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Backstage - Interviews - Diedrich Bader

WF: You are headlining as Batman in the new animated series. How do you prepare yourself to play a character as iconic as Batman, and how does is differ from what you have done before.

The voice of Batman is a pretty standard voice and what I bring to it is my own sense of humor - and my own cowl.

WF: In the first episode, we see Batman already on this fantastical adventures with other DC heroes. Which characters are you looking forward to teaming up with, and which ones would you like to see? Why?

Aquaman was just fantastic, I love the humor of the Blue Beetle character and Plastic Man is voiced by the incredibly talented Tom Kenny who is also the voice of SpongeBob Squarepants.

WF: Which voice actors have you worked with so far on Batman: The Brave and The Bold?

John DiMaggio, James Arnold Taylor, Will Friedle, Corey Burton and Tom Kenny make up the core cast of characters. We have some incredible guest stars but youíll have to wait and see. I donít want to ruin any surprises!

WF: How does it feel following in the footsteps in Kevin Conroy, Christian Bale, and many others, to take up the mantle of Batman?

Itís a big cowl to fill. Iím excited about the character and what I can bring to it. People should know that we will only honor the character of Batman and the previous performers that have played him. The best part of waking up and saying ďIím BatmanĒ is the excitement it brings to my 5 year old son. He is officially the coolest kid in his class and now I have a project that I can share with him that is appropriate for his age. In recent years, Batman has become very dark. Our Batman is lighter and has a sense of humor.

WF: Batman: The Brave and The Bold is being touted as a fun series for all ages. How important is it, to you, to have an animated series that is acceptable for both a young and older audience?

Itís incredibly important to be able to sit down and watch the show with my son. ďThe BatmanĒ, although a really great show, isnít one that Iíd be able to do the same thing with because is it more mature. ďBrave & the BoldĒ is by design a family-friendly show and I think thatís our greatest strength.

WF: Now, this isn't the only DC-based animated series you've worked on. You provided the lead voice on The Zeta Project, a show that has an incredible cult following. Do you have any thoughts or stories to share on your time working on this series?

I had a great time on that show but this is very different because thereís I am the only series regular. On ďThe Zeta ProjectĒ there were five regulars. Itís a lot more responsibility to keep the recording session bubbling along- Iím more of a host now than I was before.

WF: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is releasing The Zeta Project: The Complete Series (tentative title) next year. Will you be involved in this release in any way, such as providing content or interviews, etc?

I know they will pull what they need from the many interviews we did when the show was created. I really wanted participate but was committed to rehearsals and runs for a play (House of Blue Leaves) and wasnít able to contribute. I really enjoyed doing ďThe Zeta ProjectĒ though.

WF: Let's return to Batman as we slowly wrap up this Q & A! After watching the first episode, it's safe to say that Batman in Batman: The Brave and The Bold it more light-hearted and witty, providing a lot of banter. Is playing a wittier Batman easier or harder than voicing, say, a robot like Zeta? Why?

Itís easier to edge towards the comedic side because I naturally lean on my sense of humor more than anything else. Thatís my comfort level. Itís what I bring to the table that I think really makes this Batman series unique. Itís not just a sense of dark irony anymore, Batman actually tells jokes and I think viewers will really enjoy seeing this side of him.

WF: So, as we wrap this up, tell us why fans at The World's Finest and beyond should tune into Batman: The Brave and The Bold when it premieres! Give us one last plug for the upcoming animated series!

I think if you like the character of Batman, youíll find we go forwards and back with the character. Serious fans will enjoy the visual homage to the Batman comics of the 40ís, 50ís and 60ís while kids will enjoy the action and new cast of classic DC characters. Itíll bring a completely new light to Batman and that is whatís so exciting about it. Tune in to Cartoon Network on Friday, November 14 at 8:00 PM ET/PT.

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