Over the course of his career, prolific voice actor Nolan North has portrayed some of the most iconic comic book characters in both animation and video games. With the new Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths animated film, he adds the power duplicating android Amazo to his continuously growing resume. In addition, Nolan also portrays Hal Jordan as well as a mysterious homeless man who is clearly more than he appears. We had the opportunity to chat with Nolan North about Amazo, the revelation regarding the aforementioned homeless man, as well as the one comic book character he’s hoping to check off his acting list one day. 

Taimur Dar: You have a few different roles in this film. But the one I didn’t expect to resonate with me so much was the android Amazo. It’s a very familiar robot archetype but there’s a lot of depth. He’s almost like a child. What informed your performance?

Nolan North: I go back to great writing and directing first to find that balance where an android sits between human emotion and his processing. What I found interesting is the fact that he went through an actual story arc that you would expect from a human. For him to process that was the microcosm of people going, “Robots are becoming too humanlike.” As a fan I found that interesting. Voice-wise it was a matter of finding a flat even tone. The one thing I liked was that his curiosity would be piqued. Maybe it’s a good lesson for humans to be asking questions. If Amazo is still figuring things out, maybe we should too. His story arc in one word would be “evolution.” I talked to a number of people [who said], “I didn’t expect to be moved to tears by Amazo.”    

Dar: Amazo is very much in the mold of Spock from Star Trek, which can be especially challenging since he has no facial expressions. Nevertheless, you can still hear some emotion in your voice performance. How did you incorporate humanity into the voice?

North: That’s a really good question. A lot of times you rely on animators to make the expressions, but for him that wasn’t there. I go back to the strong writing [and] understanding the story. I can’t say what my expression was when I was doing it. I don’t just sit there and drink coffee. A lot of people think voiceover is just saying the lines into the microphone. I will lower the mic if I’m doing something different. I told someone earlier if I’m Superman, I always stand. There’s something about the posture. I’ve even done the stance. It’s weird how your physicality can inform the choices. With Amazo, I love the juxtaposition of what he was saying and feeling and how he looked. His exterior is still the same. I don’t know what it is that evokes that. I did not expect the feedback I’ve gotten about Amazo. It’s so humbling and flattering.

Dar: You also voice a homeless man who first appeared in Green Lantern: Beware My Power. With the release of Crisis on Infinite Earths, the revelation is he is in fact John Constantine, a twist that caught me off guard. During the recording sessions did they tell you the truth about the character?

North: It’s funny. I think we started that character and I didn’t know who it was. And someone in the middle [said], “Well, you know it’s [Constantine].” And I go, “I thought it might be.” I’m kind of a fan of Constantine and thought it was really cool. To be able to be invited to play that character was a thrill. I just love how he’s introduced. It’s not revealed right away. How quickly did you figure it out?

Dar: I just assumed it was the character of Pariah. I’m not afraid to admit I didn’t realize it until late in the film when he finally shows his magical abilities. I attribute it to the fact that seeing him with a beard and without his iconic trench coat is such a contrast.

Nolan: I hate to sound so Pollyanna but it was a privilege. I’ve been fortunate enough to be invited to do so many different characters in the DC Universe. People always ask me which one I would want to do. I go, “Whichever they say.” I like that challenge. I’m just such a fan. I liked comics when I was a kid.

Dar: On that subject, your resume of voicing characters from both DC and Marvel pretty much runs the gamut. At this point, is there any particular comic book character you’d love to get a crack at voicing?

North: I get this question so much. You don’t covet other people’s characters. It’s so many of my friends. I’ve always loved Wolverine at Marvel but that’s Steve Blum. I would be doing a Steve Blum impression. I really always loved Superman. I didn’t know much about Superboy and I love Superboy now. I guarantee that there are characters out there that I would love to do. The easy answer is Batman. I don’t know if a lot of people think that would be something I could do. But I could, especially as I get older. There’s a darkness about the character I’m drawn to. I’ve seen so many different iterations done by different actors. I think I know a way to make it slightly different but true to the character. I’d love the Joker and I’ve done some auditions. I found a recent audition for the Joker for some project and I really liked what I did. It was slightly different. I love Mark Hamill’s Joker and Kevin Michael Richard’s Joker. You’re making me feel like leaving the store and I can only pick one toy from the treasure chest. I can’t pick one!    

Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths Part One is available now