‘Halo’ star says being Master Chief isn’t without its challenges

Halo is expected to be one of Paramount Plus’ biggest shows. Whether the ambitious adaptation — a long time coming, even by TV’s often sluggish production process — will earn praise with critics and fans alike remains to be seen, however, with success hinging largely on how faithfully some of the franchise’s most iconic characters make the jump to small-screen entertainment.

Chief among those (pun intended) is the suit that John-117, or Master Chief, wears. Pablo Schreiber, who plays the towering Spartan in the anticipated series, has revealed in a recent interview that getting the armor just right during the pre-production process wasn’t all that easy.

Speaking to ComicBook, Schreiber described what it meant to wear the suit and the problems he had to overcome.

“Wearing the suit is one of the great pleasures and cosplay moments of my life. I mean, I’m the Master Chief. Who would’ve thunk, right?

The reality of getting the suit right was very challenging, as most things on the show were. It was a huge challenge because it’s such a massive universe and such a crazy visual experiment to try to realize. So I went to London about five or six times, to FBFX Studios who made the costume, this is all before we shot, just to try to get the suit right and make it fit right. And eventually, we ended up with something that was the best version of what we could do with it. 

And still, it was incredibly hot, incredibly uncomfortable and really makes you quite immobile and makes movement quite difficult. To then try to bring that to life and make it feel like it’s this piece of future tech that actually makes you super capable rather than weighing you down with 50 pounds of plastic was one of our big challenges.”

The first armor from the original Halo series was the Mark VI Mjolnir Armor worn by John-117. This Mjolnir Powered Assault armor increased the super-soldier’s strength, speed, agility, durability, and reflexes. It’s undoubtedly the signature look of the franchise, so the fact that this was made a priority makes complete sense.

Schreiber joins a long list of costume-wearing actors having to work with difficult suits to get the job done. Robert Pattinson from The Batman said that it was a strange feeling, and he had to do some work to fight in the Batsuit. Pedro Pascal from The Mandalorian talked about how he worked to express his emotions with vocal intonation and his posture inside the armor.

Halo Producer Kiki Wolfkill recently discussed the decision to take off the helmet in the new series. In the games, Master Chief keeps the helmet on for the player to more easily identify with the character, but for the show, Wolfkill said that it was critical to explore the human inside the armor to give the audience a different experience.

Halo premieres on Paramount Plus on March 24.