Toonzone Interviews Josh Keaton on Being Hal Jordan for "Green Lantern: The Animated Series"
TOONZONE NEWS: When we spoke last, you mentioned how strongly you identified with Peter Parker, and I’ve seen you say you don’t necessarily think of yourself as being much like Hal Jordan. Who or what are you drawing on to create Jordan’s character? Are you modeling him after someone you know or on any specific other characters or performances?
JOSH KEATON: The first thing I set was the voice tone. Hal’s a bigger physical presence than the Spidey I’ve played and is definitely not a teenager; he needed to sound like an adult. As for the character, I asked a few of my close friends who are huge Green Lantern fans for insights into his character as well as what comic issues I should focus on at first. Bruce Timm and our head writers Jim Krieg and Ernie Altbacker also had pearls of wisdom to offer. As for previous performances, I didn’t have a whole lot to go on in the time frame so much of my interpretation of Hal’s character came from reading Green Lantern: Rebirth and seeing his family dynamic. His desire to follow his dreams and fly while having to deal with the fallout within his family was something that rang true to me and allowed me to find myself in Hal.
TOONZONE NEWS: You’ve mentioned that you really got familiar with Hal Jordan through a crash-course in the recent comics. Did you get to do that before your audition or after?
JOSH KEATON: After. I was pretty much flying on instinct in the audition…which is pretty much what Hal does! Perhaps that throwing of caution to the wind came across in my read. The first audition was one I recorded at home and submitted and I immediately started poking my nose into the books before I even knew I would get a callback. It was kind of a whirlwind casting process. There wasn’t much time between the initial audition and the callback (a week or two perhaps?) and the time between callback and finding out I got the job was a pretty short time as well. I didn’t know if new material would be part of the callback so the day I submitted my audition I started learning the Green Lantern oath. I was actually a little bummed when I didn’t need to recite it at the callback.
TOONZONE NEWS: Did you change anything significantly between auditioning for the role and recording it because of the reading?
JOSH KEATON: I wouldn’t say anything really changed significantly between audition and job. The first few sessions are really where the character for that particular project is fully fleshed out, and the entire time I was still reading Green Lantern in my spare time. I’m still reading Green Lantern!
TOONZONE NEWS: Are you recording Green Lantern: The Animated Series “radio style,” or are you tending to do it separately?
JOSH KEATON: Radio style. The only exceptions would be scheduling conflicts but for the most part we would read together.
TOONZONE NEWS: Was there much room for improvisation in recording, or do you all stick pretty close to the script?
JOSH KEATON: With Green Lantern we stuck pretty close to the script. I don’t think there was much ad-libbing, nor was it really necessary.
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Don’t forget to check out our interview with Green Lantern: The Animated Series producer Giancarlo Volpe, our coverage of the NY Comic Con 2011 Green Lantern: The Animated Series panel, our latest review of the pilot, and our review from NY Comic Con.