While making the rounds at the MCM Comic Con, long-running Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy addressed his thoughts on Christian Bale’s take on the famous superhero in the Dark Knight Trilogy. While Conroy was quick to praise Bale as a performer and his interpretation of Batman, he did note one thing he didn’t really understand: Bale’s voice as a Batman, which he described as “weird.”
Despite not being a household name, Conroy has voiced Batman through various animated television series, films, and video games series beginning with the 1990s series Batman: The Animated Series. His other credits include 2016’s film Batman: The Killing Joke and last year’s Batman and Harley Quinn, in addition to the Batman: Arkham video game series among countless others. Although his claim to fame has been the caped crusader, Conroy has also had a few live-action roles, including a guest run on the original UK run of comedy The Office and, more recently, in Kevin Smith’s Yoga Hosers.
The remark, reported by ComicBook, came as Conroy was discussing previous iterations of the character and his thoughts on other actors during an appearance at MCM Comic Con this weekend. Despite his long-running tenure as Batman, Conroy has always been open to different interpretations of the character, admitting to the crowd that Bale’s voice “sounded weird." Conroy went on to praise Bale's work as Batman's alter-ego:
What can I say? It sounded like he had laryngitis. But he does Bruce Wayne, my god, he nails Bruce Wayne. He’s a terrific actor. Did you see American Psycho? I mean, he’s a wonderful actor. But his voice was weird as Batman.
This isn’t the first time that Conroy has called out Bale’s gravelly interpretation, which has split a lot of fans on its effectiveness, even getting a loving imitation from current Batman Ben Affleck. Despite one’s thoughts on Bale’s bat-voice, his go-for-broke performance remains one of the few successful interpretations of the character on film. The development of Bale’s famous voice even went as far back on his original audition, so it was definitely a conscious and thought-out choice by Bale and Dark Knight Trilogy director Christopher Nolan.
Conroy has been intertwined with Batman for so long that he appears now to be the go-to authority on all other interpretations, and he has been kind not only to Bale. And, more recently, Conroy praised Affleck’s take on Batman as well, which was divisive among fans from the time of his casting in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Despite Conroy’s own ownership of the character, he appears always willing to praise what he views as successful portrayals of the character.