What’s the one thing that Lewis Wilson, Robert Lowrey, Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, and Ben Affleck all have in common? Aside from the fact that they’re all actors, of course.
You guessed it: they’ve each delivered live-action performances as the Caped Crusader, spanning all the way back to 1943 when Wilson became the youngest (and least successful) interpretation of Batman on film. Each individual has their own apologists, of course, but when renown voice actor Kevin Conroy was asked to name his personal favorite from the bunch, the industry veteran once again sung the praises of Ben Affleck.
Speaking at MCM London this past weekend, the fan favorite said the following:
“Well, the one thing I will say about that, and I’m not going to get into commenting on actor’s performances. I don’t know if you’re aware, you probably are, in the Twitterverse and on the Internet, there was a lot of criticism when he got cast. Saying ‘Oh my god! He’s going to be terrible!’ And I was telling people ‘Wait a minute! Give this guy a chance! He’s a good actor. Let’s see what he does with it, you know?'”
Of course, the uproar over Affleck’s time in the role flared into life soon after his debut as the character, which was arguably one of the few highlights to salvage from Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. At the time, many critics proposed that he actually delivered a better performance without the cape and cowl, and that his particular take on Batman failed to emulate Christian Bale’s across the famous Dark Knight trilogy.
But in the eyes of Kevin Conroy, that’s simply not the case. Following his celebrated run in Batman: The Animated Series, Conroy is a bona fide veteran when it comes to Gotham’s watchful protector, so when he gives his opinion on the character, people tend to listen. And in regards to Affleck in particular, Conroy says he really pulled off the role.
“I think he surprised a lot of people. He really pulled it off. I thought he was really good. So I’m more in his court than a lot of people are, I guess. I think people gave him a hard time before they even saw what he would do with it. There’s a lot of pre-judging.
Though the Matt Reeves-directed Batman spinoff is looming on the horizon, it’s unclear if Big Ben will appear in it. There’ve been just as many rumors pointing to him departing the DCEU as there have been saying he’s still on board. Right now, all we can do is speculate, but it’s nice to hear that Kevin Conroy is still standing behind the actor and showing his support.