Rockstar Games producer and voice of Grand Theft Auto Lazlow Jones paid a visit to his friends at the Opie and Anthony Show on Sirius XM Satellite Radio to talk about his latest travels, some politics, the death of comedian Patrice O’ Neal, and how a trip to Sao Paulo, Brazil for Max Payne 3 was one of his craziest adventures. What’s a producer of Max Payne 3 doing in Sao Paulo? Adding an extra layer of realism by recording Sao Paulo natives speaking Portuguese since this is the city where the game takes place.
Lazlow starts his story about how he was advised that he and the other producers on the trip would need a bulletproof car in Sao Paulo because they would have $10,000 on them. He then continues that a security consultant sent him a picture of their driver when setting up the trip because kidnapping is a problem in Sao Paulo. Right before he leaves, the security consultant says that the driver has been changed causing a major safety concern. When he finally makes it to Sao Paulo, he immediately noticed that the car has the thick bulletproof glass, and then is told by the driver that the undercarriage of the car is reinforced to prevent his legs from being blown off if there’s a bomb in the road.
The first stop in the city for Lazlow is a bank where he can exchange currency. It’s there where he’s introduced to the bank's unique metal detector that’s built-in to the revolving door, forcing him to remove all of his metal while stuck in the door. Things get scary when Lazlow is approached by a bank employee that says “There’s a man outside looking for two Americans.” He then finds out that the man was his driver who was worried that they were taking too long for the exchange. After that escapade, Lazlow was on his own to travel the city in a Ford Focus, but he made sure to keep a low profile.
When asked by comedian Jim Norton on whether he visited one of the local favelas, which are shanty towns rife with crime, Lazlow said he didn’t but other game producers did so that they could take some pictures that would be used to create a virtual version of the favela in the game. In order to do so, the producers had to pay local gangs to give them access.
During his time at Sao Paulo, Lazlow did say that he enjoyed it there even though he was working in the studio from 10am to 11pm. Co-host Anthony Cumia asked if Lazlow was constantly paranoid all the time there. Lazlow then explained that as the son of a drug NARC, (an undercover police officer that works drug busts) he has been used to being aware of his surroundings since he was a little kid.
So when you play Max Payne 3 this coming May, take a moment to think about how the producers of the game put their lives in jeopardy in order to make the game more realistic for you. You can listen to the full interview below. Max Payne 3 talk starts at 1:48:28.