Blast had the chance to chat with Josh Keaton, the voice of Peter Parker and Spider-Man, himself, for Disney XD’s Spectacular Spider-Man animated series.
Keaton’s career has spanned over many types of media, and he was kind enough to let us in on what its like to play Spider-Man, along with some thoughts on video games and comic books.
Sci-Fi and comic book geeks rejoice!
So you’ve been working on the voice of Peter Parker in The Spectacular Spider-Man — what’s is it like to be the voice of one of the most popular comic book heroes?
It’s awesome. Speaking as a geeky comic book reader and gamer, its something I’ve always wanted to do, and I’m glad it turned out this way. It’s daunting, because I know how popular (Spider-Man) is, so I wanted to put forth something I as a fan would want to watch
Do you have to get in character, or do you prepare before going into the studio?
Yes, we get scripts a few days in advance, but now that I’ve got to see how the show is put together, I can visualize how it’s going to be (while in the studio). I kind of go back to how I was in high school. I was a total dork and couldn’t get a date-but I was also a child actor … so I guess I have experience with that double life.
And you’ve been doing voice over work for quite some time now, correct?
I’d been doing on camera, it was how I got my start. I did animation for a while, and then focused on screen and music. Then after Hercules, I got a specific voice over agent.
What has been your favorite role so far?
Spider-Man without a doubt! For one, I was a lifelong reader as a kid. They way they write the story is not just for kids, and I love how it’s serialized and the supporting characters are just as interesting. But I’ve enjoyed a lot of characters.
No to mention you were in Alex Mack. I know a lot of people from my generation loved that show!
It was great, it was awesome. Larissa was great. I was supposed to be playing‚ someone older than Meredith (Annie Mack), and she was older than me … ways remember Alex Mack because I didn’t have a drivers license, but my character had to drive a stick shift. I kept thinking, “I hope I don’t stall, I hope I don’t stall!” … and I didn’t!
As for video games, what types of games do you like to play?
I like to play everything. I’m a recovering World of Warcraft addict. I like character based games and first person shooters … driving games are huge for me. I’m currently playing Fable 2. I like games with stories and, aside from driving, I’m a big fan of the Resident Evil series and the survival story. There aren’t many games I don’t like. If its a good play and a good story, I’m game.
And since you’ve been doing work with comic book stories, and you mentioned how you enjoyed reading them as a kid. What are your favorite comic books?
Spider-Man, Batman, Superman. I loved Wolverine. He was probably my second favorite, and the Logan/Wolverine stories. They’re short guys. I’m 5’9″. It’s always cool to see the short guys kicking ass. Plus, Peter Parker uses his brain and his brawn.
Your work really spans over all types of media, from music to voice-over to acting. What are your aspirations for the future?
I would like Spider-Man to do as many seasons as they can, and maybe go to DVD for more storylines. As for music, I’m in the studio working on my own stuff and there are some groups I’m working with. I love to do projects that relate to something I’m passionate about. SciFi, history, I love to do cool characters and character work.
Keaton has appeared in several films including: “Newsies,” “Horror High,” “All I Want For Christmas,” “Judge and Jury,” and “Chimera House.” His has lent his voice to “Hercules” with James Woods and Danny Devito, “The Wild” with Keifer Sutherland and Jim Belushi, and “Doctor Strange.” He has appeared in several television shows, including a role in Jerry Bruckheimer’s Skin. He has also voiced several video games besides Spider-Man titles, including Metal Gear Solid, X-Men Legends, SOCOM, Ninja Gaiden, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, Area 51, Spider-Man, and several others.
By the way: Because of a reporting error, we incorrectly listed The CW as the network of record for the Spider-man animated series. It’s actually Disney XD.