Ben Affleck has gotten all the press, but there’s another new Batman: Roger Craig Smith, the veteran voice actor who will play the Caped Crusader in the forthcoming video game Batman: Arkham Origins. Smith has major game voice acting chops: He’s played Sonic the Hedgehog, Chris Redfield from the Resident Evil games, and the beloved Ezio Auditore, libertine hero of Assassin’s Creed 2. We chatted with Smith about the pressure of playing the Dark Knight, the history of the character, and, oh, Batman underpants.
Roger Craig Smith: Oh boy. Not that my opinion matters, but I really enjoyed Christian Bale’s performance. I always thought it was really cool. You know, even the voice, it made sense to me. I think it’s funny that people thought it was a bad choice in terms of the growl and the hiss. Coming from the perspective of someone like Bruce Wayne, who is trying to mask his identity using this cowl; if he really wanted to affect his voice in a way that might throw people off – it makes good sense to me. I don’t see what the hubbub was all about.
Oh, and obviously the Adam West version.
And you think Bale was the best Bruce Wayne, too?
RCS: I like that sort of like unhinged arrogant playboy kind of thing that he was able to do. He can pull off that cocky element exceptionally well. Even when he played around with it when he wanted to conveniently make Bruce Wayne a dislikable character, those little subtleties made sense to me in terms of what that character involved.
You know the “Batman” voice? How do you make the Batman voice? Like, what do you actually do with your throat and mouth?
RCS: It’s a weird thing. It comes from a place of attitude and character. It’s where I lean very heavily on a director and the writers and everyone that is involved in this process. It’s inherently collaborative. I work in my lower register a lot and we try to get a more controlled way of delivering things so it feels like someone who is in control and confident and capable. Beyond that I don’t think there’s one thing I do to sort of modify my mouth. Or I might not be aware of it. You’re trying to emulate a bunch of physicality but the only thing you can work with is your voice. That’s why we’re always pointing and moving our arms. I wonder if I maybe stick my chest out a little bit more, maybe look down a little bit more.
Be honest, is playing Batman really fun?
RCS: It’s fun, and I’m hoping its going to be a blast on October 25, but it’s also work and it’s pressure. We have a really good time when we work but at the end of the day you’re keeping it fun to create an energy that you want so that it’s not grinding. But it’s a tremendous amount of pressure to know you’re going to try to deliver a performance of a character that is so beloved by so many people. I try not to think about that. Everybody from the background artist to the writers to the motion capture guys gets to have their say on what this character will look feel and sound like. Of course, when I sit down and play the game I’m going to be as giddy as anyone else. I’ll be super, hyper critical as well.
Still, I get to add my name to a list of actors and I can’t believe my name is up there with theirs. What a huge honor and at the end of the day, what a blast.
What was your reaction when you heard Ben Affleck was going to play Batman in the new Zack Snyder movie?
RCS: I’m excited. I’m amazed at the blowback. Let’s not forget when Heath Ledger was announced as the Joker, people were outraged. And he delivered maybe the greatest performance ever from that character.
That being said, you have to wait and just see it out. I don’t think he’s an incapable actor under any circumstances. He’s a good actor and I think he’s more than capable of portraying both Bruce Wayne and Batman. I don’t see why people are so up in arms. I would hope we all have bigger fish to fry in life.
Read the other parts of the interview at the ( SOURCE )
NGL, not only does he sound good but he definitely looks good too. He could totally bend me over and have his way with me, provided he does the dirty talk in his sexiest Batman or Ezio Auditore voice.