Eric Bauza | ‘Leonardo’

IMG_4656.JPGEven at Shazam Con.. we got a chance to talk to our dear friend Eric Bauza! As you may know… Eric is a regular on our show. So be sure to catch up with other 1:1 interviews with him including projects from Unikitty, Batman Ninja, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Rise of The TMNT and Batman vs. TMNT. Keyword Search: ‘Bauza’. Do you see a pattern here? 

We got another fun interview with Eric Bauza who is familiar with playing the roles of the turtles from Rafael, Leo, Donnie and now Leo again for this film. He has yet to play Michaelangelo (which we hope to see him voice act in the nearer future!).  Bauza’s worked with Nickelodeon on other projects, such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Series (2012-2017) and Rise of The TMNT as Master Splinter (2019 – present). He’s also voiced acted for Transformers: Robots in Disguise (2014-2017), and Ben 10: Omniverse (2012-2014).

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles makes me think back to an old cartoon show I would see through television. Those who have seen the 2003 version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, can remember the theme song and show once you look it up on YouTube. That was the series I was introduced to as a kid. The last time I saw Leo, Raf, Donnie, and Mikey is when my Injustice 2 game released the four of them as playable characters. Now, we get to see them team up with Batman, Robin, and Batgirl. Wonder Con 2019 had DC release early premieres of two animated films; and, one of them is Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Some of us got the chance to see the movie and you can check out our review of it here. The trailer of the film is exciting for fans of both Batman and the Ninja Turtles.

Host: Machelle Noel here at Wonder Con 2019 and joining me right now; is, Eric Bauza.

Eric: What’s up Guys!

Host: How are you doing?

Eric: Good to be back.

Host: Yeah, Finally! He’s playing Leonardo over at Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Eric: The guy with the best- the Turtle with the best shoulders, of the group yeah.

Host: You know he’s actually really looking good there.

Eric: He’s pretty buff.

Host: He looks pretty buffer than Rafael.

Eric: That makes me feel bad, I need to hit the gym.

Host: First off, congratulations on your Emmy’s. That’s amazing.

Eric: Thank you. Well-well, Emmy nomination.

Host: Emmy nominations but that’s pretty, what is it? Four for Four?

Eric: I mean… two, two Emmy noms. in my career and I never thought I would, you know even get to do this for a living. So, it is quite the honor, and I’m very thankful.

Host: I know we were just reflecting back the other day. Like, gosh. The first time I met you was like 5 years ago, and I said I called it.

Eric: 5 years? Has it been 5 years? Happy Anniversary.

Host: Yeah I know, and I was like. You know what, I think this is the guy to watch. And what do you know? I was right and I have it on the records.

Eric: Here we are. Yeah and congrats to you, for just being you, and doing your thing.

Host: You know I have to give all credit to you because um, it was you that kinda help me got here.

Eric: No way! Me? Geez. It’s a team effort. We’re here to help each other.

Host: That’s true. That’s true. How’s Wonder Con so far for you?

Eric: Pretty darn good! I mean, this is like, this is it for me. It’s not too jammed pack.

Host: Yeah.

Eric: Which is nice. I can finally get to enjoy the floor and uh, I already bought some animation sales so uh, yeah how about you?

Host: I was like, am I at Wonder con or Shazam con? I’m like, Shazam everywhere and he was here yesterday.

Eric: Just Dominated, Zachary Levi?

Host: Yeah Zachary Levi was here yesterday.

Eric: Hey Zachary, save some for the rest of us, okay?

Host: Remember the little people that got you here. I’m kidding. I wasn’t here yesterday, I kinda missed out on that.

Eric: I’m looking forward to that movie [SHAZAM].

Host: I know me too- Oh, I saw it 3 times by the way.

Eric: You’ve seen it 3 times?

Host: Yeah.

Eric: You’re one of the few that has seen it 3 times?

Host: Yeah. I’m gonna see it again tomorrow.

Eric: Are you guys gonna watch this? *points to Batman vs Teenage mutant Ninja Turtles poster* Do you have time today?

Host: Of Course! I’ll be here. All day, just for you Eric.

Eric: Excellent.

Host: So we know you’ve been involved with Nickelodeon, not once but twice. But what’s been your favorite part about this recording studio?

Eric: Uh, I mean they are always open to, you know, shuffling the deck. Like I was a bad guy first, then they gave me a good guy character, so like Tigerclaw, then Splinter, and now Leo.  So it’s just, it’s been one nonstop generous like, ride. I’m so thankful. Again, I’m happy just playing the guy in the background out of focus you know? But to be one of the main guys, one of the main Ninja Turtles, is something else.

Host: I think they kinda did that on purpose you know they wanted to be sure that you play the villain, the hero.

Eric: Well, I think that’s something nice for the fans too. Who’re really paying attention at home. It’s like wow! You know like he’s, he’s going around and playing like both sides of the fence. And um. I mean, these characters again, I always talk about in each interviews. They’re like. They’re not teenagers anymore.

Host: No

Eric: They’re 30 years old. So you know these characters like you would know one of your closest relatives, so.

Host: Its funny when I think about like the 90s movies. Like, Oh my God. I remember where I was when I was there. So you play Master Splinter over Rise [Rise of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles]. Here you play Leo, what’s your favorite aspect about Leo and what’s it like playing the leader over the bad boy type, and the funny and the smart one?

Eric: Well, he’s definitely… the guy in charge in this one. I know in Rise, Leo kind of takes more of the Rafael persona.  He’s the wise cracking one. So in this version, it’s kind of going, going back to the roots- Hey hey! We’re still here. We’re still here.

Host: We’re back, haha.

Eric: That was like a 6.5 on the Richter scale. Idk if you’re watching it YouTube…

Host: We’re still, we’re still good. We’re still on the go. Go ahead.

Eric: But, yeah. I mean like. It’s back to basic’s Leo. And in this particular film, uh, we get to meet up with Batman. You know, the other leader in blue.

Host: What’s the overall theme for this film?

Eric: Well, it’s… it’s teamwork.

Host: Yup.

Eric: Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork. It’s like, you know, you are kind of like put in a position where you have to like figure someone out. And then you find out you’re… battling the same fight. If not like, not just on the good guy’s side, but on the bad guy side too. Without giving away too much. That’s the thing.

Host: Should we expect anything similar or different from the comic book series?

Eric: Uh, it’s pretty darn close to the comic. Even visually, it’s-it’s more of a like grittier and, again. The turtles look so ripped in this. Like I’m looking at this poster. If I were a bad guy and I saw these guys walking down, like a dark alley. I’d be terrified.

Host: Here’s a fun question, if the theatrical adaptation was in the works, what would be on your wish list?

Eric: To play?

Host: Yeah!

Eric: I would love to play, if.. If a Krang were to like. I would love to play Krang once in my life.

Host: Oooh! That would be a good one! That’s like check. That’s awesome. Okay now Batman is celebrating his 80th Anniversary, and we’ve been invited to the Wayne Manor, how are you planning to celebrate and what would you toast to him?

Eric: Well, I would say, Batman you look good for 80, and… I wish I looked as good as you when I’m 80. And Thank You for keeping the streets of Gotham clean and, and uh free of crime. Yeah.

Host: Okay! And then let’s see. Turtles have done crossovers of now Batman and Power Rangers, what do you hope they do a duet with next?

Eric: I don’t know. I just hope that this one really does set a precedent, a bar, for uh, I know Warner Bros. Really does well with their direct to uh, a home entertainment. I really hope that Nickelodeon steps in. Maybe we might see a 2012 version, of like, in a film. That would be amazing. Cause I do, I do miss that series. However, I mean they’re already doing a feature for Netflix on Rise, so…

Host: Oh my gosh. Yes!

Eric: I mean it seems like they are definitely interested in the game of direct to streaming, or direct to blu-ray entertainment, so. But for me to be part of this one, dream come true. I mean. You grew up playing with these figures anyways. Like… in the 80s, now you actually get to see it come true, so.

Host: Is there anyone that you wanna hope to do next? That you kinda feel a connection to?

Eric: Okay, so here’s the thing. This is the race right? Technically, I played all the turtles except for Michaelangelo.

Host: That’s right.

Eric: I played Rafael in a pilot. I’ve played Leo and Donnie in um, multiple shorts. And now this feature film. I have yet to play Michaelangelo so Rob Paulsen. I’m, I’m coming for you. Rob has played Raf, he’s played Donnie. I mean, I guess the goal is to play them in a televised series. So, but it’s cool that I’ve been able to um, play them in multiple platforms.

Host: Did he over you any advices? Rob?

Eric: He is like the best voice director I’ve worked with. I got to work with him on Rise, which is like his maiden voyages of voice over director. When you’re in the zone and you’re playing these characters, it’s less about instruction and more about a feeling. He’s definitely one of those guys, when you see him in the room, and the other side of the glass, he just gives you the stamp of approval and you’re great so.


28951324_1362512817227333_1317974580082196765_n.jpgDanielle Bawit | Writing Contributor
B.A. | Media Studies | Cal State Univ – San Marcos
Hello! My name is Danielle Bawit. I attended MSJC- Mt. San Jacinto’s Community College and received two Associate’s for Communication and Liberal Arts. I am currently in my last semester at CSUSM-California State University San Marcos, and I will be receiving my Bachelor’s degree in Media Studies. I grew up with watching DC heroes on the screen, wrestling with my family, Disney movies and listening to Kpop. I have been always involved with my education by joining choir’s and becoming part of MSJC’s communications club as a Historian. I have promoted events for the club at my previous school, and I have promoted and volunteered for Khip-hop concerts. I aspire to one day work in the entertainment world while promoting artists and music. Additionally, I also hope to share written stories to people in my career due to my love for writing.| Instagram @Charice_Danielle| View My Articles

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