Fans of Grand Theft Auto have heard actor Shawn Fonteno before. He played a gang member in GTA: San Andreas, but with his full performance capture as Franklin Clinton in GTA 5, they're getting the real Fonteno. The former LA gang member has been on both sides of the gun in real life. It's that authenticity, and his work on San Andreas, that led to Fonteno's leading role in GTA 5. From the moment he read the script, Fonteno knew Franklin because he'd lived that life.
With the game generating over $1 billion in sales in a record three days, and GTA Online micro transactions and DLC forecast to produce another $206 million (according to Super Data Research), Rockstar has another global hit on its hands, and Fonteno is taking it all in. He explains why he's open to joining your crew in GTA Online, and offers some driving tips in this exclusive interview.
What do you like to do for fun in Los Santos when you're playing this game?
I love Franklin's driving ability. It's sweet, man. You can just nail the gas and control it and slow down. It has all of that feel to it, so I pretty much love all the excitement of the drive and how far you can roam into the map. I'm from Los Angeles, so it's familiar and I can see things and try to drive by them.
When it comes to driving, do you have particular cars that you like to pick up?
Oh man, I love that Charger. That Charger feels like the real car. I own a Charger and those are good muscle cars. It just handles well. It's low to the ground and with the effects in the game, it makes you feel like you're actually driving a real car.
What tips would you give to someone driving in GTA 5?
If you're going to drive in this game, man, drive with Franklin. I guarantee you can't go wrong. You can just stay on the gas and push the sticks down. You can go in slow motion. You can squeeze through everything. You can't go wrong with the driving as long as it's with Franklin.
Have you had time to play through the whole game yet?
I'm still working on it. A lot of people play it and they want to rush through all the missions. Well you got to remember, I'm one of the actors and I acted through the missions. I go off the mission and drive to see other things, and then I come back to it. I'm only like 30 percent into the game right now. I'm just trying to milk it for what it is, man. I don't want to miss anything. That's how good it is. I want to take my time if it takes me two months to play it. I want to take my time and know that I completed it.
GTA Online gives you a lot of new content.
That's going to be the most exciting part of it. The people that rushed through, guess where they're at now? And once they get ahold of that GTA Online, they're going to lose their minds with that because of multiplayer. You can do everything you want. You can build your own crew. You can go on missions together. This right here, this is probably going to be something that can never be topped again.
When it comes to GTA Online, do you play with fans?
Oh, definitely. Come on. Why not? That's what they want. I would be selfish not to, so I'm going to have fun with the fans. The fans are supporting it, so I will support them and hang out. Whatever they need to do, if I can do it, I'm going to do it.
For more, check out Prima's free GTA 5 guide.