» Blog Archive Bruce Davison talks Pres. Wilson in Crisis on Two Earths -
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Bruce Davison is no stranger to political office – at least in a
fictional situation. He’s played an ambassador, senator, congressman
and judge, but Davison steps up in class – in his first voiceover for
animation – as President Wilson in Justice League: Crisis on Two
Earths, an all-new DC Universe Animated Original PG-13 Movie coming
February 23, 2010 from Warner Premiere, DC Comics and Warner Bros.

In Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, a “good” Lex Luthor arrives
from an alternate universe to recruit the Justice League to help save
his Earth from the Crime Syndicate, a gang of villainous characters
with virtually identical super powers to the Justice League. What
ensues is the ultimate battle of good versus evil in a war that
threatens both planets and puts the balance of all existence in peril.
Davison’s President Wilson is caught in the middle of the battle,
attempting to find a balance between leading the human citizens of the
parallel Earth and not being crushed by the powerful Crime Syndicate.

Davison’s credits stretch through film and television to the tune of
160 different movies and series roles, catching the world’s attention
in 1971 as the title character in the benchmark rat-attack thriller
Willard. He has since been a regular on primetime series, covering the
gamut from The Waltons, Murder She Wrote and thirtysomething to
Seinfeld, Lost, Close to Home and Knight Rider. Davison’s film career
has featured memorable and critically acclaimed roles in X-Men and X2,
Six Degrees of Separation, Short Cuts, Grace of My Heart and Longtime
Companion, the latter performance garnering an Academy Award
nomination, a Golden Globe Award, an Independent Spirit Award, and top
honors from the National Society of Film Critics and the New York Film
Critics Circle. Though he has recorded numerous books-on-tape, Justice
League: Crisis on Two Earths represents Davison’s first foray into the
animated world.

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths is an original story from
award-winning animation/comics writer Dwayne McDuffie (Justice
League). Bruce Timm (Superman Doomsday) is executive producer, and
Lauren Montgomery (Wonder Woman, Green Lantern: First Flight) and Sam
Liu (Superman/Batman: Public Enemies) are co-directors. The
full-length animated film will be distributed by Warner Home Video as
a Special Edition 2-disc version on DVD and Blu-Ray™ Hi-Def, as well
as single disc DVD, and On Demand and Download.

During his recording session, Davison had a few minutes to discuss his
inaugural animated role, his personal history with super heroes, an
early adoration for EC Comics, and his ascent up the fictional
political ladder. We’ll let his words take it from here …

What’s it like being one of two characters without super powers in an
all-super hero movie?

Well, it’s par for the course. In X-Men, I played Senator Kelly and,
as my son likes to say, I didn’t really have any powers – I just
melted. It’s tough when your action figure can’t stand up. I had to
stick it in a glass of water because it didn’t have any feet, just
this sort of drippy stuff off the bottom (he laughs). So I’m used to
not having any real strength powers. But President Wilson is a pretty
macho guy, which is great.

And you’ve got a nice progression here. Marvel makes you a senator, DC
makes you President …

Yes, I AM the President (he laughs). And I actually have feet in this
one, plus an eye-patch. So I’m definitely moving up in the super hero

How did you enjoy your maiden voyage into animation voiceovers?

I’ve done books-on-tape, including a Stephen King book and a few other
things. But it’s really interesting to be a character that will then
be created as opposed to trying to fit in. I’ve spent a lifetime
voicing over (looping) myself in films over the years. But it’s a lot
easier to just create something and then let the animators put it
together. Oh, and it’s just a blast doing the recording – it’s like
being six years old again.

Were you picturing the character in your head while recording, or just
focusing on conveying certain emotions?

Well, I always try to look at my characters as being better than I am.
That’s one of the reasons I guess I became an actor – because you get
to create a persona that’s bigger or better or more interesting than
your own. I sort of found President Wilson to be like Dale Dye, the
guy that does all the military shows on History Channel. The guy who
gets in the trenches. He’s been there, done that. So, I’d better shape

Did super heroes play a role in your youth?

I hate to date myself, but my earliest memories are Flash Gordon. I
would love playing Flash Gordon in the neighborhood. We lived outside
of Philadelphia in Drexel Hill, and I would be Flash Gordon and my
friend was Dr. Zarkov – and we’d get beat up by the Catholic kids, who
were the clay people, on the way home from school. And then we’d have
auditions for Dale Arden. So that was sort of my childhood fantasy.

Do you remember any first experiences with Superman or Batman?

Oh, yeah – George Reeves working with “Truth, Justice, and the
American Way” – you know, in the ’50s when there were just three
channels on the TV, and you watched the Indian on the Test Pattern
until nine when things started coming on.

I did have a cape and I did jump off my stairs – and survived (laugh).
I really loved running around the hill, trying to do the whole “Truth,
Justice and the American Way” thing (hums the theme song). I’d try to
take off just like he did, and end up sliding on my face down the
hill. But that was always off camera for me and I figured they didn’t
see that part, just the great take off (laughs).

How did comic books influence your upbringing?

I was a major EC Comic freak. I just loved them all. “Tales Of The
Crypt,” “Weird Science” … all of the older stuff. I just really loved
the artwork – Wally Wood and all of those great artists. But they
scared the bejesus out of me as a kid. I remember one very vivid comic
in which a baseball player would spike people, sliding into everybody,
so they cut him all up and played baseball with his head and used his
legs as the bats. I think they used his trunk as home plate. That
really scared me (he laughs). It was a really interesting time. They
used to run articles in the comics about how people in Congress were
trying to make it a Commie plot to ban EC. I found that really
interesting – that was really the dawning of my first understanding of
politics and censorship.

Why are superheroes important for us?

I think it gives us a sense of idealism and strength that we don’t
have but we wish we did. It’s like, why do we create religion? Because
we need super heroes to take care of us, to live up to.

You’ve done so many different things. What do people most often
recognize you for?

Well, if they’re my age, probably Willard, because that was an
impressionable movie when you’re young. The younger people know me
from X-Men. And then if you’re 12, it’s Knight Rider. It’s as though
every few years something comes along and then I’m sort of remembered
for that. But people don’t really know that I can do anything else
until the next time.

Did you learn anything from your first animation voiceover experience?

I learned it’s a lot of fun. It really is. And you just have to sort
of wing it with the other actors. You do have to work within the
iambic pentameter of the technical world of the medium. You can’t pop
things and you can’t get too close to the microphone and you can’t get
too breathy. You really have to sort of create a character vocally
within a framework of technology. So you can’t step out of it in order
to do something that maybe you would do as an actor on film or on
stage. When you’re on stage, even a whisper, you have to reach very
far away. In film, you can be much more intimate. But just using your
voice, you have to create something that’s somewhere in the middle so
that it paints a picture and yet it’s not intimate enough to get lost.

For more information, images and updates, please visit the film’s
official website at www.JUSTICELEAGUECRISIS.com.

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