BATMAN: DEATH IN THE FAMILY Exclusive Interview With Jason Todd Voice Actor Vincent Martella

BATMAN: DEATH IN THE FAMILY <font color=red>Exclusive</font> Interview With Jason Todd Voice Actor Vincent Martella

We recently caught up with Batman: Death in the Family star Vincent Martella to discuss his role as Jason Todd/Robin/Red Hood in the interactive animated film, and even touch on Phineas and Ferb...

Batman: Death in the Family is the latest animated feature from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and DC, but as their first interactive movie, it's definitely a different experience to what we're used to. Viewers are given the opportunity to choose how the story unfolds, with those choices having a major impact on the paths both Robin and Batman are taken down. 

We'll be sharing our review with you soon, but to promote the upcoming release of the movie on Digital on October 13th and Blu-ray on October 26th, we recently caught up with star Vincent Martella.

Best known for Everybody Hates Chris, Phineas and Ferb, and his role as Jason Todd in Batman: Under the Red Hood, the actor is reprising the role as Jason Todd in Batman: Death in the Family. As you might imagine, he had plenty to say to us about that experience, what it was like to work on an interactive project, his thoughts on Jason as a character, and much more. 

Needless to say, we want to extend a huge thank you to Vincent for chatting to us, and make sure you stay tuned to CBM this week as we also spoke to writer and director Brandon Vietti!
 

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Given the nature of Batman: Death in the Family, you get to portray a lot of different sides of Robin, but which version of the character stood out to you most here?

What was really exciting for me was the fact we obviously end up exploring a lot of different places that Jason Todd and Robin can go in his future. Because I worked on Under the Red Hood ten years ago, I thought it was really exciting that I got to explore the Red Hood character, only this time I was playing him whereas in Under the Red Hood, I was not. That, to me, was just surreal in a lot of ways. All this time had gone by, and now I got to pick up the mantle and play that role. That was really exciting for me. 

It's been a decade since you first voiced Jason Todd, so what do you think you were able to bring to the role this time that you couldn't in Under the Red Hood?

What was really exciting about playing Jason this time was each decision the audience gets to make, as this film is interactive, that changes Jason Todd going forward. It changes how he reacts to violence or people in his life that want to support him or how he views being a hero and what that means to him and what justice is. These are big themes in people's lives, and big themes in the Batman Universe that I was able to integrate into playing the role. That was what was so great playing him in this type of way was getting to explore so many different things within him. 

When you have a script with all these different outcomes and versions of Jason, I'm guessing it must be challenging to find what you need, as an actor, to bring to each of these Robins and where their stories go? 

It was certainly difficult, and you have it exactly right. When I got into the studio, Brandon Vietti, who wrote and directed the movie, and Wes Gleason who was voice directing me in the booth, they have a tree with all these branches on showing what each decision means for the character. They would break it down, exploring what traumas affect Robin and what these decisions mean for him. There were definitely times in the booth where Wes was trying to get a performance out of me that would match up because you want to make sure you're playing this character within the specific storyline and not reverting back to playing him too similarly to one of the other storylines in the picture [Laughs]. So, it was definitely unlike any other animated project I've ever done in a really great way. It was really exciting.
 

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Jason Tood is such a fan-favourite character with fans, but as someone who is often very conflicted, what is it about him that you think so often takes him down such dark paths? 

That's awesome you say he's a fan-favourite, and I think that came with time. [Laughs] Even ten years ago, when I worked on Under the Red Hood, there were definitely a lot of people and fans at Comic-Con saying, 'You know, I really hated it him when I read the comics, and now I like him! Now, I enjoy reading his stories now time has passed.' I'm interested to see how fans in general react now that it's been ten years further removed from Under the Red Hood which I know they really enjoyed. Seeing what that means for the decisions they make for this character is really fascinating, and I think he resonates with people because he's a different kind of hero. You look at what it means when you're a kid and you're thrust into these situations as a teenager, and you shouldn't be just the Boy Wonder. There shouldn't just be a positive outcome, you're doing really violent, dangerous thing that have consequences, and we explore that in this movie. I think that's what makes him interesting and why fans respond to him. 

Phineas and Ferb is a huge franchise, but then so is Batman – what does it mean to you to be part of these properties which have such devoted, passionate fanbases?

It's wonderful. It's hard to overstate what it means to me when I have people talk to me about the projects I've done and how them and their families are able to watch it, and it's really excited or moved them in a certain way. There is some overlap, even with Batman and Phineas and Ferb fans and animation in general, and they're wonderful and amazing. They really, really care about these characters and the projects we do and that's one of the reasons I love performing. When you do something and work really hard at it with a lot of other people, the audience sees it, and it moves them in one way or the other. I'm certainly very lucky who have enjoyed the work we've done. 

Jason Todd has such a storied history, especially since he's been Red Hood, so did you find yourself doing a lot of research, or was that something you did the first time around? 

I did, but what informed my work here was having worked on Under the Red Hood. This time around, what was most important was making sure we stuck true to the decisions the audience were making and all the different storylines. That was the most important thing I found in these recordings while we were shooting the film. It was a case of saying, 'Okay, what do these decisions mean for my character, what does that mean for my performance, and how can I integrate some of these emotions in certain scenes?' That's what was most helpful to me, and talking to Brandon and Wes specifically about this script and the decisions the audience were making.

Following in the footsteps of Jensen Ackles as Red Hood, did you feel a lot of pressure to live up to that? 

I didn't really feel any pressure. I just felt really, really excited, and very lucky because being able to play Robin is wonderful, but then getting to play him as Red Hood too is just really awesome and cool. Having this amount of time gone by since the last movie, it just really felt amazing to go, 'Wow, I grew into this role and now I get to take up this character that Jensen did an amazing job playing.' It was exciting for me to get to play this role as well. 

Looking ahead to the future, are there any other Jason Todd stories you would like to be part of in an animated movie, or would you even like to play him in a solo outing? 

I would absolutely love to. I wasn't expecting, since so much time has passed since I last played Jason Todd, that I'd get the opportunity to do so again. No other films or TV series had been written about the character, but he is so interesting that I would really hope to be able to explore him more, and would really love the chance to play him again, so yeah, I definitely would. 

Batman: Death in the Family arrives on Digital on October 13th and Blu-ray on October 26th. 
 

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