Fans know Wil Wheaton from his time onboard the Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation, his Geek and Sundry web series TableTop and Titansgrave, his appearances on The Big Bang Theory, and his many voice acting credits across animation and videogames.
His next mission is providing the voice of Commander S’Leet as a guest star on Disney Junior’s Miles from Tomorrowland. In the episode, titled “The Pluto Rescue,” Miles, Loretta and Auntie Frida's trip to Pluto crosses path with the S’Leet’s attempt to take over the planet.
ComicBook.com spoke to Wheaton about finding S’Leet’s voice, and touched on other topics, like his role as the voice of the Blue Beetle and the future of TableTop and Titansgrave.
Can you tell me a bit about your character on Miles from Tomorrowland, Commander S’Leet?
WW: He is a villain who thinks he’s the smartest in the world. He kind of isn’t. He, I think, believes that he is smarter than anyone else around him, and that none of his plans will possibly fail, because his sidekicks are really – they’re like terrifically hilarious, just bumbling guys who are just constantly messing things up. So I guess, by comparison, he’s pretty smart, but he’s constantly undone by his own irrational beliefs in how impossible it will be to defeat him or upset his plans.
S’Leet looks kind of lizard-like, or dragon-ish. When you saw the character, where did you go for inspiration, or for a comparison, to what you thought the character should sound like?
WW: I took a lot of my inspiration for voicing him, actually, out of the scripts. He speaks in a very particular meter, and has a couple of…they’re not really catchphrases, but he has a couple of turns of phrase he leans on a little bit. And I knew I would be saying those a lot, so I experimented with a lot of different approaches that I thought were going to serve the needs of the script, and when I saw the character model, I just got lucky in that the choices I had made for him based on the script I had really seemed to fit very well onto the character model they had shown me the first time I went in to record.
We did a couple of different passes, and it was a while ago that we did this, but my memory of it is that we found him very quickly. I just drew on all those great villains that we know that are a little over the top, and just in love with the sound of their own plans, and they can never understand why those plans are constantly falling apart over and over and over again.
The last show I saw you in was Con Man, where you played a kind of surly air marshal. It’s interesting that you mentioned you recorded S’Leet a while ago, because I was wondering if there is any kind of tonal whiplash going from something like Con Man to something on Disney Junior that skews so young. But I guess it all depends on when you worked on them.
WW: [Laughs] S’Leet is kind of similar to some of the other villains I have played. Because Miles from Tomorrowland is geared towards a younger audience, he’s kind of similar to Darkstar, who I played Ben 10, in that he has that unbelievable hubris about his own abilities to do whatever he thinks he’s going to do. And this guy that I played on Con Man, he’s a little bit of a different kind of villain [laughs]. And clearly not intended for kids.
I’ve seen TableTop, and I’ve seen Titansgrave, so I know you have a long history with roleplaying games. There’s obviously a connection between acting and roleplaying, but I was wondering if there’s a particularly strong connection when you’re doing voice acting and are forced to embody a character without actually being that character physically, as in RPGs?
WW: That’s an interesting observation. I play Dungeons & Dragons with a group of voice actors who are friends of mine, and they’re all extraordinarily accomplished voice actors. The characters that we play when we play in that campaign, they really come to life even more than I think characters do in an average RPG.
It’s such a good question. This isn’t something I’ve really thought about before. It kind of goes in one direction. The voice acting helps bring RPG characters to life, and also the people that you’re playing with, when they’re voicing their characters and being in character, it frees everybody up to use our imaginations and completely commit to the story that we’re telling together. With voice acting, it’s such a specific skillset, and it’s such a – it takes a long time to master voice action skills. My experience as a role-player has definitely helped me as both a writer and an actor, and I imagine that it must have helped with the voice acting, because I do different voices for NPCs and stuff when I’m running a game.
I don’t have a good answer for this question. It’s such a good question. It’s something I never thought of.
I didn’t mean to stump you, I apologize [laughs].
WW: No, that’s a really great question. I guess the answer is yes, but not in ways that I expected it would.
You’ve voiced Robin for DC Universe Online and Aqualad on Teen Titans. Are there any other superhero characters on your bucket list that you’d still like to lend your voice to?
WW: Yeah, I’m Ted Kord on Batman: The Brave and the Bold. What I didn’t know at the time, but that I found out after we had recorded, is that I’m the first person to ever do an animation voice for Ted Kord. The Ted Kord/Booster Gold years in Justice League, especially Len Wein did them for two years, and they’re so good, and I love that run so much. So I was really excited that I got to play Ted Kord, but then to find out afterwards that, in canon, I’m the canonical Ted Kord voice. That was really amazing, and I’m glad I didn’t know it when I went in to do the recording, because I probably would have gotten in my own way a lot, just because I would have been so excited about that.
So I take it you may be excited about the Booster Gold and Blue Beetle movie that is said to be in the works?
WW: I’m cautiously optimistic, like I am with everything. I’ve been burned so many times on something that I’m going to be so excited about that the most excitement I can muster these days is cautiously optimistic.
What’s next on your plate? Have you begun working on the next season of TableTop? Will there be another season of Titansgrave?
WW: The answer to both of those is yes, and they’ll be in production next year. We haven’t announced any dates yet, but I have selected some games and some players for TableTop. With Titansgrave, we’re doing a bunch of development on the world that goes far beyond what we showed in the first season, because we have more time this time around.
I had a meeting yesterday and, I can’t give any details, but it looks like I’m going to be joining the cast of a really amazing TV show, and I’ll be able to talk about that in a couple of weeks about that.
Well be sure to give us a call whenever you are free to talk about that.
WW: [Laughs] Thanks.
Miles from Tomorrowland, “The Pluto Rescue,” Saturday, October 24 at 8:30 AM ET/PT on the Disney Junior block on Disney Channel.