It goes without saying AMC’s mega-hit The Walking Dead launched the careers of quite a number of stars of the zombie television series. With only a few acting credits to his name prior the show, Chandler Riggs quickly became a fan-favorite for his role as Carl Grimes, the son of protagonist Rick Grimes. Over the course of a decade, viewers literally saw Riggs grow up on screen. Despite being unceremoniously killed off in the Season 8 episode “Wrath,” Riggs remains incredibly grateful for his time on the show. With TWD in the past, Riggs is stepping into a new chapter of his career starting with his first major voiceover role as Superman in the Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One crossover animated movie.
The Beat had the fortune to interview Chandler Riggs about voicing such an iconic figure in pop culture as well as future projects on the horizon.
Taimur Dar: Looking over your past credits, other than a Robot Chicken Walking Dead episode special, it appears that this Justice League x RWBY animated film is your biggest animation voiceover project. Is voiceover work something you’ve been pursuing and how does it feel to be playing Superman right out of the gate?
Chandler Riggs: I’m pretty big into anime and I’ve been wanting to break into the world of voice acting for so long. To finally play around in that world and be Superman no less is so crazy and surreal. I am so, so lucky to be able to have the opportunity and experience. It’s really incredible.
Dar: Obviously Superman is an iconic character that everybody knows even if you never read a comic a day in your life. Do you recall the first time you encountered the character?
Riggs: It was probably some animated Justice League show when I was really young. It’s funny because Superman is such an iconic character that everyone knows innately. You say the name Superman or Clark Kent and everyone associates this strong leader and powerful guy. That was definitely a big part of the pressure behind it. How do you fill those shoes? It was tough one to crack especially with the added layer of the adolescence. A teen Superman isn’t the same as an adult Superman.
Dar: As you mentioned earlier, you’re an anime fan. I’m curious if you were familiar with the RWBY franchise before this project and what are some of your favorite anime?
Riggs: I’m a big fan of Rooster Teeth back in their Red vs. Blue days. I stopped watching Rooster Teeth right as they started releasing RWBY. I didn’t get a chance to watch any RWBY up until I was offered this role. I had to go back and do a lot of research on RWBY. I wasn’t so much into anime when it came out, but I am now. Some of my favorites are Demon Slayer and Chainsaw Man. My girlfriend is big into anime so she’s been having me watch some of her favorite shows. We’ve been watching Land of the Lustrous as well as Suzume in the theater. Also Attack on Titan and Death Note.
Dar: Based on the timing, it looks like you recorded this around when COVID restrictions started lifting and actors could actually record in studios under strict guidelines as opposed to the beginning of the pandemic when productions were scrambling to help set actors up with their own home studios. Were you indeed able to record this project in a studio or did you have a home studio setup?
Riggs: I’ve done a lot of livestreaming over Twitch so I have a pretty decent microphone setup at my house. But I did get to work in the booth. Unfortunately, we didn’t do it all together. We were all separate and had to go off of Kerry [Shawcross]’s direction, which was fantastic and great. We were able to knock out the whole thing in a short amount of time. But it was cool to be in the VO booth and actually be a voice actor.
Dar: It goes without saying that you’re probably best known for your breakout role as Carl Grimes in The Walking Dead. It’s not dissimilar to actors like Mark Hamill, who despite having an incredibly prolific career in voiceover will always be known for Luke Skywalker. Nevertheless, it’s a character and franchise that is still meaningful for him. What’s your attitude towards your time in The Walking Dead?
Riggs: Every time I think back on that show, the cast and the crew were so kind and fun and great to work with. I really hope I get to work with a lot of those guys again someday because they were so amazing and awesome. But I will say it is fun being able to do other projects and things. I wouldn’t be able to do this if I were still on The Walking Dead. It’s opened up so many opportunities and projects and things that I never would have been able to do otherwise.
Dar: Is there any other DC Comics character or other comics character you’d love a crack at playing either in animation or live-action?
Riggs: The Flash is one my favorite shows of all time. I would love to play Barry Allen or some iteration of The Flash. Grant Gustin did such a good job for The CW Flash. I’d love to do it but I don’t know if I could top it.
Dar: What future projects can you tease for fans?
Riggs: I just wrapped on an indie movie called Breakup Season. It won’t be out for a while but it’s a fun, cozy winter movie that was a lot of fun to do. I have a lot of stuff coming out really soon that I’m excited about both in front of and behind the camera.
Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One is available now Digitally and on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Blu-ray.