Chris Bosh is known for his physicality. Drafted with the fourth pick in the 2003 NBA draft, the power forward went on to shatter records while playing for the Toronto Raptors before joining fellow superstars Lebron James and Dwyane Wade on the Miami Heat. Since Bosh joined the team they've played in three NBA Finals and won two titles. He even helped Team USA win gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. But this weekend, the athlete will show off his vocal chops on Disney XD's "Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H." Bosh stepped in to voice Asgardian watcher Heimdall and will interact with the Jade Giant and his pals in this Saturday's episode of the hit Marvel Animation series.
Saturday's brand new episode, entitled "For Asgard," finds Hulk and his buddies heading to the home of the Norse gods after helping them defeat Malekith and the Dark Elves. While there, Skaar runs into some trouble thanks to Asgard's resident trickster, Loki, and subsequently runs afoul of Heimdall. Bosh joined seasoned voice actors like Fred Tatasciore, Seth Green, Clancy Brown and Eliza Dushku for his animation debut.
Heimdall's been kicking around comics since 1962 when he debuted in the Thor spotlight book "Journey Into Mystery." The Stan Lee-Jack Kirby-Larry Lieber creation has remained a stalwart Asgardian warrior who made the jump to the sliver screen in 2011's "Thor." Played in the film by Idris Elba, Heimdall returned again in last year's "Thor: The Dark World."
CBR News talked to Bosh about taking over the role, getting in on the voice acting game and even found out what cartoon he'd like to revive and star in!
CBR News: Chiris, how did the gig as Heimdall come about? Is voice acting something you've always wanted to try?
Chris Bosh: I've been watching cartoons since I was a kid. To be able to have this experience, it was my inner child just having fun with it. I've been working with my agency CAA to help get in that space a little bit and the opportunity came. I just wanted to have fun and they were gracious enough to have me. I have a short role in a cartoon and it's an awesome character. You know Heimdall is a big time character. A lot of people know about him. I'm very humbled by the situation. I'm happy that they allowed me to be a part of it.
You've played yourself on camera before, but how was the experience of taking on a character?
It was funny. Once I was in the space and was able to see how the pros handle everything and what they do to get those voices out, it's kind of like when you were with your friends when you were little and you're having sword fights without a sword and you're making all the special effects sounds. That's what it's like. You're just being a big kid and that's what's part of what makes it pretty good.
It sounds like you were actually in the booth with the other actors. How was that experience?
I was in the booth. It was kind of intimidating at first.
Were you familiar with Heimdall as a character before heading into the booth?
I was a little bit familiar. I didn't get too much into "Thor" when I was younger, but of course with all the Marvel movies now you're able to get a little familiar a little easier. It was totally easy. I was able to go back and do some research on him. I know how serious the comics are so I was able to really get a feel for what was expected, what kind of voice I was assuming he was going to have and what I needed to bring to the table so I could do a good job. I think it went well. Hopefully everyone else feels the same way when the episode comes out.
Was there some back and forth with the directors and producers to actually nail the voice down?
Absolutely, they made it easy for me. They directed me on what I sound like. We just kept doing takes over and over and over. If I nailed it, they'd be like, "Okay, do that again." After that I kind of got a sense of what they wanted the voice to sound like. The funniest part was that, after it was all done I kind of wanted to do more takes. I was like, "I've got the hang of it!" By the time I got the hang of it it was over and I wanted to do the whole thing over. [Laughs] They said I did a decent job and they were able to make it happen.
You have a pretty busy schedule, obviously, but would you like to return to the booth for more Heimdall action down the line?
Oh yeah, absolutely. I had such a great time doing it. I found time and as long as it works with my schedule, I'm more than willing to fight the traffic out there in California and get it done. It was awesome.
Is it important for you to branch out and do other things like this in addition to basketball?
Absolutely, I like to dabble in a bunch of different things and see what I like. I have the unique opportunity to do it. I don't know how long I'll be able to have these opportunities, so I just try to branch out, have a lot of fun with it and just see where it goes. It's been a blast. I've gotten to do so many cool things and I don't know if I would have been able to do them if I wasn't in the position I was in. I'm always thankful for that and I just try to use everything to the fullest. Hopefully it will turn into something I can peruse after I hang up my sneakers.
Pie-in-the-sky, if you could bring back any favorite cartoon and take over one of the voice roles, what would the show be and who's the character?
I'd have to go with "X-Men" because I was an "X-Men" fanatic. [Laughs] I would either go with Professor X or Wolverine.
Would you keep the old theme song?
Oh absolutely. That was one of the best theme songs ever.
Chris Bosh debuts as Heimdall on Disney XD's "Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H." Feb. 23 at 8:00 AM Eastern.