ComingSoon spoke to blue beetle star Matt Lanter on voicing the protagonist, his work in star Wars like Anakin Skywalker, and more ahead of the release Showcase DC – Constantine: Mystery House on Blu-ray May 3, 2022. blue beetle is one of four shorts included in the collection.
Along with the brand new short film «Konstantin», Showcase DC – Constantine: Mystery House there are also three other shorts in the form Kamandi: The last boy on Earth!, Losersand blue beetle. All three have appeared in past DC Universe Movies collections as special features, so they’re not entirely new to fans who might be big fans of the DC animated movie world.
CONNECTED: DC Showcase Interview: Director Milo Neuman Discusses ‘Blue Beetle’ And ‘The Losers’
ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief spoke with blue beetle star Matt Lanter on voicing the protagonist, his work in star Wars like Anakin Skywalker and more.
Tyler Treese: I know you did a great job with DC as Aquaman. So how did the Blue Beetle come to be in the short?
Matt Lanter: They called me and said, «Is this something you would like to do?» And of course, you know, I’m very quick to answer that with a huge yes. Any opportunity to voice, especially a new superhero or a person new to me, excites. Then when I got there and somehow understood the tone after I read the script, the tone of this thing is so unique compared to what we’ve seen. [for] the last 30 years it has been very, very fun, exciting and unique. I just loved it, honestly.
I wanted to ask you about this tone. What was it like just having fun with the character and making fun of those early superhero cartoons?
Well, that was definitely what we… I went into the booth, we chatted about trying to pick up the tone. I mean, it’s clear that the text was there in the beautiful script that I had. But I think I had control over it, kind of where they went, but of course you go into the booth and the whole creative team is there, Wes Gleason is there, you know, discussing the tone. And I think I was very inspired by Adam West’s Batman, where everything is said with bravado and puffy chest. And you know, I think from here we just go to this, and, you know, certain lines here and there, we adjust, and we kind of wind down and move on to how we can be bad in a good way? And, you know, from there, it’s just fun with that.
One of the things that really stood out to me was just the interaction between you and the Question. How much fun was it to play this character and this dynamic?
Well, I’d like to record with David Kay in the booth. Unfortunately I didn’t, I don’t think I ever met him. Of course, I know people who are good friends with him, but it’s really fun. I mean, Blue Beetle, he gets really upset about the Question at times, he’s just too sensible for Ted Kord. So it was fun to play this frustration. And yes, it was a blast, and then to see it, to see it was really fun, and how it all fit together. By the way, I’m very happy with how it turned out. Nice to look at.
You said that Adam West was the inspiration for your voice here. How familiar were you with the character Ted Kord before this role?
To be honest, not very familiar. I didn’t know much about him. I tried to do a little research. There’s not a ton, not something that’s readily available. So I didn’t really know much, again, just relying on the script and the creative team and what little I knew about him and the Ted Kord version, and just went for it.
Talk to me right in the booth. For example, I’m sure you come in with a voice in your head and it’s something like Adam West, but how does he improve in the recording process?
We’ll go through the line. We will go through scene after scene. Sometimes I’ll push too hard, sometimes I’ll be too ‘booty’, too ‘hands on hips’, sort of a deal. But it was an approach of sorts, as nearly every line was delivered with a puff of chest, bravado, and some sort of announcement. I think that’s how I approached it, and then we kind of moved away from it. Of course, Wes Gleason really knows what he’s doing, really knows how to get a performance out of an actor.
It was just from there, at this point we were shortening a little or backing off a little. This is how it works in a booth. You just sort of get through, you can do three takes and then you chat about it for a quick second and take another try and you usually get the right one. Sure, there will be a few lines that maybe at the end of the session you’ll come back to after living with the character for an hour or so, we’ll come back and start a couple of lines, but that’s how it works.
I recently saw an interview where Hayden Christensen said he got into Star Wars Rebels and The Clone Wars to prepare for Obi-Wan Kenobi. How great is it to know that your work with Anakin has a direct bearing on the live action work here?
Yes, it’s really exciting. As a fan, I’m very happy to hear that. As I’m sure you know clone wars is an star Wars canon, and of course Anakin’s character has evolved a lot over the seven seasons we’ve filmed. So, as an actor, I think it’s a smart choice. Simply because there is so much to learn. There are a lot of relationships, like with Ahsoka, that I think he can learn from. I have no idea what he’s doing Obi-Wan Kenobi. I have no idea what the story is. I’m assuming he’s Vader, right? But I do not know. But in any case, it is a wealth of knowledge that is there. Like me, the actor who played Anakin in clone warsIt’s very nice to know that I’m definitely influencing live action. But as a fan, I’m also very happy and excited that one of the performers took the time to understand the character on an even deeper level.
It’s definitely amazing. I thought it was really cool that after so many years of voicing Anakin, you also made a little appearance in The Mandalorian. How did it happen?
Yes, that’s all Dave Filoni. Dave just let me know, «Hey, I know it’s really small, but we’re really, really glad you’re doing this.» And, of course, my answer is: “What are you talking about? At any time I will have the opportunity to play live star Wars, I am there. Don’t pretend it’s not a big deal because it’s big live action star Wars!” So yes, it was a blast. How to get on set and live star Wars very different from the voice acting and it was really cool and now it lives forever and I love it. I was in awe of it and I’m so proud to be a part of it.
You just released Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. How fun is it to record for this? Because you get a little crazier with the character than usual.
Yes, absolutely. Again, as I’m sure you know, we’re recording long before all these animation projects, but it was really, really fun. I remember we did a lot of lines that were straight out of the movies. It’s like I had to play with lines of sand and things like that and «I hate sand.» And so it was fun. It was an explosion. I think it always makes the audience and fans laugh because we all know how bad that sand stuff was, you know? So it was an explosion. It’s fun.
I ran a scam in Kansas City last weekend and I think the game only came out a week, a week and a half, but people love it. I haven’t even had a chance to play it yet, but people are really excited about it and just love playing this game. So I’ll have to take it or download it, or, you know, anyway, because I’m interested in it, but yeah, people seem to really like it.
Traveling even further into your past, you starred in the movie Disaster Movie. Kim Kardashian has since become a cultural phenomenon. What was it like filming with her and then seeing her rise?
I had a really good experience working with Kim on this film. She was very kind, very humble. Even though the project we did was intentionally so stupid, she really took it seriously. And she wanted to be good in her role. I remember that I really appreciated that in her. Because I don’t know, maybe she’s already had a season or something. [Keeping Up With the] Kardashian. I don’t remember, but I just remember that my experience was great. She was very kind.
Then my last question, I saw a little thing that you like to build fortresses on trees. Is this what you still do?
This is so strange! Someone told me this the other day. It’s on my IMDB! I have no idea why this is… this is so weird! There are a lot of weird little things on my IMDB that are not true! And it’s just weird. I mean, first of all, I loved building tree forts when I was 12, but honestly, I wish I had time to build tree forts. I don’t have time for that, but I’d love to build a tree fort if anyone would like to build one with me, but unfortunately no, I don’t build tree forts in my spare time. I don’t know where it came from.
I’m glad we were able to clear this up. Thanks a lot for your time Matt.
Please, please, please print this out and make it clear because I don’t know what people think I do in my spare time, especially with my four year old daughter, but this is not building tree forts!