Baldwin, Noth Talk ‘Justice League: Crisis’

The toonzone has a series of press releases from Warner Home Video on the upcoming direct-to-video Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. They include interviews with William Baldwin (Batman), Chris Noth (Lex Luthor) and co-directors Lauren Montgomery and Sam Liu.

Many of these interview excerpts I previously covered, but here are a few not included in that article which are worth noting.

– From William Baldwin:

QUESTION: It seemed you were quite focused in the booth, conveying all the physical and emotional traits as Batman. How immersed in the role did you feel?

WILLIAM BALDWIN: I take it seriously. And I enjoy it, especially recreating the sound effects of the fight sequences and stuff like that. One thing that was interesting to me was how clean they need the lines and, thus, how specific I had to keep my relationship to the microphone, and making sure there weren’t any other sort of ancillary sounds. When I’m doing looping for a film, I guess it’s sort of a method approach. I’ll put things inside my mouth and try to recreate the circumstances or the emotions that existed while I was performing. There’s nothing better than when you’re grunting from lifting something to try and create that sensation. I do a lot of visualization, too. So when you’re having the confrontation with Lex Luthor or Superwoman, sometimes I’ll look through the mike into the booth to somebody in the room. I’ll look at them and just sort of imagine it in my mind, to just pick somebody and lock into that, giving off this energy to them. It’s very helpful for me to have that specificity to lock into.

QUESTION: You’ve tackled this legendary comic character. What other roles would you like to fill?

WILLIAM BALDWIN: I’d like to surprise some people maybe and do the voice of something that’s much more charactery. It could be much more ethnic. Jewish or Irish or a New Yorker. I have a lot of fun with that stuff. I’d even like to sing. I wouldn’t want to sing in the way that you would need Mariah Carey to sing, but just have a character sing and have fun with that, too.

QUESTION: Can you compare acting on camera to acting in the booth, and how Andrea Romano was able to guide you through those differences?

WILLIAM BALDWIN: It’s sort of a mixed bag. On camera, you’re usually acting to another actor who you’re looking at, who’s in the room with you. Today, I was in the sound room and Andrea was behind the glass. And she’s not an actor. But for a director, from a performance standpoint, she was giving me more than enough. What really helped was the specificity of her notes. When something wasn’t right, she would give me a note that would 180 it, or she would give me a little subtle note. That was great. “You’re forgetting to add in this layer” or “Give me a little bit more urgency.”

– From Chris Noth:

QUESTION: [How was your] first “actual” animation voiceover experience?

CHRIS NOTH: I felt I had an instinct for it, and it was a lot of fun. It’s an interesting technique and, like any medium, whether you’re doing radio or certain kinds of narrative voiceovers for stage or movies, it has its own sort of rules and performance values. I think the choices had to be bold and succinct and clear. To me, it appears that super heroes have to be powerful, but it also has to be real. You have to make bold choices and go all the way through with them. That’s true with a lot of acting anyway. But with animation, it seems to me there’s nothing coy about it. The acting has its own subtleties. So you have to find that balance. And as long as you go with that instinct, it’s a blast.

QUESTION: Did it get easier when Bruce Davison joined you at the microphone?

CHRIS NOTH: That was even more fun because I know Bruce and it’s always more fun to work off another person. Sandy Meisner, the great acting teacher, used to say that what you do doesn’t depend on you. It depends on the other fellow. In other words, they make you respond. So when Bruce came in, there was a new kind of energy that I sort of relished. I didn’t have that many scenes with him, but he was a lot of fun and I think he made a great President.

QUESTION: As you are new to animation voiceovers, you’re also new to the direction involved. How did you find Andrea Romano’s direction?

CHRIS NOTH: (Animation) is very quick, it’s to the point, and very on message, and you have to just go with it. Andrea was extremely helpful to me to get some of the tone and in knowing what you have to keep in mind with what’s happening to the character in the scene. Whether it’s an intimate scene or there’s a lot of action, she keeps you on point. So she’s a very good field marshal.

– From co-directors Montgomery and Liu:

QUESTION: Now that you can see the final product, how do the voices match their animated characters?

LAUREN MONTGOMERY: Gina Torres and James Woods are probably my favorites. Everybody loves Owlman. He’s such a unique character. Gina is really good as Superwoman – she has this strong, seductive, confident voice, and it makes you fear and respect her. Mark Harmon is really good as Superman. At first I was worried because I thought his age might come through, but his voice really works well. It’s funny because when we started watching the voice with the animation, it struck us how you could hear little tones of George Newbern and Tim Daly – two of our regular Supermans – in his voice, which is pretty cool.

SAM LIU: I really liked Mark Harmon – he’s got a gentle streak and it goes really well with the strength of his voice. When he was in the recording booth, I thought he might be too gentle, but it works even in the scenes where he has to be more assertive or powerful. I think it works really well because it never crosses that line of him being mean or not genuine or sneaky. It’s very pure, just as Superman should be.

I also thought Josh Keaton did a great job as Flash. He’s hilarious. So much of these movies are based on the acting, and Josh really sold it. The chemistry between characters was good, too. James Woods and Gina Torres have this strange relationship, and their acting makes them real characters. They really engaged their personalities. That’s what good actors do. The voices in this cast really flesh out the characters and give them texture.

The toonzone’s initial press release on this title mentions that one of the bonus features for the 2-disc Special Edition includes:

DC Showcase – The Spectre: The first animated short in the all-new DC Showcase series focuses on a detective story with an ethereal twist, featuring the otherworldly character originally introduced by DC Comics in 1940. The short is written by Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), and the voice cast includes Gary Cole (Entourage) and Alyssa Milano (Charmed).


One Response to Baldwin, Noth Talk ‘Justice League: Crisis’

  1. robert krawczyk says:

    No comment, well one. I like Alyssa Milano’s voice, alot!

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