Following the release of Transformers: The Last Knight in June, the fifth installment in the movie franchise is finally out on digital HD and Blu-Ray/DVD now.
With that said, we recently got to sit down with Frank Welker and Peter Cullen, the voices of iconic characters Megatron and Optimus Prime. Frank let us know how it differs from voicing the Decepticons over their leader Megatron, while Peter gave us an insight on how he went about voicing an evil Optimus Prime!
When it comes to voicing your characters — at the end of the day, they’re an inanimate object, but they turn into something — do you guys ever face any walls when trying to portray any emotion into your characters?
Peter Cullen: Oh I don’t think so, generally speaking, we’re in script form. With script form, everything is going to have a sense of emotion one way or the other.
Frank Welker: Yeah, we’re kind of script-driven when we do our recordings. Unless you see the ADR, we get all the action and we project into it, but the emotions are written in and we just give it all we got.
Peter: It’s not Shakespeare, but we’re going to have a gambit of emotions one way or the other. For the most part, it’s all evil or good.
With Transformers: The Last Knight, we see Optimus on a different side. Did you take a different approach when it came to voicing him this time around?
Peter: I did because he was under a spell, so I tried to consume that idea and asked, “What can I do? Why is he out of it?” So, it was almost like being drugged: you had to think of it that way, you had to think some people say different things and with a different voice like when they’re on drugs like in a hospital. People coming out of a coma or coming out of intensive care, just that moment where people come out and say stupid things or crazy things. I used a bit of that. It was very alarming to me ’cause I wondered, “How many pages does this go on for? When do I join the Autobots again?”
Megatron is one of our favorite characters, only behind Barricade, is it harder voicing the big bad boss over the rest of the Decepticons?
Frank: I think it’s a lot more fun. I do like running the rough shot over the gang. Physically, it actually feels good to get that out ’cause most of the time you’re walking around restraining yourself, but then you can let yourself go and it’s for a good cause, the Decepticons. I think it’s a joy, most of the time in my other lives, I’m playing cats or dogs and monkeys, so when I go and meet Michael [Bay], he tells me to be nasty and I say, “Yes sir!”
Rumors have been going around on the Transformers universe expanding. With all the other huge movie universes out there, which direction would you like to see the Transformers go? I’d love to see Bumblebee turn into Captain America’s shield or maybe Megatron and Optimus team up against King Kong and Godzilla.
Peter: You and I team up against another bad guy? Hell yeah! How about 13 cable channels? The worst shows on TV we gang up against.
Frank: The worlds that we can explore have yet to be explored. I would love to spend more time with my brother (Optimus) and getting to know each other a little bit better and see if I can straighten him into the correct evil world. But if we ever did run into any of those folks that you mentioned, then we’d have to deal with them together.
Peter (in Optimus Prime’s voice): Well, there’s hope for you Megatron, there’s always a little hope.
You can order your copy of “Transformers: The Last Night” at Amazon.com now.