Kevin Conroy Discusses Superman/Batman: Apocalypse

Posted by G-Man (30618 posts) - - Show Bio
DC is about to knock another one out of the park. On September 28, 2010, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse will be released. This the ninth entry in the ongoing series of DC Universe Animated Original PG-13 movies. Kevin Conroy returns to voice Batman. Most people consider Conroy to be the voice of Batman. 
 
There is also "Destination Apocalypse," an interactive online promotion that allows fans to get even deeper into the mythology of Superman/Batman: Apocalypse. You can access it at http://DestinationApocalypse.com and explore the many sections that includes games, quizzes and information about the film. You can also send Kryptonian messages to your Facebook friends. 
 
Along with Conroy, Tim Daly also returns as Superman, Andre Braugher is Darkseid, Summer Glau is Supergirl and multi-Emmy Award winner Ed Asner returns as Granny Goodness
  
QUESTION: Superman/Batman: Apocalypse features a foe powerful enough to require more than just one super hero to step to the plate. Can you speak to the importance of a great villain?

KEVIN CONROY: Well, the major villain is Darkseid, and he is very apocalyptic. You know, it’s in the title (he laughs). The bigger the villain, the greater the conflict – so as Darkseid is this epic-sized villain, it gives a lot of dynamic for Batman and Superman to work off, and creates that much more drama. Which means lots of action. And, of course, Batman saves the world … as usual.  What would you expect? (he laughs)

 == TEASER ==

QUESTION: Do you have a preference for the type of story that goes with Batman?

KEVIN CONROY: What makes Batman interesting to audiences isn't just the fact of the personal drama, or the darkness of his having a secret identity, or his avenging his parents' death.  All of that personal drama makes him appealing to people.  But I think of all the super heroes, what sets him apart is that he's the only one that doesn't have any superpowers. He is the great detective. So in every story, it always comes down to his using his wits.  I think everyone relates to that and loves that about him. I really admire that aspect of his character – I wish I was wittier. That's why I think audiences get into him so much, and that character trait is very important to this story.


QUESTION: Batman is a basically a loner. What are your thoughts about his lone wolf approach, and how that works in a “buddy” adventure like the Superman/Batman films?

KEVIN CONROY: Batman’s isolation and his singularity, his inability to really let other people into his personal world, is really essential to the character. It's part of what audiences expect. Even in a series like Justice League, where he was one of seven super heroes, Batman was always the odd man out.  The others would go off as a group to do something – you know, they might go have pizza – and Batman was always the guy left back in the cave.

So in these Superman stories, I think it's the closest Batman gets to having a brother, a kindred spirit Superman understands Batman.  He understands his need to be alone and his isolation. He’s probably the only one of all the super heroes who can balance Batman in terms of wit and power, so they're a very good balance for each other.


QUESTION: How does Batman see Superman?

KEVIN CONROY: I think Batman thinks of Superman as the Dudley Do-Right of super heroes.  He admires his strength and his character, but he also he thinks he's incredibly naïve and very unsophisticated about the world.  

Remember, Batman is also Bruce Wayne, so he's very urbane.  He's very versed in the way of the world And Superman is Clark Kent, and he's such a goof  (he laughs). So it's almost all about the alter-ego – the darkness of Batman’s Bruce Wayne is balanced out by the sunny demeanor of Superman’s Clark Kent. That's where I think the distinction is. Batman just thinks that Superman is kind of a very, very naïve guy who always sees the goodness in everybody.  And Batman tends to see the darkness.

 

QUESTION: You attended Comic-Con International in San Diego last year for the first time in six years. How did that experience impact you?

KEVIN CONROY: The experience with the fans always re-energizes me for Batman.  I've always been really into meeting and interacting with the fans.  I understand why a lot of actors don't like to do that because it can be very invasive of your private life.  But I'm just so appreciative because I figure I wouldn't have a job if it wasn't for them.  Also, my background is the theatre, and the fun of doing theatre is the interaction with the audience, the feedback you get every night. You just don't get that in Hollywood. You don't get that with television or film, and you certainly don't get it working in animation. So the only place you get it is to go to places like the Cons.

Plus, you get funny perks. I went to a Starbucks in downtown San Diego, and they said, “Oh, Mr. Conroy, you don't pay for coffee today.”  (he laughs) I thought, well, that hasn't happened in a long time.


QUESTION: Away from the Cons, how often are you recognized?

KEVIN CONROY: It happens in some unusual places. A number of years ago, I was in the Hollywood Post Office parking lot. I left everything in the car, because I was just going straight to the mail drop with the envelope. This guy, who was sitting on the curb, obviously homeless, says to me “Hey, buddy, have you got a quarter?”  And I said, “I'm so sorry. I literally don't.  I have nothing.”  He said, “You're Kevin Conroy!” I got really nervous – you just assume that your job is anonymous working on animation, so I asked him how he knew that and he said, “Oh, everybody knows who's Batman.”  I said, “No, believe me, everyone doesn't know who's Batman.”  He said, “Oh, please--please--please--please do the voice.”  He said, “Just say it … I am vengeance.”  He knew the lines.  I said, “I am vengeance.”  He said, “Oh, my God.  Batman's here! Batman's here!”  He said, “Say it: I am the night.”  I said, “I am the night.”  He said, “Go! Go! Finish! Finish!” And I said “I am Batman!” So the two of us are there screaming “I am Batman!” in the parking lot, and he started clapping and clapping, yelling “I can't believe I have Batman in the parking lot.”

He went on to explain to me that all television monitors at the Circuit City on Hollywood Blvd. showed Batman every day, and he would stand outside and watch the show. So I said, “Wait, just a second,” and I went running back to the car for some cash. He said, “Oh, I can't take Batman's money.”  I told him he was going to take Batman's money so he wouldn’t tell anyone that Batman is cheap (he laughs). That whole scene was wild,  though – the last place you'd expect for someone to recognize a voice actor is in the parking lot of the post office.


QUESTION: You’re a classically trained actor and a graduate of Juilliard. Did you receive any instruction at Julliard that prepared you for voiceover work?

KEVIN CONROY: At that time, Juilliard was the new hot place to go if you wanted to be an actor, My classmates were people like Robin Williams, Kelsey Grammer, Frannie Conroy. We were all kids.  Robin and I were roommates for two years, stealing food from each other when the other wasn’t looking. We were starving students.

Robin was brilliant at the one thing that is perhaps what best prepared me for what I do now, voicework. There was a famous teacher named Pierre LeFevre who ran the mask program at Juilliard.  French masks conceal just the upper part of the face. This is classical French theatre, and it's all part of a very classical education. You put on these masks and they completely neutralize who you are. You become a different person. You can't use the expressions on your face – you can only use your body and your voice. Robin lived in those mask classes – he would put on these masks and just become these unbelievable characters. Pierre practically adopted Robin. There was some really inspired stuff going on.  The point is that in that class, all you could use was your voice.  It really made you focus on that – especially on characterization in your voice.


QUESTION: Did you have any clue that would lead you somewhere?

KEVIN CONROY: It’s like that old expression – life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans.  I made all these plans to be a classical actor, and you can't make a living in the theatre anymore. There are no more classical actors. Everyone who survives in the theatre does it by doing TV and film … or voice work.

I had no idea that this is what I would end up doing, but it certainly prepared me for it.  I get that question a lot from people.  How do you get into this business?  How do I get into voice work?  And I always say, “Well, you go to Juilliard for four years …” (he laughs) That’s the thing – everyone's route is unique.


QUESTION; Did you have much voiceover success before Batman?

KEVIN CONROY: Actually, I started doing voice work in the early '80s, and the very first voice job I did was the first commercial I auditioned for. Remember Paco Rabanne cologne?  The hook line was “What is remembered is up to you.”  That was me. And over the next couple years, it paid me $25,000 for those few words. It paid for a lot of theatre acting.


For more information please go to SupermanBatmanApocalypse.com.

Staff
#1 Posted by longbowhunter (6736 posts) - - Show Bio

I've gotta admit I'm mostly excited for the Green Arrow short. I hope Kevin Conroy is Batman forever!!!
Online
#2 Posted by Final Arrow (24359 posts) - - Show Bio
@longbowhunter said:
" I've gotta admit I'm mostly excited for the Green Arrow short. I hope Kevin Conroy is Batman forever!!! "
0_o Green Arrow short... Where what when!!!
#3 Posted by Nick-SV(ril) (565 posts) - - Show Bio

Ha, the guy got a little more than a quarter. Awesome interview.
Green Arrow should be epic.

#4 Posted by longbowhunter (6736 posts) - - Show Bio
@Final Arrow:
The two disc DVD and Blu-Ray will have a original 10 minute Green Arrow short as a special feature. Just like The Spectre and Jonah Hex ones from the previous DC releases.
Online
#5 Posted by G-Man (30618 posts) - - Show Bio
@Final Arrow:  You can see on the bottom:

Staff
#6 Posted by Tainted-Cell (299 posts) - - Show Bio

Heh, reminds me of a part from the Justice League episode "Only a Dream" where Batman's having trouble staying awake driving the Batmobile and pulls into a "Coffee Shop" where he cuts in line, slaps a bunch of cash on the counter, and bellows: "I need a triple shot of espresso..... NOW!"
 
Even though I was beginning to appreciate Diedrich Bader, I still agree that Kevin Conroy IS the voice of Batman as well.

#7 Posted by voltan (2 posts) - - Show Bio

Am I missing something? Who cares about Green Arrow? He's kinda boring character when he's not teamed up with someone else.

#8 Posted by Final Arrow (24359 posts) - - Show Bio
@G-Man said:
" @Final Arrow:  You can see on the bottom:

"
Holy mother of pearl.... Im buying it just for that.
#9 Posted by johnny_spam (2031 posts) - - Show Bio
@voltan: @voltan said:
" Am I missing something? Who cares about Green Arrow? He's kinda boring character when he's not teamed up with someone else. "
Considering the character has been popular with comic book fans since the seventies and been in animation since then I would say allot care about him. 
#10 Posted by voltan (2 posts) - - Show Bio
@johnny spam: 
Well then... I guess I have to buy the bluray and see for myself what is so exciting about this character. I'm from Finland and we never really had any DC comics here aside from Batman and Superman and a few JLA specials.
#11 Edited by Krak0 (14 posts) - - Show Bio

The DC animated films are always great, and they seem to come out every few months. Why cant Marvel deliver the same quality product?

#12 Posted by Bloodstonefreak (138 posts) - - Show Bio
@krak0:   Because Marvel's too busy kicking DC's butt in the live action sector of film.  :-P
#13 Posted by Lvenger (18256 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes! Loving this. Looks to be th best DC original animated film so far!

#14 Posted by MrMiracle77 (1659 posts) - - Show Bio

Loved the homeless guy story.  It ranks up there with the diner story from Gotham Knight.
 
Conroy's a real sport for sticking with the character and giving 100% every time.  That's why I look forward to the new features and the Arkham games when he's involved.

#15 Posted by yo_yo_fun (641 posts) - - Show Bio

:) I can't wait!

#16 Posted by Grimoire (530 posts) - - Show Bio

The movie was great and to hear all the original voices made it so much better as a fan.

#17 Edited by Meizzner (26 posts) - - Show Bio

It was an excellent movie to watch as a fan of DC
#18 Posted by crusader8463 (214 posts) - - Show Bio

Watched this a few days ago and think it's the weakest of the recent direct to DVD movies- next to the Wonder Woman one. I just didn't find it fun or interesting to watch.

#19 Posted by CaptHowdy (194 posts) - - Show Bio
@crusader8463 said:
" Watched this a few days ago and think it's the weakest of the recent direct to DVD movies- next to the Wonder Woman one. I just didn't find it fun or interesting to watch. "
Wow.  You and I definitely look for different things in these flicks.  The Wonder Woman one was one of my favourites and this may very well have topped it!  Next was the Green Lantern one. Other than that the rest drop pretty far off my radar.
#20 Posted by Bruce Vain (1869 posts) - - Show Bio

Kevin is such a cool guy - I hope to meet him one day :D
#21 Posted by Metatron_Da_Don (1037 posts) - - Show Bio

:) great interview

#22 Posted by crusader8463 (214 posts) - - Show Bio
@CaptHowdy said:
" @crusader8463 said:
" Watched this a few days ago and think it's the weakest of the recent direct to DVD movies- next to the Wonder Woman one. I just didn't find it fun or interesting to watch. "
Wow.  You and I definitely look for different things in these flicks.  The Wonder Woman one was one of my favourites and this may very well have topped it!  Next was the Green Lantern one. Other than that the rest drop pretty far off my radar. "
I always seem to have the unpopular opinion when it comes to just about everything. It's amazing how many people are wrong about so much. lol
#23 Posted by grayrick949 (61 posts) - - Show Bio

is it bad that i am looking forward to the green arrow short as much as the movie 

#24 Posted by The Mighty Monarch (2219 posts) - - Show Bio
@crusader8463 said:
" @CaptHowdy said:
" @crusader8463 said:
" Watched this a few days ago and think it's the weakest of the recent direct to DVD movies- next to the Wonder Woman one. I just didn't find it fun or interesting to watch. "
Wow.  You and I definitely look for different things in these flicks.  The Wonder Woman one was one of my favourites and this may very well have topped it!  Next was the Green Lantern one. Other than that the rest drop pretty far off my radar. "
I always seem to have the unpopular opinion when it comes to just about everything. It's amazing how many people are wrong about so much. lol "
I haven't seen this one yet but you sound like someone I can agree with. I was never too excited about this one, it had the weakest premise imo. I mean, Supergirl of Krypton wasn't a BAD story, but it wasn't an AMZING story, and certainly nowhere near the top of the list of comics that'd be great adaptions to movies. And Wonder Woman is EASILY the weakest of the DVD Movies. The plot was a bit flimsy and the climax just sort of started offscreen while we weren't looking. Plus, all the amazons practically crapped their skirts when whats his face showed up in a jet, but absolutely none of them questions the INVISIBLE JET? Granted, I get that's its in there for for historical relevance's sake, but you couldn't have given like a 10 sec SERIOUSLY, all you need is like 2 lines. They made his jet invisible with magic or something but no. Just an invisible jet with no explanation that absolutely none of the amazon's are surprised to see in the least even though the visible jet was this amazing technology to them. 
Similar issue with Green Lantern, the entire movie i was bothered by the fact that Hal NEVER ONCE shows the least bit of surprise of any kind? I get that its part of his character, and he didn't need to totally spaz out or anything but COME ON. You're suddenly going into space with a bunch of aliens out of nowhere to some crazy galactic citadel looking thing and YOU DON'T EVEN BAT AN EYE? BULL-SHIT TO THE MAX. And not to mention the ugly CGI. 
And don't get me wrong everyone else, these were overall good movies. 7/10 at the lowest. They're just the weakest in the line. None of the recent ones are as amazing as Mask of the Phantasm or Return of the Joker, 2 of the single greatest pieces of animation ever assembled, but overall they've been damn awesome. Crisis on Two Earths and Under the Red Hood were easily the absolute best. Excellently executed plot, phenominal, absolutely top-notch action, epic voice acting (to be fair, all have superb voice acting) and just, everything so well done. 
Crusader8643, many many times the popular opinion is the wrong one. I respect you fellow comic fan.
#25 Posted by Staticoss (144 posts) - - Show Bio

this looks epically awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
#26 Posted by ARMIV (4140 posts) - - Show Bio

Kevin Conroy is so awesome.
#27 Posted by gloverjake (14 posts) - - Show Bio

cool

#28 Posted by Primmaster64 (21138 posts) - - Show Bio

=) He should have done UTRH.

#29 Posted by Eyz (3095 posts) - - Show Bio

He's a pretty cool guy!
Can't wait to see "Apocalypse"^^

#30 Posted by Alicabob (47 posts) - - Show Bio

Love Kevin Conroy

#31 Posted by dewboy01 (1876 posts) - - Show Bio

Kevin conroy rules, adam west drools!

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