Grand Theft Auto V features three playable characters. When you opt to switch characters, a Google Earth-like view appears and the camera zooms in on the character that you selected. You can access any of the three protagonists off-mission with free-roam, but you cannot access them on-mission. Once you are in the mission, you can still switch characters, but only for unique objectives. The main characters of GTA V and NPCs feature thousands of custom animations.
Each character has their own unique story-arch, likeness, distinctive walk, personality and lives when you are not controlling them. So, for example, if you are playing as Michael, Trevor could be leading a separate life off-camera to what you are doing with Michael. Your character also only regenerates up to 50 percent which means that if you want to go to full health, you'll have to buy food or look for health packs.
To switch between the three protagonists players will use the D-Pad where they will select either: left, up, right and down for their multiplayer avatar. You may be prompted sometimes by the game to choose a specific character but you don't have to if you don't want to.
It has also been confirmed that some characters from GTA IV will be returning, however it will not be Niko Bellic or any of the other major characters. The Republican Space Rangers that made an apperance on GTA IV TV will also be making yet another appearance in GTA V TV.
Lamar - Franklin's crazy friend. Kind of ambitious and more of a wild person than Franklin is. Franklin is more serious than Lamar. Lamar owns Chop.
Jimmy - Michael's son who is a lazy, blazed out 20-year-old kid who spends Daddy's money. Doesn't have a really close relationship with his father, Michael.
Ron - Trevor's best friend. He is a conspiracy theorist who lives in a trailer. He's always paranoid and is also afraid to spend time with Trevor.
Amanda - Michael's wife. She is a pretty fiesty character and isn't the girl you'd expect to see in a GTA game. She is bound to her and Michael's past lives to the point where she can't stand him anymore.
Tracy - Michael's daughter. Typical spoilt brat who also spends her father's money. She goes on shopping sprees.
Simeon Yetarian - An unscrupulous Armenian car dealer which Franklin and Lamar work for.
Impotent Rage - A down-in-the-dumps "cape crusader" who gets his own TV show, he will also be out in the streets of Los Santos lecturing about his "acting" career.
Janey Jonas - A narcissistic teen starlet, she says "I'm the voice of a generation" and is very affirmative about her prescence as a wanted actress in Vinewood.
Pamela Drake - A pornstar dropout. She's audaciously bespoken about her times within the Vinewood porn industry and she rambles on about "A Slut in Paris" being written for her.
Jock Cranley - A conservative opponent to Sue Murry who was also a famous stuntman for television and screen.
Sue Murry - A divorced, liberal school teacher who plans to put San Andreas on the up-and-up again with massive increase in government spending and public radio.
Dr. Isiah Friedlander - A therapist in Los Santos and most importantly, he is Michael's therapist.
Another thing to add to the secondary characters is that they will, themselves, go up to people and interact with them; in one of the previews Lamar had interacted with a homeless drunk.
In March 2011, Twitter user @supererogatory discovered a casting call posted by Take 2 Interactive (Rockstar Games' parent company) for a project titled "Rush". Given that "Frozen" was the codename for Grand Theft Auto IV, could "Rush" be the codename for Grand Theft Auto V?
The casting call listed names, ages and descriptions of several characters. It contained references to California and Los Angeles, as well as references to country and rural regions. If the casting call did indeed have some connection to GTA V, then it suggested that the game would be set in Los Angeles and surrounding areas. Sure enough, the GTA V trailer confirmed this to be the case.
The list of characters is provided below. Note that these are likely to be minor characters and their names/details may have changed since the casting call!
Mitch Hayes - 38 yrs old - Annoying, wise cracking, highly successful FBI agent. In great shape. Does triathlons, drinks low cal beer, but still has a sense of humor.
Miguel Gonzalez - 25 yrs old - Young Mexican American FBI agent, caught between a few mob bosses. Very clean cut.
Clyde - 23 yrs old - Moronic, almost inbred and creepy white trash hillbilly. Very naive but in a creepy 'it's only incest sort of way'
Brother Adam - 50 yrs old - Welsh monk, cult leader, yoga teacher, very lithe, very into exploring your personal tension through gripping massage. Needs Welsh accent.
Mrs Avery - 48 yrs old - Neurotic soccer mom, home maker, anxious and addled on pain killers. Very angry at neighbor MRS Bell.
Mrs Bell - 45 yrs old - Swinger, and mellow Californian divorcee. Ugly but comfortable with self.
Eddie - 47 yrs old - Weed evangelist, guy who started smoking at 30, and is now a leading proponent of marijuana's fantastic properties. White, awkward.
Ira Bernstein - 56 yrs old - publicist for an actress known as America's newest sweetheart who just so happens to love animals, orphans, drugs and sex. He's always trying to hide her latest indiscretion.
Kevin De Silva - 18 yrs old - Albert's fat, FPS playing gamer son. Smokes a lot of weed, has anxiety issues and a card for a bad back, very soft, very opinionated. Into making racist comments while playing online.
Harut Vartanyan - 42-52 yrs old - Armenian car dealer, moneylender, would be Fagin and would be bully. Heavily connected to the underworld, but irritates people so much no one likes him.
Nervous Jerry - 48 yrs old - paranoiac living in the sticks, near Simon, completely paranoid, and terrified of Simon.
Calvin North - 55 yrs old - clapped out FBI agent who now mostly works offering advice on TV shows - whose only claim to fame turns out to be entirely false - but a decent guy in other ways. Badly dressed. Divorced. Putting on weight.
Jerry Cole - 53 yrs old - disabled IT expert and criminal information vendor.
Rich Roberts - 35 yrs old - English hardman actor, who acts tough but who wants to do serious work - the only problem is he can't quite read the words.
Alex - 52 yrs old - white, loosie goosie hippy rich guy who has lost his money and is getting desperate but trying not to.
Scarlet - 45-52 yrs old - unshaven female spiritualist and hippy with a love of exploring the wilderness. Very into journeys.
Chad - 29 yrs old - pretty boy misogynist Beverly Hills party boy. Made money, but not as cool as he thinks he is.
Tae Wong - 39 yrs old - somewhat incompetent Chinese mobster, loves doing ecstasy, going to raves.
Taes Translator - 45 yrs old - VERY STRAIGHT LACED Chinese translator, terrified of his boss's dad. Male, awkward. Needs to speak Chinese.
Vasquez - The recently released artwork of the female police officer arresting a woman with the "Lovefist" T-Shirt on goes by the name of Vasquez. This is also another push into female police officers making an appearance in GTA V.