Exclusive Interview with Spider-Man’s Josh Keaton
Just imagine how cool it would be to actually be Spider-Man! Josh Keaton gets to do that regularly, as the voice of Spidey and Peter Parker on Disney XD’s The Spectacular Spider-Man. Every Monday night at 7:30pm, it’s Josh’s voice that swings with Spider-Man swing through the city. How great is that!? 🙂 ToonBarn asked Josh that same question, so if you want to know too, read the full interview after the break!
The Spectacular Spider-Man premiered on March 8th, 2008, on the Kids’ WB! programming block. The series currently airs on Disney XD on Monday nights at 7:30pm, and the second season starts on June 22nd. Josh Keaton has provided the voice of Spider-Man since the beginning, which is our dream job! As promised, ToonBarn was lucky enough to have the opportunity to sit with Josh, asking all the important questions. Check it out!
ToonBarn: So what is it like being the voice of Spider-Man?
Josh: I love it. As a lifelong geek, I’d have to say it’s a dream come true. When I would read the comics and play with the toys, I never imagined that someday I’d have a Spider-Man toy that my voice came out of.
ToonBarn: What do you think about when you’re acting as the character? Are there any differences between when you’re Peter Parker and Spider-man?
Josh: Aside from the web shooting and wall crawling, Peter Parker is pretty much who I was in high school so I was able to use a lot of my own experience (and prior fan “research”) to understand the character. As for differences between Peter and Spidey, Peter doesn’t go thru any kind of morphological change to become Spidey, so the voice isn’t physically different. The main distinction between the two is more of a shift in attitude. Peter has more confidence as Spider-Man and with time, that’s begun to carry over into his Peter Parker persona, however, he also realizes that he’s been pegged as a dork in school and must keep that opinion of him going if he’s to preserve his identity. Sometimes he’ll over-compensate and lay the expected clumsiness or nerdiness on extra thick.
ToonBarn: What is your favorite part about the job?
Josh: My favorite part of the job is getting to act out stories that I grew up reading, and see them come to life. I get to be the voice I heard in my head when reading the comics.
ToonBarn: Are you a Spider-man fan? Have you followed the comics?
Josh: Without a doubt. I was (still am) an avid comic fan and Spidey was without a doubt my favorite. I would actually say that I’ve become even more of a Spidey fan after getting this part. I realize how big the established fan base is for the Spider-Man canon and wanted to present the very best Spider-Man I could so I’ve been reading a lot of the old issues that I never got a chance to read growing up.
ToonBarn: How did you get the role of Spidey?
Josh: There was an audition process that took a few months. The first audition was recorded at my home studio and emailed. I was called back for the second round of auditions which were held at the studio where we would eventually record the show. At this callback, the voice director as well as several writers and producers were there to provide any needed direction/adjustments. Show exec producer and Gargoyles creator Greg Weisman said that about 3000 people were auditioned and they kept narrowing the list down. I originally auditioned for several roles; Peter/Spidey, Eddie/Venom, and Harry Osbourne. Needless to say I was always hoping for Spidey.
ToonBarn: You’ve been the voice of other characters like The Human Torch, Harry Osbourne, and X-Men’s Cyclops. Do you have a favorite character out of all the ones that you have played?
Josh: I would definitely have to say Spidey considering he was my childhood favorite and the fact that I’ve had 2 seasons worth of shows to really get to know him.
ToonBarn: Is there a particular comic book hero you would like to be?
Josh: I’m an on-camera actor as well and I would love to give my hand at a live action Spidey. I’ve also always wanted to play Wolverine. I’ve always liked comic heroes that are short because I’m not very tall myself (5’9″) and I like to see the short guys kicking butt.
ToonBarn: Did you have a favorite cartoon growing up?
Josh: I had so many. I watched Transformers, Voltron, He-Man, TMNT, anything Hanna Barbera or Warner Bros. to name a few. I still remained a cartoon fan after my early years and loved shows like the Gargoyles and Batman: TAS.
ToonBarn: Do you have a favorite cartoon now?
Josh: At the risk of sounding obsessed I have to say Spectacular Spider-Man. I also like The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Family Guy, and South Park. I’m a sucker for tasteless humor; hilarity always ensues.
ToonBarn: What’s next for you? Any upcoming projects?
There are several video games that I’m currently working on but they’re real sticklers about announcing anything including that I’m working on them. Non-disclosure agreements FTL! Aside from VO, I’ve been working on music, both as an artist and as a writer/producer. Some music can be heard at www.myspace.com/joshkeatonmusic as well as www.myspace.com/hallwayonline
ToonBarn: Where can readers find out a little more about you?