While Heath Ledger will always be remembered for his portrayal of Joker in The Dark Knight movie, Mark Hamill made his place in fans’ hearts by just voicing the iconic villain in the animated series. The actor has worked in numerous franchises, making it harder for fans to decide which role they like best. Though Luke Skywalker paved the way for Hamill to consolidate his place in the industry, roles like Joker propelled him to unbelievable fame.

How was Mark Hamill Cast as Joker?

Mark Hamill as Joker
Mark Hamill as Joker

In an attempt to be a part of a burgeoning superhero franchise, many actors feign interest in the comics and start preparation after they bag the role. However, the tables were turned when Mark Hamill auditioned for Batman: The Animated Series. The actor was passionate about the character and the story in the comics. He knew he wanted to voice a villain to explore his depth as an actor and make an impact. Hamill got the role, it just wasn’t what he was expecting. In one of the episodes of the animated show, he voiced Ferris Boyle, the CEO who turned Victor Fries into Mr. Freeze.

Also Read: “It’s too bad they can’t cast me”: Mark Hamill’s Iconic Joker Would Have Never Happened Without Michael Keaton’s Batman Casting That Became a Major Hollywood Controversy

Mark Hamill
Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker

After Hamill recorded the dialogues for the episode, he impressed the showrunners and emphasized that he was looking for a more regular role in the series. Initially, Bruce Timm cast Tim Curry as Joker but he was not impressed by his laugh which is a signature move by Joker. The laugh is supposed to make people’s hair prick and their blood curdle. Ultimately, Curry was let go and Hamill bagged the role by flexing his vocal chords to sway the showrunners with his terrifying laugh. He recalled in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter,

“I figured there was no way they’d hire Luke Skywalker as the Joker. So, in a way it was very freeing. I had great confidence at the audition because I thought there was no way I could get it. I thought, ‘I’m going to give them the best damn Joker they’ve ever heard and they’re really going to regret not being able to cast me.'”

Voice director Andrea Romano even called Hamill “stunning” with his spot-on timing. They could easily resonate Hamill’s voice with Joker, giving him the role instantly. The rest is history with Hamill’s voice acting as Joker being imprinted on fans’ minds for eternity. The actor’s filmography is as diverse and deep as his talents, making him a legendary actor, both on-screen and off-screen.

Also Read: Mark Hamill Felt Avatar: The Last Airbender Won’t Last 4 Episodes for a Bizarre Reason Only to Become the Best Series Ever Made

Mark Hamill’s Inspiration Behind Joker

Mark Hamill
Mark Hamill’s Joker in Batman: The Animated Series

Joker thrives in chaos, whether it’s in his mind or around him through crime. His menacing personality creeps the audience out but his theatrical joy in fighting and wreaking havoc lures them back in. While auditioning for Joker, Hamill was told not to mold his performance to Jack Nicholson who played Joker in the live-action movie. It worked well since Hamill’s plan all along was to emulate an old-school Joker who is fearless and cunning. He explained in a conversation with ComicBook.com,

“[The Joker] had those teeth and, just based on that drawing, it really meant a lot, because I thought, ‘I’ve gotta make.. whatever voice I come up with sound like it’s coming out of that character.’ And I thought, ‘Teeth, teeth, teeth, he’s all teeth!’ I threw in a little, the Blue Meanies from ‘Yellow Submarine,’ ‘Hello, lovey-dovey,’ I wanted to alter him so that he didn’t have just one sound… Visual representation is really important, especially in animation.”

Hamill’s ultimate inspiration for Joker was the aspect that the character is living life on the edge of madness. He skips rope with insanity and can lose his mind at any second. Joker’s unpredictable actions and love for all things eccentric came in handy when Hamill presented his take on one of the most memorable DC villains. Moreover, Hamill’s ability to oscillate between different pitches and laughs put up a cut above the others who were vying for the part.

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