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Interview: Troy Baker on the role of the Joker in Batman: The Long Halloween

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Batman: Along Halloween Part 2 is now available digitally and on Blu-ray, which concludes DC’s animated adaptation of the iconic Batman story. Written by Tim Sheridan and directed by Chris Palmer, the films feature a star-studded voice cast that includes Jensen Ackles, Josh Duhamel, the late Naya Rivera, Troy Baker, Billy Burke, Fred Tatasciore, and more.

RELATED: David Dastmalchian on Voicing Calendar Man in Batman: The Long Halloween

“Inspired by the iconic mid-1990s DC story of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, Batman: Along Halloween Part 2 continues as the Vacation Killer is still on the run and, with Bruce Wayne under the spell of the poisonous Poison Ivy, Batman is nowhere to be found, ”the official synopsis says. “Freed by an unlikely ally, Bruce quickly discovers the real culprit: Poison Ivy’s employer, Carmine Falcone. The Roman, his ranks decimated by Holiday and his spiraling business, has been forced to bring in less desirable partners – the Gotham City gallery of thugs… Ultimately, the Dark Knight must piece together the tragic pieces who converged to create Two-Face, the Holiday Killer, Batman, and Gotham City itself.

ComingSoon editor-in-chief Tyler Treese spoke to Troy Baker, who voices the Joker about what the role meant to him, his past in anime expression, and what the future holds for his career. .

Tyler Treese: The Long Halloween is such an iconic Batman story. As a Batman fan yourself, how excited were you to be a part of this movie and to play such a key role?

Troy Baker: Dude, I was just telling a coworker right before that. I’m sitting here watching and I’ve got the Stacked Deck right here, Kill the joke, I look at all of my different graphic novels that I have. Batman, in particular, is a very unique character to me. And this is in no way a denigration of any other superhero, whether in the cinematographic field, in the field of the graphic novel or in the field of video games. But Batman, for me, is that something that after almost a century there is still something I can learn about him. When somebody says, “We’re gonna do an origin story,” we’re like yeah, yeah, yeah, Crime Alley. You can never get tired of hearing this story, but in Long Halloween it’s really, as we’ve learned, the first year. Let’s see what happens when Bruce decides to become Batman; not when he was made to be Batman, but when he became Batman. And what i like Long Halloween He goes ahead with this story and says, now he’s Batman, so what?

You think you are in control. And honestly, one of my favorite lines wasn’t mine. And this is a problem that I really struggled with at first. And that’s to the credit of Jensen and his performance because he made me wrestle with it. And then he made me understand that it was true. And that’s no spoiler for anyone who hasn’t seen this, which you absolutely should. But when he says, “I never knew I should be a detective.” And I was like, I was like, “Wait a minute!” Like I literally hit pause and I’m like, “Wait a second. This is Batman, the greatest detective in the world. Like he’s Sherlock Holmes in black. It’s what it’s supposed to be. And I realized that it is that it had to become that. And that, for me, makes it even more of a fascinating story.

So being able to look at the evolution, not the origin, but the evolution of this character and how it goes then to all the other characters that he meets here. And we cover a lot of ground. This is one of the reasons why we had to do two parts. It’s because there are so many stories to tell because there are so many characters in this story. You have Harvey Dent, you have Calendar Man. You know how the Joker plays in there. And the Joker specifically fits into this story in a very unique way, because normally it’s always the time bomb coming down to Joker, right? And in this way, he’s on the sidelines alongside Batman, “Isn’t that weird? Isn’t that funny? This is different. ”For me, it’s a really, really fun position to play from.

RELATED: Writer Tim Sheridan Explains How He Adapted Batman: The Long Halloween Into Two Movies

Joker is also such a versatile character. You have been able to play many incarnations of him. How would you compare this Joker to the one you played in Arkham Origins or Batman Unlimited?

Hopefully if I do my job right, every iteration – which is a big word – of this character should in some ways feel new, fresh, original, insightful, unique, but never feel like it’s not the same character, right? Like even watching Geoff Johns in Earth One.

So that’s where they went: “Let’s flip the script completely over to canonical characters and truths.” How far can we bend this before it breaks? And I feel like if we don’t do that on all of them, what’s the point of adapting it? Like Long Halloween is a graphic novel and doesn’t need our help to be a great story. He doesn’t need our help to be a beautiful artistic representation of these characters in the story. So we inherently have to do something different. So I think every time you adapt something from one medium to another it should go through an iteration process, but it should always take you back to the source material. I think we’ve all done a really, really good job like Titus Welliver when you hear it, it’s like, “Sure he’s going to play Falcone. Of course, that’s what you get. But then you look at Billy Burke and you’re like, “This is the last person I would think of to play Gordon.” And he takes him out of the park. Jensen Ackles is the same way. I wouldn’t think of hiring Jensen Ackles to play Batman. But the second you hear it, especially where you find the character in this story, it really makes sense.

Jensen is fantastic in this role. What was it like playing foil and working with him? He’s such a big name going up in Hollywood and you’re right there with him here in this movie.

First of all, you are using the exact word I used earlier. The Joker still plays an antagonist in Batman. But for him, playing foil is a flip. So speaking of your previous point, as long as there is a different iteration, this is a perfect example of that. Here’s what I love about Jensen: he’s proven himself as an actor in the booth and it’s not like he can do just one thing. He is someone who is clearly versatile. You used that word earlier for Joker. And I would apply that same word to Jensen; that he is a versatile actor. Second, you get him out of the booth and he’s just a dude. And that’s a good shot. Like he’s just a guy.

It’s so obvious that he has an affinity for this character. And that he approached his character, not as a job, but as an opportunity. And he really threw all the experience he has, the talent he has and the passion, which he also has in abundance, into this role. Jack Quaid was the same way. Jack was freaking out that he must be in something like this. So everyone who approached that peak, down, left to right, was doing it as a passion project.

RELATED: Interview: Josh Duhamel on Playing Two-Face in Batman: The Long Halloween

Watching your career has been so amazing because I came to hear you do a bunch of anime. You voiced Gin in the Case Closed dub and Detective Conan is my favorite show. I would like to know if you have any recollection of that.

Oh man. Absoutely. So Chris Sabat called me over, he said, “Hey man, I’m gonna make you play the main villain in this new show, Detective Conan. This guy boils down to a kid, and you’re the guy who does. I was like, “Oh, this is great. I can play the main villain. Here you see my progenitor, as an actor: “I love playing bad guys. Like maybe at some point this will cue me to play the Joker. Who knows, right? “Because that’s always been a goal of mine, and he says, I have three lines in this episode. I say,” Sweet dreams, Detective, “and you don’t. You’ll never see me again. So that thing did a number on me. I was like, “Wait a minute. This is not how it should work. And then I remembered Dr Claw. I’m like, “Oh sure. The villain gets the least screen time ever.

So you still want to be the good guy, but the funniest thing for me is playing the bad guy. And again, we’re all heroes of our own story and I firmly believe that Joker feels, even in this story, that what he’s doing is really trying to help. He loves chaos, of course, but only because he believes it is the path to freedom. It’s not like he’s twirling his mustache and being intentionally mean. He wants to help Batman figure it out from the start by saying, “You don’t know how it’s going to turn out. You already see the chaos. Let me help you.”

Troy Baker interview

You’re such a talented actor, but in Middle-earth: Shadow of War, you were also the director of performance capture. Is doing more behind-the-scenes work something that interests you?

Absolutely, I am, deep down, a storyteller. That’s all I want to do. I believe we are genetically predisposed to be storytellers. This is why we drew on the walls of the caves and this is why we created the language. That’s why we created art. It is because we are trying to tell our story. That’s the reason Bob Kane sat down and even created this character. This is because he wanted to show a new version of a fragile, vulnerable and broken hero and how he could go from tragedy to triumph. This is the same reason we created the gods to tell the same stories. I am a storyteller. Whenever someone gives me the opportunity to tell a story, I want to see how I can best tell that specific story. Is it me as an actor? Or is it maybe me as the director and say that I feel like I have a unique perspective on this and what I want to do is help other people inside? of that to tell their story? So yes, achievement is 100% something that I have a fondness for. I have a pleasure for that. I have been given the opportunity to do this several times now and am looking for other opportunities to do in the future.

It was so exciting for anime fans to see you voicing Baki and another Baki anime is coming to Netflix soon. Are you involved in this?

Baki’s story, as I understand it, could go on. I can tell you that. It’s always a pleasure to revisit my roots. Again, it all started as a 13-year-old who rushed home everyday to watch Batman: The Animated Series and fell in love with Kevin Conroy’s Batman and Mark Hamill’s Joker. And from there I said, “Maybe I can do that.” So every time I go back to my roots and the anime this is definitely how I cut my teeth in this business, every time I get the chance to come back to it this is like I’m slipping into that familiarity, just like it’s Joker in this movie.


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