Friday, September 28, 2012

David Selby Talks About Being the Top Cop in Gotham

Last week, I was lucky enough to attend the premiere of DC's The Dark Knight Returns: Part 1. While on the red carpet (totally fun experience, btw).  I had the sincere pleasure to interview David Selby, who is the voice of Commissioner Jim Gordon.

On the off chance you don't know, Selby is known best for creating iconic roles in television. We all know him best as Quentin Collins from Dark Shadows or Richard Channing from Falcon Crest. With a history like that, I had to ask him what it was like to step into a role already portrayed by so many. Selby did his best to avoid any previous incarnations of Gordon. He failed though when it came to Gary Oldman. No matter what, Selby couldn't get Oldman's picture out of his head. Even months after filming, seeing Oldman in Tinker was enough to rattle Selby.

Through it all, Selby has a deep-seeded connection to Batman. When the Adam West Batman was starting out, so were other now-iconic shows Star Trek and Dark Shadows. Selby remembers the struggles to get going back then and feels a kinship to the stories. He also remembers as a child going to read comics in the local soda shop. His childhood tastes ran the Mickey/Donald Duck route but even he picked up a Superman from time to time. 

One funny story was that Selby had no idea what would befall him in taking in the role of Jim Gordon, especially in his family. His son, a big comic reader, was particularly pleased. Unbeknownst to Selby when he took the job, his son had every issue of this Frank Miller story. When he told him that he would be playing "the commissioner" his son freaked out over the phone. He was able to share his enthusiasm with Selby, and express the love that geeks everywhere have for this character.

It was a pleasure speaking with him and so exciting to see this film. It is a true testament to this story. For anyone attending New York Comic Con, make sure you attend the panel, where the public will get its first view of footage from the film!  They will also be announcing the 2012 slate of DC Animated Films, with the release date of Part 2!  You can pick up Part 1 on Blu-ray or DVD in stores now.

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