What do mask-wearing killers and a super intelligent monkey bent on world domination have in common? They are all voiced by Roger L. Jackson, the man behind the curtain performing Ghostface in the “Scream” franchise and Mojo Jojo in the animated television series “The Powerpuff Girls.”
The voice actor will be at the 2019 Fanboy Expo this weekend at the Knoxville Convention Center and the World’s Fair Exhibition Hall.
Sinister phone calls and burning Jiffy Pop popcorn were part of Ghostface’s scare tactics in the original “Scream” (1996). After the film’s release, Ghostface became an instant horror legend. Jackson said Ghostface stands apart from other entities in the horror genre rogue’s gallery.
“Jason and Michael Myers are specific characters, but Ghostface could be anyone,” Jackson said. “Ghostface could be a man, a woman, me, or even you. Ghostface represents the darker aspects of everybody.”
Probably the most infamous line uttered by Ghostface in the original film is, “Do you like scary movies?” How often was Jackson asked to record that line for answering machines across the world?
“There were some people that asked me to leave messages (as Ghostface), but not many,” the voice actor said. “Most people didn’t know it was me.”
The finale of “Scream” reveals that two individuals are behind the murderous persona of Ghostface. Both killers were obsessed with bringing horror movies to life.
“In reality, horror movie fans are not violent people,” Jackson said. “They know the difference between real horror and movie magic. The (two killers) in the film become obsessed with themselves and nothing else seems real to them.”
The movie spawned several sequels and a television show on MTV. “Scream” the series has moved to VHI for its third season, which is titled “Scream: Resurrection.” The new series is a reboot and takes the franchise back to its roots, featuring the voice talents of Jackson. Season 3 premiered this week.
Mojo Jojo is one of the key villains in “The Powerpuff Girls.” The evil mastermind usually has victory is his grasp, yet does something to sabotage his objectives.
“People are attracted to Ghostface, but they really love Mojo,” Jackson said. “I think part of it is that no matter how intelligent he is, Mojo is sort of a klutz. He really isn’t a nice person, but you can’t help but feel sorry for him. Mojo can be played for a chump, and I think most people can relate to that.”
The voice actor said both Ghostface and Mojo have a special place in his heart. However, Mojo would be appalled to be placed on the same level as a mere horror icon.
“Mojo would say something like ‘I don’t see what the big deal is about Ghostface — (he/she) only stabs people! I have destroyed entire cities and nobody gives me any credit,’” he said. Video games also are part of Jackson’s voice work. He has contributed to titles such as “Galleon,” “Baldur’s Gate,” “American McGee’s Alice” and numerous other titles.
“In the video games, I portray humans, animals, monsters and all kinds of other things,” Jackson said. “I really had fun doing the game ‘American McGee’s Grimm,’ based on the Brothers Grimm. I played all of the characters. I was Little Red Riding Hood, Grandma and the Wolf. I didn’t (read) as one character at a time, but went by the script. I had the characters play off each other.”
Jackson said he is looking forward to meeting fans at the convention.
“When you act in the theater, they say that it is the actor’s medium because it is just the audience and the actor,” he said. “There is nothing between you and them, and the actor gets an immediate reaction. With recorded media, you do not have an audience with you. Going to conventions is my way to meet the audience. It means so much that they appreciate what you do.”
The voice actor will appear Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Fanboy Expo. He is scheduled to be at the World’s Fair Exhibition Hall and will sign autographs for $40 each.