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A conversation with the stars at Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo

Last Updated Apr 28, 2019 at 8:26 pm MST

Calgary Comic Expo (CREDIT: www.calgaryexpo.com)

CALGARY – This year the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo touted some stars whose names you may not recognize, but their faces or voices you likely know well.

Reporters Tom Ross and Devon McKendrick caught up with Maurice LaMarche, Laura Vandervoort, David Hayter, and Patricia Summersett while they were in town.

LaMarche is most famously known as the voice behind the Brain in Pinky and the Brain. He also did some voice work on Futurama, among other projects.

Vandervoort played Super Girl for four seasons on the CW’s Smallville. Fans of video games will recognize the voices of Hayter and Summersett. Hayter gave life to Snake in Metal Gear and Kingshark in Flash, and he wrote the screenplay for Watchmen.

Summersett is the voice of Princess Zelda in Breath of the Wild.

READ MORE: Q&A with comic artists Ken Lashley and David Nakayama

MAURICE LAMARCHE

WARNING: Some of the language in this video may not be suitable for younger audiences.

What do you like about coming to an expo like this?

Truly the thing that’s the best about it is all the stories that people who tell me an episode of Pinky and the Brain or Futurama or The Critic took them through a hard time. They tell me that it got them through an illness, a parent’s illness, a parent’s passing. I’ve had more than one person tell me that they decided that day that it was the day they were going to “end it” and that the laughter that came from going home and watching one more episode of Animaniacs gave them the little endorphin lift that made them realize that they didn’t want to do it after all. Let’s face it, suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. So, anything that can give you a lift on that day–God, I just feel honoured that I played any part in that… Thank you for letting us know that you’re alright.

What’s it like to connect to fans through something like a TV character?

I didn’t know when I was doing [Pinky and the Brain] 30 years ago that I was playing a part in something that would mean so much to people. I’ve been in a lot of shows that kind of came and went very quickly and nobody remembers them. but to be in things this iconic and to connect with people all this time later, you sort of feel like, “Okay, I guess I did something that was kind of useful.” As Stan Lee says if it wasn’t for entertainment, people would go off the deep end! So, yeah, it does feel great.

PATRICIA SUMMERSETT

What do you like about Calgary’s Expo?

This is one of my favourites of the year just because the vibe of this one is really chill, everyone is extremely nice, the POW parade was amazing. I’m really enjoying Calgary. Every element of this has been amazing–also, meeting the cast of Back To The Future. I have been fanning out on the cast of Back To The Future. Who wouldn’t?

Tell us a little more about landing the role of Zelda.

That was huge for me, that was a game changer. I had already done 10 years of voice acting and I’d done a lot of Ubisoft stuff but it happened upon a move to LA for me. Weirdly, I didn’t know what the video game was when I was auditioning for it but it was the first audition I did down in LA–which is a crazy story, of course, after 10 years of doing it already. It has been one of those adventures that has taken me around the world. I have met so many amazing, cool people, the fandom, the immense community of this 30-year franchise. I can’t say enough about it! It’s just been really special.

Do you feel pressure when doing a voice for such an iconic character?

Totally. I certainly did. The pressure is off a little bit now that it’s done and everything. I am still very tasteful in how I represent it and I keel things pretty family friendly in terms of what I do online. But yes, I felt it immensely right from the start. I tried to do the best justice I could.

How did you get into voice acting?

Everybody has a really different story with that. For me, personally, it was in theatre school and I took a voice acting class and I realized I could get paid for doing something like that. So I’ve been pursuing it as long as I’ve been pursuing film and TV… I think you tend to have a passion for sound when you do this, which I definitely had from a young age.

DAVID HAYTER

What do you like about Canadian expos?

I’ve been in LA a long, long time so it’s nice to be able to come back home. And I’ve never been to Calgary so it’s kind of cool to see a different part of Canada and realize that all Canadians are pretty much equally awesome… It’s been great, everybody is super nice, it’s well organized, it’s huge! Oh, and then that massive snowstorm out of nowhere.

How did you get into Solid Snake?

I had done a couple of episodes of Captain Planet and the casting director on that was Kris Zimmerman and she ended up being the voice director for the English language version of Metal Gear. She called me in to audition and I drove down to some weird little house in Hollywood and read for it. Then a week later Jennifer Hale called me and said I got the part!

What is it like to be in such an iconic role?

It’s amazing! I knew when we were making it that they had intended for it to be a big, ground-breaking game. But I didn’t know I’d be here 20 years later and have people freaking out. The impact of it has been just incredible. I was in Kuwait last year and people there were freaking out. It’s something else. It’s very, very cool. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted to do and it’s the perfect level of fame… No one hassles me on the street but I come here and everyone loves me and it’s nice.

What’s it like to be a part of the DC universe?

I’m Kingshark on the Flash and I wrote the movie Watchmen, and I did some Marvel work. You know, when I was a kid I was just a comic book nerd and I thought I’m only one. It turned out that there were so many others and now, I’m their leader!

LAURA VANDERVOORT

Photo by David Gray – © 2011 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

How did you enjoy the Calgary expo?

It’s been fun so far. It’s been of the best that I’ve been to, to be honest. And it’s Canada, so, I’m kinda biased as a Canadian. Everyone’s really friendly and the food has been great. every part has been fantastic.

What’s it like to have people recognize you as Super Girl?

It’s always fantastic, but when I meet the little girls that think I’m actually Super Girl and they look up to me that way and there’s that innocence about them–that’s the really special part for me. When I was playing Super Girl, I didn’t have anyone growing up that I could look up to in the superhero realm. Now we have so many, which is great! Women at the forefront in film and television. But, back then, to be one of the heroes that the little girls looked up to was great. Even now the new generations that have had their kids that watched the show and passed it on to their kids, it’s been really nice.

What’s it like being one of the originals on TV and setting a standard for superheroes on TV?

I don’t want to take credit for that, but okay! I mean, Smallville was one of the first Superhero shows on TV, if not the first of its kind. And it did set the bar for all the show we have today. I just feel lucky that I got to be a part of that, doing four seasons out of the 10 they did. I think that the Smallville cast, especially Tom, really set the bar for the shows now. And it’s nice to see that there are more women leading the way. There weren’t back then.

What’s it like to have Super Girl back with her own TV show?

I was thrilled when I heard they were doing it because I always wanted Super Girl to have her own series. I thought that there was a time and place for it and now that that’s happening and we’re able to see more of that following is great. I was able to do three episodes on that as a villain and had a great time doing it. It’s nice to be a part of that legacy.

-with files from Tom Ross and Devon McKendrick