I recently got the chance to talk to Richard Epcar about his role in the new ‘Mortal Kombat’ game. Here, Richard talks about voicing the character of Raiden in the game, his long-standing history of being a voice-over for games and animation and what’s coming up for him in 2011….
Hey Richard. Thanks for taking the time out to speak to me. Obviously, we’ve got you here to talk to you about your role in the new ‘Mortal Kombat’ game. First off, were you a fan of the franchise before you signed on?
I was aware of ‘Mortal Kombat’ certainly. I had done some voice work on the first film. I can’t say that I was a fan because I really didn’t know much about it at that point.
You voice the character of Raiden (and you have also played him before in ‘Mortal Kombat Vs DC Universe’) – how does it feel to be voicing such an iconic character?
It’s very cool. I was delighted when I booked the part in ‘Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe’, but then when they asked me back to do him again in the new ‘Mortal Kombat’, I was very pleased. Now that I’ve acted him twice – I feel very connected to the character and really enjoy playing him. I hope they continue to use me forever in this role.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I was asked to audition by the late Brigitte Burdeen, she was an amazing person and an excellent casting director. She had me originally audition for ‘MK vs DC Universe’. When I did that, I basically got to audition for all the characters – with Warner Bros. and DC comics listening in. They liked the voices I did for different characters – but I was very pleased to be cast as the Joker and of course Raiden.
Have you played the game yet? What do you think of the end result?
I haven’t played it yet – although I’d love to. I’ve seen some of the animation and it looks awesome!
Let’s talk about you Richard – what made you want to get into acting in the first place?
It was just one of the things that I always knew I wanted to do. I love it and I’m very lucky to be making a living in this business.
I have honestly no idea where to even begin with your IMDB listing – you’ve had roles in ‘Ghost In The Shell’, ‘Macross Plus’, ‘VR Troopers’, ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’, ‘Bleach’, ‘The Mr. Men Show’, ‘Digimon’, ‘Monster’, ‘Lucky Star’ and ‘Tekken 6’ – it’s a treasure trove really for me. What types of roles would you say are your favourite?
Well I’ve done over 300 characters in anime, games and animation. I’ll steal a line from Peter Ustinov and answer…my next. But I have to say my characters are like my children and it’s hard not to love them all or most of them. I really like Batou in ‘Ghost in the Shell’, Lunk and Ben Dixon on ‘Robotech’, Jigen in ‘Lupin the Third’, Ansem / Xenonort in ‘Kingdom Hearts’, Skywarp and Armorhide in ‘Transformers’, Etemon and Myotismon in ‘Digimon’ and The Joker and Raiden from ‘MK vs DCU’. It’s been a thrill for me to be on shows-like ‘Transformers’, the new ‘Speed Racer’, ‘Robotech’, the new ‘Airbender: Legend of Korra’ (coming out soon) and several games like ‘Star Wars’, ‘Resident Evil’, ‘Call of Duty’, ‘Kingdom Hearts’, ‘ModNation Racers’. ‘Command and Conquer’, ‘Red Faction Guerilla’, ‘Basara’, ‘Star Ocean’, ‘Blue Dragon’ and ‘Starcraft’ to name just a few.
As I’ve mentioned you’ve been in ‘Tekken 6’ – if Raiden from ‘Mortal Kombat’ and Azazel from ‘Tekken 6’ went into an arena for a duel, who would come out victorious?
I’d put my money on Raiden.
Obviously, I’m guessing you go to fan conventions, like ComicCon, etc, so – what’s the weirdest gift a fan has ever given to you or the weirdest object a fan has asked you to sign?
The weirdest gift — a pillow made to look like Batou, the weirdest thing to sign — a girl’s boob.
What’s coming up for you in 2011?
I’ve been working on a ton of new games, which unfortunately I can’t talk about yet. The new series – ‘Airbender – Legend of Korra’ will hopefully be released this year. I’m most excited about my role in ‘Broken Spirits’ – I’m one of the leads in this on-camera, live-action film, which I’m still presently filming on. I just did an audio book – ‘Doc Savage’ – which I’m excited about and I’ll be appearing at various conventions including Kintoki-Con on June 17-19 in Sacramento, CA, DragonCon on Sept. 2-5 in Atlanta, GA and Michigan Anime Con on Sept 9-11 in Traverse City, Michigan.
Thanks for the interview!