Metal Gear Solid 5’s Quiet actress reflects on ‘very revealing costume’: ‘I understand the perspective of people not as happy with how she was portrayed’

Eight years after Metal Gear Solid 5, the actor behind bikini-clad sniper assassin Quiet has spoken about the role and working with Kojima in a new interview with IGN. Actor Stefanie Joosten called making Metal Gear Solid 5 “an absolutely wonderful experience,” but also reflected on “the perspective of the people that are not as happy with how she was portrayed,” saying “I think the video game landscape has changed quite a lot since then.”

“This game came out in 2015, and I think the video game landscape has changed quite a lot since then”

Stefanie Joosten

There are two famous Hideo Kojima tweets from the development period of Metal Gear Solid 5. The first is the eternally mysterious “Farewell sausage.” A perfect tweet: no more needs to be said. The second, though, has not aged so well. In 2013, responding to criticism of Quiet wearing a bikini top and torn stockings, Kojima tweeted that “once you recognize the secret reason for her exposure, you will feel ashamed of your words & deeds.” 

The justification revealed in MGS5’s story—that Quiet was infected with a parasite that gave her superhuman abilities, including being able to breathe through her skin—did not make anyone, as far as I know, ashamed of criticizing the character design, which became a flashpoint for the discussion of oversexualized character designs of women in games.

Looking back, Joosten praised working with Kojima and said she’d “absolutely” work with him again. “He had a really clear vision for the project, but it was just so large in span that the actors, including me, would often ask for more input on the characters’ motivations and the world we were in. And he was incredibly helpful and always present to make sure we really got the characters,” she said. 

IGN asked about Quiet’s revealing outfit, which was controversial before Metal Gear Solid 5 released and remained so after the “secret reason” was revealed.

“I think video games are, in a way, still a sort of fantasy world you enter, so I definitely respect the choices regarding the Quiet appearance, for instance, being quite revealing,” Joosten said. “But I also understand the perspective of the people that are not as happy with how she was portrayed. This game came out in 2015, and I think the video game landscape has changed quite a lot since then. People are looking for more representation, and I really get it.

“Quiet’s outfit is not practical at all. Even with the explanation that was given of her breathing through her skin, of course there were so many other options you could have gone with. I do agree on that. I got to see the character artwork when we were starting motion capture, and of course my first reaction was, ‘that’s a very revealing costume’, but I respected it and accepted it. So that’s basically my stance. It’s fantasy, and I find that acceptable as well. But I do understand, having more of a diverse representation in video games for women and all minorities is something I would encourage as well.”

This year Joosten starred as a character in Wanted: Dead, which we didn’t like quite as much as Metal Gear Solid 5. She’s also recorded two albums collaborating with Italian producer Giorgio Moroder, who won a couple Oscars in the ’80s for his theme songs for Flashdance and Top Gun. Joosten talks about recording the album and working with Moroder in the full interview with IGN.

I think it’s fair to say the ’80s pop revival is on full display in her new single; it’s technically a cover of a song from 1979, but the full-on synth treatment here as ’80s as it gets. Maybe Kojima will put one of Joosten’s new tracks in Death Stranding 2?

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