JUSTICE LEAGUE FLASHPOINT PARADOX Interview With Superman Actor Sam Daly
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox is the newest DC animated film, and one way it's significant is that it features Sam Daly, the son of veteran Superman voice actor Tim Daly, in the role of Man of Steel. CBM's Ed Gross caught up with Sam to discuss the project.
Interview conducted by and copyright Edward Gross
Although Superman appears in an early sequence of the now available on Blu-ray/DVD/digital download animated film Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox in his classic form, he shows up again [SPOILERS!!!!] in a time-altered world, emaciated and having been held a prisoner under a red sun lamp. It's through the efforts of the Flash, Batman and Cyborg that he is freed and given the opportunity to do what he does best — this despite all he's been through as a person. Particularly significant about this version of the character as well is the fact that he's voiced by actor Sam Daly, son of Tim who himself had started voicing the Man of Steel in the 1990s with Superman: The Animated Series.
In an excerpt from an exclusive interview, Sam reflects on the experience of portraying this iconic character, a fact he and his father have some fun with on their web series The Daly Show, the latest episode of which finds Sam being initiated into the elite club of actors who have played Superman, including guest stars Dean Cain and Brandon Routh.
VOICES FROM KRYPTON: Before we talk about anything else, I saw the episode of The Daly Show called “The Supermen Dalys.” I’m convinced that you guys are insane.
SAM DALY: And you know what? I don’t think you’re far off from the truth [both laugh]. It’s all in good fun, as it should be.
VOICES FROM KRYPTON: How cool is it that you got Brandon Routh and Dean Cain involved? Seriously speaking, where else are you seeing Brandon Routh having fun with the Superman image?
SAM DALY: It’s so funny actually how we know them. My dad has actually known Dean Cain for a long time, because back when he was doing Wings, Dean was doing Lois & Clark and they knew each other. I remember we went to a Superbowl once when I was a kid, and Dean Cain used to play for the Buffalo Bills, so I met him when I was a kid. It’s funny that for the past five or six years I’ve played in this basketball thing that used to be called the NBA Entertainment League, and now it’s just called the Entertainment League, with both Brandon Routh and Dean Cain. My dad plays in it, too, and it’s a league filled with actors, comedians, musicians, producers, managers, directors…it’s really fun, because one week you’re playing with Brandon Routh and Dean Cain, and the next week you’re playing against Chris Brown. It used to be you’d play against Jaime Foxx and Adam Sandler and all of them, but these guys come and go every year. It’s fun, because I wouldn’t invite a friend to my old man’s basketball league, but when you’re playing against Snoop Dogg and Justin Timberlake, they’re, like, “Oh, yeah, I’ll come by and check it out.” For me, meeting the other actors and celebrities is fun and everything, but it was really about meting directors and producers snd saying, “Hey, wouldn’t you like to put me in your project?” From it I’ve made some amazing friends, and met such cool people like Dean and Brandon. And Brandon was so cool. When he came to shoot on our shoot day, he was so excited because this was the first time he had revisited his Superman role since Superman Returns. We were very hmbled and honored by the fact he would come and do it and mess around with us for an afternoon.
VOICES FROM KRYPTON: Don’t get me wrong, I think Henry Cavill is a great Superman, but I always felt that Brandon Routh got a raw deal because, unfortunately, he was in Superman Returns and they had to distance themselves from it.
SAM DALY: As do I. I think Brandon was an amazing Superman. Not only did he look the part well, but he was a great Clark and a great Superman. It’s weird how when the higher ups are relaunching something, you have to remove yourself from the last one. I’ll certainly never forget Superman Returns.
VOICES FROM KRYPTON: Alright, enough of this tangential stuff, let’s talk about you. Is there any special feeling that you’re following in your father’s footsteps with this character?
SAM DALY: Of course. He said it best at the 75th Anniversary Superman panel at Comic-Con, that it’s so incredible that we’re the first ever father and son in real life to be part of the Superman family in one way or the other. To be able to have that bond with such an iconic character is something that they can never take away from us. Again, it’s a humbling thing, because I grew up loving Superman so much, as did he. Now I get to actually put a voice behind him and the fact that my dad has done the voice for so long, is really an incredible experience. I’m so grateful and I hope to do lots more.
VOICES FROM KRYPTON: Did you have to audition for this? How did it come together?
SAM DALY: This was actually my first ever voiceover work. What happened is that the wonderfully talented Andrea Romano — my dad had worked with her starting in 1996 — became a big fan of The Daly Show and loved watching that. It’s sort of hard to ignore the fact that my dad and I do sound very similar to one another, so she called him up one day and said, “Listen, I have this new animated movie. It’s a Justice League movie, but it’s mainly about the Flash. Superman shows up in a much smaller role.” She knew my dad was busy — he was going back East last summer to do a play — and she said, “Would Sam be interested?” Luckily enough I was sitting in the car with him when she called and I almost jumped through the phone to say, “Of course I am!” She brought me in, we hit it off, talked about it, did a few ADR sessions and that’s how it all went down. It was all thanks to the brilliance of the amazing Andrea Romano. I owe her everything.
VOICES FROM KRYPTON: When you read the script and despite the fact that Superman’s role is a pretty small one, were you able to get inside his head?
SAM DALY: To be honest, at first I was, like, “Wow, he’s really weak and soft. Thanks, Andrea” [laughs]. Reading it, what’s so great about the Superman character in this one is that he has an interesting – even though he may not have many words of dialogue – arc in the movie. He starts off and he’s classic Superman. He’s huge in the first scene; he’s the extra-bulky Superman. But then in this alternate world to have this sort of weaker, frail Superman is such a different side that we’re not used to seeing him as. And through it all to overcome the obstacles and rise up again and become the Man of Steel and save the day in some way, was really something that I could tap in to as an actor to bring my voice to that and try to give him a little bit of an arc. Through it all at the end he comes back as hero and friend and preserves truth, justice and the American way. I really saw it as a challenge and saw it as something that, luckily, Andrea was able to help direct me through. I also learned that I could grunt in many different ways [laughs]. That’s what you learn quickly doing the voices of superheroes.
For the rest of this interview, please click HERE.
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