James Anthony Willems (born April 6, 1984) is an American actor, voice actor, content creator, content producer, show and podcast host, video game entertainer, Twitch streamer and Internet and YouTube personality, who is formerly a Machinima employee affiliated with Inside Gaming who then became a staff member (co-host, content producer, co-star, actor and voice actor) for Funhaus, a subsidiary of Rooster Teeth Productions.
He is married to Elyse Willems, who is also a Funhaus member. They met each other through online chatrooms in the early 2000s and later reconnected through Facebook.
Before fame, He was an associate producer on Attack of the Show! from 2008 to 2009. He has produced events for the network G4, including Comic-Con '08 and '09 Live and E3 '09 Live.
Known for comedic commentary, and riffing on games, James is the third member to the iconic trio with Adam and Bruce. When it comes to comedy, nothing seems to be off limits for him. He has also made appearances in Achievement Hunter Let's Plays as well as On The Spot and the RT Podcast
- “Producer for @FunhausTeam Sometimes Writer for #SexSwing. Occasional Angel. All about Wheezy”
- — James' Bio on Twitter (@JamesWillems)
- “James Willems is a lifelong fan of videos, games, and inappropriate humor. Naturally, he ended up on Inside Gaming to sing the praises of Psychonauts and mock ARMA. More than once he’s been described as dashing AND daring; courageous and caring; faithful and friendly; with stories to tell. He’ll march through the forest and sing out in chorus. Marchining along as his song fills the air. GUMMI BEARS BOUNCING HERE AND THERE AND EVERYWHERE. HIGH ADVENTURE THAT’S BEYOND COMPARE HE IS THE GUMMI BEARS.”
- — James' Bio...According to Inside Gaming
Early life and education
James grew up primarily in Charlotte, North Carolina. A professional wrestling fan since before his teenage years, he built his own wrestling ring in his backyard at 15 years old. During this time in Charlotte he attended South Mecklenburg High School for four years, starting in 1998 and graduating in 2002. He later attended The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying Media Production, Film and television, attending in 2002 and graduating in 2006.
James worked on Attack of the Show! (TV Series) with Adam and Bruce as an associate producer for a total of 263 episodes, from January 2, 2008 to February 18, 2009. He has also produced events for the network G4, including Comic-Con '08 (TV Movie) as an associate producer on July 24, 2008, Comic Con '09 Live (TV Movie) as an evs producer in July 25, 2009 and E3 '09 Live (TV Movie) as an associate producer on June 2, 2009.
He soon left and was unemployed for 2 to 3 years. After leaving, he then worked at Machinima Inc's Inside Gaming group, after Adam and Bruce convinced him to join. After being hired as a fully fledged employee, he was working behind the scenes as an editor, script writer and recurring secondary host. Eventually, Willems was the first one to be featured in a video alongside Kovic and Greene, having never served as an intern, Willems became a co-host, content producer and co-star. James also starred as himself in Inside Gaming Animated (TV Series) for 10 episodes from 2014 until 2015. He also starred in Creepy Text Theatre Animated (TV Series) as himself for 7 episodes in early 2015.
Alongside Adam Kovic, Bruce Greene, Lawrence Sonntag, Matt Peake, Joel Rubin and Sean "Spoole" Poole, Willems departed from Macinima Inc in late January 2015 in order for the group to form their own independent network while still residing and working elsewhere in Los Angeles, California. After about a week of going independent and solo, the team formed a partnership, ownership and developed an acquisition by Rooster Teeth, moving into their newly formed branch of the company's West Coast offices and studios in LA. Having never served as an intern and similar to his earlier job at Machinima and Inside Gaming, James reprised his role as a fully fledged staff member of Rooster Teeth (Funhaus, The Know) as a co-star, content producer, co-host, actor, voice actor and occasional gaming journalist reviewer.
Willems has also made appearances in various other Rooster Teeth shows, such as an episode of Million Dollars, But... and Camp Camp as Dolph, and playing fictionalized versions of himself in Civilization: The Movie, The Eleven Little Roosters, and the upcoming video game Psychonauts 2. He's also appeared in On The Spot, the RT Podcast, and various other Achievement Hunter shows.
James was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. His relatives are Ricardo Guy Willems and Catherine Willems. He is married to fellow Funhaus and Rooster Teeth employee Elyse Willems, who is Canadian. The couple reside in Los Angeles, California. As revealed in a Dude Soup Podcast for the week of January 5, 2016, it was revealed that James has a lazy eye, causing him to tilt his head slightly off balance to correct this imbalance. Additionally, James and Elyse had a beautiful and gentle dog named Benson who was always excited to meet new people and loved going on walks. Sadly, on September 2, 2021, James and Elyse posted on Instagram that Benson had recently passed away. In his honor, they have so far raised over $8,000 USD for Karma Rescue, a California-based organization dedicated to pet euthanasia prevention.
Role at Inside Gaming
James is often heard as an off screen voice on the news show (usually making fun of a terrible game).
While on the Inside Gaming channel James is often in the background with Adam and Bruce riffing on games.
Role At Funhaus
James is often regarded as the funny one of the group, his talent of improv and comedic timing can often be seen when he commentates over gameplay, as well as on Open Haus (Q&A) videos. He is regarded as the resident 90’s film guru with an extensive knowledge of WWE Wrestling and often promoting his weightlifting lifestyle.
Alongside Adam Kovic, Bruce Greene, Lawrence Sonntag, Matt Peake and Elyse Willems, he is also a main host, main cast member and video game entertainer on the show.
- James hates UFC.
- James loves Psychonauts and hates the Last Of Us.
- Had an emotional affair with coworker Cocopa
- James was a professional wrestler in high school. He went by the pseudonym of El Niño and won $10,000 in a competition.
- James is named after his Uncle, Jaime.
- James is scared of wicker wheelchairs.
- James has expressed a fondness for the British musician Robbie Williams on several occasions.
- James has been noted to have one eye slightly off center from the other eye's symmetry. This being noted on DudeSoup's January 5, 2016 issue.
- James' shoe size is Men's 13
- He has very notable negative opinions and feelings about several things in life but he seems to express these sentiments by making fun of them with constant jokes.
- He once participated in an MPW event where himself and Lawrence Sonntag wrestled in a tag team event as James Angel and Lawrence "The Troll" Sakamoto.
- James mentioned in a May 2018 N64 stream on FHTV that he played saxophone in middle school and played guitar for 4 years before moving out to Los Angeles. He stopped playing because he couldn't bring his amp and he consistently had roommates who did not approve of his guitar playing.
- James' favorite animals are dogs but considers himself to be a gorilla.
- "@JuanApolinar1 Funny thing about minorities is that you can't always tell. I'm one too. Named after my Uncle, Jaime." –@JamesWillems, 9 November 2016