Troy Baker | ‘Batman & Joker’

bvstmnt-bd-3d-1163080Troy Baker voices the great, terrible, villainous ‘Joker‘ but he also voices his greatest threat, the superhero of superheroes, Batman in the new animated film Batman vs The Teenage Ninja Turtles. Batman and his allies will have to team up with the Turtles to battle Shredder, Ra’s Al Ghul, and the League of Assassins.

Troy shares with us how the Joker is his best villain of all times because he is both terrible but empathetic. Having his birthday on the same day as April Fools definitely made him gravitate towards the Joker. It’s just natural, right? He has loved the Joker and Batman for the longest time and he had tons of fun voicing them. He suggests to future Batman’s to simply be the Bat himself and not to try and do a voice that they think is what he should sound like. With the 80 years of Batman, he raises his glass to every Batman who has ever been out there. He’s going to need a whole lot of glasses.

Troy Baker has done his share of voiceovers not only with DC Comics but with a couple of different TV shows and Videogames like The Last of the US and Uncharted 4. His list is endless making him one of the greatest’s voice actors out there. His main inspiration is Kevin Conroy and Mark O’Connell.

Host: We’re going to do Paula Abdul, two steps forwards to steps back.  

Troy Baker: I love it. Paula Abdul. Opposites attract.

Host: Opposites attract. And I forgot the rest.

Troy Baker: I think Paula Abdul forgot the rest of that song. There’s a lot of prescription medication between that song and now.

Host: Everytime I go to a Paula Abdul concert- inaudible.

Troy Baker: I don’t think I’ve heard that sentence in a really long time, “every time I go to a Paula Abdul concert” does she still tour?

Host: Yes. Yes.

Troy Baker: No way.

Host: I just saw her last year.

Troy Baker: No way.

Host: Yeah it was like late winter. It was really good.

Troy Baker: Laker girl got popular man.

Host: Mmhh, cause all we had to do was go to the audition 3 or 4 times to let us have the part.

Troy Baker: is that what it was?

Host: Yeah, it’s all she had to do, go to the back, change her clothes, change her name a little bit and she got the role as the Laker girl

Troy Baker: they were like there was 2 other girls who were terrible but you are way better.

Host: Yeah for some reason there’s something about you now.

Troy Baker: Quite memorable.

Host: Awesome ok. I’m Machelle Noel at Wonder Con 2019 and joining me right now is legendary actor Troy Baker playing the cape crusader, see how I did that.

Troy Baker: Loved it.

Host: And he’s also playing Batman and Joker in Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Mr. Troy Baker, how are you doing today?

Troy Baker: Well, apparently, I’m legendary so that’s always a great way-

Host: Are you kidding me? Have you seen your IMDB? I mean-

Troy Baker: I try to stay off it because people will find the way to troll you so I’m always afraid of getting an aggregated list of who I am. I’ll be like I hate it.

Host: Aw, no Troy you are all good to us, we love you.

Troy Baker: Thank you.

Host: First of all, happy early birthday.

Troy Baker: Yeah, man.

Host: Yes, congratulations.

Troy Baker: Da, da, da, da dum, dum.

Host: Did having an April fools day birthday inspire an inner joker?

Troy Baker: Oh, wow.

Host: Oh, come on, I know there has to be some stories there.

Troy Baker: Look, I yes. Because you start looking at everyone who’s like April fools, April fools, you always have the best were you’re like, it’s my birthday and they’re like, are you serious? And like, why would I lie about that? Why would that be the lie? It’s something that I’ve always- I’ve always gravitated towards the Joker. I feel like he’s one of the best characters in literature. Umm, just because of the iterations that we’ve seen of him he’s one of the uh- Hitchcock had a great thing, he’s like, always make your villain empathetic and he’s one of the most- I totally understand when you go like, “You know, I’m just going to switch the part of my brain that says don’t do that and just embrace the chaos.” Umm, so to be able to- the first time I got the chance to play the Joker literally for this fan boy was a dream come true.

Host: I bet.

Troy Baker: Umm, I’ve gotten to play Batman in the past, normally I have hands like this (gestures) and about this big (gestures), umm, but to be able to bring it into the space- like I fell in love with Batman. Not only through the graphic novels, in 1990 when they came out with the animated series. That’s the best version of those characters that I’ve ever seen and to kind of put it back into that space and I remember when Teenage Ninja Turtles first premiered on TV. So I remember the graphic tv novels. Like I remember that, so to see those two things come together.

Host: Yeah.

Troy Baker: It was like someone went inside my brain and was like, “what can we do that would be the perfect insane mashup ever? Ah, we’ll just do it as one thing.” So it’s been a lot of fun, we got a great cast for this. Incredible cast. I know, you just reminded me of all my nostalgia of my childhood.

Host: Just exactly what I went through…you’re playing both the Joker and Batman.

Troy Baker: Yeah.

Host: As an actor, what goes through your mind with that kind of level of accomplishment? I’m so curios.

Troy Baker: Just like every actor, has this insecurity, and you go like don’t screw this up and the beauty is you look around the people that are surrounding you from the writers the directors, the rest of your cast, and you go these people believe in me so much and it’s the concept alone is so good nobody can really screw it up so just go in and do the work.

Host: Yeah.

Troy Baker: Just trust, that’s all I had to do, it’s just like I know these characters I love these characters there’s nothing I’m going to do that’s gonna be dishonest, so if I just do that it works.

Host: What was your inspiration when voicing both Batman and the Joker?

Troy Baker: If people know me, they’ve heard me talk about the characters, they know how much I adore and respect what both Kevin Conroy did for Batman in the animated series and what Mark Camel has done both of them not just from the animated series and through the Arkam game and when we see both those characters mash up um, Kevin is just, think Batman and Bruce Wayne and when you listen to me, it’s not just me mimicking either him or Mark.

Host: Right.

Troy Baker: I just believe that their performances were the most honest to who those characters were and so I naturally gravitate towards them. So, it’s me in some way paying homage. There’s things that we do in the movie that kind of pay homage to the animated series.

Host: Yeah.

Troy Baker: The beautiful opening shot where the blems are shining down. That’s kind of an iconic shot from the animated series so to me they were a great representation. It was kind of impossible to not lean into that.

Host: Absolutely. And I ask this question to Kevin too, what aspect of your performance do you hope future voice actors will take on when voicing Batman?

Troy Baker: Oh my God.

Host: I know.

Troy Baker: Just be the bat. That’s all that I care about. Don’t try to do a voice.

Host: Yeah.

Troy Baker: I think a lot of people try to, you know, do the Christian Bale thing, where I have to make it scary. You’re a man dressed as a bat. That alone is scary. I do not put on a voice. Just, there’s a sound I believe Batman has.

Host: Mmmhh.

Troy Baker: and there’s something different between Jason O’mara has a really interesting approach, Bruce Greenwood has a very interesting approach. Deeder Bater has an interesting approach. Deeder is such a throwback, he’s got a natural deep voice anyway. I can’t go barrel low with those guys.

Host: Yeah.

Troy Baker: To me Bruce Wayne everytime he puts on the cowl there’s a little bit of insecurity to him. So always remember that Batman is a superhero because we have labeled him that, there’s no superpowers he’s just a man and that movie is what makes him so unique.

Host: That’s so amazing. To go back to the film, what’s the overall message that you hope the audience will get? What’s the overall theme?

Troy Baker: A common enemy will bring together unlikely heroes.

Host: Oh ok.

Troy Baker: Just because we don’t understand something it doesn’t make it our enemy. That’s where we find these characters in the very beginning but ultimately what it comes down to is the fact that if we unite against the common enemy, we can accomplish great things.

Host: Yeah, and so should we expect anything similar to the comic books or is there like an original story?

Troy Baker: We will be remised if we did not base this on the graphic novel. It’s so popular, the concept is so popular but inherently everything naturally takes on it’s own originality. So nothing is ever frame for frame, panel for panel. So, even if you’ve read the graphic novel, this is going to be a fresh take on that.

Host: Alright.

Troy Baker: If you have read the graphic novel, you are going to be able to go…ahhh. I recognize that.

Host: If a theatrical adaptation was in the works what would be in your wish list?

Troy Baker: It’s so hard to cast. People always want to make it live action and sometimes you can do a really good job with that.

Host: Yeah.

Troy Baker: For me as a kid of the graphic novels there’s just something that people do in the animated space that perfectly captures it I don’t know if I ever want to do that, but that’s a great question.

Host: interesting. Now, Batman is celebrating his 80th anniversary and we’ve been invited to the Wayne manor, how are you planning on celebrating and what are you planning to toast to him?

Troy Baker: Dude, I always raise a glass because he wasn’t the hero that we deserved but he was the hero that we needed. I always, specially this time of year when it comes around, I remember it was 75 years of Batman. 5 years on it’s 80 years of Batman. That time, we lost you know the best Batman ever with Adam West.

Host: I know.

Troy Baker: And so to me it’s raising a glass not only to Bob King but to people that have put on the cowl and the mantel of the franchise. It’s not raising the glass to anyone specifically but to all the people who have helped move these characters forwards. Everyone from the 66, you know, Batman the animated series, Batman beyond, all the animated specials that we’ve been able to do. Those are the people that have always thought me something new. When Jeff lobes ran with Batman from a graphic novel standpoint to a film standpoint to an animated standpoint.

Host: Yeah.

Troy Baker: Everyone who has participated in this franchise has taught me something new about these characters so that’s who I raise my glass to.

Host: awesome, and who’s your favorite Batman?

Troy Baker: I’ve got to go with Kevin.

Host: And who’s your favorite turtle?

Troy Baker: My favorite turtle?

Host: Yeah.

Troy Baker: Man, Mikey. I mean, he’s an obvious choice but Donatello is also the grounding of everybody Rafael they’re kind of the big brothers but they’re more fun, Michael Angelo.

Host: Got it. Unfortunately I see the Bat signal.

Troy Baker: Yes.

Host: So folks, be sure to catch Batman vs The Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles coming to you in digital and from Wondercon.

Troy Baker: yeah.

Host: I’m Machelle Noel with Troy Baker. Hopefully we’ll see you guys next time. Bye!

Troy Baker: Bye!

batman-turtle

fullsizeoutput_3eCaroline Buendia | Writing Contributor & Film Producer
B.A. | TV, Film & Media | Cal State Univ – Los Angeles
Caroline is a senior at CSU-Los Angeles. Next up, she’ll be chasing her Masters. She’s a passionate storyteller, writing and directing are her tools to do it. You can find her stamp in anything she does as carolbcreates. She writes as much as she reads, meanwhile pursuing her goal to have her works on TV, Film, and published. She loves adventures and her stories always take her there. As a proud Latina, Caroline is ready to take on any challenges that may come her way. If it’s easy it’s boring. And she doesn’t do boring. | Instagram @CarolineBuendia| View My Articles

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