Eric Bauza has worked as a broadcaster for two decades, acting in film, television, and video games. But the Scarborough native (and Centennial graduate) went viral last year when Warner Bros. cast him as the voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and others on the HBO Max series. Looney Tunes Drawings.

Bauza had been voicing Marvin The Martian and Pepe Le Pew in other projects, but those are supporting actors. (And Pepe Le Pew is fursona non grata these days, anyway.) Looney tunes characters like Bugs, Daffy and Tweety? That’s the animated version of being called from the youngest to the greatest.

Which leads us to Space Jam: a new legacy, the mammoth feature film hitting theaters and on VOD platforms on Friday (July 16). Bauza voices Daffy, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Foghorn Leghorn and Marvin in the film and, to my ear at least, brings back both the sound and the personality of the original voice actor Mel Blanc; He is not only “doing” the voices, but also playing the characters. So we talk about it.

When I have seen videos of you on the microphone, you are a very physical actor, I have “things of the hand” written here, so forgive me. Have you developed tics or tricks that help you capture a certain character?

If you’ve ever seen me behind the mic or behind the lectern with the script, will you see that I always have to hold a pencil when performing? It’s kind of a strange thing [and] it is different in each study. There are some studios where I was locked in a smaller booth and there was a wall that I could lean on …[in Bugs Bunny’s voice] And, you know, when you’re doing Bugs, there’s that famous pose of leaning against the tree with the carrot, it kind of helps there. There is some physique that is involved with the voiceover that not many people will pick up on or notice. But when it comes to performers, it helps! Any strange gesture or nervous tic that helps you get through that performance, just do it.

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Did the pandemic have any impact on the production of Space Jam or was everything recorded beforehand?

Even before the pandemic, we were always recording individually anyway, but being able to record from home. [was nice]; my only concern is that I do not hear the barking of my neighbor’s dog, nor the lawnmowers. If you do, I’ll pay for your month’s subscription to whatever streaming service I’m watching it on, and my apologies. I think there were only a handful of reps I needed to do. But other than that, the audio engineers … God bless. His wizardry made everything sound like we were together.

Was there a moment you are most proud of? Is there a single line of reading that you felt you were absolutely riveted on?

[in Daffy Duck’s voice] “The bathroom line is going to be crazy!” I love Lucas. It is definitely a big surprise for me; In all the Looney Tunes I’ve been able to play, I never knew I could play Daffy. And he’s definitely one of my favorite characters of all time.

Check out the entire animated conversation in the video below.

Space Jam video: interview of a new legacy with Eric Bauza

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