Kevin Conroy on playing Bruce Wayne in’Crisis on Infinite Earths’:”It threw me’
He is the night. He is vengeance. He is Batman.
Kevin Conroy has voiced the Dark Knight for the past 27 years, most famously and iconically on Batman: The Animated Series and at the Arkham Asylum games. Considered by many to be the definitive portrayal of Batman, Conroy has spoken life to the character at several different phases of his caped life, from the beginning of his superhero career (Batman: The Mask of the Phantasm) to in the conclusion of it, on both Batman Beyond and Justice League Unlimited. However, through all of that, though, he hasn’t really physically appeared on-screen as Bruce Wayne at a live-action property — till now.
This December, the Justice League actor guest-stars as Bruce Wayne from the future in the Arrowverse’s”Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover. While fighting to save the multiverse from impending destruction, Batwoman (Ruby Rose) and Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) cross paths with Bruce from the Batwoman setup (part two) of the five-hour saga; however, as the Kingdom Come-esque exoskeleton Conroy is sporting in a current crossover still suggeststhis grizzled variant of Bruce isn’t the same as the 80-year-old incarnation Conroy voiced on Batman Beyond.
“In this, I research a lot of [the] shadowy corners of Bruce Wayne,” Conroy tells EW. “But they’re different than the ones that I researched on Batman Beyond.”
“He’s stupendous,” says crossover executive producer Marc Guggenheim. “He is Bruce Wayne. [It’s] just a lot of fun to see this celebrity who we all mostly understand from voice function being on camera. It was very exciting.”
Conroy’s look in”Crisis” is caused by a dream. “One of those things that was constantly on my own bucket list is I wished to see old Bruce Wayne,” says Guggenheim. “We talked about a number of distinct casting options, but [Legends of Tomorrow showrunner] Keto Shimizu, who’s a huge animated Batman fan, pointed out that Kevin is the right age. We reached out to Kevin and he couldn’t have been more lovely and more match for it.”
For his part, Conroy”jumped ” the deal when the manufacturers approached him since he’s”always wanted to do it on camera,” says the actor. “There’s a real loyalty one of the [Batman: The Animated Series] fanbase and also an interest in watching me do it on-camera also. So I think they thought this was an opportunity to make the most of the interest.”
To Conroy’s amazement, though, playing Bruce Wayne ended up becoming more challenging than he anticipated.
“It threw me at first,” says Conroy. “I never approached this character from this physicalized aspect. I always inhabited him with my voice. It is a very intimate experience, when you do this in a studio and you are sort of living on your imagination. You are doing it with your eyes clothes and you are in this world, and you’ve got Mark Hamill feeding you all of the energy you [need], and the other celebrities (since we always recorded together in the booths). To be walking as the character, and to be in the actual world, on the set and occupying the character in 3 dimensions, it was a true transition for me. It did take a while to get used to, I have to admit. I was amazed since I know the character so well.”
Happily, his main spectacle partners, Ruby Rose and Melissa Benoist, helped him conquer this initial obstacle. “Everybody was so generous to work with. I can’t emphasize how enough how welcoming everyone was Ruby. She’s so giving and open. I simply fell into her eyes and we just linked on camera. It had been fantastic,” he says, adding that it was”amazing” to operate with Benoist, also. “I felt as though I had been working together with old friends I had known for years. There was just such trust there that I could open up to them on camera.”
“Crisis on Infinite Earths” kicks off with Supergirl on Sunday, Dec. 8, followed by Batwoman on Monday, Dec. 9, and The Flash on Tuesday, Dec. 10. After the winter hiatus, the crossover will resume Tuesday, Jan. 14, together with Arrow in 8 p.m., and conclude with Legends of Tomorrow at 9 p.m.
For specialist analysis, interviews, and scene breakdowns, see EW’s official”Crisis” after-show, Crisis: Aftermath, hosted by Kevin Smith and airing 9 p.m., promptly after Supergirl (Dec. 8) and The Flash (Dec. 10) on The CW.
To read more from the most recent issue of Entertainment Weekly, featuring The Rise of Skywalker and other untold stories in the Star Wars world on the pay, pick up the newest issue at Barnes & Noble on Friday — or purchase your selection of covers now featuring celebrities of this prequels, original trilogy, or even present saga. (The issue will be on newsstands beginning Nov. 28.) Do not forget to subscribe for more private interviews and photographs, only in EW.
- Erica Durance about the’bizarre’ Smallville reunion in’Crisis on Infinite Earths’
- New’Crisis on Infinite Earths’ photos reveal Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne
- Black Dragon grabs [SPOILER] in new’Crisis on Infinite Earths’ promo