|Backstage - Interviews - Andrea Romano
Hello, Andrea! It is very great to finally have a chance
to send some questions your way, so let's start off with
Batman: The Brave and The Bold! When casting for
this series, what qualities were you looking for from
That is a good question because it IS an unusual series.
Unlike the previous Batman incarnations that I have cast
and directed, this series is lighter and has a sense of
humor. I needed actors who were not only good at voice
work and full of versatility but who understood the tone
of this series. The other challenge is casting a group
who collectively sounds like they are from the same
WF: Having seen the first episode, it's safe to say
that Will Friedle was perfectly cast as The Blue Beetle.
Will we be seeing names that are more familiar in
Batman: The Brave and The Bold, and what is it
like to get to work again with someone you've worked
with in the past? Who can we expect to see drop by?
I couldnít be happier to hear that! Anytime I work with
an actor and have a good experience with them, I try to
bring them back on any project I work on. Itís like
going to a good restaurant- you always want to go back!
I know how funny and talented Will is and Iím delighted
to know the response to him as the Blue Beetle is so
positive. I think heís perfect casting for that role.
Tom Kenny is signed on as Plastic Man. He actually did a
pilot for me as Plastic Man before which ultimately
wasnít picked up. James Arnold Taylor, who is such a
wonderful and talented actor, is the Green Arrow. John
DiMaggio is brilliant as Aquaman and plays him as one of
the funniest superheroes Iíve ever heard. Iíd put Corey
Burton on every project I ever worked on if I could. Iím
especially proud to work with R. Lee Ermey as Wildcat.
Heís such a beautiful voiceless character. R. Lee is not
someone just doing a character voice, but someone whose
texture and quality comes naturally to his voice.
WF: Batman: The Animated Series, Batman
Beyond, The Batman, and now Batman: The
Brave and The Bold. Each had their own unique take
on the fabled Caped Crusader. When casting for each
series, how does the tone of the show itself play a role
in casting for a series? Does it get harder to cast for
Batman each time?
The tone of the show is key in the casting. There are
certain vocal qualities that we look for in each series.
When Iím in the beginning stages of casting and
directing, one of the most difficult parts of the
process is what I call finding ĎTHE VOICEí of the show.
This is not an individual voice but the vocal style and
quality of the entire series. Sometimes it takes several
episodes before we really feel comfortable and find what
ĎTHE VOICEí of the show is. This particularly
incarnation of Batman is slightly lighter and more comic
than the very dark Batman: The Animated Series. Each one
of those series mentioned is completely unique in tone,
and therefore required and entirely different cast.
To answer your second question, it does get incredibly
more difficult each time. The first time it was just
plain daunting and it only became more challenging each
time. Someone once told me Iíve recast the role of
Batman seven to eight times, so Iíve already gone out to
most of my favorite actors in town to offer them the
role! This is an awesome responsibility and because
Batman is one of my personal favorite superheroes, that
makes it even more difficult because I truly want to get
WF: As a semi-follow-up to the previous question,
what has changed since you first cast Batman to today?
How has the industry changed as the technology did? Did
you find yourself having to adapt?
Technology has changed massively and so has our voice
over industry. When we would need to reference a voice
in the past, weíd have to roll back tape on a
reel-to-reel machine and manually search for it.
Sometimes this process would take up to 15 minutes. Now
with digital technology, we can get there in seconds. We
also have the ability to pitch voices, electronically
massage them, to reverb them, to change their speedÖall
with the press of a button! It used to be a very long,
intricate and difficult process that would take days to
get these fantastic results.
Also, the editing process is amazingly fast today.
During a recording session, we can identify the clips we
like best of each take, and within moments the engineer
or editor can piece it together and play it back for our
review. Technology has definitely sped up the processes
involved in recording sessions.
WF: Now, this next question is fan-submitted and,
since I just couldn't wrap my head on how to rewrite it
without losing the impact of it, I'm going to repeat it
here: ďHow does it feel to be the best person to cast
the best people for cartoons?Ē So, any response?
Well thatís very nice! It feels wonderful! I donít know
that Iím always the best person to cast the best people
- but I try. Itís my responsibility and honor to do a
good job for the fans. Without their approval, I
wouldnít have a job. Every time the fans respond
positively, itís a huge relief and great compliment to
me. I love my job and creating a team of people that
work well together. It makes me extremely happy when my
employers are pleased with the work and the fans like it
WF: As a sort of follow-up to the previous question,
you have become quite synonyms with DC Animation. In
fact, your impact on these series is quite considerable
(you gave Batman a voice!). What draws you to these
shows and did you ever think you'd have as big an impact
on the fan community as you've had?
Iím so flattered at the fan response and it touches me
very deeply. I knew so little about the DC Universe when
I first began working on the first Batman: The Animated
Series. Iím far more educated in that world today. Iím
thankful that my ignorance in the beginning didnít hold
me back from discovering and finding voices that live in
that realm. In fact, it may have helped to come at them
with no preconceived ideas. Reading the scripts and
working with the producers really helps me to bring
their vision to life. What also draws me to these shows
are the quality of the productions, the interesting
source material, the creative producers and animation
directors that I get to work with.
WF: Andrea, another fan submitted question asks: ďWho
is your favorite superhero?Ē Why? Any response?
Batman! I love him first and foremost. Heís like your
first boyfriend and heís my first superhero. Iíll always
have that special bond with him. It was extremely
difficult to cast but once I found him, I truly fell in
love. Heís not cut and dry nor does he always do the
right thing. For Batman, the end justifies the means.
Heís impulsive, reactive and he makes mistakes. He is
HUMAN. For example, Superman will always put his moral
sense of right and wrong out there. It would take a lot
for him to dangle a man 30 stories from the ground by
his feet to get some answers, but Batman has no qualms
I also find him very sexy. Thereís just something dark,
mysterious and moody about his presence. Itís much like
girls pining for the ďbad boyĒ when thereís the
straightedge, dependable and responsible man next door.
We always want the one whoís more of a challenge, the
one that rejects you and lives on the wrong side of the
WF: Diedrich Bader is the new man under the cowl in
Batman: The Brave and The Bold, and you've worked
with him before as Zee in The Zeta Project. How
did you have to direct him differently here than in
The Zeta Project, and how was it like to work
with Bader again?
Batman and Zee are very different characters. Zee was a
robot, so although we wanted him to have human
characteristics, we always had to deal with his slightly
robotic nature and mannerisms. Batman is obviously human
so we had to have a very human aspect to his voice. My
previous work experience with Diedrich and familiarity
with his on- camera work just made it easier for me to
work with him.
When Diedrich started doing his voice over for this
show, James Tucker, Diedrich and I realized that what
weíre hearing is really the voice of Bruce Wayne.
Although youíll never see Bruce on screen, youíll hear
him thinking, and see Batman reacting. Itís a very
subtle difference and quite fascinating. The voices
definitely evolve, like with any series, through the
episodes. For example, episode 3 is better than episode
2, and episode 4 is better than 3. I read the show Bible
and thought Diedrich would be the right person for the
role, and having completed all 26 episodes now, Iím
absolutely confident he was perfect.
Diedrich occasionally brings his son Sebastian to the
sessions. Itís wonderful to see this childís immediate
reaction to the vocal track recording. You can see on
his face that he likes whatís going on. Very rarely in
animation do you get instant responses and feedback like
that. Especially given the fact that we usually record
6-8 months before the cartoon is finished and airs.
WF: Now, we're going to veer off-topic for just a
moment as we look at some of your other DC-related
projects, specifically the Wonder Woman, Green
Lantern, and Superman Batman: Public Enemies
animated features. Are you happy with the casting and
voice work for the upcoming Wonder Woman animated
feature, and who can we expect to see behind the mic for
Green Lantern and Superman Batman: Public
For the Wonder Woman project, which comes out in
February, Keri Russell is Wonder Woman and sheís
wonderful! She has a youthful strength, an innocence and
confidence that work perfectly for the character. Alfred
Molina is Ares, the God of War, Nathan Fillion is Steve
Trevor. I didnít actually watch ďWaitressĒ, the film
that Keri and Nathan had done together until after we
wrapped production on Wonder Woman. Even though Keri and
Nathan recorded separately, their performances are
seamless. I think part of that compatibility is because
they worked together previously on ďWaitressĒ and had a
sense of what the other person was going to do.
Rosario Dawson plays Artemis, Virginia Madsen is
Hippolyta, David Mccallum is Zeus, Oliver Platt plays
Hades and Vicki Lewis is Persephone. Iím so thrilled to
have a superhero direct-to-video that is filled with
women. Itís usually packed with male voices!
I canít discuss the voice actors for Green Lantern or
Public Enemies but know that you have something great to
look forward to. I was able to put together a remarkable
team of talent, many of them will be recognized, and the
casting will surprise their fans.
WF: A quick follow-up to the previous question: How
do you approach directing a cast for an animated
television series as opposed to an animated feature, and
In a feature and direct-to-home video, we have a little
more time and usually a little more money so we can
attempt to achieve more subtleties in both the voice
acting and animation acting. We donít work in as broad
strokes as we have to for television, which is pretty
fast and furious. We could take the time to record
simple breaths, for example, in a feature or a home
video that would get lost in TV animation
WF: Outside of Batman: The Brave and The Bold
and the current DC DTVs, you have a lot on your plate.
Care to tell us what other projects you're currently
working on, and tell us how you're able to juggle them
Yes there are many others! I direct SpongeBob
SquarePants for Nickelodeon. I direct Ben 10: Alien
Force for Cartoon Network. I am also working on two
video games, Diablo 3 and Star Craft 2 for Blizzard
Entertainment. Iíll also be doing the Boondocks for
Sony. Itís very difficult juggling my schedule and
sometimes my plate is so full, that I worry the quality
of my work will deteriorate. As a result, I often have
to pass on some of the beautiful jobs that Iím offered.
Maintaining the quality of work that my employers and
fans have come to expect is my highest priority.
WF: Any last thoughts on Batman: The Brave and The
Bold as we bring this Q & A to a close, Andrea?
Iím looking forward to the audience response on The
Brave & the Bold because itís such a unique take on
Batman. To date the press and reviews have been
overwhelmingly positive. Please let us know how you like
the series and hopefully weíll make more. Batman is such
an iconic character we might even be able to keep
supplying you with new series until Iím too old to
Thank you for your time!
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