KEVIN CONROY TALKS "BATMAN: BEYOND, BRUCE WAYNE, AND MORE
I am still basking in the afterglow of San Diego Comic Con 2019. One of the coolest things i got to cover, while o assignment from Bleeding Cool, was the Batman Beyond 20 Year Anniversary celebration. The cast and producers had just announced, in the massive Hall H to throngs of screaming Bat- fans, the release of the Batman Beyond: Complete Series Collection on BluRay. Shortly after stepping of stage Kevin Conroy (Batman:The Animated Series, Arkham Knight) steps of the stage and joins us at the round table for a bit of a chin wag.
The first question thrown out asks after 27 years, how has your performance changed? Conroy has been playing Batman for over 27 years now, so we wanted to know how has his performance changed over the years. Kevin tells us:
“The trick for me has been not to have it change. It’s to have it remain truthful to the character that was established 27 years ago. ..The Audience is passionate about the character. They Love him. You know? … Audiences have a very intimate relationship with animated characters, because you live in people's imagination. When you are the voice of an animated character, they come up to me like I’m a brother. I’m someone they know, and they’ve never met me before. Because I live in their imagination, I’m the voice they hear. So it is an intimacy. Because if I'm not truthful to the character that they know, they’ll nail me in a heartbeat. “
Working so closely and so frequently together Kevin and Mark Hamill have developed a bromance to match no other. Kevin say about Mark:
“He is so much fun to work with. Everything you see is Mark. there is no pretense, there’s no ego, there’s no bull. He is 100% there, he’s generous, he’s there to play. And he gives me so much, that I can’t help but perform well when I’m with him, and I’ve said this to him - You define me, and he said ’Well you define me.’ ...You know Batman and Joker they kind of define each other.”
What I really wanted to know was how did Kevin play the same man at different ages? I asked him if there was any difference to his approach to playing Bruce Wayne on Batman:The Animated Series compared to playing him on Batman Beyond.
“Well, yeah. I mean It’s the same man...In B:TAS Bruce Wayne has the luxury of youth. He hasn’t tasted mortality, really. In Batman Beyond He has. He senses the passage of time. Which is why he reaches out to Terry McGinnis. And that is a very sobering thing. He is still a powerful man, but he’s frustrated by the fact that his body won’t do everything he demands it to do anymore. And that makes him cranky, and angry. He’s angry at his body. But he is still powerful, he’s still got that passion of Bruce Wayne, of Batman. ...what was fun about playing him in that stage. He’s not a dottery 80 year old. He’s a feisty, passionate hero. They are different stages of the same man’s life.”