Wizard Universe Interview with Transformers: Animated Voice Actor Phil LaMarr

{mosimage}WizardUniverse.com has had a chance to sit down with Transformers: Animated voice actor Phil LaMarr. Most of you will remember that he was the voice for Samurai Jack, and that is what the majority of the interview is about. His new role as Jazz is mentioned, however.

Below is the excerpt on Jazz. You can read the rest of the interview here.

Changing subjects, you are set to play Jazz in the new Transformers show. It’s a great role with a lot of history, so are you going to follow the footsteps of the old series, the movie, or should we expect something new?

LAMARR: There’s no way to follow in the footsteps Scatman Crothers [Jazz’s original voice from the old series]. I mean, those are just shoes that are too big to fill. So, yeah, we’ve gone a different direction. Obviously the “cool” element is still there, that’s never going to go away with Jazz, and in my head I always hear Scatman but it’s a different sound. It’s a new sound.

I’m glad you brought up Scatman Crothers, because it must just be cool to pick up after such a legend. What is that like?

LAMARR: It’s an honor to be able to play something that somebody so talented originated. Even though they’re revamping the story, you know and the fans know that that’s where it came from and it’s nice to be connected to that kind of history.

What is it like to be doing the voice of Jazz for a whole new generation of Transformers fans?

LAMARR: Well, it’s been interesting for me because I was not really familiar with much Transformers stuff. It sort of fell in between my kid years and my adult years. So, I missed it the first time around. So, I’ve been doing a lot of research actually. looking at the old cartoons and reading the old comics just because I’d be reading the scripts and going, “My gosh, what an intricate world!” And it just got me more and more interested in what’s going on. How much of this is new? How much of this is original? So, I’ve been getting into it.

I’m sure fans will love hearing that you are doing your research of the source material. Is that something that you might have picked up from doing your voice work on “Justice League”?

LAMARR: I’m sort of a comic and cartoon geek myself, so most of the stuff I know coming into it. “Transformers” just happened to be one of those few that I was unfamiliar with and it was just really interesting to see that for the first time, to look into that world. Especially a world that so many people are already a big part of. I’m like, “God, how did I miss this?”