BY JENNIFER M. CONTINO
Sometimes when you're working in television or film, it's definitely sink or swim. But for John DiMaggio
, it's definitely sink and
swim as he's bringing one of comics most famous sea bound heroes to life in Batman: The Brave and the Bold
. DiMaggio's a hit as the pompous Aquaman
, but it's not such a stretch to play a king, when you have year of voice acting credits including Futurama's Bender, the Spectacular Spider-Man's foe Sandman, and Wonder Woman's foe Deimos, to name a few. DiMaggio told us why he just couldn't wait to be king!
Although he's not a lifelong comic book fan, DiMaggio recalls fond Saturday mornings fighting with his sisters to watch the SuperFriends. One of his favorite characters from that series was Aquaman and now he's gotten the chance to bring the Sea King to life. But he didn't start out wanting to be a cartoon voice, DiMaggio got his start acting in lots of theatrical productions. He then began doing Stand Up comedy in the New York scene. It was after a while doing Stand Up that he decided he'd like to get back into the acting. "I spoke to a friend who was an actor and he told me how he made ends meet by doing a lot of voice over stuff for radio," DiMaggio said. "I decided to follow through with that and get my own thing going. When I came to Los Angeles from the New York area, there wasn't a lot of ad based stuff going on here. It was more of a cartoon and animation nature, so I kind of flourished in that."
Flourished is right. DiMaggio landed several roles in many popular video games, cartoons and films. He voiced Futurama's
Bender for years and was one of the people who got to read for the chance to be Batman in the Batman: Brave and the Bold
series. He was a little disappointed that he didn't land the cape and cowl, but was very eager to give the King of the Seven Seas a whirl when Director Andrea Romano offered him the gig. "I didn't get to be Batman, but they were like, 'We want you to be Aquaman!'" DiMaggio said. "I was like, cool! Alright! Awesome! Andrea kind of steered me in the right direction of how to portray the character. They wanted it to be majestic -- almost Shakespearean. We tried a few things, went with the flow and the voice turned into what has become Aquaman. It's a lot of fun. It's definitely a leap for my voice but I enjoy the character a lot. He's quite theatrical."
"I think he's very underrated also," DiMaggio continued. "He's the King of Atlantis. He controls the majority of the earth. Aquaman is just awesome! Nobody gets him but himself. He's like the king of the world for crying out loud. He should have been on the front of the Titanic for crying out loud. It's been a lot of fun trying to find out who the character is and the motions he's going through so far. Working with the cast is fantastic. Andrea Romano is so absolutely wonderful. She knows what screws to turn to get things right."
DiMaggio teased there's a lot of fun stuff coming up for the Batman: Brave and the Bold universe including appearances by the Black Canary and the Huntress. He also teased there's a musical episode coming up. "It's going to be great," he enthused. "I got to sing. It was awesome. It was a lot of fun to do. I am just so excited for people to see that episode. I also can't wait for people to see what we do with Adam Strange tonight. It's a really good episode. There is so much talk by the fanboys about Aquaman's 300 speech. I've been getting a lot of positive feedback about the way I've voiced Aquaman. It's great. It's pleasing and rewarding to do this part and hear the nice things about it. Fanboys are protective of their favorite characters. I understand the sacred ground these heroes lie on. So to get a good reaction makes it that much more gratifying. I'd get total hate mail every day if I ever did Aquaman badly. I could never show my face in SDCC again!"
The Batman: The Brave and the Bold is on weekly on the Cartoon Network. Check your local guide for times and listings.