Friday , June 14 2024

Fan Expo Philadelphia: Cameron Monaghan on ‘Gotham’ and ‘Star Wars Jedi’

Cameron Monaghan garnered a lot of positive reviews when he took on the role of the Joker in Gotham. It still generates interest and applause at comic cons, including at Fan Expo Philadelphia. During one of his recent projects, Monaghan met one famous Joker actor, Mark Hamill (Star Wars, Batman: The Animated Series).

“I shot a promo for Star Wars with him a year or so ago. That was an honor. When Gotham was airing, Mark was incredibly supportive of me on the show. That’s something that I always really appreciated because I grew up watching what he did and listened to what he did,” said Monaghan.

The 30-year-old actor still wants to act with another Star Wars actor someday. “Any chance you have to work with Samuel L. Jackson, you would take it!”

On Playing the Joker

In Gotham, the first season was finding its way with audiences on tone and storylines. In terms of Monaghan’s sphere, the show focused on “setting up different possibilities for who the Joker could be. For me, this character always made sense. This is the guy. When I went in and performed, that was my thought.”

While it can be “very intimidating to take on anything with a history” as the Joker has in TV and films, Monaghan thought of it like any other role. He approached it in the same way as he would for “Macbeth or Richard III, or any Shakespeare character where there’s been highly influential versions of those performances.”

During his time on Gotham, Monaghan found it exciting to be part of that live action translation of the Batman comic book lore. Everyone was okay with going over the top where they needed to, which in tandem with the writing, kept the storytelling fun and full of possibilities. “What I think the audience really reacted to were the performers who were on the show and what they were bringing to those characters.”

On the Star Wars Video Games

Moving beyond the DC universe, Monaghan had his eye on another major franchise, Star Wars. However, his auditions for The Force Awakens and Solo left him empty-handed. He didn’t think he’d ever land a Star Wars role, particularly after seeing hundreds of actors at those auditions.

But Monaghan remained undeterred, auditioning for a video game that to him sounded like Star Wars in the notes he’d read. He was thrilled to receive a callback audition, where he met with the director. “He handed me a lightsaber [and said], ‘I just want you to swing this around and see what you can do with it.’ I said, ‘I knew it. I knew this was Star Wars!'”

So far, Monaghan has portrayed Cal Kestis in two Star Wars Jedi video games, Fallen Order and Survivor. Acting for the games requires working with motion capture technology. “While obviously voice is an important component of the performance, the movement and the expression [are] equally as important…[Motion capture] is really great for capturing emotional intimacy and truth.”

Though Cal has touched the Dark Side a little, Monaghan thinks his character has a good heart. Like his fans, he’s interested in what might happen next. “[Cal] wants to protect what he cares about and what he loves. I think people with that in them are pushed to the brink having to protect those things.”

Visit the Fan Expo Philadelphia website and our coverage for more fan culture news.

About Pat Cuadros

Pat Cuadros is Pop Culture Editor for Blogcritics Magazine. She frequently covers TV, film and theater. Her portfolio includes interviews with Ndaba Mandela and actors Juliette Binoche, Fran Drescher, Derek Jacobi and Brent Spiner. She's also spoken with notable voice actors Petrea Burchard, Garry Chalk, Peter Cullen and Brian Drummond.

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