Voicing characters as diverse as Loki, Hawkeye, Booker DeWitt, Ryu Hayabusa, Kei Leng and The Joker, chances are good if you’ve played a major video game in the last half decade or watched an Avengers cartoon in the four years and you’ve heard Troy Baker.
He reprises one of his favorite roles as Batman in LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, which is available now. I had the opportunity to speak with him at the New York Comic Con and he shared about the thrill of being able to play both Batman and Joker and his dilemma over which platform to play the game.
How challenging was the recording process? It was pretty quick. We did three, four hour sessions together. Then we did some stuff separately, but the main records were done pretty quick and that’s because honestly the cast we have is pretty incredible. The only time when we slowed down was when we were going through a scene and we just couldn’t keep it together because it was so funny. We had so much fun with the script.
You all were able to record in studio together? To have that many people for a voice over and not motion capture is unusual, but the script calls for it and it’s really so much about timing. It was so performance based and you needed to have people feed off of each other. LEGO has its own voice while we completely acknowledge the long lineage of Batman … we got to pull from that and have its own way.[irp]
You’ve done Batman and The Joker (in “Batman: Assault on Arkham”). Do you have a preference? Dude! Both. I’d love to do a one man show where I go back and forth where I’m Batman and Joker. It’s fun and what I love is that LEGO operates in a universe that would sustain that.
Explain your connection with Batman: Batman specifically was the first graphic novel I bought. My dad and I watched the 66 TV series. I remember watching Tim Burton “Batman” in the theaters with that iconic score and I knew right away things were gonna change. We’d had Christopher Reeve’s Superman and Wonder Woman on TV, but with Batman 89 things changed. It was a darker version that was reflected in the comics. From my perspective, things got legit.
You’ve had a long history with Joker as well: My first introduction to Joker was Cesar Romero’s version [on the Batman TV show] then it went from Jack Nicholson to Mark Hamill to Heath Ledger. That’s a long tenure of pretty incredible actors. I turned Joker down twice [for Warner Bros. Interactive] and the third time, they came to me and said “If we believe in you, who the hell are you to say no?”
What was this recording like for you? Most of the heavy lifting is done by other people. I’m more the straight guy on this so I’m the [Dean] Martin and everyone else is [Jerry] Lewis. I’m just super subtle and underplayed.
Are you excited about the game? It’s a Day 1 purchase for me. I’ve got it on pre-order. I’m a gamer first and an actor second. I’m incredibly fortunate to be able to monetize my goals. The only question is which platform? Xbox One or PlayStation 4.
Have any crazy fan stories? The stories get crazier and crazier, but what’s really fun is when you do something that really resonates with people. There’s some checks you can’t deposit in the bank. Those are some of them. Where people say you inspire to say if he can do it, then clearly I can do it (laughs). I like being in any way a source of inspiration to people and there’s some things that money can’t get you. For me, it’s knowing that someone say you brought a new perspective to me.
What character would you like to play? I don’t know how I can go higher. I kinda started with a bang (laughs). It’s not lost on me as a nerd boy, a gamer, and a comic nerd. Being able to portray these characters in any way I’m just incredibly grateful.
PlayStation 3: LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham – PlayStation 3
PlayStation 4: LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham – PlayStation 4
X-Box 360:LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham – Xbox 360
X-Box One: LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham – Xbox One