Vincent Kartheiser: The Challenges of Working in Animation

Mad-Men-Vincent-KartheiserEven though fans will have to wait another year for the final season of Mad Men, star Vincent Kartheiser isn’t sitting back during his time off. The 34-year-old actor is working for two shows in Fox Animation’s Domination High Def block. He’s voicing characters on Axe Cop and High School U.S.A. that launch on July 27.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times‘ Show Tracker, the talented thespian talked about his new creative venture.

He said, “[Fox] had this show called “Axe Cop” and they thought I would have a good voice for a guest-starring character who is Bat Warthog Man, and so I came into their office, which at the time was just a tiny little garage of a house in Los Feliz. It was in this little room where we had to turn the air conditioner off to record because it made too much noise. And there was seven writers, two producers and me all in this tiny room and I did the voice for Bat Warthog Man and we had a lot of fun. And they said, ‘You know, while you’re here, do you want to audition for this other role on ‘High School U.S.A.’ and I said, ‘Sure.’ It kind of just took off from there. I was just going in, and doing table reads, and recording every other week. It’s just a fun experience getting in that room and improv-ing some stuff.”

Kartheiser is currently working in his home state of Minnesota at the Guthrie Theater’s production of Pride and Prejudice. He’s playing the role of Mr. Darcy through Aug. 31. However, it is his roots in radio commercials and voice overs that have helped him with his current animation gig.

The Mad Men star revealed the differences between TV and voice work.

He shared, “…mannerisms and that other stuff will be added, and so you can still do them. Most of the time, I’m still acting the same as I would on “Mad Men” in terms of how I deliver my part. But the idea that you’re not acting with someone is a different kind of challenge that I’m not used to. When I need it, they’ll jump in and run lines with me, especially [creator and writer] Dino Stamatopoulos. He’s good with kind of cuing me to get the right intensity and emotion. But, yeah, I grew up in Minnesota and I used to do a ton of radio commercials here, voice overs. I was actually a radio disc jockey for two years when I was 11 and 12. So I have some experience in the studio working with my voice, but not much in the last 10 years — with the exception of “Rango.”

It seems like he’s really enjoying the gig though because he told the Times, “I just hope they keep making more projects and hiring me.”

Animation Domination HD premieres July 27 on Fox.

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