CJ Paschall had the chance to sit down and talk with Yuri Lowenthal, the iconic voice of Ben 10 and Spider-Man, regarding his upcoming project Orbital Redux, Insomniac’s ‘Spider-Man’, his history in the Ben 10 and Star Wars Universe and so much more!
INTERVIEWER: To begin the Interview, how did you first get into voice acting?
YURI LOWENTHAL: Well, I moved to L.A. to pursue more work. It’s a tough and competitive industry, so to supplement our roles on camera and on stage, my wife (Tara Platt) and I began taking a voice-over class. The instructor was the director on an English Dub for an anime at that time, SD Gundam Force, and encouraged all of the students from the class to audition.
INTERVIEWER: Moving onto one of your most iconic projects as the voice of Ben 10, How did that role first come around?
YURI LOWENTHAL: When they made the change from Ben 10 to Ben 10: Alien Force, it was an older version of the character. I had previously worked with Glenn Murakami before on Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo, we came good friends because of the Ben 10 show. It was a lengthy audition process with a lot of other actors testing for it, and ultimately I was called back multiple times before landing the role.
INTERVIEWER: What has been some of your favourite moments voicing Ben 10?
YURI LOWENTHAL: I don’t know if I have a favorite moment specifically, but just working with that cast for so long was incredible. After running for so many years, it really got to the point where it was more like a family than anything. Working with Dwayne McDuffie & getting to meet and work with David McCallum are definitely some of my favourite moments also.
INTERVIEWER: Your voice as Ben 10 is iconic to many fans of the character, do you think you’ll ever return to voice that character in the future?
YURI LOWENTHAL: Oh, absolutely, but who knows. Right now I’m voicing Vilgax in the latest version of the series, which is an interesting role reversal given that (Vilgax) as a character is the exact opposite of Ben, so that’s been fun to play around with.
INTERVIEWER: You voiced a various amount of roles in ‘Young Justice’, how was that experience and can we expect to hear your voice again in the upcoming third season of the show?
YURI LOWENTHAL: Well, that I cannot actually answer, but given that response I’m sure you can infer something.
INTERVIEWER: One other thing I would like to touch on is that you have reportedly voiced various cameo roles in the Star Wars universe, what is like lending your voice to that universe and are you interested in voicing a character in a larger capacity role in a Star Wars project in the future?
YURI LOWENTHAL: Absolutely. Star Wars has been such a large part of my entire life. I remember watching the original movie in theaters, so to be in a position to be a part of that universe is incredible. The first time seeing my name in “Force Blue” in the credits was so emotional, I literally cried in the theater.
INTERVIEWER: To round up this portion of the questions, I did want to briefly touch on Spider-Man to first say congratulations on the game’s success and your brilliant performance in it and to secondly ask how was that experience to voice such a iconic superhero for this game?
YURI LOWENTHAL: It was incredible. First of all, the team at Insomniac was so passionate about the project. Bryan Intihar, the creative director, is the biggest Spider-Man nerd on the planet, so it was in good hands.
INTERVIEWER: The response has been overwhelmingly positive – you have to really work to find a negative review. It sounds like it was an absolute labor of love for the entire team, but did the response still surprise you at all?
YURI LOWENTHAL: It is overwhelming, but working on this game for years, for three years before the public had even been shown anything, we knew it was going to be something special.
INTERVIEWER: Is there anything you were looking forward to specifically bringing this character to life, or a specific story or character arc that you appreciated the most?
YURI LOWENTHAL: Seeing the relationship between Otto Octavius and Peter kind of dissolve in slow motion was absolutely one of my favorite parts of the game. One of the advantages with games is that you have the opportunity to tell these stories over many, many hours, something that movies and oftentimes TV don’t have the luxury to do. So, developing that relationship and seeing Otto’s descent was really special.
INTERVIEWER: Have you played much of the game yourself, and if so, is it weird to be swinging around the city and hear your own voice?
YURI LOWENTHAL: I haven’t gotten a chance to play much of the game personally, but hearing my own voice in projects is still such a thrill.
INTERVIEWER: And to finish off the interview, are there any upcoming projects of yours that you’d like to promote to make our audience aware of?
YURI LOWENTHAL: Well, with voice acting it’s tough to promote upcoming projects, but I am currently starring in a show on Nerdist Alpha called Orbital Redux. We’re in the middle of the first season right now, but it’s a sci-fi show that’s filmed and aired live every week, with live effects, music and audience interaction. It’s insane, I have no idea how Nerdist lets us make it, and as far as I can tell, it’s the first show of its kind.