John DiMaggio voices arguably the most famous and iconic comic book villain of them all -- The Joker -- in the all-new DC Universe animated original movie, BATMAN: UNDER THE RED HOOD
In the film, The Batman faces his ultimate challenge as the mysterious Red Hood takes Gotham City by firestorm. One part vigilante, one part criminal kingpin, The Red Hood begins cleaning up Gotham with the efficiency of Batman, but without following the same ethical code. And when The Joker falls in the balance between the two forces of justice, hard truths are revealed and old wounds are reopened.
DiMaggio gets free reign to play the iconic villain amidst a stellar voice cast that includes Bruce Greenwood The Caped Crusader, Jensen Ackles as The Red Hood, and Neil Patrick Harris as Nightwing.
Following these two new images from the movie courtesy Warner Bros., check out a quick Q&A with DiMaggio about taking on the iconic role of the Clown Prince of Crime...
What were your initial thoughts about assuming this iconic role?
JOHN DIMAGGIO: I was shocked when I got the role, shocked when I came in to record, and shocked when I saw the finished product during ADR. I just wanted to honor the real true lunacy of the character. I didnít want to make him campy, but I wanted to pay a little bit of tribute to the past Jokers Ė and yet keep it original at the same time. Thatís walking a fine line, if there ever was one. It was a little intimidating because it is such an iconic role. Itís an honor to get this job -- and especially to play The Joker in this version because itís so dark and twisted. I felt like I got a really wonderful opportunity.
Can you remember your early connections with the Batman mythology, and how any of the previous Joker actors might have influenced your performance in this role?
JD: I think the thing that influenced me the most when I was young is the television show, which is really sad because there have been so many great comics and graphic novels and stories about The Dark Knight that I havenít been able to delve into yet Ė and yet I know about them. I actually wouldíve loved to see Cesar Romero take the role to its darkness. There was a bit of Cesar Romero in what I did, but itís Cesar Romero if he was in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE.
I guess my naivetť in my approach kind of kept it clean. I wasnít trying to do a Jack (Nicholson) or a Heath (Ledger). I respect all the folks that have come before me, and their take on the character. Mark Hamill is awesome, Heath Ledger was unbelievable, and Jack Nicholson Ė what can you say? But I wanted to do my own thing.
Was there any particular direction you wanted to take this Joker?
JD: I wanted to cover what I saw on the paper, and I wanted to ensure Andrea (Romano, casting/dialogue director) got exactly what she wanted. Usually if the script is good enough, you know where your emotions should be, where your character lies. It should all be in the dialogue, and it certainly was.
How do you interpret The Jokerís mindset?
JD: I think The Joker thinks of himself, quite literally, as a necessary evil. And when I say that, I mean he really feels there is a place for him, and that he somehow balances the chaos with the non-chaos. Itís a yin and yang thing. And itís really not personal, itís business. Although he can get personal and he enjoys it. That makes it that much more twisted.
Visit the official site at BATMANREDHOOD.COM for more details. BOF will be covering this movie extensively, so stay tuned!