Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Vs Shredder – For the season one finale, I was given the opportunity to interview the voice of Shredder himself, Daytime Emmy Award winner Kevin Michael Richardson.
Kevin gave me an idea of what it was like to record with such a large group. It’s hard to imagine Shredder and the Turtles hanging out in the green room in the middle of writing. As a Batman fan, I loved hearing how he was frustrated with Mark Hamill being replaced as the Joker, and how he used that frustration to create the Joker’s unique voice.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Vs Shredder
GeekMom [Dakster]: How did you come up with the voice for Shredder? Kevin Michael Richardson: Once they said Shredder, I automatically knew what they really wanted with this guy. I just went in there and realized they wanted a strong voice and realized it was a character that didn’t make sense.
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He has a sharp, serious side and a vendetta, especially for Splinter. I kept that raw energy throughout his dialogue, because he doesn’t shout loudly unless he really wants to speak his mind. Hence, he is a character who holds power and authority within himself without actually being called upon. I felt that this guy was just a no-nonsense, straightforward, strong, “slice and cut you” type of person.
It came out of that dialogue, and Sarah Newman, the representative at the time, helped steer me in that direction as we were writing, so that’s how it worked.
GM: Great. What do you think was Shredder’s biggest fail this season? KMR: Every time the Turtles go to tea or he gets beat up by the Turtles and gets side-swiped or something, the only downside to him is that maybe…he has a soft spot for his daughter, Karai.
GM: Do you think Shredder really cares about his daughter or is she just one of his trained thugs? KMR: Actually, both. Shredder may want a boy more than a girl, but he realizes that this boy is his child, and that boy needs to learn to be as bad as he is.
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GM: What was the hardest part of playing Shredder? KMR: Well, not me personally. I’m not like Shredder, so every time we write, go to a dark place and basically pay attention and stay there because the cast members are really good and we have a lot of fun between notes. During the holidays, we always argue and play. Between Rob Paulson (Donatello), Clancy Brown (Dogpound), it’s really like a laugh, so for me it’s about being focused and serious and like, “Look! It’s time for me to cut you!” [laughs]
GM: Since you’ve had the opportunity to play a hero (Transformer, Bulkhead) and a bad guy, which is your favorite? Is there something you like about one over the other? KMR: It’s fun playing both. It really keeps you on your toes. I found out that there are fans who like bad guys, which is great. Personally, I love playing heroes, but I’m not going to lie, playing bad guys is also fun because I don’t see them as bad people. I treat them like people who don’t understand.
GM: I read somewhere that Joker is one of your favorite roles. Is this true? KMR: Yeah, he’s one of my favorite characters playing with Cleveland Jr. Shredder is here now too. The Joker is probably one of my favorite characters because I loved playing him, in fact, I loved playing him.
I have to say it was hard at first because Mark Hamill played the character for a while, Mark is just fantastic. I was furious when they came to me and told me they were going in a new direction with completely different producers, a different version of Batman, a different version of the Joker. I said, “Okay, why? Why do you want me? Why don’t you do Mark?” They answered him: No. Here’s how it goes down. They want to go in a different direction.”
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) I was so angry at other people that when I wrote the audition, I put all my anger and frustration into my voice, and a couple of days later I got a call and I played the Joker and I was like, Oh boy.’
The reason I loved playing it was because of that freedom. Voice casting director Andrea Romano had very little direction. I was allowed this complete freedom to convey my character in the way I felt fit, and the freedom to play any role and the producers and directors loved it was very rewarding.
[Joker] was all over the place manic, bipolar, just crazy. It was like a crazy sick sandwich. It had the author, the bars, and the laugh, and I almost passed out every time I laughed at it, but I want to do it again. I really enjoyed playing this character.
GM: What do you think Joker would say about Shredder? KMR: What would Joker say about Shredder? [laughs] He would probably say:
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GM: Yeah, I thought it would be interesting to see a crossover between the two of them in a fight and see who would win, insanity or skill.
KMR: Yes, it would be an epic battle. Both are smart, but Joker is tough. I think this could be a very good fight.
GM: Do you have a favorite line from the Joker or any other character you’ve done in the past? KMR: One of my favorite lines would be Cleveland Jr
. Basically, “Dad, would you wipe me?” He would say something. or something like that, because a fourteen-year-old kid asked his dad to wipe it off, and it’s a weird thing that stuck with me. All of my characters have one thing, but this one really struck a chord with me.
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GM: Do you feel like you’ve been yelling too much or not enough when it comes to the popularity of your characters? KMR: That’s interesting. There are a couple of characters in it. One of them I loved to play, and I beat myself up about it, was Maurice
He is a lemur who is King Julian’s assistant. That poor guy, really, he was a gopher and I don’t think he has any credit. I loved playing him and it makes me a little sad that no one really cares, but they knew who he was and Julian laughed even though he was basically treated like animal feed, so I think that’s great.
GM: Have you ever auditioned for a role in a project to get another role in the same project? KMR: Oh, that’s interesting. For initially
, I auditioned Baxter Stockman, a very talented actor, who is currently playing Phil LaMarr. Of course I found out about it and I was like, “Oh, okay.” About a month or two later I got called back for Shredder, so it was a surprise and I’m really happy with that decision.
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GM: A few of the shows you were on, like Thundercats (Panthro) and Young Justice (Martian Manhunter), are no longer with us. How many more projects do you have? Is there someone you’re looking forward to? KMR: Well, I’m going to do another TV show that’s coming out, I can’t tell you the name, but I’m really excited about it. I’m also making a new show for Disney Junior
, it’s a new version of Seven Dwarfs and I play the character of Happiness, which is really fun. I will also appear
As Don Cornelius in Soul Train. I play other characters, and honestly, my plate is full, so they can’t necessarily let me go. The conditions are good.
GM: Do you ever get typecast because of your voice? KMR: Sometimes, based on what I’ve done, people want to sound the same for these characters. What amazes me is the person who throws me into corrections. Knowing that I can do the highs and the lows and things like that like I did when I was a junior in Cleveland. and barney ruble, it’s so cool. It is better not to put in a certain area. It’s nice to know that people know what I can do.
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GM: Have you ever made a sound that made you uncomfortable? For example, you mentioned that Joker’s smile put you off. KMR: I can’t think of anything at the moment. Funny, I was so into it and laughing so hard I almost fell over while I was pooping. I almost passed out because no one said “stop laughing” or “stop laughing” and they told me to keep laughing and
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