It's now no secret how Michael Madsen makes his mortgage payments. Since the turn of the century, the star of such films as Free Willy and Thelma and Louise has earned a steadily growing side income from his voice work in games. His gravely baritone has been featured in Grand Theft Auto III, True Crime: Streets of LA, Driver 3, Narc, and the upcoming game adaptation of his most celebrated big-screen effort, Reservoir Dogs.
Now, Madsen can add another game to his voice-over-work resume. Today, Sega announced that he would be the English-language voice of Shimano, the hulking crime boss in the publisher's forthcoming crime game, Yakuza. The game, originally released in Japan under the title Ryu ga Gotoku, follows a rough-and-tumble gangster, Nishiki, through a free-roaming, GTA-style re-creation of Tokyo's underworld.
The English-langauge voice of Nishiki will be Michael Rosenbaum, who is most famous for his portrayal of a young Lex Luthor in the television series Smallville. He is joined by several other MTV-friendly actors in the Yakuza cast, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Eliza Dushku, who plays the ingénue Yumi. Also featured is Rachel Leigh Cook, who gained notoriety for playing the Pygmalion-esque lead in the 1999 teen comedy She's All That.
Yakuza's cast will also feature an actor who has iconic status among several generations prior to the current 18 to 34 demographic. Mark Hamill--aka Luke Skywalker in Star Wars--will play Majima, an insane Yakuza boss. Hamill is no stranger to voice work, having played the Joker in the long-running Batman Beyond cartoon series.