Wizard World: Loren Lester talks Robin/Nightwing, The Orville

Loren Lester at Wizard World Chicago. Photo by Danielle Solzman.

Actor Loren Lester took some time today to talk with Solzy at the Movies while he was in town to meet fans at Wizard World Chicago.  Lester is best known for portraying Dick Grayson/Robin/Nightwing in Batman: The Animated Series and the animated DC universe.

Thanks for joining Solzy at the Movies today.  How are things treating you in Chicago?

Loren Lester:  Fantastic.  This is one of the best conventions I’ve done.  People here are great.

What’s your favorite part about coming to the conventions?

Loren Lester:  Well, people come up to me wherever I am in the country—and I’m all over the country doing these—and they often have tears in their eyes because the show really meant something really special to them.  I didn’t know that until I started doing cons.  I always knew it was a cool show.  People thought it was cool.  It really touched them in a certain way because a lot of the kids who watched it came home after school.  They were latchkey kids and it really inspired them.  I never get tired of hearing that and I hear it all day so it’s very cool.

What was your history with Batman and Robin before signing on as Dick Grayson?

Loren Lester:  I was a huge fan of the show in the 60s.  I was a little boy at the time and took it very seriously even though it was a spoof—tongue-in-cheek.  So Tuesday night, we had a cliffhanger and I couldn’t wait to see the show until Wednesday to see if Batman and Robin were actually going to die, which they never would but you always were worried about it.  I was a huge fan of Burt Ward and Adam West.

Have you had the chance to meet them?

Loren Lester:  I have not.  I never got to meet Adam West.  I’m really hoping I going to get to meet Burt Ward one day.

That would be cool.

Loren Lester:  I’d tell him thank you.

You’ve done voice work and live-action.  Which do you prefer?

Loren Lester:  I have no preference.  I’m what’s known as a journeyman actor and I’m the guy on the bench—to use a baseball term.  Wherever they bring me in, I’m happy to do it.

You’re making an appearance on The Orville this season.  Is that correct?

Loren Lester:  Yes, I’m really excited about that.  We shot that already and it just went great.  It’s episode 7.  The show premieres September 10th so whenever they decide to show episode 7, you will see me.

How long is it?

Loren Lester:  It’s a good part.  It’s a really good part.

So it’s not like one of the red shirts?

Loren Lester:  No. (Laughs)  People ask me that and I have a friend of mine who’s been a red shirt during the original series.  He did it five or six times.  They let him get killed five or six times back in those days.  No, it’s bigger than a red shirt.

What other upcoming projects do you have?

Loren Lester:  On Tuesday, August 29th, it’s the premiere on Blu-ray of Batman and Harley Quinn, where I get to reprise my role as Nightwing, which I’m very excited about.  We saw it at San Diego Comic Con.  About 1,000 people came to the screening.  It was a huge response of laughter and very happy about that.

Is there someone that you’d like to work with that you have yet to already work with?

Loren Lester:  You mean in voice or?

In voice or on camera.

Loren Lester:  Wow.  There’s such a long list that I don’t even know where to begin.  I’ve worked with some of my great comedy idols like John Cleese and people like that in the comedy world.  I’ve worked with Larry David.  I’ve been going through my life checking off my bucket list.  But there’s still quite a long list.

How excited were you when you found out that Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker, was going to be cast as The Joker?

Loren Lester:  Well, the original casting was Tim Curry and I didn’t find out that Mark Hamill had replaced him until I came into the show like about episode 16 when I think they brought my character in.  I was thrilled, of course, to get to know Mark.  He’s a theater actor.  He’s a movie actor and a voice actor.  He’s got such a wonderful history and I love working with him.

Alright, thank you.

Loren Lester:  Thanks a lot.


Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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