Easily one of the finest actors working today and coming off a performance in The King's Speech that earned him an Oscar nomination, Geoffrey Rush has the power to accept and turn down any project that he chooses. Naturally, then, it was rather surprising when it was reported that Rush would be providing the voice of everyone's favorite Xudarian, Tomar-Re, in this summer's Green Lantern. Wanting to know more about his involvement, I took the opportunity to ask him about how he came to the film while interviewing him one-on-one earlier today.

Starting off, Rush confirmed that he does have an area of expertise in the comic book realm, having been "obsessed" with Superman when he was a kid and what he calls the "Double L Syndrome" (the fact that characters in the Man of Steel's universe, such as Lana Lang, Lois Lane, Lex Luthor and so forth all have L.L. as their initials). When approached by his agent about Green Lantern, however, he confessed to knowing nothing about that part of the DC Comics universe. but was interested and asked to be sent over artwork and the script. Half joking that he was drawn in by the character's oddly-shaped body ("I just identified so heavily with his torso"), Rush also said that he sees the Tomar-Re as an evolution from the animated characters he's voiced previously.
"I voiced an owl in Legends of the Guardians and I did a pelican in Finding Nemo, I think it’s time to add half fish, half lizard, to put that arrow in my quiver."
After accepting the gig, Rush then began talking with director Martin Campbell and started his recording sessions (apparently they aren't done yet, as Rush said he just did another one the other day). Just like in the case of many animated films, though, the Australian actor has yet to meet the person with whom he shares a great deal of scenes: Ryan Reynolds. That said, he is in no way concerned about how the chemistry between the two characters will work.
"Having voiced cartoon/animated stuff before, you know that you’re in good hands. I was always blown away that Albert Brooks and Ellen DeGeneres met at the premiere [of Finding Nemo]. It sounds like they improvised off each other, riffing, but, you know, the creators of those worlds, they get lots of alternate takes, they let people off the leash, and then they have to kind of… because I don’t think much ever hits the cutting room floor in those films. They’re beautifully storyboarded and stuff."
Green Lantern is set to arrive in theaters on June 17, while Geoffrey Rush's next film, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, will be released on May 20. Stay tuned later this month for my full interview!

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