BZ ‘The Voice’ reflects on harmony, positivity, acting and Beat Saber

It’s season two! And boy do we have a great episode to kick off with.
BZ ‘The Voice’ Cullins is an actor, voice actor, filmmaker, geek, all-around positive guy and lover of Beat Saber.
In this episode, he shares with us some of his history with geek culture, his love of Silver Surfer and John Stewart. We get an insight into his filmmaking process and the way that he approaches the challenges. He also gives an insight into his general philosophy in life, finding harmony and positivity, tackling challenges head-on and not taking things too seriously.

Contact BZ on social media https://twitter.com/bzthevoice or on his website http://www.bzthevoice.com/

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Transcript

BZ Cullins:
Hey, what’s up? Everybody out there watching, listening, tuning in.
My name is BZ Cullens, also known as BZ The Voice, also known as John Stewart, the Green Lantern. I am an actor, voice talent. I never thought I’d hear myself saying that but it’s the truth, so I cannot tell a lie. I am here, along with my family from Fantastic Universes, cooling, chilling like a villain in the North Pole, you know what I’m saying? So stay tuned, listen in, and learn a little something about your dude here. And we’re going to go ahead and get intergalactic with it.

Paul:
So you say that you never thought it would happen. Was it not your intention then?

BZ Cullins:
My intention was never to do on-camera acting. My intention was only to do voice acting. The on-camera stuff just started to fall into my lap. So I’m like, you know what? Let me just go ahead and ride the wave, see where it goes. Because I never wanted to be in the limelight. I didn’t want to be out there in a public figure or anything like that. I didn’t want any admiration or fanfare because it doesn’t belong here. It belongs somewhere else, not here. So I’m like, yeah, keep me out of the spotlight. I just want to do voiceover. I get to work in entertainment, make entertainment money, work from home, and spend more time with family. And voiceover is crazy fun, especially when you do animation work. It’s very fun. Speaking of which, exclusive, exclusive, exclusive for Fantastic Universes. No one knows about this until now. I just got booked for a new animation Spidey and his amazing friends, and I start recording that soon.

Paul:
That’s amazing. When are they looking for that to be releasing, or is it still too early to tell?

BZ Cullins:
I don’t know. Honestly, I auditioned for that thing a while ago, and the situation just came up and said, hey, BZ, you booked it. Oh, cool. Dope. Amazing. That’s great. I record soon and then the actual release, and when all that goes down, I couldn’t even tell you, dude. But as soon as I hear Fantastic universes, is it going to be amongst the first to know

Paul:
that’s exciting news. We love seeing you out and about doing new things.

BZ Cullins:
It’s good. Yeah, it’s good stuff. In addition to the fact that I’ve already released two green Lantern films, currently working on number three, due to the fact that Steve talked me into a trilogy, I’m working on getting my physical back into superhero shape.
I have another job also, where I play a cop, so I have to get myself definitely back into shape. That’s for a TV show. And then I’m hoping to be back into green Lantern shape by June so I can shoot the third and final Green Lantern film that I have in the Noggin.

Paul:
I saw that it went up on some crowdfunding.

BZ Cullins:
The campaigns usually run like 60 days or something like that. So I’m going to have to launch another one.
But for everybody who’s listening out there and those of you who have donated the perks that you signed up for, we’re getting that stuff ready to get out and shipped as soon as possible.

Paul:
Well, I can’t wait for it to start happening. Very much looking forward to the new one.

BZ Cullins:
Yeah, I pray that that happens. The only situation with that is just the funding. I mean, literally, everything else is set in place.
That’s how it was with my first two films. It was just a matter of getting I just had to make certain that that was squared away. Once it was squared away, we knocked out shooting films like, no problem. The first film took, what, 9 hours for us to shoot. The second film took us two overnight shoots. This film is going to take several days because it’s going to be dealing with the daytime, the nighttime. There’s going to be a whole lot more CGI. There’s going to be a whole lot more. This one is going to be all out powers, everything. Fighting choreography, fighting stunt work, everything. We’re going out with a big bang on that one.

Even for people who do fan films, there are some phenomenal works of art that are out there that are easily cinema or television quality and easily competitive with the original material out there. There’s so much Star Wars material out there that belongs in Lucasfilm. It’s ridiculous. There’s tons of Arrowverse material that’s out there that belongs in the arrow verse easily.
You cannot come into filmmaking half stepping. And I still don’t consider myself a filmmaker, even though I am a filmmaker because of these two.
Make that three because my cousin and I, we shot a film back in September and my goal was to shoot three films. Last year. I thought it was going to be the third Green Lantern film, but it wasn’t. It was the other one. But I got three film shots.
Yeah, man, that’s where we are. And my cousin, because he saw what I was doing with my two films. He scored both of the films. He’s a multi-platinum music producer. He’s produced the likes of Snoop Dogg and Faith Evans and Buster Rhymes and John B and some heavy hitters in the RMB and hip-hop game. And he decided he wanted to try his hand at filmmaking, bought a ridiculously expensive camera and started tinkering around with it. One night we were tinkering around and fiddling around. He told me he had a script idea and 4 hours later we had a film written and a couple of weeks after that we shot it.
Now it’s being edited. Right now he just hit me up probably about an hour ago telling me he’s about finished finalizing everything. So that’ll be another film done.
I mean, don’t get it wrong, because I did shoot a 1-minute short film on my phone and you can do films on your phone and they can come out great. I mean, it won’t be like the quality of a black Magic or Sony or anything like that, but you can still make great content on your phone. And me, I consider myself technologically ridiculously stupid. And if I can do it on a phone myself, anyone can do it.

Thing is, man is let me go ahead and get a little deep on this thing. Most people don’t even realize that positivity comes from negativity. And a lot of people can’t wrap their heads around that. Because when it comes down to it, the saying goes, if you want a different thing to happen, you have to do a different thing. And that different thing may make you scratch and claw and cry and scream up the walls. But in the end, there’s your growth, there’s your positive outcome. If you step outside of your comfort zone, that’s considered to be a negative, but that’s where all of your growth is.
Actually, before we connected. I also coach in Voiceover, one of my students, her and I had a very long talk about that. And my question to you, human beings and plants are pretty much exactly the same. If a plant isn’t growing, what is it doing? It’s dying. We have to continue to grow even through the negative times, even through the hard times. I’ve said this and I continue to say it on a daily basis, anytime and every time I can. When it comes to spreading positivity, we grow in the hard times and we enjoy that growth in the good times.

Paul:
So let’s talk about you. What do you like to geek out about? What are your interests in life?

BZ:
Well, I’m going to put it to you like this, my latest, and it just kicked in last week and I just can’t get over it. I just got the Oculus Quest, two VR headsets, and I’m a Star Wars nut. So what am I going to do? I grab the game, beat Saber. So now I’m literally feeling like a Jedi dude. I feel like I’m an actor now. I feel like I can go on a set and do some swordplay. It is amazing, dude. I was up until 05:00 a.m. This morning lightSabering. Now, mind you, it’s 12:00 noon here now. So my first appointment for voiceover coaching was at nine. So I slept for. Oh, no, I was up till six. I slept for two and a half hours, got up, met up with my student, knocked out some auditions and took care of some paperwork. Now I’m connected with you. After I’m done with you, I have another voiceover coaching session with another student. And then I’m back to LightSabring as soon as possible. As soon as possible. But my thing is, man, I haven’t collected comic books in a very long time. I have a collection but they’re vintage and they’re sitting in bags and cardboard and they’re in a filing cabinet stored away, but I’ve always been about it with comic books.
As a voiceover talent, this whole Green Lantern thing; that’s where this whole Green Lantern thing started was because of the animated series the Justice League that came out on Cartoon Network. Instead of introducing Hal Jordan, they introduced John Stewart, who just blew up out of nowhere. Most people aren’t even aware of it.
And I actually posted a viral Tik Tok trend going on right now, it’s a transition. It’s called an Infinity Challenge, where you take a ring light and you’re in one look and then you take a ring light from behind you and you’re in another look. Well, I don a Green Lantern top that I had made in celebration of John Stewart’s 50th birthday, which was last month.
And the thing is, most people aren’t even aware that John Stewart is that old. But he’s the first black DC comic book character.
And there are a lot of people who think John Stewart was the original Green Lantern because of the Cartoon Network animated series. When I saw that, I’m like, wow, that dude is dope. He’s cool. Then they wound up moving on to Justice League Unlimited and they changed his look. I’m like, oh, wow, wait a minute. I kind of look like the dude. Now I sound like the dude. I’m kind of built like the dude.
So I was trying to figure out how I can get on the show to voice something. I wasn’t trying to take Phil Lamar’s job as voicing John Stewart, but I wanted to voice something. Then an idea said hey, wait a minute. You look, sound and you’re built like John Stewart.
That’s when the whole idea for the first film came up. As it sits right now, whether or not DC takes me seriously as an actor or as a filmmaker or as John Stewart, I can always say that I played the superhero that I wanted to play and I did it on my terms and nothing and no one can take that experience away.

If there’s something you want to do, just go and do it. You hear that all the time from everyone. Just do it. You can do it. Put in the time, put in the work and put in the perseverance. I hate hearing that. I hate it even right now. Even though I’m a working actor, I’m a working voice talent. I still hate hearing that. I don’t want to hear Dude, stick to your guns, dude. Be persistent. It will come. I hate hearing it, but I’m actually living it. It took six years to get that first film shot, and I wrote the second film a year after I wrote the first one. But thankfully we got the second film finished after we dropped the first one. Six months later, as opposed to years.
It’s looking like getting to this third one is going to take a year to get to it. I’m hoping that it doesn’t take a crazy amount of time like the first one did, but I don’t think so because I’m using the same team that I used on the first two. If it’s not broke, don’t mess around with it and try to fix it.
My team is always on deck and ready to go. Hey, look, man, it’s time to get this thing done. How long do we need to shoot it? How much money do you need?
That’s always my first thing is making certain that my cast and crew are all paid. I don’t do any projects for free. I don’t do deferred pay. I don’t do copy, credits and a meal. I make certain that you get paid. I’m a Union performer, and my crew and cast get paid Union wages. That’s why it takes so long to get them done because you have to get the funding right.
Doing it the right way takes longer than messing around and picking up shortcuts and ill-gotten gains, so to say. No, that’s not my vibe. They get copy, they get credit, they get meals, and they get money.

Paul:
That says a lot to the type of person you are because everything you do exudes positivity and wanting to embrace people in the goodness of life is the only way I can sort of express it.

BZ:
Check it out, Paul. This world is going through literally what’s known as hell right now. One thing; Let me take that back. Not one thing. A few things that we can really use right now in this atmosphere are blessings and positivity. There’s so much going on.
An old friend of mine, she just lost her mom yesterday and it’s just left and right and it’s everywhere. It’s like, look, man, I know I can’t be strong for everybody, but I’m going to be the strongest that I can be for those who are within, whether it’s like you’re with an earshot or if it’s somebody who’s 5ft away, either way, it goes. It’s just a matter of doing what you can to be the strongest that you can. Because man, oh, man, that’s one of the things we need in this day and age right now is a bunch of strength.
Like seriously. We need some positive power going on on this planet because there are so many people who are worried about conspiracies and disease and population controls, all kinds of crazy stuff. And it’s like, you know what? I just want to be Green Lantern. How about that? Leave me alone. Let me play Beat Saber until 6:00 in the morning.
Oh, bro, you have no idea how much my body is Itching right now to get out of this seat and don that headset and get busy.

Paul:
It sounds like it’s important to you then, obviously you work hard, but it sounds like you equally do the other side. It’s important for you to play hard and have a good work-life, enjoyment, balance.

BZ:
Let’s get even deeper philosophically again. So balance. I don’t look for balance in life. A lot of people use that term as a term for everything being cool. But let’s think about that for a moment. Let’s say you put a two-pound weight on a balance, 2 pounds on each side. So you have them both sitting on each side. So what’s actually happening right now? Physically, nothing’s happening. They’re just sitting there, right? They’re balanced.
So my situation, what I speak on is for people not to have a balanced life, to have a harmonious life, to have all the different facets of their life working together in harmony. Because why? If we’re not growing, we’re dying. So everything is in constant motion. Got that? Comics in motion. My man.
So everything’s in motion, as long as everything is in motion and you have OK, your work-life takes up this, your playing time takes up this, your family life takes up this. Whatever other facet in life takes up this. But you all have them moving in harmony throughout the course of your days and the rest of your life.
I’m trying to remember the dude’s name. There’s a video that came out and a documentary that came out years back called The Secret. I call him Blue Shirt. I think his name is James Arthur Ray. I heard him say. And this was easily close to 15 years ago and it stuck with me. A lot of people wish for an easy life. No, we don’t want an easy life. What we want is a greater ability and capability to ease elegantly through life. Because we’re always going to run into adversity, and when we do, we have to face it and overcome it. And again, that’s where our strength is built. That’s where we grow. And once we grow and the good times kick in, we enjoy the good times because of the growth.
Okay, so now I’m done being Socrates. Let’s get back to comics and star wars and geek it out.

Paul:
Yes. Cool. So when did it all start for you? Do you remember your sort of first experience of geeking out?

BZ:
Yeah, as long as I can remember. I think my first taste of anything like that was George Reeve’s Superman. That was when I discovered Superman. And then Adam West came in, came along as Batman. I’m like, oh, snap, look at these cats. And then I discovered the silver surfer and it was a wrap. Shazam has always been one of my favourites. Shazam is my favourite DC character. Always has been. But the Silver surfer has always been my dude. A lot of people think that John Stewart is my guy. No, John Stewart is a character that I wanted to play. Silver surfer is my dude.

Paul:
That’s interesting. That’s an unusual answer. What do you think was it about them that spoke to you?

BZ:
Well, something, man. Going back to beat Saber. When you’re in that realm and you see all the stars and the intergalactic and the interstellar, that’s what got me. I’m a Sci-Fi dude all day. Star wars, star Trek, you got me all of that. So I got a superhero who’s mad powerful, who’s pretty much impervious to just about anything, hurt, harm, and disease. And he’s on a board and he’s moving at hyper Warp speeds, cooling, kicking, and he’s cool. He’s not arrogant, he’s not a douche. He’s a cool dude, a cool, powerful cat. How many cats do you know that are like that? Think about it. Galactus is a jerk. We know that the surfer ain’t. The surfer is a dope cool, laid back type of cat who just so happens to be crazy powerful. And it’s all about again, I got a telescope. I love peering at the stars and the planets and stuff like that. The whole intergalactic thing, it absolutely fascinates me. The astronomy thing fascinates me. So of course I definitely related to silver surfer because I was already in the star wars and star Trek and silver surfer came along after that.
And it’s like, oh, man, this is great. And it doesn’t hurt that John Stewart is along those same lines.

Paul:
Yeah, that’s true. So what about outside of the sort of geeky lifestyle? Do you have any other hobbies, as you say? You’ve got your telescope as well? Do you do other things outside of that?

BZ:
Yeah. I’ve always been into pimping rides. I love customizing cars and stuff like that. Working on cars, it’s always been my thing. As a matter of fact, a buddy of mine that I’ve known for like 30 years he’s a paint and auto body specialist. He and I just actually did a vinyl wrap on my car. I didn’t want to paint it, so we just did a vinyl wrap on it and it looks pristine.
Yeah, that was a little bit of an adventure. I used to work in auto body painting when I was younger, as well as auto body detailing when I was younger. So I know how to properly clean and prepare a vehicle for work. But yeah, pimping rides, that’s my thing.
What else? I’m a gym rat. So because of this whole quarantine and Corona thing, I got to keep my exposure in the gym as much to a minimum as possible. So I wound up gaining a little bit of weight. And I incorporated it in the second film where I said I gained some pregnancy weight like Shirera did, but I actually gained Corona weight.
So I am significantly heavier now than I was in the first film. So now the goal right now is to drop this weight, get myself in police officer shape, and then back to John Stewart’s shape By June.

Paul:
You’ve got quite a wide range of interests. They’re not necessarily the ones that people would automatically stick together.

BZ:
No, not at all. And there’s a comedian named Bill Burr. He put it out there. One of his skits is called Some People Need Lotion. And he made a very valid point in that skit. If you catch it on YouTube, he goes, you see that you need to hang out with everybody because every group of people on planet Earth has a certain amount of information and other people will miss out on it. And it’s like, no, let me go ahead and learn what I can from that dude because he knows something that I don’t know. Let me learn something from that chick over there because she knows something that I don’t know. She might be Armenian, he might be Iranian. He might be Chinese. She might be Puerto Rican. I need to know what’s going on so I can have some semblance of understanding as to whenever I have to deal with that.
Case in point, I had an audition for a voiceover gig yesterday, and they wanted English and Spanish. They wanted the voice actor to be able to do both spots.
Well, I’m conversant in Spanish.
Why? Because I took Spanish and I wound up having a Puerto Rican girlfriend for a few years. And I spoke a lot of Spanish. So here we go. And I knocked out both auditions, English and Spanish. Now we’re waiting to hear if I get the job.
Matter of fact, I was talking with my student this morning. I told her about it. She’s like, wait, she had that look on her face. You speak Spanish? Yeah, I do. Yes, I do.
So you know something, and Steve doesn’t even know that. And I’m probably sure he’s going to be a little bit miffed at me that I haven’t said anything about it.

Paul:
He is going to be on to you straight away.

BZ:
Yeah, but I do have to say, my Spanish is so rusty. I need some WD 40 to lubricate it. I got to get back in there and I got to get myself up to the point of being fluent conversant. This is what I’ve been for a long time, but it’s probably better for me to be fluent.

Paul:
Well, if you get a really long message from Steve tomorrow in Spanish, you know why

BZ:
I love that dude.

Paul:
So I wonder if your interests you cover so much. Why do you think is it that the geek side of things has trumped some of the others?

BZ:
In some ways, I’ll take it back to what I was talking about earlier. This world that we’re living in, it’s an escape from it. I’m not going to say that the world is horrible, but, man, it has definitely been better man.
And because there’s so much stuff going on right now. There are issues with race, there are issues with genders. There’s a gender war going on. Women are upset with men, and there’s all this misogyny and this misandry. And men are like, I’m better off single. I don’t want to get there’s just so much turmoil. And it’s like, you know what? I don’t feel like dealing with that.
Let me go ahead and Don my headset and get into Beat Saber so I can leave all of that alone. I don’t want to be bothered if my phone goes off.
If it’s my agents and my managers. Fine, let’s go. Let’s do it. You got a job for me, you got an audition for me? All right, let’s do it. Let’s get it done. I’m fine with that. They are busting their butts to get me working. They’re telling me that I’m going to be a star. I don’t want to be a star, but if I’m going to be a star, then I’m going to be a star. I’ll make the most out of it. I’ll give God the glory and I’ll keep it moving.
But with that being said, I just want to work and I just want to entertain people. Like I said before, it’s about being a blessing to other people some way, somehow, because we need a lot of that right now. And there are a lot of people who are living in utter despair, and it’s not necessarily homeless.

Paul:
Do you think that’s part of the trade that you’ve built into yourself? You said that you like to take knowledge from so many different people. Is it maybe part of the trade that you take their knowledge, you give them part of your happiness?

BZ:
Well, the thing is, man is it’s a natural and automatic trade-off. It’s not something that you have to do. It just happens when you learn something from someone else. What happens when you learn that new thing. It’s like, oh, snap. Wow. Oh, man, that’s dope. Here, let me take you to lunch. I really appreciate you and your time.
Who was it? There’s a buddy of mine. He’s my auto mechanic. This dude is not only one of the most knowledgeable cats I know when it comes to auto mechanics, he’s one of the nicest dudes I’ve ever met.
And I’m like, you know what? If I ever get the money, I’m going to open up an automotive shop and I want you to partner with me on it. But it’s just the fact of respect begets respect. You can’t get respect if you don’t give it the same thing with trust.
A lot of people like, well, you got to earn my trust. I’m like, well, you know what? How about I just give you a smidgen of trust and then we just go ahead and go back and forth until you break it? Because I don’t think I’m going to break it. But how about we do that? A lot of people are into taking instead of giving. That’s what the biggest issue is most people want to take. What can you do for me? What do you have for me? What have you done for me lately? As opposed to how can I help you? What can I do to help you further along? Can I just be an ear? Can I pray for you? What can I do to help you? Don’t get too much of that. There are people out there that do it, but you don’t get too much of it. My goodness, I was going to geek out and I’m getting philosophical again.
Okay, so the thing is, man, is time on Earth is precious. It’s short. Most people think, oh, man, ten years is a long time in real-time. No, it is not. And so ask yourself, while we’re living in this short time period in these meat sacks, are you going to be an Eagle or are you going to live like a chicken? Because there’s a distinct difference. When a storm comes, chickens run for shelter. An Eagle looks at the storm, faces it, spreads open, lets the storm lift it above it. While it looks down at it, which one are you going to be? An Eagle or chicken? Life is too short to be living like a chicken, turning it back to the geek side of things.

Paul:
And do you think that’s something that comics, in particular, can offer is that they show that things can be really bad, that normal people can rise above it?

BZ:
Well, I mean, that’s one of the things about comics and comic book lore and the comic movies and all that, there’s always some kind of adversity, there’s always some kind of evil, and there’s always some good to combat it. And when all of a sudden, most people don’t even realize it, the negativity does happen, but the negativity can only last for so long. It has a shelf life. Some people think that evil can last for centuries, and it can. But it has a shelf life. It can last for a few centuries. It may even last for millennia. Eventually, it loses, light always conquers dark. Always. The two cannot exist in the same space. If you’re in a dark room and light a match, guess what? Darkness is gone.
The thing about it, man, is you have your would-be conquerors. The inbetweener, Maelstrom, who’s the other dude? Magneto isn’t really that much of a conqueror. He just wanted to preserve his race. Who else is a conquer Kang Dormammu? Those cats, they’re conquerors, would-be rulers.
Want things to go their way.
Well, guess what? There’s somebody there to scrap you up, teach you a lesson, put you over their knee with a belt, and let you know. Get out of here, go to your room and sit in time out. You’re done. And those are amazing characters, but they still get spanked.

Paul:
So do you think that is the power of it? That’s what brings people in, is that ultimately, no matter how bad things can get, we always get through.

BZ:
But you know what I think it is? Despite whether the whole good versus evil thing and geek them, nerd them, comic book them, all of that is just the fact that when all is said and done, it’s still an escape for the imagination, even so much as into our dream sleep. It’s an escape. I keep coming back to the Oculus. I’m in this headset. I went on an adventure last night with Lego Batman. How dope was that?
It was great. Despite the fact that you have your powerfully bad dudes and your powerfully good dudes, it’s just an escape.
If there’s a multiverse theory, some people would just say, we’re in the multiverse and our Earth is just plain. All the rest of the stuff exists on the other Earth. And this is just people’s imagination bringing the stuff to life, even though it won’t really come to life. All of that stuff is out there in theory. But when all is said and done for us here, it’s an escape, and it’s fun, man.
It’s like, how can you not love comics and Star Trek and Star Wars and Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potters and all of that stuff and Krypton and Smallville and the Arrow. How can you not love that stuff, man? Some people are critical about all that, actor sucks. Stop it. Actors don’t need to be Academy award-winning calibre to pull off superhero films. It’s not necessary. Now, let’s look at the difference between the Marvel movies and the DC movies. The Marvel movies, they have stellar actors that they use, like, high quality, high calibre, crazy type up their top-shelf actors.
The actors at DC. I’m not going to put them down. But come on. They’re not Downey. They’re not Evans. They’re not Hemsworth. They’re not Cheadle. They’re not. But that’s the only difference between the two. But you don’t need high calibre actors to pull off superhero films. You don’t need high calibre actors to pull off Sci-Fi fantasy. If you want to have a deep character, then of course, then, all right, go ahead and grab yourself Ian McKellen to pull something off if you want to have a deep character like that. But the entire cast doesn’t have to be that calibre to pull off superhero stuff. It’s just not necessary. They just need to be good enough to make you believe in The Escape. They don’t have to be Oscar award nominees or BAFTA award winners or nominees or anything like that. It doesn’t have to be that deep. It doesn’t.
I’ve gotten on TV shows and in a couple of movies. I’m not Oscar calibre. I did my job. I made the role believable and got paid for it. So when it comes to this stuff, look, man, if you have the look, great. If you have the acting chops enough to pull it off, great. Good on you. Knock it out. Make it happen. All those actors in the Arrow-verse, they’re all great. In my book, they pulled off all of those shows just fine. Even better yet, on the show Black Lightning, you have the main villain who’s Tobias Will. A lot of people aren’t even aware that that dude is Crondon. He’s a rapper from the group Strong Arms Steady out in California. He’s a West Coast rapper. And the dude, he’s affiliated with a Zip-It. But most people weren’t even aware of that. They’re like, oh, man, look at this Albino dude, man. He’s playing this dope villain. Crondon is a hip hop West Coast MC, but he’s pulling off to buy as well, and he’s doing it very well.

Paul:
As long as the stories are there and you can make the stories believable. You’re not trying to do Shakespeare.

BZ:
Yeah, no, you’re not. And that’s the deal. And that’s what we have to get a lot of fans to understand. That’s not necessary, man. This is not that type of thing. The one thing I do note is that there are a lot of actors from the UK coming in and taking and let me take that back. They’re not taking. They’re earning the roles of some of these superhero films because they take acting super seriously out there. They bring their skill set over here to the States and they crush it. They book and they booking rightfully so. There are people who are complaining. Why are all these UK British actors taking the roles? Because they earned it. Because they’re serious actors. They take their craft seriously. They come over here, they earn those roles, and they kill it. Dude, you cannot hate on the player. You can’t.

Paul:
Do you think that’s what it is about people who look down on superhero movies and in general comic books is it that they’re trying to look for something that isn’t there. They’re not just looking at it for face value. They’re looking for something deeper. And actually, all they need to do is sit there and enjoy it.

BZ:
I really have no answer for that because you just answered it. All they have to do is just sit there and enjoy it. Yeah, that’s all they have to do. When the Fantastic Four came out with Silver Surfer, there were some things about the situation that I was not happy with in regards to the character, but I was happy that the character was there on-screen finally. And I’m like, you know what, dude? Shut up, sit back and enjoy your dude on-screen finally, because that’s what it’s about. Just sit back, enjoy the film if you don’t like the film. Oh, I don’t like the writing. I don’t like the director. It’s not that serious.
Yeah, it just isn’t.

Paul:
I was talking to Professor Elemental a couple of days ago. He reckons we’re at the best point now because all the Studios have spent their billions to get the best possible movies they can do, and now they’re starting to look away. So all the creators are kind of coming in and saying, oh, now I can make my movie about this character off to the side and I can actually get it done and you’re not going to be looking over my shoulder.

BZ:
Well, I kind of beat them to the punch because there’s no live-action John Stewart yet. Even though it was supposed to be in the Snyder cut, they swapped it out with Martian Manhunter. But John Stewart was slated the appearance that the Martian Manhunter made was supposed to be the actual introduction of John Stewart to the DCEU. And I mean, I’m not going to hate on the young man that they picked. I really rather it had been me that would have introduced John Stewart to the DCEU. But it’s okay. It’s cool. I’m still John Stewart, and a lot of people recognize me as such. There’s another actor out there, too, by the name of De Mark Thompson, who is like, literally the physical embodiment of John Stewart, with the exception of the fact that he doesn’t have a bald head. He has the other look of John Stewart, but he’s freaking perfect. He’s perfect. And like me, he’s a working actor.
The dude, I can’t knock it. And he made a name for himself campaigning to play John Stewart. I’m like, at the time when I came up with my projects, I wasn’t working in Hollywood. I was just a voiceover talent. I’m like, there’s no way that people are going to see me like they see him because they see him in the auditioning room all the time. They see his stuff on the Internet all the time campaigning for John Stewart. So when he steps into a casting director’s office, hey, you’re the superhero, dude. Wait, what.
Both he and I are now working in the same field. We’re working on the same playing field at that. I’m not going to the front that dude is built. He is jacked. He’s ripped. I’m not there anymore. I have to get back to that. This dude is in absolutely pristine, phenomenal superhero shape. And he’s done some interviews very much like this one out there promoting himself to play the role for John Stewart.
There have been some fan casts as well. There are some people who are thinking about Treyvonte Roads, who’s playing Mike Tyson right now, common, the rapper who actually sort of has the same look that I have, what’s his name; Ricky Whittle, I think from American Gods. Tyrese Gibson, the singer, of course, David Ramsey, the gentleman who plays John Diggle. And I have to say, I was a little bit petty with my first film. I made certain that John Diggle called me so that there was no misunderstanding as to who John Stewart, the Green Lantern was. It wasn’t him, it was Me. I wanted to get that out to the arrow verse, to Greg Berlonte and Mark Guggenheim, the gentlemen who are responsible for the arrow verse, and as well, they’re responsible for the green Lantern film back in 2011.
So I wanted to make certain that I got their attention. So anytime I do something, I make certain to tag them.

Paul:
You are the true choice. Really

BZ:
Yeah. And I sincerely appreciate you saying that man. And the one thing that I have to say and I’m going to go back, right back to it, it’s not me shooting myself down or trying to self sabotage myself, but that dude de Mark Thompson is freaking phenomenal, man. If DC were to go with a choice for John Stewart, I would actually FanCast and put him at the top.
The major difference that a lot of the fans have given me in regards to some positive feedback on my portrayal of John Stewart is my voice. That’s been one of the biggest things because when Phil Lamar started voicing John Stewart, Phil Lamar’s voice is not what you hear for John Stewart. So when I got feedback from some of the fans of the films, they’re like, yeah, dude, you got the look and you absolutely have the voice. And that’s what I appreciate. And I’m like, okay, cool. That’s great.
All feedback is welcome, even if it’s negative. So I can make sure I do better the next time. But yeah, that’s been one of the biggest punchlines that I’ve been getting is that you sound like the dude.

Paul:
I think the big thing for you as well is that you clearly have an understanding of the character. You understand what they’re about, what they’re fighting for, and you can see that through all the work that you do.

BZ:
Well, the one thing that I make certain that I do that a lot of others even the big movie and the big TV production companies don’t do. I stick with source comic book material. I don’t deviate from it. I don’t create my own story. I go with what the comic book storyline was. Whether it’s comic books or cartoons, I stick with the storyline and the source material. Now with the first film. The first film was a continuation from the first Justice League Unlimited cartoon episode, which was called Initiation. That film was written as a continuation from the episode of that show. And I threw in John Diggle because of John Diggle’s arrow verse. He wasn’t in the comic books that I knew, and he wasn’t in the animated series, but I threw him in because I wanted to include everything that I could include in DC’s Universe, no matter how small it was, in addition to the fact that I wanted to make certain that everybody knew that John Diggle was not Green Lantern, I am.

Paul:
But it does. It shows that you have the understanding. I mean, Steve will talk for hours about just a little details that people wouldn’t normally notice. But you’ve paid attention to the source material, as you say.

BZ:
Yeah. And he pointed that out. He’s like, Dude, I saw what you did. I knew if anybody would be able to see it, he would be able to catch it. Yeah, he caught it. And then he was like, Dude, you cannot leave this on the two-part. This has to be a trilogy, all right, man, it’s going to be a trilogy. We’ll make it happen. And I know the sex of the baby. I’m like, I know you do. I know you do.
He was on top of it. He was absolutely on top of every little small thing.
There’s one Easter egg that’s in this film that no one will ever get unless they pay attention to some of the photos that me and the cast member took. But other than that, no one is ever going to catch it. My castmates don’t even know it. I’m the only one who knows of it. I’m the only one who knows it. No, wait a minute. Let me take that back. I had my publicist who was on set, her son. He’s also a comic book fan. He builds cosplay uniforms and outfits. He knew the Easter egg. When he saw it, he was like, oh, I’m like, yeah, I’m paying homage. Okay, I get it. But he’s the only one other than myself that knows. And it took him a minute to catch it. But one of these days, I’ll eventually reveal it. We’ll see what happens.

Paul:
There’ll be people pouring over the pictures now, trying to see if they can.

BZ:
Right.

Paul:
Well, I’ve taken up loads of your time for those people who are kind of looking at the films, unsure, what is it that they’re missing about the whole thing that you would like them to know?

BZ:
This might sound wrong. But it’s not. If you yourself are not doing it, you don’t have room to speak on it. Everyone’s a critic. I made my films because I wanted to play John Stewart. They didn’t have to be anything in the realm of being intergalactic, shoot them up, all powers and stuff like that. I just wanted to play John Stewart. However, bring a different light to the aspect of the superhero taking a day off, hanging out with the fellas, having a boy’s night out. You don’t normally see that in comic books, let alone comic book movies. Everybody is fighting some kind of adversity. Hello, can a brother chill out? How about that? Can I wash my car? Can I sit back and read a book, watch a movie, have my lady friend come over and we have some Chinese food. Now, I can only have that for so long before I got to go back to the watchtower. However, that’s what it looks like. Okay, so let’s go and have a night out with the fellas, which is a once a month type of power thing. How often do we get to see that? Really don’t. It’s a very rare occurrence where you see heroes just living in everyday life, trying to kick back, call out, chill, shoot some pool, play some cards and then go back up, go back about their regular lives. Now, this third one is there’s going to be some real-life, some real-life facets to it, just like these other two. But there’s going to be death, carnage, fighting powers, all of the above. So for those of you who are naysayers, keep on saying nay because for the most part you always hear hate fuels me. But I’m not the dude with the whole hate thing. I am open to all feedback, even if it’s negative, because like I said earlier, negative can always be spun around into a positive because I’d rather know what’s wrong so that I don’t make the same mistake and do better the next time out.
My films evolve as I make them. This third film is going to be ridiculous. It is, so negativity is cool. It’s okay by me. I don’t feed into it and I don’t allow it to control me. I listen to what it is that you have to say whether I agree with it or not. I’m going to respect your position and respect your point, even though I don’t have to step in that direction. Everybody has something to say and that’s cool. There’s nothing wrong with that. There are people out there; ‘Stop being so negative. Stop being so judgmental’ No, say what you got to say. Say what you really feel about the situation. If you don’t like it, you don’t like it. If you’re hating on it just for the simple fact that you’re just drunk on haterade, that’s a you problem, not a me problem.

You can find more from BZ on his website. Bzthevoice.com and you can follow him on social media @Bzthevoice. Be sure to keep an eye out for news on his upcoming projects. You do not want to miss out.

—Post credit—
Paul:
just so you know as well just in case it makes a difference. I was talking to my buddy Dan and he had the fantastic idea because I’m taking a short break of releasing live episodes currently but he had the fantastic idea of your episode being the first one of the new season coming out on Valentine’s day because we know how much people enjoy your voice so that’s the current plan. You will be everyone’s Valentine’s day gift.

BZ:
Brilliant.
Brilliant. That is great.
Oh, my goodness gracious.

Paul:
Yeah. Actually, I think you randomly sent him a birthday message last year and it absolutely made his day.

BZ:
If I’m not running too late I usually try to give all of my friends birthday shout outs on their birthdays. Sometimes I’ve been running late because of work but even if I’m late I’ll still find a way to get the shout outdone. Even if it’s a week late I’ll still reach out and get the shout outdone because you never know what somebody is going through at that given time and that message might be right on time and what it is that they need to hear for the day. Mike Burton hit me up too. He was like it’s. It has something to the effect. I think his girlfriend pictured me being a Teddy bear or something after she heard it.

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