Mark Hamill may be best known for his onscreen role as the heroic Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars franchise, but he is also a prolific voice actor who has voiced great villains over the years like Firelord Ozai in Avatar: The Last Airbender and Batman’s nemesis, the Joker, in DC’s animated movies and series. Now he is lending his voice to another iconic character, this one belonging to the horror genre, Child’s Play’s Chucky.
CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg spoke with Seth Grahame-Smith, one of the producers on the upcoming reboot/remake of Child’s Play in an exclusive interview, and he spoke about how Mark Hamill really went above and beyond to make his Chucky special. Seth said:
Not only was he into it, he really started wanting to talk to us a lot about it from a standpoint of creating a character, and he wanted to do it as an acting challenge. And when we showed up the first day and the first recording session, he had watched all seven of the original movies, and he had sort of written a whole series of notes about his progression through the character, and development of voice. And then he showed us some of the voices he was developing. It was insane. He really jumped into it like a serious acting challenge.
Wow, Mark Hamill was not messing around, he really approached Chucky with all the preparation that he would a live-action character and perhaps more so. Seth Grahame-Smith sounds as though he was both surprised and impressed at how Mark Hamill viewed the role as an acting challenge, and the level of homework that he put in to develop the voice for Chucky.
Even before he had recorded a single line of dialogue, Mark Hamill had already watched all of the films in the Child’s Play/Chucky franchise and was working on multiple voices for his iteration of the character. All of this for a killer doll; that’s what you get with a true pro voice actor like Mark Hamill.
I guess it should be unsurprising he puts this much thought into his characters given how vocal he has been about the direction of Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy. He isn't just reading a script, he has an idea in his head of who his characters are and what their story should be. All that hard work paid off too, as Seth Grahame-Smith continued:
And we're still actually doing the last little records right around now, and I'm star-struck every time I'm in his presence. I can't believe that I'm in a recording booth with Mark Hamill. But that goes away really quickly when he starts to do the Chucky voice and match to picture. He becomes that character. And I think that like everything we're trying to do, there's a difference, right? You're not imitating Brad [Dourif]. That would be insane, and not respectful. I think cast-wise, voice-wise, we couldn't have done better in terms of the people that we attracted to the movie.
It sounds like Mark Hamill knew that he had the unenviable task of taking on an iconic character that already has a signature voice. Mark Hamill obviously wasn’t going to try and imitate Brad Dourif who has voiced Chucky in all the previous films and is the voice of Chucky to this point.
With that in mind, Mark Hamill really wanted to put his own spin on Chucky and work hard to make sure that this new Chucky was memorable and unique and that he sounded the way he does for a reason that is informed by his character.
This makes sense too considering that the Chucky in the new Child’s Play isn’t a doll with the spirit of a serial killer in him. This new Chucky is more a Black Mirror-esque killer A.I. that turns smart home products into tools to kill. So he should have his own unique voice and Mark Hamill took that responsibility very seriously.
We haven’t heard (or seen) much from Mark Hamill’s Chucky in the trailers so far, and they seem to be really building him up. If Seth Grahame-Smith’s comments are anything to go by, the famous actor disappeared and really became Chucky for Child's Play. And given Mark Hamill’s track record, we have no reason to doubt that he will be a worthy torchbearer for this horror icon.
Child’s Play slashes its way into theaters on June 21. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to see all the movies headed your way as we enter the summer movie season.