Much like the Mandalorian bounty hunter Boba Fett in Star Wars, the undead ninja warrior Hanzo Hasashi a.k.a Scorpion remains the most iconic character in the Mortal Kombat video game franchise. It’s a role portrayed by a number of actors in various media over the years, but if there’s one actor perhaps most associated with Scorpion it’s voiceover artist Patrick Seitz.
First voicing the character in 2008’s Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe video game, Seitz has reprised Scorpion in various other games since then. Last year, Seitz took it to the next level when the titular ninja received his own animated direct-to-video film Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge.
Patrick Seitz is back voicing the Scorpion in the film’s sequel, Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms. And although Scorpion may not be the focus this time around, he still plays a major part in the story. The Beat had the chance to chat with Seitz about what drives Scorpion now that he has fulfilled his mission of revenge and much more.
Taimur Dar: You’re no stranger to Mortal Kombat or the character Scorpion having voiced him for more than a decade. I know the filmmakers didn’t necessarily want to cast the original video game voice actors for the animated films, so I think it’s a testament to how much you’ve brought to the role over the years that you’ve become the quintessential performer for Scorpion in the same vein as Kevin Conroy is for Batman. How does it feel?
Patrick Seitz: Oh, it feels great. We’re lucky to work at all. And then to get a juicy part in something is even luckier. And then to have that juicy role reprised is even luckier still. There’s already this huge run of luck and gratitude for me. And then to get the call that they’re doing movies like these is always a surprise and a source of gratitude on my end. You can’t take any of this for granted. Each session could be the one where the character is gone or they’re recasting you or whatever it might be. Every new opportunity to voice a character I’ve voiced before is a “bonus round” for lack of a better way to put it. I was tickled pink to be contacted for that first film and then Battle of the Realms as well. This is my life? I love this!
Dar: Obviously revenge was Scorpion’s primary motivation in the first film hence the title Scorpion’s Revenge. After he achieves it, I’m reminded of Inigo Montoya’s line at the end of The Princess Bride when he says, “I have been in the revenge business so long, now that it’s over, I don’t know what to do with the rest of my life.” So what drives Scorpion in Battle of the Realms?
Seitz: Initially I feel like he’s just been contrary. “You think you’ve got me. You think you’re going to dictate terms to me? I don’t think so! Zoop!” Off he goes. Having avenged his mission of vengeance, he sort of got what he wanted. It’s as good as it’s going to get for him. The fact that trouble arises for people that aren’t him and he contributes in any positive way, he’s stepping up. He’s not doing it in an ostentatious kind of way. This is a dude who could be, “I got mine. Good luck the rest of you,” and ride off into the sunset [and] flipping us all off. But he doesn’t. In his own Scorpio-esque way, he answers the call and is doing what’s right for other people which is interesting dynamic for him.
Dar: I know actors hate being pigeonholed into one type of role. If you look at someone like Bryan Cranston, he’s amazing in both comedic and serious dramatic roles. You also have a clear talent for both serious characters like Scorpion but also comedic roles like Tygra and Mumm-Ra in ThunderCats Roar. Do you have a preference for comedy or drama?
Seitz: I like them both. I get used more for big and dark and big bad and yelly, screamy, fighty, murdery. I get it. It’s also fun to be in the lighter stuff too like you mentioned like Tygra and Mumm-Ra in ThunderCats Roar. That’s not always the obvious usage for me. Part of me really vibes on that because it’s not the easiest place to put me. It requires me being given the opportunity to read something outside of my usual comfort zone. Then it requires the people above me making the choices hearing that and saying, “You know what? We’re not going to use him in the most obvious way.” To work is gratifying. To get to do something different is also gratifying. But ain’t nothing wrong with them going, “We need this 8’ tall demon with big teeth and an anger problem and we thought of you. Do you want it?” One is gratifying because of the consistency. One is gratifying because of the novelty. Ultimately, given my druthers, I like to do them both. It keeps things fresh.
Dar: The first film opens with a flashback to Scorpion’s tragic past and his death and resurrection. I don’t know how much you change your voice or if it was all in your performance. Could you elaborate on how you differentiated your performances with Scorpion?
Seitz: There was definitely a switch in the voice and in what motivated pre-death and post-death. I tried to convey not only in active literal changes in the vocalization but also in the performance that some of it would be in the read and some of it would be in the voice itself. I feel like even post-death, the moments where he veers towards vengeance versus the moments where he veers towards nobility or clarity, there is even a little bit of room to play with it. It never goes completely to where he was alive, so to speak. But it does give a little more runway to have the voice reflect what is going on within him. Just a little something to say, “Ok, he’s calmer right now. Or he’s got his blood up in this moment.”
Dar: Finally, voiceover recording studios are open now after being closed during the pandemic when everything was being recorded remotely at home. I know some voice actors are still recording remotely, so I’m curious if you’re also still recording from home?
Seitz: I’ve been doing both. I’ve been doing mostly remote recording with a little bit of in-person recording based on the specific project or individual dictates of the scheduling. I miss recording in person all the time because I am not an engineer! Having to track my own muzzles especially with how dynamic my characters can be with the screaming and the fighting. I’ve always been very impressed by engineers and what they do, especially after this last year and a half. But I’m getting there! I’m coming out of my hidey hole slowly but surely!
Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms is available now on Digital, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD