We said earlier this year that Portal is "more sinister than you remember (opens in new tab)," a quality that arises largely from the presence of GlaDOS, the primary antagonist of the series, who's basically a passive-aggressive Shodan. In a recent interview with Kiwi Talkz (embedded above), GlaDOS voice actor Ellen McLain gave a little bit of a clue as to how she was able to pull that off so successfully: She occasionally dreams about murdering people.
"An actor, I believe, brings their whole intellect, emotional life, feelings, to any project," McLain, who seems like a lovely person in real life, explained. "You bring your whole self to the project. We all have everything in us. I've never been pushed to the point of murder in my own life, but I'm not saying that it couldn't happen under certain circumstances. If I had to protect myself or protect someone that I loved.
"Because I've had dreams—I've had murderous dreams. In my dreams I've murdered people ... I don't have murderous dreams very often, but I've had them, where I've murdered someone."
Okay then! I did not see that coming. To be fair, McLain clarified that she only murders people (in her dreams) in self-defense, which is reasonable and will no doubt help if she finds herself being interrogated by the dream police. She also said that she didn't share any of her murderous imaginings with the dev team for use in the Portal games, although not because was trying to keep the whole "I have murder dreams" thing on the down-low, but just because the murder suggestion box was already full: "Erik [Wolpaw, the writer of Portal and Portal 2] has plenty of ideas of his own," she said. "I don't have to give him any ideas."
The interview covers a lot of ground relating to Portal and other work McLain has done for Valve over the years—she's also the voice of Overwatch (opens in new tab) in the Half-Life games, among other roles—and it's all very interesting and mostly more serious than my admittedly not-very-serious suggestion that she might have put more of herself into GlaDOS than anyone realized. Other topics in the hour-long chat include where the GlaDOS voice originally came from, the famous Portal theme song Still Alive (opens in new tab), and how the only work for Valve she ever did with her husband—John Patrick Lowrie, aka The Sniper (opens in new tab)—ended up on the Left 4 Dead cutting room floor.
And, of course, she said she's eager to get back into Portal 3. "Write in. Email Valve. You've got my blessing," McLain said. "Say, 'Ellen wants to do a Portal 3'."
She's not the only one: Back in February, Wolpaw—the writer with "plenty of ideas of his own"—also said it was time for Valve to get on with making a new Portal, and urged fans to "send mail to Gabe (opens in new tab)."