Toon Zone Talks to Voice-Actor Kirby Morrow
Chances are if you’ve taken to watching cartoons within the past few years, you’ll know who Kirby Morrow is. Morrow is one of today’s most prolific voice actors, and he currently stars in Stargate Atlantis. Toon Zone News recently caught up with him to talk about his work in animation.
TZN: Do you have a role in the dub of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny?
Morrow: Yes, my character is Rayza Burel.
TZN: Are you going to return as Captain Kleinman on Stargate Atlantis?
Morrow: I’m back filming the show on Tuesday, September 20th. The name of the episode is confidential at this point.
TZN: How did you get your start in voice-over work? What attracted you to the work?
Morrow: I studied voice intensely in theatre school, so it was natural to try and pursue it to fill in the gaps of on-camera acting. I started auditioning and eventually booked Michelangelo — Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I was attracted to the fun, and I had a knack for it as it is another form of acting.
TZN: Which character has been the most fun to play?
Morrow: Cyclops — X-Men — was really fun because the cast was a blast. Vanfanel of Escaflowne was also really fun because the character was challenging and interesting.
TZN: In InuYasha, you play the lecherous monk, Miroku. Has this ever led to any amusing situations in the recording studio?
Morrow: Well, outtakes with the engineers were fun!
TZN: Have you finished recording for the 167 episodes and four movies of InuYasha? If so, how does it feel to not be playing Miroku anymore?
Morrow: Not yet — will probably be done by December.
TZN: What would be the best power/ability: transforming into a car, having a miniature black hole in your hand, piloting a Gundam, or somehow managing to feel up women no matter how dire the situation?
Morrow: I’d say transforming into a car because transforming is always good.
TZN: Have there been times when you’ve wondered what the character you were playing was thinking?
Morrow: Well, I’ve wondered what the writer was thinking. Anime is sometimes a little “out there.”
TZN: An odd question, but do you ever visit fan sites from the shows you work on? How do you react to Internet fans’ opinions of your work?
Morrow: I haven’t visited the shows’ fan sites. I’ve never heard anything negative from my fans, so I always react well to their opinions.
TZN: You’ve previously worked as a voice-over actor in video games. How does this differ from traditional animation/anime?
Morrow: I voiced a character in X-Men – “Fire-Storm.” The difference between games and more traditional animation is that games don’t tell a progressive story, there’s lots of repetition, and the video is usually done in a day.
TZN: Moving on, you portrayed Cyclops in Kids WB’s X-Men: Evolution. How did you come to voice the character?
Morrow: I didn’t know the comics, so I read them and got a feel for his leadership abilities and just gave him my natural voice.
TZN: Cyclops/Scott Summers was one of the show’s central characters and was featured in almost every episode of the series. Did you ever try and separate the characters slightly by giving them a different voice/tone, or were they the exact same person to you?
Morrow: Summers was a leader and tried to be everyone’s friend, whereas Cyclops tried to take charge and was more authoritative. Therefore, I gave Cyclops a more authoritarian voice.
TZN: Will you be voicing characters in any of Marvel’s upcoming direct-to-DVD features, such as Ultimate Avengers or the new Fantastic Four cartoon?
Morrow: I would like to. I wasn’t allowed to audition for Fantastic Four because I was Cyclops on X-Men and they wanted to separate the two shows completely. I think I would have made a pretty good Johnny Storm though.
TZN: As well as acting, you’re also a veteran of stand-up comedy. Have you ever been tempted to combine the two and write your own episode of a show you’ve worked on? Are there any stories with Cyclops you wish X-Men: Evolution had the chance to tell?
Morrow: I wanted to write episodes for Yvonne of the Yukon, but it finished after the fifth season. I would have liked to see more of the love story between Scott and Jean in X-Men Evolution.
TZN: And finally, do you believe voice acting is an under appreciated line of work?
Morrow: It’s not under appreciated by fans, but there are no awards for voice acting — which is too bad.
Toon Zone News would like to thank Mr. Morrow for taking the time to speak with us.
(The images in this article appear courtesy of http://www.rakuen-mezashite.org and X-Men: Beyond Evolution.)