Kevin Conroy, who has voiced Batman across various media since 1992, says it was Harley Quinn and a lighter take on the caped crusader that drew him to reprise the role for Batman and Harley Quinn, the newest DC animated movie from Warner Bros. Animation.
“The fact that it was going to feature Harley Quinn was really unusual and I loved that,” Conroy told HeyUGuys. “She’s the fourth most popular animated character now and the audience loves her; she’s crazy! So, to do a film with Batman and Harley Quinn, I thought that would be a blast. That was the primary draw and I knew there would be humor in it.”
Conroy also praised working with co-star Melissa Rauch (The Big Bang Theory), who voices the psychologist-turned-criminally-insane Harley for the first time.
“It’s always fun to play different aspects of a character and I don’t get to explore the humorous side of Batman very often; he’s a very dark, rooted, grounded guy," he said. "To be able to play humorous scenes with Melissa Rauch was a lot of fun.”
When asked what he thinks made the character so popular since her 1992 inception in Batman: The Animated Series, Conroy pointed to Harley’s association with longtime Batman enemy the Joker, helped along by the performance of his Batman: The Animated Series and Batman: The Killing Joke co-star Mark Hamill.
“I think it has a lot to do with The Joker. Before Harley Quinn, the only foil for The Joker was Batman,” Conroy shared. “The Joker defines Batman and Batman defines The Joker. Mark [Hamill] and I have often approached the roles as the yin and yang of each other but I’m like the dark grounding for Joker, he had no one to really go crazy with and Harley Quinn gave him that. She got to be this crazy reflection of the Joker, so I think the better Mark was, the better Harley Quinn was.”
“A lot of her popularity grows out of people’s love for The Joker. They love Mark as The Joker. She gets reflected glory from that character but Arleen Sorkin, Tara Strong and now Melissa then took that and made it this crazy, gum chewing, wise cracking New Jersey broad who’s just crazy, crazy evil and so much fun,” Conroy continued.
The actor also made note of the rise of a new female audience in animation who are looking for more interesting characters, saying Harley is “just nuts and just has so many different qualities that it’s fun for the female audience.”
Spawned from an original story by animation icon Bruce Timm, Batman and Harley Quinn brings legendary voice actor Kevin Conroy back to his most famous role. Poison Ivy and Jason Woodrue (a.k.a. The Floronic Man) embark on an ecological quest to save the planet—and, unfortunately, eliminate most of
Batman and Harley Quinn is written by Bruce Tim and Jim Krieg and directed by Sam Liu. The voice cast includes Kevin Conroy as Batman / Bruce Wayne, Loren Lester as Nightwing / Dick Grayson, Melissa Rauch as Harley Quinn / Dr. Harleen Quinzel, Paget Brewster as Poison Ivy / Pamela Isley, Kevin Michael Richardson as Floronic Man / Jason Woodrue, John DiMaggio as Swamp Thing / Alec Holland, and Sarge Steel.
Batman and Harley Quinn has been available for Digital HD download since August 15, and is available to own on Blu-ray starting August 29.