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BACKSTAGE - STUDIO-CONDUCTED INTERVIEW
Milo Ventimiglia: Voicing Wolverine
(Originally Posted October 11, 2011)
For the past 11 weeks, Milo Ventimiglia has brought the X-Men’s resident berserker to life as the voice of Logan in “Wolverine” on G4, and this Friday he brings the series home in its exciting conclusion premiering at 11:30 p.m. ET.
Looking back to the very beginning, Ventimiglia first became involved in the series for one very simple reason.
“I got a phone call from [EVP/Head of Television] Jeph Loeb,” the actor recalls. “He called me up and said, ‘I want you to voice Wolverine in an anime series.’ I said, ‘Okay,’ and that was about it. It was honestly that easy. I mean Jeph can call me up and ask for anything, but to call me up and ask me for something [this] cool, I was definitely in.”
At first, though, Ventimiglia had to experiment quite a bit in order to nail his own take on Wolverine’s voice, which has been interpreted countless times throughout animation and video games.
“Finding Logan’s voice was pretty challenging,” elaborates Ventimiglia. “I remember the first couple lines we recorded I just turned into the booth and I’m like, 'All right, that’s not it, let’s do some screaming and some grunting, let me get some gravel on my voice.' I’d tried it even by myself, just thinking about how I would talk, and then I didn’t want it to sound like it was forced…it had to come out natural, it had to come out as Logan. And different than people who’ve voiced him [in the past], from the Australian version of Logan to [Steve Bloom], who’s got a great Wolverine voice. It was kind of in the middle of paying homage, [but] also I have to own it myself.”
The show’s unique animation style also gave Ventimiglia more room to look for his own interpretation of the character.
“It was all very different than any Wolverine /Logan comic I’d ever seen,” he relates. “So automatically I thought, “Okay, this is different. This is something where I can take a little liberty to play [him] differently, to play [him] younger. [But] he still needs to have that edge. He still needs to have that pissed-off nature, but we can play him lighter at times, humorous at times.”
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