Mark Hamill says Michael Keaton Batman controversy inspired him to audition for the Joker

Mark Hamill says that the controversy surrounding the casting of Michael Keaton as Batman inspired him to audition for the Joker.

It’s hard to imagine a world in which Mark Hamill didn’t voice the Joker to perfection, but the actor actually never expected to win the role.

While speaking with Wired, Mark Hamill said that the controversy surrounding the casting of Michael Keaton as Batman gave him the confidence to audition for the Joker, but it also led him to believe that he’d never get the part. “I just read for it,” Hamill said. “I had a confidence that really helped me because there was this big outcry that Michael Keaton was gonna play Batman. ‘Oh, he’s Mr. Mom, he’s a comedy actor.’ I mean, they hadn’t even seen him [in the role] and they didn’t realize how great he would become. But, there was great controversy.

When I went in [for the Joker role], I thought, ‘You think they’re gonna hire Luke Skywalker to play the Joker? The fans will lose their minds!’” Hamill continued. “I was so sure that I couldn’t be cast. I was completely relaxed. A lot of times there’s performance anxiety because you want the part, here I knew I couldn’t get the part, so, who cares? I drove out of the parking lot thinking, ‘That’s the best Joker they’ll ever hear, and it’s too bad they can’t cast me.’ And as soon as they did cast me, it reversed. I was like, ‘Oh no, I can’t do this!’” Mark Hamill added that the Joker is one of his favourite roles “because he’s insane, and because he’s insane, he’s never boring. It’s just fun to play a character who creates chaos everywhere he goes.

Mark Hamill first voiced the Clown Prince of Crime on Batman: The Animated Series and went on to portray the character in various TV shows, movies, video games, and more. However, Hamill has previously hinted that he may not voice Joker again after the death of Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy. “Hamill doubts whether he’ll ever take up the Joker mantle again without Conroy there to trade lines with – it was heading that way anyway, he says,” read an excerpt from an Empire article. “They would call and say, ‘They want you to do the Joker,’ and my only question was, ‘Is Kevin Batman?’ If they said yes, I would say, ‘I’m in.’ We were like partners. We were like Laurel and Hardy. Without Kevin there, there doesn’t seem to be a Batman for me.’

Mark Hamill can currently be seen starring alongside Bert Kreischer in The Machine. Check out a review from our own Alex Maidy right here.

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