By: Todd Gilchrist
Like Peter Cullen, the actor who provides the voice for his on screen adversary, Optimus Prime, Frank Welker is a bona fide icon of the voice recording world. Not just because he has more than four decades of work and 600 individual credits to his name. Not just because yes, he provided the voice for Megatron, one of the most famous villains in cartoon history. Rather, it's because people know and identify him just from his voice, which may run contrary to the idea of actors disappearing into their roles, but it demonstrates that what he does is so distinctive and special it transcends the limitations of the medium.
SciFi Squad recently caught up with Welker via email to discuss his illustrious history in voice recording, in conjunction with Shout! Factory's Sept. 15 DVD release of Transformers Season Two, Volume One. In addition to talking about bringing Megatron to life, he talks about the technical and creative challenges of voice work, and reflects on a few of the roles that linger in the memories of movie and TV fans long after the characters left the screen.
SciFi Squad: I'll start with the obvious first: How did you get into voice acting, and by the time you performed on Transformers, was your work as Megatron initially just another job or was the process of getting the role distinctive in your career?