At Geek Vibes Nation we are huge fans of the DC Universe series Titans. As a massive Superman fan, I was thrilled and geeking out when I saw the tease for Superboy at the end of season one. Season two just wrapped and Joshua Orpin made his DC debut as the Boy of Steel himself, Conner Kent. We have gotten a chance to talk with just about everyone from the show so this was a must get for me. Check out the full interview below as we discuss Josh’s career plus what might be in store for season 3.
Geek Vibes Nation: When did you realize acting/entertaining was something you wanted to do? Did you have any Australian actors or actresses you looked up to growing up?
Joshua: I knew from the age of 9 that performing was something I found hugely satisfying. That was really the first time I stepped on stage in front of a substantial group of people, and it was completely exhilarating – despite being just a school play! Theatre was undoubtedly my first love, but I was always a total sucker for movies as well (although I wouldn’t get the opportunity to act on film until much later on). At the end of the day, I’ve always preferred being caught up in a good story to reality. It’s very much a dream come true to now be taking part in that process for a living.
In terms of successful Aussie actors, I’ve had one or two that I really admire and have tried to emulate over the years. Hugo Weaving and Hugh Jackman to name a couple, both of whom have had a massive influence on me as an aspiring actor.
GVN: Were you a fan of comics growing up? If so, were you more drawn to Marvel, DC or both?
Joshua: I was a big fan of superheroes in general! Spider-man was probably the childhood favourite, but I loved all the cartoons (especially X-Men) and video games growing up. It took me until my teens for me to start getting into the actual comic books. Strangely, here I was mostly drawn to the DC characters. I absolutely loved reading classic Batman stories like The Killing Joke or Year One. I really enjoyed the darker, more serious books. For my quintessential Batman, Hush by Jeph Loeb is my go-to. The entire Death of Superman arc in the 90’s has to be my favourite Super story. It’d be hard to pick a writer, but Jim Lee for sure has gotta be my favourite artist.
GVN: Did you research the role of Conner/Superboy after getting the part?
Joshua: Of course! One of the very first thing I did after getting the call was go out and buy every comic book I could find involving Superboy or the Teen Titans. I was very resolved in going straight to the source material for this – I’m very lucky that there hasn’t really been a significant portrayal of the character in live action up until this point (very rare for superheroes these days), although there is a pretty kickass version in the Young Justice series. Either way, I wanted my interpretation to stand apart from any other, and ultimately took my inspiration from both the comics and the world of Titans that had already been established in the first season.
GVN: Is there any particular Titans or Superboy storyline you would like to see adapted for season 3?
Joshua: Well, it’s a tough question when you consider that the story obviously has to fit into this specific Titans universe that we’ve established, with this particular group of heroes. A lot of the best Superboy stories don’t actually involve the Teen Titans at all, or come from a different era, for example the 1990’s Kesel version. Some include vital characters that don’t exist in our show! So it’s tricky, but that’s not to say that our storylines can’t still be influenced by these.
In a perfect world, I think it’d be really cool to adapt something like issue #6 of the Teen Titans 2003 Geoff Johns run, and have a scene where all the Justice League heroes briefly cameo and do battle with their respective sidekicks. Of course, that would mean introducing “Titans-verse” versions of most of the members of the JL in addition to our Bruce Wayne. Maybe this just isn’t feasible at the moment what with their cinematic counterparts still running all over the place… But it WOULD be cool!
GVN: You made quite an impact in season 2. What can we expect from Conner in season 3?
Joshua: I think we can expect Conner to keep learning from his mistakes and his successes. He may have contributed the odd act of heroism… but over the course of season 2, more often than not, he made an awful mess of things. Actions have consequences, and Conner still has a lot to answer for, particularly to the San Francisco police department! He’s got a lot more growing to do.
Ultimately, he’s gonna keep taking those baby steps to finding his place in this team of superheroes, and the world at large. The trusty Krypto will be along for the ride, of course!
GVN: Will you continue to wear the classic black shirt with red S or might there be an upgrade to your outfit in season 3?
Joshua: As an actor, it’s important for me to think about why a character wears what they do. When we meet Conner he, in many ways, has the mentality of a child. Kids don’t really put much thought at all into what they wear, and it was simply Conner’s instinct / latent memories that drew him to the Superman emblem in the first place. Beyond that, it doesn’t really make sense for him to wear, say, some kind of super suit. For one thing, the guy is basically invulnerable to physical harm, so no function would really be served by wearing protective clothing.
What we might see in season 3 – similar to what most kids go through during a transition into adulthood – is Conner experimenting with fashion from a cosmetic perspective, as he becomes more aware of what he looks like. I’m guessing that he might begin taking more ownership of his appearance, to express his personality as it continues to develop.
GVN: What villain from the DC Universe would you love to see adapted for the show?
Joshua: My realistic answer here would have to be the big bad baldy himself, Lex Luthor. He’s brilliant, ruthless and iconic – the personification of intelligence, ambition and pride. I think he’d make a formidable adversary for the Titans, and the connotations of his involvement in the show for Superboy have me drooling at the very thought! There’s so much material there to work with.
My slightly crazy, more unrealistic answer would be Superboy Prime. Obviously, to do him justice, there’s a heck of a lot of groundwork to be done in terms of story and world building before you can even think about introducing a character like that. Maybe a few more seasons down the track… But who knows? Stranger things have happened.
GVN: If you could play any other superhero DC or Marvel who would it be?
Joshua: Definitely more of a villain, but I’m gonna say Daken (son of Wolverine). Even before we had a live action X-23 in Logan (who was completely awesome by the way) I’ve always thought he’d be a cool character to play. His morals might be more than a little bit dubious but man, you can’t deny the guy has one hell of a look!
We want to thank Joshua for giving us his time to talk. We hope everyone checks out season 2 of Titans and check out Titans season 3 when it debuts on DC Universe.