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June 2008
An Interview with Gary Dourdan

An Interview with Gary Dourdan
By Wilson Morales

June 23, 2008

After eight seasons on TV’s CSI, Gary Dourdan may be saying goodbye to his character Warrick Brown. When last seen, his character’s fate left to die on the last season (Season 8), and fans are not sure if Dourdan will be back next season. Either way, Dourdan is already moving on to the next phase of his career, which includes more films, and following up on his music. First up for Dourdan is a voiceover role in the animated film, ‘Batman: Gotham Knight’.

‘Batman: Gotham Knight’ is a 2008 animated direct-to-DVD anthology film of six animated short films set in-between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. The film uses a Japanese anime style for the animation. His role is the first animated appearance of Crispus Allen. His character was made famous in DC Comics' Gotham Central comics series (although his first appearance dates back to Detective Comics). Crispus Allen shows up in three different segments of the six-segment film, Batman Gotham Knight.

In speaking exclusively to blackfilm.com, Dourdan talks about what attracted him to the project, his status on CSI, and his upcoming horror film.

What attracted you to do the voice character of Crispus Allen?

Gary Dourdan: What got me to do this character was the project, the animation. I always wanted to do more animation voiceover stuff, so the opportunity came along and I jumped on it. Plus, it’s a Batman project so how could I say no.

Did you go after this or did they come after you?

GD: They came to me. I was very flattered that they wanted me to do the voiceover. The animation on this is great. When I did ‘Alien: Resurrection’, a lot of the guys worked on planned production, and one of them was really into comic books and would draw all sorts of characters and I was impressed with his sketches.

How much did you know about the character you were playing?

GD: I didn’t know much. When I read the script and saw what they were doing, and I wasn’t familiar with the way they had the story, but I was pleased with what they had installed for me to do.

When Crispus first appears in ‘Crossfire’, he seems indifferent to the positive reaction that Batman has been receiving. Why do you suppose that’s the case?

GD: The reason he acts that way is because he’s not sure which side Batman is really on. If he’s on the side of the law or the opposite, but eventually the two come to an understanding of one another.

Did you go back to the comic books to get a background on who Crispus is?

GD: No, I didn’t actually. Everything was happening so fast and when they told me about this project, by the time they got me the material, it was time to start taping my scenes. From reading the script, I got a sense of who he is.

How is it voicing a character as oppose to shooting a scene? Is the work a bit easier?

GD: I have done other voiceovers and it also depends on the project. This one was actually cool because we did it to the anime, and it was something new for me. Putting my voice to their picture was something new for them as well. It was interesting watching these guys put sketches to my voice. I can’t imagine how Sam Jackson did it with ‘Afro Smuarai’, but it’s not easy I can you tell that.

With you having the time to do this, Carol Mendelson, one of the producers on ‘CSI’ had mentioned that all the cast members would be back at the start of Season 9. With your character being shot in last scene of Season 8, will you be coming back next year?

GD: You will have to ask Carol. I really have no answer to that question.

Are you looking to move on to a new phase of your career?

GD: I’m always looking to different work. It doesn’t matter so much where the project is so long as it is good work.

What keeps you grounded?

GD: First of all, my daughter and my son, and playing music.

What do you have coming up next?

GD: I’m about to do a film in France called ‘Blackjack’, a cross between a war film and a horror film. My character is a serviceman who goes in a French village and has to fight off zombies who were exposed to some chemical warfare.

Are you confirmed to be participating in ‘Celebrity Rehab’ as reported on various places on the web such as IMDB?

GD: For the record, contrary to what’s written on the web, I will not be any celebrity rehab. That’s completely false.

Why should anyone pick up ‘Batman: Gotham Knight’?

GD: It’s a good experience to watch. The movies haven’t been bad and neither have been the Saturday morning cartoons. If you have been a fan of anyone of these, then you will enjoy watching these segments in different styles. The art form is just amazing.

Batman Gotham Knight hits DVD stores on July 8th, 2008.

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