March 21, 1974
|Place of birth||
Auckland, New Zealand
- “Rhys Darby was an early pick. We liked the energy he brought, especially… he felt like an antidote to just how dark the game can get – or how dark a Half-Life can get. This game is not unusual in that. It got located towards that, and then we tried it out. People really liked it. It tested well. We liked writing for him. We liked working with him. He’s fun in the studio. He’s kind of got good vibes.”
- — Sean Vanaman
A staple of New Zealand comedy, Darby is known for his energetic physical performances in stand-up routines as well as playing eccentric characters in television and film. His most notable live-action roles are Murray Hewitt in the television series Flight of the Conchords, Anton in the horror comedy film What We Do in the Shadows, and Nigel Billingsley in the Hollywood fantasy adventure film Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. From 2016 onwards, Darby branched out into voice acting much more prominently, lending his voice to Coran in Voltron: Legendary Defender, Hypno-Potamus in Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Eddie in Star vs. the Forces of Evil.
In Half-Life: Alyx
According to Sean Vanaman and Erik Wolpaw, the Half-Life: Alyx team cast Darby as Russell in part because they hoped that his energy and humor would help to offset some of the tension and darker moments in the game. Although Darby was not familiar with the Half-Life series before signing on, Wolpaw claims that he naturally gravitated towards the material and helped to shape Russell's character. One aspect of Russell that Darby particularly enjoyed was the character's curiosity about the world, including what Headcrabs taste like, which encouraged Wolpaw to write more moments where Russell got to satiate his curiosity through Alyx Vance's exploration of the world.
- Half-Life: Alyx (2020)
- Headcrabs, Rhys Darby and Portals: The making of Half-Life: Alyx on GamesRadar (April 1, 2020)
- Half-Life: Alyx Behind the Scenes, Part 1: How Valve Found Its New Alyx on USgamer (March 23, 2020)
- Flight of the Conchords' Rhys Darby Really Wanted to Know What a Headcrab Tasted Like on USgamer (March 24, 2020)