At last month’s San Diego Comic-Con, I had a once in a lifetime roundtable interview with Will Friedle and Khary Payton, who star in Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem and John Dimaggio who voices Lex Luthor and Deathstroke in Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League. The interview started off with Will Friedle (Boy Meets World) who talked about voicing Nightwing and describes Guardians of the Galaxy: The Animated Series‘ Star-Lord, then Khary Payton and John DiMaggio sat down and joined us, where the three discussed voiceover work. Here’s the interview…
Q: Between live-action and voice work, do you feel like you have more freedom with one or the other?
Will Friedle: I like that I don’t have to exercise to be a voiceover actor and I can eat a pizza, I like that but going back on camera recently, it’s a whole different beast. I love the audience, it’s instant gratification. This is gonna be a weird story but it’s true, just stick with me, I promise I’ll get there [laughs]. I never had a dog before and my girlfriend and I moved in together, she brought a dog with her and there’s something to this beautiful animal that’s always happy to see you. It’s instant love and joy and you get that same thing when you’re in front of an audience when you’re doing an on-camera show. You know you hit the perfect joke when the whole audience goes off. That being said, there’s something very pure from an acting standpoint of being a voiceover actor ’cause it’s just you and a microphone and that is it. So they both have their ups and downs.
Q: You’ve voiced a lot of different characters. Do you have a preference between serious characters and goofy characters?
Friedle: I don’t, they’re both fun to play for different reasons. Being a superhero is the only time in my entire life where I am considered cool. So that’s kinda neat for me to be able to play the superhero. That being said, being able to play someone like Ron Stoppable is really great which is why doing Guardians of the Galaxy and playing Star Lord is a perfect combination of the two. There’s times where he’s wacky goofy and there’s times where he is the superhero guy, so we’ve been having a blast. He is Ron Stoppable and Terry McGinnis, it’s pretty cool.
At this point, John DiMaggio (Adventure Time) and Khory Payton (Teen Titans Go!) sat down to join us.
Friedle: Oh God, I was just going to say that the actors I work with are crap [laughs].
John DiMaggio: They’re garbage…
Friedle: I hate them all…
DiMaggio: Yup, garbage.
[All joking around of course]
Friedle: No, they [reporters] were talking about jumping back and forth between characters…
DiMaggio: Oh that hula hoop, it’s a fun hula hoop to have to have you know? When I did ‘Futurama,’ Billy West, at a table read, did three pages of dialogue by himself. There’s certain people that can do that and it’s impressive to watch.
Khary Payton: I like to watch it happen. It’s like anybody in anything else, it’s fun to do. I don’t know if I can pull it off as well as a lot of other people but whenever they give me the chance to do it, I want to because it’s a challenge, it works that muscle and I may screw it up but I don’t care.
Friedle: Yeah, I am not one of those guys. I don’t do four pages by myself. I do like three voices but I do them pretty well. I’m not the guy they come to asking if I can play these nine different characters. I’m like I can but they’re all gonna sound like the same guy. One guy is going to sound like he’s slightly from Brooklyn but other than that…[laughs] it’s the same dude.
Payton: The nice thing is they do kind of just let you go. Sometimes I’m sure that they’re not even recording, they’re like ‘just let him have his fun.’
Friedle: Yeah we haven’t recorded you in years with Transformers. We just don’t even hit the button [laughs].
Payton: I’m a lonely artist that just comes and does whistles.
Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem is available now and features the voices of Roger Craig Smith, Will Friedle, Troy Baker, Khary Payton, Chris Diamantopoulos, Kari Wuhrer, Yuri Lowenthol, Brian T. Delaney, Fred Tatasciore, Alastair Duncan and Dave B. Mitchell.