Mark Hamill is known by many names in pop culture: Luke Skywalker from Star Wars, the definitive voice of the Joker according to many Batman fans, and various other DC characters such as the Spectre, the Trickster, and Solomon Grundy. Hamill is set to reprise his role as the Trickster from the ‘90’s Flash TV show, on this Tuesday’s new episode of the CW’s The Flash.
In an interview with The Flash showrunner Andrew Kreisberg, Hamill is asked who would win between the Joker and the Trickster. Hamill replies:
“Gee, that’s a tough one. You know, I played The Trickster before I ever voiced The Joker and people asked me, ‘Is that what made them think of you for the animated series?’And it’s not. I mean, as you probably know, the television department and the movie department and the animation department are all separate entities and they don’t really coordinate. I had read about them doing the animated series and the benchmark they were aiming for were the Max Fleischer Superman cartoons. And Paul Dini was involved, so I said, ‘Oh, boy, they’re going to get this right.’ There were sixty-five episodes ordered so it would be able to go beyond just the villain of the week. He could be a detective, he could do mysteries, he could do gothic horror, he could do all kinds of things.
So I said to my agent, ‘I just want to be on that.’ And they gave me a part in the ‘Heart of Ice’ episode, which was the first Mr. Freeze. It won an Emmy, that script, because when I read it I thought, ‘Wow, this is really melancholy.’ And deep for a children’s cartoon where the empathy is all with the villain who is trying to find a way to preserve his wife who has this fatal disease.”
As fans of Batman the animated series probably know, Hamill initially played the villain Ferris Boyle, who turned Victor Fries into Mr. Freeze. After playing the hero Luke Skywalker, Hamill felt sure he wouldn’t be cast as the Joker.
“Anyway, I did that, and — actors, they’re never satisfied. I got on the show, and it was like, ‘How come I’m not Mr. Freeze?’ And I guess they thought of me later down the road when they decided to cast The Joker. Unlike the first episode that they just gave me, that one I went in and I read for. And part of the reason I felt like I was in the right frame of mind is that I said, there’s no way I’m going to get this. They just will not cast the guy who played this icon of virtue, this sort of farm boy puppy dog guy, with this arch icon of villainy. There’s just no way. From a public relations standpoint, I can’t get this. So instead of being nervous about it, I went in thinking, ‘Since they can’t hire me, I’m going to make them really sorry that they can’t.’ And as I’m driving out of the parking lot, I’m thinking, ‘Ha! Top that! That’s the best Joker they’re ever going to hear!’ Really cocky and full of myself.”
Hamill’s overconfidence soon turned into humility when he learned he got the part.
“And of course, ten days later I got the call, they want me to be The Joker. And I was like, ‘Oh no! I can’t do this!’ …Joker’s too big. If I were Two-Face or somebody down the line…. I said, I know the fans hear it in their head. There’s no way I can satisfy that. I can’t scratch that itch. I went 180 degrees in the other direction. So I’m driving into the first recording and I don’t even remember what I did! I’m practicing the laugh on the way to the studio, forgetting that they have reference tapes that they can play. In Los Angeles, by the way, no one bats an eye if you’re laughing maniacally behind the wheel of your car.”
See Mark Hamill as the Trickster again on this Tuesday’s episode of The Flash airing on the CW at 8:00 EST.