Yep, this is an actual thing that has happened.
Grand Theft Auto, as we know, has always been home to some rather questionable souls. Down there in the criminal underbelly, there’s no room for morals, pleasantries, personal hygiene or any of that business. These are the kinds of studly dudes who would push grandma under a passing SUV if she tried to stop them from selling depleted uranium to schoolchildren.
So, for Grand Theft Auto V, Rockstar wanted to evoke that spirit in the most authentic fashion possible. The answer? Gang members voiced by… actual gang members who are in gangs. Rival bands of merry, homicidal funsters are key to the plot, so we needed people who know their shit right here.
IGN reports that the game’s producer, Lazlow Jones, gave a crime-tastic interview to Chicago’s WGN radio station to this effect. He stated that they recruited “…actual gang members, real gang members. I mean, El Salvadorian gang dudes with amazing tattoos and one of which literally had gotten out of prison the day before.” The wardens didn’t even know he was out yet, so how fortunate Rockstar were to catch him for an afternoon of light video-game-making.
Another heaping helping of insight from Jones was this: “they look at the lines and they say, ‘I wouldn’t say that. If I was upset at another gang, I wouldn’t say that.’ So, well, then say what you would say. Authenticity, you know? There’s a lot of sessions that we would have where we would just throw the script on the floor and be, like, ‘This thing we wrote is irrelevant, let’s actually work out something real.’”
In summation, then, what should we all do when we need a little acting/writing expertise? Call on an ‘El Salvadorian gang dude,’ of course. There’s no end to these mad bastards’ talents. Just don’t make them ‘upset,’ or you’re likely to be leaving with both your balls in a sling.