When it comes to superheroes, there is perhaps no bigger name than Batman. The DC Comics character has become an American icon and spawned all sorts of media, from his own comic book series and video games to toys, films and TV shows. Even if you're not into comics, you know (and probably love) Batman, and for good reason — he's awesome. Any Batman fan has likely heard of voice actor Kevin Conroy before; after all, he's the man who voices the superhero himself in the likes of Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Justice League, and more. He also happens to be a rather talented actor in his own right, but it was Batman he wanted to talk about during his takeover of the Batman: The Animated Series Facebook page on Wednesday. During the Q&A, Conroy shared his enthusiasm for the character, his favorite line ever, and way more.
Being the longest running Batman voice actor must have its perks, and it's clear from the Q&A that Conroy not only has a deep affinity for Bruce Wayne, but a great respect for the legacy surrounding him, which is amazing to witness. Read on to discover how Conroy got the role, his favorite part of playing such an iconic character, and who would win in a fight between Batman and Conroy himself (hint: it's not Conroy).
On His Favorite Storyline
Batman: The Animated Series was a '90s classic, and given that there were over 85 episodes to choose from, you might not imagine Conroy could pick a favorite. Wrong! He totally has one!
"Of the series, my favorite episode was probably Dreamscape and Perchance to Dream because both of them got into the psychology of what made Batman tick! And that is what makes him so interesting. He's such a complicated person and has a complicated psychology and both of those episodes really explored that."
On His Childhood Love Of Batman
While it's likely that Conroy is a whole lot more into Batman now that he's the voice behind the hero, he did always love Bruce Wayne, even as a kid.
"I watched the Batman series that Adam West did as a kid, I was very young, and I enjoyed it I don't think I missed an episode. I have since met Adam and he's a great great guy. They had amazing actors on that show! Much like our show, I think it got the reputation at that time that it was a fun show, and so everyone wanted to do it."
On Which Villain He'd Like To Voice
Getting to voice Batman is pretty much the best job you can get, but it's always fun to think about who Conroy could have lent his voice to if not Bruce Wayne.
"That's easy. Everyone wants to voice the Joker! I could never do it as well as Mark Hamill. Sometimes I goof around doing the joker."
On His Favorite Thing About Being Part Of The Legendary Batman Franchise
I imagine it would be hard to pick just one thing that you love about your job if your job is to voice Batman, but Conroy admitted that he loves interacting with fans, and that seeing how much the audience loves his work means more than anything else.
"To be honest, I think my favorite part is happening now. When I go to the Comic-Con's and I experience the interaction with the audience, it's a phenomenal thing to be a part of. I love how passionate people are about the character and how they appreciate the work. When you're doing voice work, it's a very anonymous job. Before the internet, it was totally anonymous. You never really hear the audience response. Being a stage actor, I'm much more accustomed to audience reaction. Now that I go to Comic-Con I get that. Little kids come up and they want to jump on my shoulders and stuff. It's wonderful!"
On How It Feels To Say "I'm Batman!"
I mean, it has to feel great, right? Thankfully, Conroy confirms this hypothesis.
"It feels very powerful. The character of Batman has such resonance. To have my voice be associated with the character, and have people react the way they do, it's amazing. It evokes childhood memories! It's a very powerful, emotional experience to be able to say that!"
On What He Admires & Relates To When It Comes To Batman
Batman may be a comic book hero, but that doesn't mean that he's any less relatable, and even Conroy himself finds plenty to learn from and admire about him.
"The thing I most admire about him is his humility. He doesn't want any praise for what he does. So much so that he does it all behind a mask. I think it's amazing. He does the right thing because it's the right thing to do. Not because anyone will applaud him. I'd like to think that in real life I behave that way. I live in NYC and if I see trash on the street, I'll pick it up and put it in the garbage can. Just do the right thing. You see something wrong, you fix it. That's what Batman does. He doesn't want anyone to know he's doing it. I love that about him."
On Who Would Win In A Fight: Kevin Conroy Or Batman
I think this one is simple enough to answer, don't you?
"Are you kidding? Batman would whip my ass!"
On Finding The Right Voice
Voicing such an iconic character can't be easy, especially when you're essentially creating the voice that everyone will associate with that character moving forward. Luckily, it didn't take Conroy very long, and in fact he got the part of Batman from his very first animated audition he ever went on.
"I did a lot of theatre work. A lot of New York actors do voice overs during the day to make money. I did a lot of commercial voice overs in New York back in the 80s. When I moved to LA to do a pilot, my agent said, 'Oh, they're putting together a new animated series at Warner Bros, Batman!' They want you to read for various characters. I wasn't really even that familiar with Batman. I only knew the Adam West show! I found out it was going to be more like Film Noir. I thought, 'Wow! This is sort of Shakespearean!' I put myself in that mood in the booth of that character, and it was just me using my imagination on that day. I improvised on the spot to come up with that sound. It happened to be exactly what they wanted!"
It's safe to say that Conroy has been doing an amazing job as Batman. Here's to many more years of Bruce Wayne!