than the ocean,” shares his fascination with the complexity of his role.

“I’ve been saying this all day, he’s deep. He’s deeper than what you’ll think by seeing him and hearing him. He’s just deeper than the ocean. He’s just got these layers that, and I mean physically, mentally, spiritually, audibly. He’s next level, but you won’t get, he won’t let you in. You just see it unfold. That’s the only way I can tell you. His thought process, his actions, his reactions, he’s just deep. Everything is calculated to a point where you’re like, like if you played a chess game with my character, he’d look at you and make the moves without looking at the board. He’s that kind of thinker and that kind of projector, I guess you could say.”

-John Benly, Dr. Brenna in ‘Ghosts of Ruin’-

AleXa as Juggernaut

AleXa, the K-pop idol making her voice acting debut as Juggernaut, a pro gamer, expresses her excitement about resonating with her character.

“First and foremost, Juggernaut. I just resonate with her so much as a character. Granted, I’m a little bit less of a loose cannon than she is, because she’s quite… But she’s just a very fun character. I enjoyed reading all of her lines. She is very zany, very wild out there, but she has her serious moments, especially when it comes to… What does she get? What is the thing? Insert pigeon noises here. I don’t know, she’s just very…

She’s a very enjoyable character to read for, and I can only hope she’s even much more enjoyable to see on the screen whenever the project is finally out. And what was the second part of the question? Was there any musical aspects to her? Well, so my job is K-pop artist, but Juggernaut, she is like a pro gamer, of course. I myself suck at games. I love them, and I love playing them. I suck at them. I’m horrible. My hand-eye coordination…”

-AleXa, Juggernaut in ‘Ghosts of Ruin’-

A New Era of Audience Participation

What sets Ghosts of Ruin apart is the unprecedented level of audience participation. Fans can choose lines to be said, send in pictures to be featured in the show, and even have their likenesses appear on camera. It’s not only great for fans, but for the stars of the show, as this new way of storytelling inspires them as much as it inspires fans.

“…that’s what I think I’m more excited about because, you know, we’re talking about going to conventions and everything like that. I like the interaction with the fans. Some people go just to do the signing and everything. I’m like, yeah, that’s cool. Let’s get out of the way. How are you doing? You know, what is your name? You know what I’m saying? That kind of thing. And this is now an engine that allows you to participate in it. And it’s like they’re part of that. That’s intriguing to me.”

-John Benly, Dr. Brenna in ‘Ghosts of Ruin’-

“I mean, from the panel today, they just disclosed that people are going to be able to send in their photos and be on wanted signs. It’s crazy. People are going to be able to have their likenesses on camera and like the characters that are killed. So they’ll be like, oh, my God, I was killed in episode. You know, rewind, which one was you? How did you die? You know, and, you know, and people will be able to, you know, choose the dialogue.

Today in the panel, there was one dialogue with Rosaria Dawson and there was a QR code and the audience got to vote. There were three different lines and the audience got to vote on which line is going to be in the show, you know, so that there’s going to be versions of that, you know, technologically. I’m not sure how it’s all going to work, but that will be revealed. But I’ve never worked on anything like that. I mean, if you guys ever say anything like that, that’s unreal to me. You know, and I mean, what better, what better project to push and sell and show you that you can be a part of this too, which to me goes to a different level.

Makes people go, well, wait a minute, I think I want to be a voiceover actor. Wait a minute, I think I want to be a cinematographer. Wait a minute, I think I want to be an animator. So to me, it’s deeper than, oh, wow, this is really good. I think I can be part of this. Look, man, look, mom. This is like, I just saw my face on the screen. Where is that going to take my imagination and my drive? Right. So for me, that’s what’s, that’s just cool.”

-Karen Strassman, Auntie Lila in ‘Ghosts of Ruin’-

The Journey of the Stars

The interview also sheds light on the journey of the stars to this project. Strassman’s connection with the writer and creator, Mike Ryan, led her to the series. Bentley’s audition process was filled with excitement and experimentation.

“I was in a big animated series with Mike Ryan. He was the writer and the creator of it called Monsuno. And we did two and a half seasons of that show together. It was original animated series. It was original animation. So it was one of those shows where the actors, we got to be in the same room together. And there were five actors who did the whole series, two and a half seasons. And some of the people you might know. Cam Clark, Kirk Thornton.Keith Silverstein, Christopher Smith, and me.

And we were five actors. Every Friday, we’d record a new episode or two episodes. And because it was a Friday, at the end of the episode, we’d start drinking margaritas. And it was Margarita Friday in Salami Studios. And we had so much fun. And in that two and a half seasons, I was the only female actress in it. So I played 26 characters in the whole show.

And the voice director was René Veilleux from Verité Entertainment. So when the show rolled around, I got a call to come record. I was privileged to not even have to audition. They called me into the studio and go, ‘We’ve got a couple of roles for you, Karen. Some of them might sound a little bit familiar. We’re just going to take some of those characters and mold them into the show.’ So you’ll hear my Auntie Lila. You’ll also hear me on a number of other voices, digitized voices and otherwise, that the fans will probably recognize.”

-Karen Strassman, Auntie Lila in ‘Ghosts of Ruin’-

“For me, it was a simple process. Audition, callback, change and stuff. ‘Hey, you got this? You got that voice? Let’s do this voice.’ And I was like, ‘OK, well, how about this?’ And Michael was like, ‘Oh, my gosh! Try that. Oh, my gosh! Try that.’ So it was great. And then we got the job. That’s so Michael, too. Oh, my gosh. You get so excited when he’s directing. He’s like, he gets so excited. You want an actor’s director. You know what I mean? Because you get to play. You get to, ‘How does this sound to you?’ Especially when you love the project. And like I said, the reason I love the project is because it’s different. It’s just unlike anything that I’ve done.”

-John Benly, Dr. Brenna in ‘Ghosts of Ruin’-

Action Figures and Accessories

In the spirit of Comic-Con, the stars also envision what accessories their action figures would come with.

“That’s a great question. You want to start? You want me to start this one? I have to look mine up. I have to take a look. I have to study this… A syringe!”

-Karen Strassman, Auntie Lila in ‘Ghosts of Ruin’-

“If I look through my character, I can see his doctor’s uniform. I can see his stethoscope. You don’t see what’s in my pocket. Just saying. Nothing up my sleeve.”

-John Benly, Dr. Brenna in ‘Ghosts of Ruin’-

“In my case, I think I’m one of the characters that’s been shown. Juggernaut has a pet dog, so I think she would definitely always have the dog by her side. That’s going to be great merch! Baseball cap. Converse sneakers. Flowered skirt. Boom! She secretly has a machete taped to her leg.”

-AleXa, Juggernaut in ‘Ghosts of Ruin’-

Ghosts of Ruin is more than just a series; it’s a groundbreaking experiment in interactive entertainment. With a gripping storyline, complex characters, and a level of audience participation never seen before, it promises to be a game-changer in the world of entertainment.

The stars’ excitement and passion, insights into their characters, and innovative approach to audience engagement make Ghosts of Ruin a must-watch. It’s not just a show; it’s an experience that invites viewers to be part of the story, to immerse themselves in a world where they can influence the narrative and see themselves on screen.

As John Bentley aptly puts it, “What better project to push and sell and show you that you can be a part of this too?” Ghosts of Ruin is set to redefine the boundaries of interactive entertainment, and we can’t wait to see where it takes us.

Ghosts of Ruin

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