Creepshow Star Keith David Talks Horror, Spawn, Rick and Morty & More
Keith David has become one of the most prolific and in-demand venerable actors in Hollywood. Whether in front of a camera, performing voice-over roles, or narrating documentaries, David's accumulated nearly 350 projects throughout his 40+ year career. He's also been fortunate enough to have quite a diverse repertoire among his credits working in several genres including drama, comedy, and horror. I spoke to him about his latest project on Shudder's television series anthology adaptation of Creepshow in the second season segment "Pesticide", how the practical FX and CG eras of horror compare, how he wants to continue his role as the voice of Todd McFarlane's Spawn, what he can tease about the next season of Adult Swim's Rick & Morty, and studios' decision to cast more mainstream talent for animated projects.
"I had a great time, man," David said of his role as Murdoch in the episode. "I mean, the special effects were great. Anytime you get a chance to work with Greg [Nicotero]…I mean, it was really fun to do, and I got to work with some really good actors. It was great work, great stuff. What's not to like?" The actor did catch the 1982 and 1987 theatrical versions of Creepshow. "I saw some of the films when they came out. I have read the comics I wasn't like, run out and grab the next one before whether they've hit the shelf, but I've checked them out. I did like the movies."
David does have a soft spot for horror since arguably one of his biggest breakout roles was the 1982 John Carpenter classic The Thing, starring opposite Kurt Russell. He's seen the evolution of special effects within the genre. "Technology is different today," he said. "Some of the animation techniques are different with CGI. In that sense, you can't really compare the making of 'The Thing' with some of these other things, except to say when we did 'The Thing', we had to do them practically. I mean, there was there wasn't all this computer generation stuff. In that sense, it was a different kind of creativity. I can't say you had to be more creative. You just had to be differently creative. I think some of the ways that they get to make movies now is phenomenal. You can do things that you could never have done before. But thank God, we have what we have to inspire the work that has now come out."
One character David still thinks fondly of is Spawn, which he was able to voice for HBO's adult animated series that lasted three seasons from 1997-1999. While he was able to reprise the role for NetherRealm's Mortal Kombat 11, he still has an interest in continuing the role. "I love Spawn. It's one of the most innovative comic books and one of the most innovative characters I've played," he said. "I just I mean, I love his whole journey. Al Simmons and his whole transformation, you just don't see this stuff every day."
David also remains active doing with a diverse plate of projects, including the Adult Swim series Rick & Morty as The President of the United States. "Stay tuned [laugh]. That's all I can tell you," he teased. One subject that's been on the minds within the voice actor community is how more mainstream actors like Chris Pratt headlining major projects like in Super Mario Bros and Garfield some argue should go to traditional voice actors instead. "I mean as certainly as the voice that I'd love to be able to portray [something major role] if they do a live-action version, I want to be considered," David offered as an actor firmly in both worlds. "But there's a lot more that goes into that decision-making process. I wish we had more of an opportunity as the voice actors to portray the character? Absolutely! I think we should have a shot, but that doesn't mean that we're always going to get that shot. But should we have the opportunity? Yes." RLJE Films and Shudder's Creepshow Season 2 is currently available on DVD & Blu-ray.