To celebrate the release of Next Avengers: Heroes Of Tomorrow, The Marvel Animation Age's Jim Harvey caught up with
Adrian Peteiw, the voice of Hawkeye, to talk about his character and his thoughts on the film.
Marvel/Lions Gate: First off, Adrian Petriw, introduce yourself and tell us a little about yourself!
Adrian Peteiw: My name's Adrian Petriw, and I'm the voice of Hawkeye in the Next Avengers. I've been acting in Vancouver for the past 10 years or so, in a variety of stage, film, television and voice productions. I just recently decided to dive into the incredible world of animation, and it has been quite a ride so far. When I'm not acting, I'm usually either chasing after a History Degree at University, tinkering with my Triumph, or reading up on movie rumours on the net. I am a self proclaimed nerd: I'm a huge comic book fan, and I've seen the Star Wars Trilogy upwards of 50 times... It keeps getting better, I swear.
M/LG: Now, Next Avengers is your first animated super hero project which begs the question: Are a super hero fan yourself? If so, do you have a favorite super hero in particular?
Peteiw: I have been a super hero fan since my early childhood. Tim Burton's "Batman" was one of the earliest films I can remember seeing, and it really planted a seed I think. In elementary school, I remember rushing home from school to catch the X-Men and Spider-Man animated series of the 90s. Those were fantastic. The very first comic book I owned was an issue of Wolverine, and ever since then, he's stood at the top of my super hero pedestal. He's also Canadian, so you know, represent!
Marvel/Lions Gate: You play Hawkeye, the oldest of the Next Avengers at 17 years. Can you, yourself relate to the character, and how do you use that to portray Hawkeye?
Peteiw: When I read the script, I immediately connected with Hawkeye's story. He's had an incredible amount of responsibility thrust upon him at 17. I mean, just like his father, the original Hawkeye, he's a rebel at heart. He's a fighter. As I began to understand his story, I wanted to make sure I didn't play him as just the "cool kid" in the group. He has an incredible drive, and has experienced things no 17 year old should have to go through. I really tried to give him a sense of purpose, strength, and loss, that most people wouldn't expect from such a young character. He's also got that Han Solo dryness about him. I really think fans will recognize the soul of the classic Hawkeye in him.
Marvel/Lions Gate: Was this a role you sought out, or was Marvel looking to cast you specifically?
Peteiw: This project came along as I was just starting to make the rounds in the animation circle here in Vancouver. I hadn't had the opportunity to audition for Marvel before, and it came as one welcome surprise. I was on a film set, in between takes, when I got a call from my agent telling me I had an audition for a top secret project, and that I was only allowed to know my character's name... Hawkeye. Being a comic book fan, I knew right away this would be an Avengers project of some kind, and knowing the original character, I had a good base from which to approach the audition. When I found out I was cast, it was a really amazing feeling to know I'd be apart of the Marvel canon that inspired me as a kid.
Marvel/Lions Gate: When recording the movie, did you get to meet any of your cast-mates?
Peteiw: Just a few. Brenna O'Brien, who plays Torunn, does such a phenomenal job. And Aidan Drummond (Pym) is a blast to work with... Literally, he puts so much energy into that role! I think Pym is going to be a new fan favourite.
Marvel/Lions Gate: Did you find anything particularly challenging about voice recording? How does it differ from acting on the stage or for a live-action movie or television production?
Peteiw: There certainly is a challenge to voice acting, and it can be quite a different experience to stage and film. For one, working in film allows for a certain amount of the story to be told physically, whether it be a certain look, or posture. In voice, while it certainly helps to be physical while recording, in the end you have to convey all the same intention using only your voice and the text on the page. While the techniques and challenges may differ, I think Voice is essentially the same as any other form of acting in that you want to portray the character as truthfully as possible. At the end of the day, you want the audience to connect to the story and get lost in characters until the moment the credits roll.
Marvel/Lions Gate: There are countless people trying to break into voice-acting and acting. Do you have any words of encouragement for them? Any tips on what they can do or what they can expect?
Peteiw: Absolutely. I think what I have come to realize is that no matter how difficult it might seem to get in the door, don't sit and wait for the phone to ring. Study, take classes and workshops and check your ego at the door. You'll never stop learning in this craft and industry so be open to it. Make a demo, get on the phone, and do your research. If you put the hard work in, there is no doubt in my mind that you can make it happen. It may not come right away, but never stop working for it. Working in Voice-acting has been such a rewarding experience. I learn something new every I step into the booth, and I've met some great people along the way. I mean, to be able to get home from work and say "Fighting Ultron was tough today, mom, I think I'm going to take a nap" is a pretty awesome privilege.
Marvel/Lions Gate: With the release of Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow just around the corner, tell us why we should pick it up the moment it hits shelves?
Peteiw: If you're a fan of Marvel or the Avengers, you will not be let down. The action is incredible, the characters are original, and there are plenty of those little references to the comics that make this movie right at home in your collection. If you're new to the whole thing, this movie is a fantastic way to get into it. You'll be getting to know these new characters like everyone else, while getting a little Marvel history lesson in the process. It's also a fantastic way of getting younger kids into the whole Marvel mythology as it's much more accessible to them. I couldn't be more excited for this movie.
Marvel/Lions Gate: Any final words on what fans can expect from the feature? And, do you hope to reprise the role of Hawkeye? If so, why?
Peteiw: Like I said before, the fans are in for quite an amazing ride. The new characters add so much to the Marvel canon, while the spirit of the old Avengers is really felt throughout. The film takes the character of Tony Stark to a new and really intriguing place, a very nice addition to his story. Plus, if you've seen the trailers, you know our big green friend makes quite an appearance, along with a few other favourites... and let me tell you, age hasn't slowed them down one bit. As for Hawkeye, I would be honoured to pick up that old bow and arrow again. He's a really well written character, and I can't wait to see where else being an Avenger takes him.
Marvel/Lions Gate: Adrian, what's next for you? Care to fill us in on where we can see you next?
Peteiw: Well, it's a bit of a surprise, but let's just say I'll be flying through another part of the Marvel universe sometime soon...