What happened to the cast of FIFA's 'The Journey' mode in real life
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It's been seven years since EA Sports introduced The Journey to their FIFA franchise; a mode that followed fictional character Alex Hunter in his journey from Clapham Common under-11's to the Premier League and beyond.
After a penalty shootout on a muddy pitch in south west London, the story jumped ahead seven years to an “exit trial” at the National Football Academy, where Alex and his best friend [soon to be bitter rival] Gareth Walker compete to impress Premier League scouts.
The rest, as they say, is history. But seven years on from the much-loved game mode, where are the actors and actresses who played these virtual characters? Tomiwa Edun, who headlined the series as Alex Hunter, has featured in one of the most popular television shows in British history.
Lewis Reeves, the man who played Gareth Walker, is even starring in TV adverts these days, although the 'snake' nickname has followed his own journey beyond FIFA.
Tomiwa Edun (Alex Hunter)
Edun, from Lagos, Nigeria, played The Journey mode's main protagonist Alex Hunter.
Ahead of filming in 2016, the 39-year-old was an accomplished British film and television actor with previous credits including Doctor Who, Merlin, Bates Motel and Elementary.
He studied classics at Cambridge and acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and went on to star in a number of Shakespearean plays around the UK before breaking into film and television.
Since the final Journey Mode storyline, Edun remains a respected figure in the world of acting. He's bagged a number of TV roles, including appearances in Young Wallander, The Capture, The Chelsea Detective and the latest episode of ITV's Trigger Point.
According to his IMDB profile, Edun was a voice actor in popular video game Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty.
"For me, doing 'The Journey' allowed me to explore a 'what if' aspect of my own life," Edun told VICE in 2016.
"What if I'd been born at a slightly different time, and my own life had taken a different trajectory, and this opportunity had come my way? Because who doesn't want to make it in the Premier League? So many of us have had that dream. So I got to sort of live out that fantasy."
Fun fact, this is Wale Edun’s son. Tomiwa Edun https://t.co/LpQGhJ6HrI— ASIWAJU (@DK_Balogun) August 4, 2023
Chris Walters (Danny Williams)
Walters, a Vancouver-based actor from London, played the role of Alex’s best friend Danny Williams in The Journey mode.
Before filming his role as lovable rogue Williams, he trained in acting at The Poor School in London and had a prolific theatre career before breaking into screen acting, according to the EA Sports website.
He appeared in independent films such as Shooting the Musical and FSM, as well as television shows and short films in the UK and Canada.
According to his IMDB page, Williams has enjoyed a number of roles in the TV industry since filming the final Journey Mode series, including a part in the war film Beyond the Line.
He most recently featured in Netflix show Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – a supernatural horror drama created by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.
"It was very fun being Danny Williams," Walters told GOAL in 2019. "He did get bigger as the series went on but then I think that allowed them to write in the quieter moments he had in FIFA 19, when he was by himself in his own apartment and losing all his stuff."
Lewis Reeves (Gareth Walker)
Reeves, from Doncaster in England, went from winning a cup final on Clapham Common to going head-to-head with bitter rival Alex Hunter in the Journey Mode.
We watched a young Walker go from innocent friend to a cocky and arrogant character in the storyline.
In real life, the much more likable Reeves earned his BA in acting from the Royal Welsh School of Music and Drama, and later starred in the West End with a role in Our Boys.
The 35-year-old has gone on to appear in a number of popular TV shows, including Misfits, Law & Order: UK, Unforgotten and Crazyhead – and even starred in last year's Audi Christmas advert.
Speaking to SPORTbible in 2021, he told the story about a kid who waited for him at the stage door after one of his shows in Bath, just so he could call him a snake.
"I still find it funny when people pop up online with my other work on TV and someone will screenshot my face with whatever I'm doing," he told us.
"It's generally along the lines of, 'WTF is Gareth Walker doing as a police officer' or 'who let this snake on my Netflix account?' I always find it funny and love the banter to be fair."
Lisa Solberg (Kim Hunter)
Solberg, another Vancouver-based actress originally from Sydney, Australia, first made an appearance in the Journey Mode on FIFA 18, where she played the half-sister of then-LA Galaxy forward Alex Hunter.
Prior to Lisa's role in Hunter Returns, her first major screen debut was alongside Canadian country music artist Brett Kissel in the video for his song Airwaves, which has over 2 million views on YouTube.
She also appeared in short films such as The Big Cut and Erebus.
According to her IMDB profile, Solberg has featured in two TV shows – Batwoman and Chesapeake Shores – since FIFA 19, as well as the short film Red Moon.
Speaking to FTBL in 2018 about landing the role in The Journey mode, she said: "I had just recently moved to Vancouver from Toronto and 'FIFA 18 The Journey' was one of my first auditions here.
"So, as I was sitting in the audition room I realised everyone else had three scenes auditioning for Kim Hunter and I only had one. Turns out I didn't get sent the other two scenes so I only had 20 minutes to memorise and prepare an extra five pages.
"I got called back a few days later for a 2nd round audition and a week later I found out I booked the role.
"The funny thing is I didn't know what I had booked until I went to the wardrobe fitting and found out it was FIFA! I was completely shocked and as you can imagine very excited."
Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Catherine Hunter)
Duncan-Brewster, a London native, played Alex Hunter's mother Catherine in the Journey Mode on FIFA 18.
Prior to her stint on EA's much-loved series, she has enjoyed a host of TV and film appearances, including EastEnders, Doctor Who, and Star Wars: Rogue One. She is also known for her role as Crystal Gordon in Bad Girls.
Sharon has continued to be a regular on our screens since the Journey Mode ended, featuring on Sex Education, Star Wars: The Bad Batch, Earth Mama and Dune.