Highlights from Batman Q&A with voice actor Kevin Conroy
Gearing up for Batman Day and NYCC, Warner Bros. Entertainment hosted a Facebook Q&A with Kevin Conroy, who has been the voice of Bruce Wayne and Batman in animated features for over two decades. It’s clear that Conroy not only has a deep affinity for Bruce Wayne, but a great respect for the legacy surrounding him. Here are a few of the most interesting highlights from the Q&A:
How it felt seeing Batman: The Animated Series for the first time
It was 6 months of recording before any of us saw any footage. The first day of ADR I went in with Mark Hamill and the screen came up with this incredible score and beautiful colors and wild graphics and I asked Mark, “did you know that this is what it was going to look like?? This is incredible!” And Mark said no! It was absolutely incredible.
His favorite Batman stories
I think the best project from all of them in terms of telling the Batman story was the movie Mask of the Phantasm. Of the series, my favorite episode was probably Dreamscape and Perchance to Dream because both of them got into the psychology of what made Batman tick! And that is what makes him so interesting. He’s such a complicated person and has a complicated psychology and both of those episodes really explored that.
If he could have any of Batman’s gadgets…
Well the Batmobile is pretty amazing, I mean, what a car! Everybody wants to have a Batmobile.
What he learned from Robin Williams at Juilliard
I remember when I was studying acting at Juilliard, one of my classmates was Robin Williams. Robin was much older than me. I was 17 when I went in, and he was 21-22. There’s a world of difference between 17 and 22. We had a class taught by a French mime master who is famous in France. He would come over and teach this class. Robin was his best student. When he put the mask on, the characters he would become were transformative. When I would watch him, I was SO jealous! I couldn’t’ understand where he was getting it from. It took me time to learn how to allow my imagination to go as freely as Robin’s. I learned a lot in that class.
What it’s like working with Mark Hamill as the Joker
Well the great thing about Mark was that he has a strong theater background, so he loves working with actors, and he’s kind of a mad man. So when you get in a booth with him, it’s kind of dangerous to be around because he’s so physical and so outgoing. Mark practically devours the microphone and is all over the place in the room. We interact really well together, we play off each other. It’s been a wonderful relationship. I think people with theater backgrounds just work well together!
What he admires most about Batman
The thing I most admire about him is his humility. He doesn’t want any praise for what he does. So much so that he does it all behind a mask. I think it’s amazing. He does the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. Not because anyone will applaud him. I’d like to think that in real life I behave that way. I live in NYC and if I see trash on the street, I’ll pick it up and put it in the garbage can. Just do the right thing. You see something wrong, you fix it. That’s what Batman does. He doesn’t want anyone to know he’s doing it. I love that about him.
How it feels to say “I’m Batman”
It feels very powerful. The character of Batman has such resonance. To have my voice be associated with the character, and have people react the way they do, it’s amazing. It evokes childhood memories! It’s a very powerful, emotional experience to be able to say that!