Kevin Conroy. He’s a nigh-mythical figure in the world of animation. Kevin Conroy’s performance of Batman has set the benchmark for the Dark Knight for decades. Between him and Mark Hamill’s roles, there are few people who haven’t seen an animated Batman flick starring both of them. In a recent interview, the voice actor for the Caped Crusader gave some points of advice to future protectors of Gotham.
“The performance is Bruce Wayne. The real essence of the man is Batman. That’s when he’s his most comfortable; he’s at his most naked, most emotionally raw when he’s in the bat cave alone. When he goes out to Wayne Technologies, faces the world and puts on a suit – that’s the performance.”
He continued, “Bruce Wayne is the performance element. That’s always been my key to the character, and I think when you play it that way it makes the Batman so authentic. It makes it less of an artifice. It just makes it ring true. So that it’s not just putting on this odd costume and pretending you’re someone you’re not.” It almost seems like his method of acting for Batman revolves around the fact that the ‘Bruce Wayne’ aspect is the visage and ‘Batman’ is real. An interesting take, that’s for sure!
The immensely popular Kevin Conroy then spoke about Batman’s ‘No Kill’ policy. “Personally I love the fact that Batman – in the stories I’ve done, and the way he’s been rendered by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, the people I’ve worked with most closely – he never kills anybody. He doesn’t cross that line. Batman is not a killer.”
“He puts them into Arkham Asylum, which is what is so brilliant about the Arkham Game,” Conroy added. “Someone realized, ‘my god, all these incredible villains are all in the same institution – let’s get a video game in there’. It’s a brilliant idea. But the fact that Batman never kills anyone – I loved that fact.” Kevin then took a stab at Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. “In the most recent live action movie, that seems to have been a line that was crossed and it’s not one I’m particularly comfortable with.”
Finally, Kevin Conroy gave some extra advice on future Batmen by saying, “Batman is a man of few words. So when you’re the voice actor doing the role you really have very few opportunities to sketch the character. Because most of it is action. He’s the strong silent type. There aren’t a lot of moments where he expresses his emotions. So you have to learn to nuance the few lines you have to flesh out the character.”