Trevor Philips

Trevor Philips is a fictional character and one of the three playable protagonists, alongside Michael De Santa and Franklin Clinton, of Grand Theft Auto V, the seventh main title in the Grand Theft Auto series developed by Rockstar Games. He also appears in the game's multiplayer component, Grand Theft Auto Online. A career criminal and former bank robber, Trevor leads his own organisation, Trevor Philips Enterprises, and comes into conflict with various rival gangs and criminal syndicates as he attempts to secure control of the drugs and weapons trade in the fictional Blaine County, San Andreas. He is played by actor Steven Ogg, who provided the voice and motion capture for the character.
Rockstar based Trevor's appearance on Ogg's physical appearance, while his personality was inspired by Charles Bronson. Grand Theft Auto V co-writer Dan Houser described Trevor as purely driven by desire and resentment. To make players care for the character, the designers gave the character more emotions. Trevor is shown to truly care about people very close to him, despite his antisocial behavior and psychotic derangement.
Trevor is considered one of the most controversial characters in video game history. The general attention given to Trevor by critics and gamers was mostly very positive, although some reviewers felt that his violent personality and actions negatively affected the game's narrative. His design and personality have drawn comparisons to other influential video game and film characters. Many reviewers have called Trevor a likeable and believable character, and felt that he is one of the few protagonists in the Grand Theft Auto series that would willingly execute popular player actions, such as murder and violence.

Character design

Grand Theft Auto V co-writer Dan Houser explained that Trevor "appeared to pretty much out of nowhere as the embodiment of another side of criminality If Michael was meant to be the idea of some version of criminal control what about the guy who didn't do that?" He later described Trevor as "the person who's driven purely by desire, resentment, no thought for tomorrow whatsoever, completely id rather than ego-driven." He stated that Trevor "kills without remorse, like a true psychopath, but very sentimental for the right reasons when it suits him."
Rockstar drew upon game protagonist archetypes while scripting the characters; Trevor was considered to embody insanity. Houser said the team characterised Michael and Trevor as juxtapositions of each other. He said, "Michael is like the criminal who wants to compartmentalise and be a good guy some of the time and Trevor is the maniac who isn't a hypocrite". He said that having three lead characters would help move the game's plot into more original territory than its predecessors, which traditionally followed a single protagonist rising through the ranks of a criminal underworld. Steven Ogg was cast as Trevor. During the initial audition process, Ogg noticed an on-set chemistry between him and Ned Luke, which he felt helped secure them the roles. Ogg said, "When and I went in the room together we immediately had something". While the actors knew their auditions were for Rockstar Games, it was when they signed contracts that they learned they would be involved in a Grand Theft Auto title.
Ogg felt Trevor's characterisation developed over time. He said, "Nuances and character traits that began to appearhis walk, his manner of speech, his reactions, definitely informed his development throughout the game". Ogg cites Tom Hardy's portrayal of English criminal Charles Bronson in the 2008 biopic Bronson as a strong stylistic influence. He opined that while Trevor embodies the violent, psychopathic Grand Theft Auto anti-hero archetype, he wanted to evoke player sympathy to Trevor's story. "To elicit other emotions was tough, and it was the biggest challenge and it's something that meant a lot to me", Ogg explained. The actors began working on the game in 2010. Their performances were mostly recorded using motion capture technology. Dialogue for scenes with characters seated in vehicles was recorded in studios. Because the actors had their dialogue and movements recorded on-set, they considered their performances were no different from those of film or television roles. Their dialogue was scripted so that it did not allow the actors to ad-lib; however they sometimes made small changes to the performance with approval from the directors.


''Grand Theft Auto V''

Trevor is Canadian, born just north of the border of the United States. He grew up with a physically abusive father and an emotionally abusive mother. Trevor had a brother, Ryan, who died prior to the game's events. Trevor's father abandoned him in a shopping mall, which he later burned down in retaliation. His father died when Trevor was 10. This upbringing combined with Trevor's violent temper led Trevor to be severely unhinged, leading to numerous fights at school, including an assault on a teacher. Trevor loved planes, and at some point entered the military as a pilot, but was quickly forced to leave after being reproved in a psychological evaluation. Later on, Trevor committed crimes, the first one being a small robbery that landed him in jail for six months. He would continue his criminal ways, including using his piloting skills to become a smuggler. Trevor eventually met Michael Townley in 1993 and both men realised that they wanted to earn money by performing large heists, so they joined forces and became successful in doing so over the following years. However, their partnership began to strain after Michael married a stripper named Amanda and started a family with her.
In 2004, during a heist in Ludendorff, North Yankton with their mutual accomplice Brad Snider, Michael and Brad are shot by police while Trevor escapes, and he believes Michael died and Brad was sent to jail. Trevor eventually settles in Sandy Shores, Blaine County, where he establishes a small criminal enterprise that smuggles weapons and manufactures methamphetamine, which he hopes will grow into a large empire. Due to raging abandonment issues, Trevor surrounds himself with two loyal friends that he kidnapped and brainwashed from their previous lives named "Nervous" Ron Jakowski and Wade Hebert. Trevor also enters an uneasy truce with his competitors in Sandy Shores, including The Lost Motorcycle Club led by Johnny Klebitz, the Varrios Los Aztecas gang, and the O'Neil Brothers.
In 2013, Trevor finds out that Michael faked his death, and is so spooked and enraged that he breaks the truce and kills most of his competition in one burst of violence, a deadly streak that continues when a potential game-changing deal with a group of Triads falls through. He drives to Los Santos, taking over the apartment and ruining the life of Wade's cousin Floyd, and reunites with Michael, who now took on the name "De Santa". After Michael introduces Trevor to Franklin Clinton, the two perform heists again, this time including Franklin. Trevor is determined to rob anything guarded by Merryweather Security Consulting, a private security firm that he dislikes, but he often fails. After not getting paid for a job, Trevor kidnaps Patricia, the wife of kingpin Martin Madrazo. Due to her kind maternal nature and his own abandonment issues, Trevor falls in love with her and only returns her after much demanding from Michael. However, the two stay in contact until the end of the game.
Trevor eventually discovers that Michael set him and Brad up, and that Brad is not in jail but buried in Michael's fake grave. This leads to Trevor vowing to kill Michael, but needing him alive for one last heist. When that heist is successful, Trevor is so pleased that he lifts the death vow but still hates Michael. Near the end of the game, Franklin is given a choice: kill Trevor, kill Michael, or try to save them both. If the first option is chosen, Franklin meets up with Trevor, before chasing him to an oil plant, where Michael arrives and causes Trevor to crash into an oil tank. With Trevor covered in oil, either Franklin or Michael shoot the oil, setting Trevor alight and killing him. If the second option is chosen, Trevor refuses to help Franklin kill Michael, stating that he is tired of being surrounded by traitors, and cuts all ties with him, returning to his old life. If Trevor and Michael are spared, they work with Franklin to kill their remaining enemies. Trevor kills corrupt Federal Investigation Bureau agent Steve Haines, who forced the trio to do a number of jobs for him before betraying them and ordering Trevor's death, and kidnaps Devin Weston, a billionare investor who cheated them out a lot of money, so that they could kill him together. Afterwards, Trevor reconciles with Michael and the three protagonists cease working together, but remain good friends and continue to hang out, during which Trevor eventually admits that he over-reacted after learning the truth about Brad, and refers to himself and Michael as friends.

''Grand Theft Auto Online''

Trevor appears as a main character in Grand Theft Auto Online, the online multiplayer mode of Grand Theft Auto V. He provides missions to the player character once they reach Rank 13; after the player steals Trevor's rolling meth lab, Trevor demands that they complete several jobs for him to settle the issue. The jobs that Trevor demands generally consist of stealing drugs from rival groups, mainly The Lost Motorcycle Club, while killing the dealers. The narrative of Grand Theft Auto Online is set several months prior to the events of the single-player story. However, in the August 2017 update, Smuggler's Run, set in 2017, when the player meets with Trevor's former associate Ron Jackowski to start a smuggling operation, he will mention that Trevor has "gone Vinewood" and become a guru and lifestyle coach, therefore confirming Trevor is still alive after the events of Grand Theft Auto V. Furthermore, in the July 2019 update, The Diamond Casino & Resort, Tao Cheng mentions the events of "The Third Way," implying that the third ending of Grand Theft Auto V is canon.

Cultural impact


Trevor's character was met with generally positive feedback following the release of Grand Theft Auto V. Edge singled out Trevor as the stand-out of the three protagonists, which they owed to his volatile personality. Like Edge, Caroline Petit of GameSpot considered Trevor "a truly horrible, terrifying, psychotic human being—and a terrific character." Eurogamers Tom Bramwell, however, felt that Trevor undermined the other characters because he was a "shallow and unconvincing" sensationalised anti-hero, and that "his antics derail the narrative" and overshadowed the character development of Michael and Franklin. Xav de Matos of Joystiq found all three characters unlikable to the extent that they had an alienating effect on the story, noting that "though each character has a valid motivation for his journey, it's difficult to want them to succeed." He also felt that the ambivalence between Trevor and Michael was a tired device by the conclusion of the story as it became a "seemingly endless cycle" of conflict between them.
Lucas Sullivan of GamesRadar praised Trevor for being the first character in the series that "makes sense". He stated that, upon their first playthrough of a Grand Theft Auto game, most players "carjacked some poor schlub, then started doing 90mph on the sidewalk, mowing over civilians", as opposed to playing peacefully. "Trevor's existence isn't a commentary on any group of people–he's just the first logical fit to the way people have been playing GTA games for the past decade," he said. Sullivan concluded that Trevor is one of the few protagonists in Grand Theft Auto that would willingly execute popular player actions, such as murder and violence. Trevor has been compared to many other characters in video games and films. Calvin Khan of IGN compared Trevor to Heath Ledger's Joker in the 2008 film The Dark Knight. Khan felt that Trevor is the only character in Grand Theft Auto V not trying to fake his persona, stating "Trevor absolutely knows that he's a monster but just doesn't care. He enjoys causing misery and harm, lives for it and embraces it and – much like Heath Ledger's Joker – he exists purely for unadulterated anarchy." He also felt that Trevor's only reasoning for hurting people and messing everything up around him is simply because it's just too much fun not to. Khan concluded saying that it's clear that the world through the eyes of Trevor is already royally broken and he sees no harm in messing it up some more, hence the reason for Trevor's actions.
Trevor won the Cheat Code Central's 7th Annual Cody Awards for "Best Male Character" and was nominated for various other awards. Those include the Spike VGX 2013 for "Character of the Year", won by BioShock Infinite's Lutece Twins, Hardcore Gamers Game of the Year Awards 2013 for "Best New Character", won by The Last of Uss Ellie, and Destructoids Best of 2013 for "Best Character", also won by the Lutece Twins. Steven Ogg was also nominated for his work as Trevor in Spike VGX 2013 for "Best Voice Actor", won by Troy Baker, Telegraph Video Game Awards 2013 for "Best Performer", also won by Troy Baker and 10th British Academy Video Games Awards for "Performer", won by Ashley Johnson.


The mission "By the Book" from Grand Theft Auto V was criticised for its depiction of torture. In the mission, Trevor interrogates a man named Ferdinand Kerimov for information about a suspected Azerbaijani fugitive who poses a threat to the FIB. Trevor uses torture equipment on the restrained man, which players select from a table. Once Mr. K provides the FIB with the information, Trevor is asked to kill him, but instead drives him to the airport, providing him an opportunity to escape. While driving Kerimov, Trevor monologues about the ineffectiveness of torture, pointing out Kerimov's readiness to supply the FIB with the information without being tortured, and expressing that torture is used as a power play "to assert ourselves".
Reviewers echoed that while the mission served as political commentary on the use of torture by the United States government, its use of torture was in poor taste. GameSpot's Petit felt that placing the torture scene in context with the monologue created a hypocrisy in the mission's function as a commentary device, and IGN's MacDonald felt it "pushed the boundaries of taste". In an editorial, Bramwell discussed whether the political commentary was overshadowed by the violent content, comparing the mission to s "No Russian" controversy. He considered the sequence lacking enough context to justify its violence and summarised its function as "flawed". Labour MP Keith Vaz expressed concern that underage players could be exposed to the mission. Keith Best of Freedom from Torture said the torturer role-play "crossed a line". Tom Chick defended the torture sequence, and wrote that unlike the "No Russian" mission or the 2012 film Zero Dark Thirty, the underlying political commentary on torture in "By the Book" necessitated the violent content.