Southland Star Ben McKenzie Talks Batman: Year One
Press Release from Warner Bros. Animation
Ben McKenzie as Batman
Ben McKenzie plays a wealthy young man on a personal quest for justice in TNT’s hit series Southland. Now the actor heads to the streets of Gotham City as the voice of another rich young adult with a need for righteousness in Batman: Year One, the next entry in the popular, ongoing series of DC Universe Animated Original Movies.
McKenzie makes his maiden voyage into animation voiceovers as Bruce Wayne/Batman, the title character of comics legend Frank Miller’s classic retelling of the Dark Knight’s gritty, formative days.
Produced by Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation, the all-new, PG-13 rated Batman: Year One arrives October 18, 2011 from Warner Home Video as a Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD, On Demand and for Download. Batman: Year One will also be available in a special download-for-purchase early window starting October 11 through iTunes, Xbox Live, Zune, VUDU HD Movies and Video Unlimited on the PlayStation Network & Sony Entertainment Network.
Executive producer Bruce Timm and casting/dialogue director Andrea Romano will be at New York Comic Con to discuss the Batman: Year One during a panel on Friday, October 14 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. in the IGN Theater.
Currently in the midst of filming the fourth season of Southland, McKenzie skyrocketed to fame in 92 episodes of The O.C. His film credits include acting opposite Al Pacino in 88 Minutes, and working alongside Amy Adams in Junebug. He also starred in the 2008 adaptation of Dalton Trumbo’s Johnny Got His Gun.
A true admirer of Miller’s work, McKenzie embraced the character and the story with great enthusiasm. Following his initial recording session for Batman: Year One, McKenzie took some time to discuss the film, the character, Adam West and his dog’s linguistic skills. Read on…
Batman: Year One title card
What was your initial reaction to being offered the role of Batman?
When I got the offer for Batman: Year One, I was very excited because I really like this particular take on Batman. It's a darker take – a Frank Miller take – on the origin story. And I think it's fun to play the character in a way that it is more reminiscent of his being a real vigilante. He's a tough, tortured soul who is exacting revenge upon a criminal element that took something very important away from him. As an actor, this role gives you a little bit more backstory, so you have the chance to play him as a real person, albeit a person who is a little bit mentally unstable, perhaps, but heroic nonetheless. It’s exciting to get to play a character who is so specifically intense and unusual.
And how many times in the last weeks since you've known you got the role have you said to anyone, “I'm Batman”?
(laugh) I usually wake up in the morning, go to the mirror and say, “I'm Batman.” I'll say it to my dog, and he gives a very confused look, which he always does because he doesn't speak English. I’ve tried to use the “I'm Batman” line on everyone from the valet to the guy washing my car. You know, anyone who will listen. No one seems to pay any attention. But I know. (laughs)
Did you do any research or prep work going into the recording session?