Hollywood Reporter

Tony Todd Set a Personal Record to Play Venom in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 Fsalinks


For Tony Todd, his voice role as Venom in in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is the latest in a career that has been full of heroes and villains.

The actor is known for his work ranging from Candyman, where he played the titular urban legend, to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, in which he voiced the titular Decepticon known as The Fallen.

With Spider-Man 2, he steps into the suit of one of Spider-Man’s chief villains for the game that stands as PlayStation Studios’ fastest selling game, and which this this spring unveiled an update featuring new suits and the ability to replay at a harder difficulty. Venom, meanwhile, remains in the pop culture conciousness in more ways than one, with Tom Hardy unveilling the trailer for Venom: The Last Dance on Monday, showing that the character’s legacy traverses comics, games, movies (and even the multiverse).

In a chat with The Hollywood Reporter, Todd dissects how he creates his characters, and reveals how the loss of his aunt helped him through his memorable Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode, “The Visitor.”

Between Candyman, Transformers, Star Trek, and now Spider-Man 2, you’ve have a track record of performances that get a strong reaction. How has the feedback been for Venom?

I stay humbled. I never have any expectations or anything. When I saw the reaction, I knew it was something quite extraordinary. I’m a gamer, OK? So, this to me feels like I should pay them to be able to voice something that I know is going to bring happiness, excitement, and multiculturalism to people all over the world. Venom is badass, and I’ve been excited that they selected me, and I hope I can live up to the hype.

As an actor that’s been a part of so many different mediums, what was the experience like for Spider-Man 2?

I’ve done Zoom (on CW’s The Flash), I’ve done Darkseid (in Justice League Dark), I’ve done The Fallen (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen). What was great about Insomniac was we had a great vocal director who was very meticulous. I could do a voice but she’d say, “Let’s go deeper.” And I love that – you got to be challenged. It’s probably a record amount of voiceover sessions, the most for any job I’ve ever had. But I had a smile on my face, wondering what today is going to bring. If you love what you do, you’re going to spread that joy.

What was your approach to Venom, for this specific universe?

I wanted to make him more human than just a character. So, the first thing I did when I got the job, I went to Golden Apple (comic book store in Los Angeles) and said, “Give me your best 20 Venom books.” That was my foundation, just getting the different visual aesthetics of it. I didn’t want to hear any voice samples, so I avoided the movies. I just wanted to make it my own. And then with help of the whole Spider-Man 2 staff, we were able to nail it down. And also contain him. Because if you don’t contain Venom, then you have total chaos. It’s a dance. And, you know, Yuri Lowenthal (who voices Peter Parker), and I, we’ve known each other for years. We were in a Netflix show called Dragon’s Blood together, where we actually voiced each other in a weird way.

You also got to work with Nadji Jeter, who plays Miles Morales. He’s been very open about how much he appreciates you and the support you’ve given him.

Nadji, I’ve adopted! He’s my nephew. As a Black actor, you’ve got to know how to navigate the system. Because, the same thing that can build you up, can bring you down. He’s a very talented young man, and I know he’s going to go far. And I just want him to appreciate every step of the way. He is Miles Morales, for God’s sake. And that’s a legendary status, right? If we don’t watch out for each other, who’s going to? When I first met Nadji, I was doing a session on the set and he came in. I had never seen somebody who had so much enthusiasm. And also, to have two people of color on the same set in any situation is always a treat. When I started, I was the only person of color, not only in the cast but in the crew, you know?

Since you’re a gamer, what’s getting the most love on your console right now?

I always go to NBA 2K. Right now, I’m digging the Mamba Moments in 2K24. Otherwise, one of my favorite games is Persona 5 — I love the storytelling in that. The music, the fantasy of it all. And I remember when my son was little, we spent a whole six months playing Final Fantasy VII together. Those were special memories.

Before we go, I’ve got to talk about Star Trek. You’ve played Worf’s brother Kurn on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and also appeared in Star Trek: Voyager, but my personal favorite is when you portrayed an older Jake Sisko in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “The Visitor.”

You know, Star Trek was really memorable. If you saw “The Visitor” episode of Deep Space Nine, it’s my favorite. My aunt had passed away, man. I was inconsolable, and just laid on my couch crying. All of a sudden, they sent me that script, “The Visitor,” and it was like she was saying, “Get up, honor me. Life goes on. Just remember the things I taught you and keep you values in tact.” So, all the mannerisms that I came up with, were all of her. All of her peculiarities, if you want to call them that. My aunt was always there for me. She made sure that I was involved in something in the summer — I avoided gang life, she stressed education, and the rest is history.


Marvel's Spider-Man 2,Tony Todd

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