The apocalypse just happened.
There are gigantic monsters. Zombies everywhere. And all the adults fled the city. What is there to do? Survive and most importantly—still be a kid.
Based off the best-selling kids books by Max Brallier, The Last Kids on Earth heads to Netflix as an animated series.
The series voiceover talent includes Nick Wolfhard (The InBetween, Under Wraps), Montse Hernandez (Colony, Ben 10), Charles Demers (Beat Bugs, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic) and Garland Whitt (Save the Last Dance). Additional voiceover cast will include Mark Hamill (Star Wars), Rosario Dawson (Rent), Catherine O’Hara (Frankenweenine), Bruce Campbell (The Evil Dead) and Keith David (The Princess and the Frog).
The Last Kids on Earth follows 13-year-old Jack Sullivan and other middle schoolers who must battle monsters and zombies after an apocalypse. Sullivan thinks he’s a self-proclaimed monster-slayer, and has a quite an imagination with the love of movies, video games and books.
LRM Online conducted an exclusive interview with Nick Wolfhard last week over the phone. He voiced Jack Sullivan, the lead character in The Last Kids on Earth.
Wolfhard grew up knowing he wanted to be a voice actor. He has an extensive voiceover resume including the animated and anime series of My Little Pony, Beyblade Burst and World Trigger. He also voiced the full-length animated films Under Wraps and Howard Lovecraft and the Kingdom of Madness.
Netflix’s The Last Kids on Earth is now playing today.
Check out our exclusive interview below.
LRM Online: I’ve checked out an episode of your brand new show of The Last Kids on Earth. I know you’re very excited for this, because I see you promoting it on your social media. What attracted you to a project like this?
Nick Wolfhard: The attraction wasn’t originally the thing that got me to it. I had to audition for this project over like a three month cycle. I got more attracted to it the more I auditioned for it. Of course, now I have been recording it over the course of a year and continuing to go into the pickups, I honestly build that relationship up even more. The more I got to play this character, the more I grew to love it. Not that I did not love it at the beginning, it was such a great opportunity. It was just amazing to do it, and continue to love it.
LRM: Were you familiar with The Last Kids On Earth before? Like with the books?
Nick Wolfhard: No, I wasn’t. I actually found out later how huge it was and I know that a lot of kids read it. Back in elementary school, I used to read stuff like I read the graphic novel series Bone, which I loved. And there were Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Captain Underpants. This seems to be another one of those great kids book series. It isn’t afraid to get down and dirty. It’s very popular too. The series is a New York Times bestseller. I heard from a co-star of mine, Charlie [Demers], that it’s always selling out at bookstore events he was at. I’m really excited just to bring the series to life. It’s an honor in general.
LRM Online: Did you have a chance to pick up a book from a Max Brallier at all? What did you think?
Nick Wolfhard: Yes. A line producer actually gave me a bunch of the books to just skim over. I read some of it and I can see why kids love this series so much. There’s all the different little pop culture references. There’s a book later on that gets really dark, but it also manages to keep its humor. Just getting very relatable in general, especially towards kids in middle school. Doing the series, it made me realize I should’ve done things differently when I was Jack’s age. [Laughs] I was such an introvert. You’re only a kid for so long. Eventually I was able to be like, “Okay, I should socialize more.” Luckily, I think this series tells kids to please go out and hang out with people. Life is short.
LRM Online: It’s pretty ironic that you’re telling people to socialize since the series is all about the apocalypse.
Nick Wolfhard: Exactly. There’s only so many people left on Earth, right? You need to gather up people. You’re all that you have left. What you do and how you spend time with these people is important.
LRM Online: Now your character, Jack Sullivan that you actually voice, after doing a little bit of research and looking at your social media–he’s almost kind of like you, isn’t he?
Nick Wolfhard: Yeah, he is actually. [Laughs] I was thinking about that. He’s in middle school. He hated the middle school life. I also hated my middle school life. [Laughs] I didn’t really like hanging out with anyone. I only had one or two friends at the time. Jack definitely seems like that also.
But, as soon as I got out of school, it was the best thing ever. Some people hang on to the memories of their school lives. I didn’t really at all. Jack is similar to me that he is starting this brand new life. All these brand new paths and branches are opening up to him. Most people would be terrified. Ironically, this is literally the best thing that ever happened to him. Now he gets to do basically whatever he wants. Maybe also make us family of his own.
I noticed as I get older, my family is always away doing their own things. I obviously love my family, but I have also had to make a family on my own around the city and spend more time with friends. As you get older, they become more of your family and get added to the group.
LRM Online: Understandable. Now let’s talk about voicing the character. A lot of times, they use women to voice a young male teen. You got to voice a young teen in this series. Talk about that.
Nick Wolfhard: So the reason they actually do that, it’s because they don’t have to keep casting young boys over and over again when they come of age and their voice changes. I’ll give you an example the show Hey Arnold! They went through like three or four different voices for Arnold. That was for a lot of shows. If they want to keep the same young kid voice, yes, they usually do hire women.
The thing about Jack is he’s more in middle school. I always tend to go out for those kinds of young, cocky, main character-ish roles. That’s the reason as to why I voiced them like I do. It’s actually very similar to my normal voice. It’s very similar like in a higher decibel. That’s basically Jack in a nutshell.
LRM Online: I did notice on your Instagram you posted a couple pictures of your voice director James Corrigal. A lot of people don’t seem to credit their voice directors. How did he challenge you to get into this role?
Nick Wolfhard: I want to preface this by saying that you can have a project with amazing voice actors, but if you have a bad voice director–that entire voiceover project can just become awkward. James Corrigal is the best. He is one of the best voice directors I have worked with. He got performances in me that I have never thought possible.
The way he directs me is very unique as well. The process, usually what he does is, we’ll do two takes. We’ll do a run through together and ask for some notes. And then we’ll do the second run through. After that if there’s anything extra he needs, he’ll give individual us notes that do some touch up on certain lines. We recorded the whole show that way.
LRM Online: There were some big names in this series like Mark Hamill, Bruce Campbell, and Rosario Dawson. Sadly, did you even get a chance to meet them since you kind of work alone in the booth?
Nick Wolfhard: Well, actually I didn’t work alone. I worked with my three other main co-stars who are Charlie Demers who voices Dirk, Montse Hernandez’s voice is June and Garland Whitt who voices Quinn. Half of us records in Los Angeles. Garland and Montse record in Los Angeles, Charlie and I record in Vancouver.
We didn’t get to meet Mark, Rosaria or Keith. Obviously, they had their own schedules. As far as I know, they recorded on their own time. That’s essentially how it goes. I hope, eventually, maybe at a convention in the future we actually get to meet. It’s funny, because I’ve actually been in two separate projects with Mark Hamill and I’ve never met the guy.
LRM Online: That is a kind of kind of funny. So you did work with your co-stars at least, instead of by yourself. Is that actually unusual and do you like that better?
Nick Wolfhard: I do. I like it better. There’s a couple of different kinds of processes. For anime, we’ll do this thing called ADR, which basically means the animation is done first. Then you record by syncing up your voice to the lip flap. Sometimes for animation, DreamWorks tends to do or a lot of the big Hollywood studios for voiceover, they tend to usually record new solo. You’ll be in this big room and there’ll be a bunch of people on the other side, producers and writers and others.
Sometimes, it’ll be like a radio play. It’s not exactly uncommon. There are different experiences where you’ll be in a room, with a bunch of other people will be with you. They’ll do their lines and then after their lines, you’ll be yours. If there’s someone on the other side of the world, for example, you can use this technology where they’ll basically hear you and there’ll be a slight delay. They’ll do their lines. You basically just bounce off each other.
LRM Online: Wow. That’s awesome. Let me start wrapping things up. In the future, what kind of projects do you look forward hoping to do for yourself?
Nick Wolfhard: Wow! You’re the first person who actually asked that question. [Laughs] Thank you for asking that.
I really want to do video game roles. I’d love to get into mocap, because mocap is a great mixture of on camera acting as well as voiceover. You really have to emote at the same time as moving like a real person. You’ve got to be more expressive. You’ve got to do voiceover, but also kind of moving like a real person.
I’d love to do more video games. I’ve never done a video game before, so I thought that would be a fantastic opportunity. Honestly, just more cartoons. I have so much fun with it. Eventually when I move down to Los Angeles, I hope to work with so many of the great people I’ve met who I haven’t worked with yet. People like James Arnold Taylor, shout out to him and he’s fantastic. Laura Bailey. Travis Willingham. All of them. They’re great.
LRM Online: Those are the greatest voice actors out there. I’m just curious. What video games do you love to play?
Nick Wolfhard: I play everything. I love Ratchet & Clank , which actually James Arnold Taylor is the voice of Ratchet. I love the Final Fantasy games. I love Kingdom Hearts. Tons of video games. I’m not really picky when it comes to the games I play as long as they’re really good. Metal Gear Solid 3 is one of my favorite games of all time.
The game I’m playing right now is Yakuza 0. It’s kind of like Grand Theft Auto, but based in Japan. That’s really fun as well. I’m glad that it’s getting so much attention recently over here in the west. It’s just a blast.
LRM Online: One last question before I let you go, are you ever going to collaborate with your brother on screen one of these days?
Nick Wolfhard: If we’re talking about cartoons, I’m actually going to be in something with him very soon. Hopefully before the end of the year. We’ve done another animated project together and that was the one with Mark Hamill actually. That was Howard Lovecraft and the Kingdom of Madness.
We’re going to be in another project together. A couple of friends of ours are making a pilot for a big network. It’s going to be on at night. It’s not for kids. Look for that out there. I’m very excited for it to come out and I’m really proud of my friends who developed it. I wish them the best.
LRM Online: Excellent. Hey, thank you very much for speaking with me, Nick. I really enjoyed it and I’ll follow your career closely. Hopefully, we’ll meet someday.
Nick Wolfhard: Oh, absolutely. Thank you so much.
Netflix’s The Last Kids on Earth is now playing today.
Source: LRM Online Exclusive