Bender Actor Talks Voicing Joker in Batman: Under the Red Hood
How do you interpret the Joker’s mindset?
I think the Joker thinks of himself, quite literally, as a necessary evil. And when I say that, I mean he really feels there is a place for him, and that he somehow balances the chaos with the non-chaos. It’s a yin and yang thing. And it’s really not personal, it’s business. Although he can get personal and he enjoys it. That makes it that much more twisted.
You’ve certainly done more than your share of villains. Do you prefer to go to the dark side?
I love playing the villains. I’ll play anything, I don’t care. As long as its not tons of walla or gasping, I’m good. I hate the inhale.
When you were a kid, did you ever imagine you’d be voicing cartoons for a living?
I was a class clown – I basically started acting when I was a kid. I wanted to play drums, but I couldn’t afford a drum set. It was easier to be in a play, so it just kind of happened. I walked into voiceover in New York in 1994. I was doing stand-up (comedy) at the time, and was looking to get out of it and into acting. An actor buddy of mine, Zak Orth, said it was a way to make a good living between acting gigs. I moved to LA, because there’s more animation here, and the rest is history. So yeah, thanks Zak – give me a ring.
Your primary focus is voiceovers these days. Do you have any inclination to do more live-action acting or stand-up comedy?
On-camera acting is fun, but I don’t miss it. Voiceovers are quicker, and you get to work with such amazing, talented people – it’s a blast to play in the studio with these actors and writers and directors. With (on-camera) acting, there so much more waiting around, and my patience has run thin. Plus it beats the hell out of slinging jokes six nights a week at a Chuckle Hut in East Bumbleblard.
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