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Kevin Conroy was playing Batman, not Bruce Wayne

A clip from the upcoming documentary I Am the Knight reveals the late actor's attitude towards playing the Dark Knight

Batman the Animated Series
Image credit: Warner Bros. Animation

Kevin Conroy personified Batman in a manner that made the character come alive to many fans for the first time — and in a new clip from an upcoming documentary about the late actor, he talks about his process… and what character he was really playing the entire time.

“I thought Batman was the real character, and Bruce Wayne was the disguise,” Conroy explains in the video, which is part of Kevin Conroy: I Am the Knight, a documentary tribute to the actor that appears on the upcoming 4K UHD release of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.

“I just went to a very dark and private place in my vocal range, because it seemed like such a dark, private world he lived in,” Conroy says in the clip when talking about how he created his iconic performance of Batman. “And for Bruce, he has to play the society scene in New York — I mean, he’s the bachelor in town. It’s the other extreme, so it’s much brighter, a much more elevated sound. There’s a lot more modulation to the voice, a lot more color to the voice. It was fun!”

The upcoming re-release of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm on 4K UHD marks the 30th anniversary of the movie spin-off from the fan-favorite Batman: The Animated Series. The new edition features a digitally restored print sourced from the original 1993 camera negative, with scratches, dirt, and other anomalies applied to the image; this release is also the first time since the movie’s theatrical release that it’s been presented in its original 1.85 format. Similarly, the movie’s audio has been remastered to restore its original mix and correct imperfections.

I Am the Knight is an all-new documentary appearing on the new release, paying tribute to the man who was Batman for an entire generation of fans, not just in the animated series, but also in video games and even a live-action appearance as a version of the character as part of the CW’s Arrowverse crossover Crisis on Infinite Earths.

More information about the new Batman: Mask of the Phantasm release can be found here. The excerpt of I Am the Knight can be seen here.

Conroy unfortunately passed away last November, aged 66.