Phil LaMarr is one of those gifted actors/comedians/voice actors/impressionists/producers who can do anything. The man has had roles on several animated series and movies, including Futurama, Star Wars Rebels, and The Emoji Movie, and a bunch of video games, too, such as the Metal Gear Solid franchise, Jak and Daxter, and Final Fantasy XII.
However, most fans know LaMarr from his work as the titular character on Cartoon Network’s animated series Samurai Jack. He stopped by SYFY WIRE’s Live Stage yesterday at Emerald City Comic Con and sat down with Tara Bennett to discuss returning to the character and finally providing an ending to the series 13 years after Season 4 wrapped in 2004.
Back then, series creator Genndy Tartakovsky had moved on to other projectsy such as Star Wars: Clone Wars for the small screen and Hotel Transylvania and its sequel for the big screen. When a darker, grittier (and older) Samurai Jack returned for an acclaimed fifth season on Adult Swim in March of last year, fans were over the moon. The 10-episode series even went on to win four Emmy Awards. Here's how LaMarr found out Samurai Jack was finally getting a Season 5.
“I saw something on the internet saying Samurai Jack is coming back,” he told us. “I was like ‘Really’ and I called my agent. They’re like, ‘We haven’t heard anything.’ And of course, this was right after they had announced the reboot of the Powerpuff Girls with none of the original Powerpuff Girls, so we were a little nervous. I had to find Genndy’s wife on Facebook, 'cause he’s not on any social media, and like, ‘Hey, I heard that Samurai Jack’s coming back, that’s cool, right?’ She’s like, ‘Call Genndy, it’s fine.’ He said, ‘Of course! Or course, I’m doing it and you’re doing it.’ Like, ‘All right, good, that’s all I need to know.’”
LaMarr then explained how production on the animated series basically hit the ground running because Genndy used a break in his busy schedule to make Samurai Jack, and touched upon the fact that Season 5 Jack would have been the natural progression of the character had the show run for all those years it was off the air. He also discussed how he enjoyed playing different facets of the samurai hero, which also included him getting a love interest, and playing two versions of Jack.
Have a look at our exclusive interview with Phil LaMarr above, and don’t forget to tune in for all our live-stream goodies during the whole of Emerald City Comic Con.
Additional material by Nathalie Caron.