Dragon Con 2019 Interview – A.J. LoCascio & Josh Keaton Talk Voltron: Legendary Defender…and Spider-Verse?

Voltron 1
Photo from the animated Voltron: Legendary Defender series on Netflix. Photo courtesy of Collider.

All of you Voltron fans probably heard about show stars Josh Keaton and A.J. LoCascio being among the guest list to the biggest nerd party of the year: Dragon Con 2019. Thankfully I was there to ask the guys about the show, and how they felt now with Voltron: Legendary Defender having come to a close.

Russ: How’s the con going you guys?

Josh: It’s going good man. Having a good time.

AJ: Yeah, It’s crazy. I feel like this is the real first day.

Josh: Yes!

AJ: Yesterday was just kind of like a trial.

Josh: Just a little warm-up.

AJ: Yea, today’s where it happens. 

Russ: How often have you guys been to Dragon Con?

 Josh: First time.

AJ: Yep, never. 

Josh: We’ve been to a bunch of cons, but never dragon con. This is the first time. I’m lovin’ it!

AJ: This is…this is insane.

Josh: I’m so used to the cons where when the day’s done, you got to your room and then it’s just boring until the next day—unless you like leave the hotel and do something else. Like here no matter what time it is you can go anywhere and there’s like a party.

Russ: Yea, it’s never ending. 4am, and there’s a huge crowd in the lobby. 

Josh: Yea, yea…it’s amazing.

AJ: I love it. That’s how everything should be. I wish that Halloween was more like this too, where it’s just like it doesn’t stop. It refuses to stop (laughs). That’s awesome.

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Russ: So…Voltron. How does it feel to be done?

Josh: Ah…bittersweet. I really love the show, and I really love Shiro. I love the character, and so it’s a bummer that I don’t get to be him anymore. And that we don’t get to go on more adventures and do all that. But I really love the show that we did. I’m super thankful that I got the chance to work on it, and I’ve made some really good friends through the process.  It’s been an amazing experience.

AJ: Yea, I mean it’s sad? Sad is the dominant word cause we don’t get to go in on Thursday’s and be like “hey we’re all here!” you know and record together. Yea, it’s sad. I miss going and actually recording and getting to see new adventures, and waiting for what the next chapter is going to be.

Josh: Yea, cause we were all fans of the show as well. Obviously we’re biased (laughs), because we’re on the show. But I mean we really enjoyed it.  We really looked forward to getting those scripts and like AJ said, seeing what the next adventure was going to be. We were hanging on to every word just like the fandom was.

AJ: Cause we didn’t know (laughs).

Josh: Cause we didn’t know either!

AJ: Until the night before! Like, what? Who’s dying?

Josh: (laughs) Yea, exactly. 

Russ: When creating the show, did you guys often record in the same room? Or was it separate?

Josh: Yes.

AJ: Yea it was almost always [together]. I mean there were rare occasions where one of us would have to do some pick up lines or something, but for the most part it was all of us in a room together.

Josh: With animation they try to do that. Usually with video games—well that’s even kind of changing a little bit too—but usually with video games you’re kind of by yourself in a room. And then the director who directs you and it’s just your dialogue and that’s it. But when you’re doing animation they have us all in the room.  It’s kind of like a radio drama where we basically go through the script chronologically. I mean I love that vibe, and they were really good at trying to schedule us together as often as possible. Now granted we had a lot of people on our show that did a lot of on camera, that were filming on location from time to time—like Bex, Tyler and Steven. So we couldn’t always record together. So there were times where it could only be two of us, three or four of us—little skeleton crew. But whenever we could, they tried to get us all together, and those days were awesome. We’d have like ten people in a circle in front of the mics.

AJ: Very little got done when we were all in there.

Josh: No, we got it done!

AJ: (laughing)

Josh: They book us out for four.  It’s a four hour session. When we’re in “okay we’re gonna work” mode, I mean we would knock that episode out in an hour and a half. But you know—

AJ: We got into silly mode once in awhile!

Josh: Yea, if we go into silly mode, it might take two and a half hours. But you know what, we’re booked for four—we’re still good. 

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Photo from the animated Voltron: Legendary Defender series on Netflix. Photo courtesy of Collider.

Russ: You got time to fool around!

AJ: We had an hour and a half of fart jokes we need to do. 

Josh: And the fart jokes are essential. It’s part of what gets you into character.

AJ: (laughing)

Russ: Is there anything you wish the was able to do that never happened?

Josh: Yea, I mean I wish that it could have just gone on longer. Because they just established that now Earth is there and the universe is saved. I mean there’s all these other alien races and all of these other planets that they’ve already established.  I mean Marmora is like a humanitarian organization now. I want to see how everybody’s life develops post Voltron. They teased like vehicle Voltron stuff in the final episodes. I just feel like there is so much more unexplored story that can happen, and I would love to see a continuation.

AJ: I mean there’s so much room for new stories. Yea, my crew at the end there, and James—

Josh: Yea, James Griffin was hitting his hay day. 

AJ: They could be their own separate [thing].  They could be vehicle Voltron or maybe the new Voltron—iunno. But there’s so many more stories to tell. And I mean obviously I would have loved to see Lotor live a happy healthy life forever and ever.

Josh: Yes, reconstituted from the puddle! (laughs)

AJ: Yea, they could resculpt him! It’s amazing what plastic surgeons can do these days. Put a little nose up here, and an eye down there. You know, but he’ll function. 

Josh: He might not be as handsome, but…

Russ: What’s your proudest moment from the whole run of the show?

Josh: Proudest moment…(thinking)

AJ: (looking at Josh in thought) I have those same pants Josh. 

Josh: They’re good pants!

AJ: But just in a different color!

Josh: You know what, I’m wearing them because this is the last weekend this year that I can wear white pants.You know you’re not supposed to wear white pants after Labor Day?

AJ: When does that stop though? Cause technically it’s always after. 

Josh: uuuhhh…I don’t know. Probably New Years maybe? I don’t know. 

AJ: (laughs) Yea, that makes sense. 

Josh: I don’t know when it starts, but I know when it stops. I’m wearing white pants because I know I can.

AJ: Sorry…(laughs)…you were asking us a question. Proudest moment is Josh’s pants. 

Josh: Yea, white pants! Hmmmm….it’s hard to pick just one. I think that just kind of coming out to some of the rallies and seeing the fan engagement, and seeing how people are able to see themselves in so many of the different characters. [They] really identity with that.  And going to cons and having people coming up to us and telling us how much this character meant to them. How it helped them get through a hard time in their life, or deal with their sexuality, or whatever. Those are all huge life milestones. We really forget sometimes that what we do in the booth has a life outside of the booth.  Once we’re done performing and doing all of that—that character, and those stories, live on. When you’re kind of presented with the end result of that…when it has affected somebody’s life and they come up to you in person and tell you how it did—that’s super humbling and inspiring at the same time. Those are the kind of moments that really stand out to me that are part of this show. I mean they are kind of tangential and not the actual show, but I mean why are we actors? We’re actors so we can tell these stories and have people live these experiences without actually having live them.

AJ: It’s very surreal. It’s almost like if you were to sing in the shower, and someone was like “it really changed my life, the way you sang in the shower.” And you’re like, how did you…

Josh: Yes!

AJ: How did you hear that? Cause it feels private when we are doing something in the booth. It feels so closed off, you almost don’t realize that this is going to go out to however many millions of people. And It’s so strange, because you know we go in and do our thing and do the best we can, and it’s like “oh this has a real effect on people”.  It is very humbling, and it fills your grinch heart. 

Josh: It does! It really does. 

AJ: There’s pride and joy…it’s really incredible. But yea, other than a couple little acting moments where I was like “yay me!” the true thing that we’re all proud is that—the effect. The effect that it had on the fans, not even realizing that this show could have been seen by no one.  Which happens all the time. You pour your heart into something and nobody sees it. So the fact that this caught on so quickly is a testament to how good the show is. It’s crazy. It’s really crazy. That’s what I keep saying about everything. About the con, the show…

Josh: I don’t think anyone was really ready for a show to do that. It’s always really like lightning in a bottle where it just kind of happens. You can never really predict which show it’s going to happen with.  I kinda had a feeling when I read the scripts, the first scripts in the beginning, that there was something special about the show. This is gonna be a good show. Because I couldn’t wait to get the next script. I was like, I have to read the next story. 

Voltron 2
Photo from the animated Voltron: Legendary Defender series on Netflix. Photo courtesy of Collider.

Russ: Now you guys both do voice acting it seems as a majority. Is there a particular reason? Do you enjoy that more than live action stuff?

Josh: I came into it through live action. That’s where I got my start in the business. I’ve kind of been all around the business. I was in a singing group for awhile, and just kind of been all over. But I love voice over because it allows me to play parts that I would never get physically—cast to play, physically…in real life on camera. I always had a weird thing with that—cause I’m Latino, and I look more caucasian? So when I was younger and when I would addition for on camera latino roles, they’d be like “are you Latino…?” I was like, yea…I’m half Peruvian and I speak Spanish. “But you have blue eyes!” I’m like, have you been anywhere…? (laughs) So there was that. When I would go addition for caucasian roles, they’d be like “what’s your background?” So I was always stuck in the middle of I’m not enough of this, but I’m not enough of that.  There’s none of that in voiceover. It’s just, can you tell the story or not. Can you play the part or not. There’s something so freeing about that, that lets you just focus on the work and not the BS of what you look like. So yea, I love it for that reason. 

AJ: That said, we have a very sexy cast.  (laughs)

Josh: (laughs) We do! We do.

AJ: Surprised going in the booth and being like everyone here is so pretty. That’s just a coincidence I think. But yea, voice acting is something that I fell into. Like I just on a fluke auditioned for Marty McFly by sending in a voicemail.  So like I called the company and left a message as Marty, and then that was the first thing I booked. And that was just kind of like, okay I guess I’m doing this! So it was um…

Josh: That’s a great story.

AJ: Oh it’s such a cool story! I like, I don’t believe it. I’ll hear other people’s stories, where they’re like “oh I booked the first thing I did,” and I’d be like—those jerks. They’re always like, “oh I guess I did that too.” But it feels so foreign to me. But I like acting in all kinds, in whatever—it’s all fun.  But voice acting is its own special, pure…thing. And it’s weird to have people like Tyler and Steve who come in, [and say] I can’t believe you guys get to do this. Come in and just act—it’s so pure! Maybe it wasn’t them, but it wasn’t them but it was somebody that does a lot of on camera work. You don’t have to wear a costume! And I’m like, yep! It’s crazy that they almost envy that that’s a lifestyle in a way. Because they got to go put on wigs…

Josh: Well I mean because you have those 5am makeup calls, and…

AJ: Yep, that’s no fun. 

Josh: And then you’re sitting around for eight hours, and then you do your thing, and then you have the not always 12 hour turn arounds. You know what though, it’s still a thing. I loved that too, that was my life when I was doing a lot more of that. That was fun in its own way—it’s always an adventure. 

Russ: Real quick before we wrap it up, I wanted to mention that the co-creators of Voltron were hired to work on the upcoming Spider-Verse movies. Any chance we’ll see you two work on them?

AJ: (laughs)

Josh: I hope so!

AJ: Yea, I hope so!

Josh: Hey man, we’re actors. We’re always looking for our next gig. Always looking for the next meal…won’t turn down work.

AJ: Yea, exactly! They know where to find us. 

Russ: Well thanks for your time, and I hope you guys enjoy the rest of the Con!

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Author: Russ Milheim

I'm Russ, and I'm a nerd to the core. Pop culture is the fuel that drives me. Television, Movies, Games, Comics, and Superheroes are my passions in life. Want to talk anything DC or Marvel? I’m here for you. Like Funko Pop! figures? Those are my thing as well. The moral of the story, is that I felt Game of Nerds was the best place to try and share my love for all things pop culture to the world, and engage with people across the world.

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