Kickin' It With Niko Bellic
GTA4.TV sat down with Grand Theft Auto IV star and Russian immigrant, Nikolai Bellic in an exclusive, no holds barred interview. We sit down at Mr. Bellic's favorite restaurant in Liberty: Marco's Bistro. Here, we talk about the game, plots, the game's delay, and Bellic's unhealthy interest in Japanese BDSM.
GTA4.TV: Hello, Niko! It's great for you to chat with us.
Niko: Eh, nice to talk with a fansite that doesn't cater to a softer audience, I like that.
GTA4.TV: Well, it's flattering and we try really.
Niko: Yes, you certainly do. (laughs)
GTA4.TV: So Niko, Grand Theft Auto, 4th in the series, next-generation clusterhell. What can you tell us?
Niko: Well Mr. Hazard I play as myself, a Russian immigrant, who arrives in Liberty City. Everything is going alright for me until I end up at a goodbye party. Picture a bunch of drunk frat brats and hot american girls in short skirts. Anyway, everyone is having a good time, listening to my Dave Matthew's mix CD, when all of a sudden, huge fucking explosion...
GTA4.TV: Huge explosion?
Niko: Yes and it gets better. I record all of these events on my Whiz cellular-modular phone thing and Ms. Liberty's head flies off from the distance and crushes a bunch of poor bastards on the street....
GTA4.TV: Uh, Niko, we are not talking about your other project...
Niko: Ohh, my mistake. It's very easy to mistake the two. Their release dates are close to each other you know.
GTA4.TV: Let's talk about that. It was just announced that GTAIV would receive a delay. Now obviously. people are pointing fingers, hanging themselves with their PS2 controller cords, and so forth. Rockstar, in their traditional secrecy, have been obtusely vague about the reason for the delay. Do you have any insider info?
Niko is interrupted by a phone call. It's Jacob, his buddy and arms supplier. Jacob has invited Niko over to play some Nintendo Wii and Guitar Hero.
Niko: Sorry 'bout that. When making connections, it's good to establish them over some Freebird on expert mode.
About the delay though. It was never really about technical difficulties. It was Dan (Houser) and his incompetence to cater to such a high demanding game actor such as myself. I wanted a bullet-proof trailer, he got me a polygonal shell from an old car model. I cannot work in under those conditions, you know.
The reason for such a lengthy timeframe was really just creative differences between me and Dan. He wanted gritty urban crime, I wanted a Scorcese-esque crime drama. You can obviously see the conflicts within these two ideas.
GTA4.TV: But what about a gritty urban Scorcese crime drama?
Niko: If I did that, I would be a misanthropic cab driver, not a russian immigrant. It's misconceptions like those that drive AAA talent away from digital entertainment. Remember San Andreas? The actor who played Carl Johnson wanted his character to be an NAACP activist in middle-america, blasting away at all of the prejudiced white folk whom are keeping the urban people down. Instead, Dan opted it to make a 'yo-yo glockz n grillz' type of game complete with negative stereotypes and skinamax-grade nudity. That's not how you make a high brow piece of art.
GTA4.TV: I don't think "grillz" we're even invented in the 90's...
Niko: Well, I think they came to a compromise. Originally, Johnson was going to be played by 50 Cent, set in modern times. Johnson, I think was a struggling rapper and there was a lot of rapping simulation minigames that we're cut out. You can see some remnants of the original game, just go to one of the dance clubs in Los Santos.
GTA4.TV: No wonder everyone hated the girlfriend feature in that game. Speaking of features, how has GTAIV improved over San Andreas in regards to cohesive game structure and things to do?
Niko continues to play with his cellphone. He takes a picture from under his chair. I realize he has taken a upskirt picture of some young lady sitting across from us.
Niko: 2000 erotica PP will do me some good when I get more achievements. (laughs)
The cellphone, like here, is my life in GTAIV. I use it to contact people, make contact, take pictures, and make videos of me happy-slapping poor fools out on the street. Perhaps I can upload them on IVTube (The GTA equivalent of YouTube) and share them with McReary.
However, this little gizmo isn't everything you know. You can use the internet to upload resumes and portfolios and stuff. Just the other day, I made a fake CV to infiltrate a lawyer's firm to assassinate this asshole from Miami. I don't remember his name but he said that (Rockstar) we would be taken down by his holy crusade. Ever since then, I have been receiving love letters on my Gmail accounts from thousands of self-described "gamers".
GTA4.TV: I believe you did a communal service and I, and the rest of GTA4.TV, would like to thank you for that.
Niko: It was really no problem. That jerk was sending me these weird press releases and pictures of gentials. Everyone knows Niko Bellic doesn't swing that way.
GTA4.TV: In fact, he is such a hardened criminal, he doesn't swing at all.
Niko pauses and gives me a stern look. My boxers had to be changed shortly after the interview.
Niko: I swing sometimes but Dan opted to not but my personal love life on display (in the game). It's fine though because not everyone is really into the whole underground fetish scene. it's understandable really.
GTA4.TV: You're into fetish?
Niko: I don't want to delve into my personal life too much but yes, it's quite enthralling watching oriental women hang from the ceiling with battery clamps attached to their nipples. I only go to the scene for aesthetic purposes and you know sometimes I'd get involved but it's nothing too extreme.
GTA4.TV: Yes, you use your extremities in other avenues like slaughtering cops and giving the finger.
Niko: My mute buddy gives the finger, not me. I just push people aside. It's amazing though he could even give the finger.
GTA4.TV: What do you mean?
Niko: He was born with some weird disease where he has lobster like hands. Granted, he can still hold a gun and fire, but it's creepy to see him stretch the middle portion of his claw out and make it look like he is shooting the bird. (laughs)
In fact, prior to me arriving in Liberty to do work on IV, there was a weird local pandemic of people being born with lobster claws. I think the mayor did something though, deported them, or exterminated them because I haven't seen any clawed people hanging around. Rumor has it that it spread across places like Vice City and Carcer City.
GTA4.TV: What's your favorite thing to do while on set?
Niko: I like shooting people in the knee so they hop around like an idiot. Plus, it momentarily immobilizes them so I can make a quick run for it.
GTA4.TV: ...but, Niko never runs from battle.
Niko: He does not but it's great I am able to do so. A friend of mine, who was an extra in Vice City, said that the people he was working with were stiff and straight laced. It wasn't all bad though from what he told me. For example, during like the 3rd week of development, Michael J. Fox came roaring down the street with a Deluxo. You should see him without his meds, he is just like the extras! (laughs then sips a cup of coffee)
GTA4.TV: Speaking of celebrities, will there be any talent from the entertainment capital of the world?
Niko: I can't comment on that yet but I know the Housers we're opted to use talent that wasn't necessarily from the A-list. They are using that Singstar winner chick whose name I can't recall but damn she can suck a mean...
(I check my watch and realize that our interview is well over due...)
GTA4.TV: We're out of time, Niko but thanks for sitting down and talking to us here at GTA4.TV. Nobody is this generous considering our track record.
Niko: Yes, keep up the great work with your secret Gold membership child porn smuggling ri...
GTA4.TV: I believe that's enough.
So, there you have it. Nipple clamps, anal-retentive lawyers, and stiff actors. Nothing is too bizarre in the world of GTA. Tune in next time when we sit down with and have a Q&A with the locals of Liberty City!