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Q and A with Peter Cullen

Posted on 02-21-2012 at 10:15 PM by ORIO under Transformers Prime
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Last week, the Hub's Facebook page solicited questions from their friends for a Q and A session with legendary voice actor Peter Cullen; the voice of Optimus Prime. Today their Facebook page has posted the answers. Peter Cullen answers questions about his approach to voicing Optimus and gives advice to aspiring voice actors

Click on the title bar for the full interview.

Thanks for the huge response last week! The legendary Peter Cullen (voice of Optimus Prime) has answers to YOUR questions!

1. Brandon Torio: What would Optimus say about you if he met you in real life?

PETER CULLEN: I donít know what he would say, but as all of us who want to do the right things in life, we might hope he could say something positive, encouraging and inspiring. "A desire to be observed, considered, esteemed, praised, be loved and admired by his fellows is one of the earliest as well as the keenest dispositions discovered in the heart of a man" (John Adams). Caring about what others think of you is the defining moment that separates selfishness into compassion and generosity. President Harry S. Truman once said, "It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit."

2. Morgan Harris: What kind of advice would you give to future voice actors?

PETER CULLEN: Voice acting is acting. There are some out there that think its not real acting, they are wrong. Attend a session and just watch them perform. During "Transformers Prime" recording sessions I am always amazed at each and every actor going through their performance. They are uniquely talented, devoted professionals from different walks of life, age, and heritage. They have studied acting. Seriously studied, and have seen the ups and downs that come with it. Never give up. No matter how discouraged you become, never give up! Trust your instincts, practice your abilities, and above all, love what you are doing and do it with truth. I love this... "Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom."

3. David Shropshire: Have you changed your approach or interpretation of Optimus over the years?

PETER CULLEN: My attitude will never change with Optimus Prime. He came from a script that was a brilliant new version of hero. I still draw from my original source, and that source was someone closer to me than no one but a few will understand. Considering the effect Prime has had, you would have loved this man as well. There are times when a different approach to his character occur. I have weighed the significance of them with concern, but in the end, I find some justification. I must, for I do not have a final decision, I can only rely on their understanding of him, and respect for him. Can he lose his temper? Did he lose his temper? Is he becoming human? Is he real after all? Most importantly, will he always stand for the core values of society, the true measures of character? To that I say, "As long as I'm alive!"

4. Natasha M Lifa: What made you decide to do voice acting?

PETER CULLEN: It was really a 'no brainer' for me when I took the advice of my parents to do what I loved. I loved a lot of things, but somehow my ability to impact people with voices, sounds that came from inside me from God knows where, eventually won out. One elocution contest led to another, and before long I knew that acting was to become my life. I studied, and soon became a full time actor in repertory theatre, cabarets, and eventually TV and film. It became evident that I could audition for voice acting roles twice as often as on camera roles, and so, off I went. I am a lucky man and I wish that for everyone. PS, My first cartoon series was "Mighty Man and Yuck" where I met the King, "Frank Welker." We have shared a great friendship over the years, and working with him again (Prime and Megatron) is to say," It doesnít get better than this!"

5. Becky Crowder: How does it feel to work with new talent in the "'Prime" series?

PETER CULLEN: It has a glow of its own. "Transformers Prime" will possibly enter record for season three in the near future, and I look forward to that. I truly admire the entire cast, as each member brings something unique into the works. The show has its own soul, and as the Transformers has changed quite a bit over the years, the Autobot presence has not. The addition of humans brings each session a strong and enjoyable experience. We really love working together. The respect, the generosity, and the unselfishness of all, permeates the room. The laughter and appreciation we share together is undeniably one of the best experiences I have encountered in my career.
Views: 4,040 / Credit: MaxxieOD of the 2005 Boards!
cartman5579
Dang, just beat me to the punch... ;(
Sy-Rein
Thanks for copying that here. I cant access facebook at work, but it was great to read the q&a here.
MaxxieOD
Quote:
Originally Posted by cartman5579 View Post
Dang, just beat me to the punch... ;(
I saw it on my phone, and had to jump onto a comp to post it lol.
FatalT 71
Peter Cullen is a class act.
Icespark
Peter Cullen never fails to amaze me with how dignified and humble his responses are. Mr. Cullen is truly an astounding actor, and a complete gentleman.

I very much look forward to hearing his upcoming performances!
TylerMirage
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icespark View Post
Peter Cullen never fails to amaze me with how dignified and humble his responses are. Mr. Cullen is truly an astounding actor, and a complete gentleman.

I very much look forward to hearing his upcoming performances!
Freakin' this.

Mr. Cullen, please be my uncle.
GFH
I don't think any fan out there takes Optimus more seriously than Mr. Cullen does. You can claim it, but I won't believe you.
Nachtsider
Peter Cullen's responses never fail to convey immense humility and great wisdom. I take my hat off to the man, and hope he continues to be involved with this franchise for many years to come.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GFH View Post
I don't think any fan out there takes Optimus more seriously than Mr. Cullen does. You can claim it, but I won't believe you.
Well, there's always that Bonita Prime woman...
GFH
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nachtsider View Post
Well, there's always that Bonita Prime woman...
moreprimeland
As for that person etc....Rule 14 keeps us from bringing that up..check it out! ..


Otherwise, an awesome group of responses...love how after all the years he's voiced Optimus he still is so happy to be voicing him and feels honored to be a part of this fandom and so humble about his contribution. Nice all around good guy.

*takes her hat off to him and too*
Timesynch
Quote:
Originally Posted by cartman5579 View Post
Dang, just beat me to the punch... ;(
To quote the immeasurable Peter Cullen who himself quoted President Harry S. Truman, "It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." =)

The man, the legend. (Peter Cullen, not President Harry S. Truman, haha.) Great read!
JorfimusPrime
Someone should have warned me not to look up "Bonita Prime." I can't handle that much bad grammar and over-the-top, obsessive fanaticism. I had a friend once who was like that with Sasuke from the Naruto series and with Twilight. Whole flood of traumatic memories just came back....
IaconStargazer
Some very good questions, and Mr. Cullen of course answered them wonderfully. I really hope I can meet the man someday. : )
dharmacon
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nachtsider View Post
Peter Cullen's responses never fail to convey immense humility and great wisdom. I take my hat off to the man, and hope he continues to be involved with this franchise for many years to come.
The one and only time I met him was at Botcon 2010. When I walked up, the first thing I told him was that he'd been an important part of my life since I was 12 years old (I'm 37 now). I cannot imagine how many times he's heard words to that effect over the last 20 years or so... and yet, when I said it he still seemed genuinely touched by it, as if it were the first time he'd ever heard anyone say such a thing to him. What I took away from that brief exchange is that he is a humble, gentle man who cares deeply for his fans and the impact he's had on each of their lives. As a TF fan, I feel proud to have such a kindhearted person be forever associated with Optimus Prime and Transformers as a whole.
Bahamut Prime
A sensational interview! Peter Cullen strikes again!
Sideswipe80
Mr. Cullen is one the greatest cartoon voices of all time. If there was a hall of fame for voiceovers he'd get my vote. He is Optimus Prime and always will be. No one can replace him. He's the reason why Optimus Prime is one of the greatest fictional characters.
VaderPrime1
Typical questions. Happy that he takes time to answer the same stuff though. He's a champ!
kaijuguy19
Mr Cullen is without a doubt one of the most amazing and kindest voice actors who ever lived!
MROptimusPrime
Quote:
Originally Posted by GFH View Post
I don't think any fan out there takes Optimus more seriously than Mr. Cullen does. You can claim it, but I won't believe you.
You never know...
MROptimusPrime
I am SO glad we got to meet him just once.
Transbot90210
And all that matters is that he pretty much confirmed season 3.
GrimlockAutobot
Someone should've asked him if he owns any toys specifically of Optimus Prime.
Optimist Prime
I love this man.
Infosaur
I know he said Optimus is baised on Peter's brother who served in Nam.

I'd really like to hear Peter talk more about him.

I noticed in one of the credits this season they made a tribute to him, so I'm guessing he passed recently.
Anodythe
Streaming Soundtracks stated playing "Optimus" as I began to read this. Quite appropriate.
IaconStargazer
Quote:
Originally Posted by Infosaur View Post
I know he said Optimus is baised on Peter's brother who served in Nam.

I'd really like to hear Peter talk more about him.

I noticed in one of the credits this season they made a tribute to him, so I'm guessing he passed recently.
A dedication to Peter's late brother Larry is shown before the end credits of the Prime episode "Partners" - the TF Wiki notes that he passed away in March of last year, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetary two days before the episode's original broadcast in July.

When it comes to Optimus Prime, it can probably be said that while Peter Cullen is the man in the recording booth, the late Larry Cullen is actually the voice. : )
Russian fan
Oh yes, He is a great man! I'm not a fan of his voice, I'm trying to get used to it, and I like it, but still Russian one is dearer.
But in this interview, I see the wise, strong, incredibly gorgeous man! He is worthy of its role, fame and his extraordinary fate not only due the seductive voice, but also due a heart of gold! And... It's great!
UnicronFTW
Peter Cullen is a fantastic human being. Take notes, people.
AutobotJazz4
Why do I get the feeling that only fans from America have been selected? I would welcome a small flag symbol behind the questioneers name just to make it legit.
toaster
God damn , this guy is friendly!!! And I am pretty glad that season 3 is confirmed and the better part is that he confirmed it !!!!!
Infosaur
Quote:
Originally Posted by IaconStargazer View Post
A dedication to Peter's late brother Larry is shown before the end credits of the Prime episode "Partners" - the TF Wiki notes that he passed away in March of last year, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetary two days before the episode's original broadcast in July.

When it comes to Optimus Prime, it can probably be said that while Peter Cullen is the man in the recording booth, the late Larry Cullen is actually the voice. : )
Oh man, I know it sounds like a total stalker thing to do, of the few people in my family that served (in the last 70 years) none of them have been in combat. (comes from my grands being too young for WW1 and too old for WW2)

I would totally make a pilgramage to lay an Optimus on Larry Cullen's grave.

Continue: Q and A with Peter Cullen Discussion on the 2005 Boards!

 
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