2:45 pm EST, December 4, 2019

Kevin Conroy and ‘Arrow’s’ Audrey Marie Anderson preview ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ and their unexpected roles

Lyla's become Harbinger, Batman is finally appearing, and the Arrow-verse will never be the same.

“Crisis on Infinite Earths” is the biggest television crossover ever attempted, and has already been teased to be a game-changer for the future of the Arrow-verse as the existence of the multi-verse is in peril.

“Crisis on Infinite Earths” has been on everyone’s minds as the Arrow-verse shows have been tasked with setting up the crossover during the first half of their seasons.

While Arrow has had the biggest role in setting the crisis up, that’s partially because of Lyla Michaels’ (Audrey Marie Anderson) involvement with The Monitor and being the “harbinger” to deliver the message across the multi-verse. Meanwhile, on Batwoman, Batman has been missing from Gotham for years, but during the crossover, we get a peek at the Dark Knight for the first time in this universe.

“Crisis on Infinite Earths” begins Sunday, December 8 at 8 p.m. with the first hour of this five-part crossover that will bring heroes from Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Batwoman, Legends of Tomorrow, AND Black Lightning together for the biggest event on current television.

Watch the trailer, and then read our interviews with Audrey Marie Anderson and Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy below!

Crisis on Infinite Earths

Interview with ‘Arrow’s’ Audrey Marie Anderson (Lyla Michaels)

Hypable: When you first got the role of Lyla, all the way back [during Arrow season 1], did you ever expect you’d end up here?

Audrey Marie Anderson: No, I had no idea. I’m not sure anybody really did. I think the Harbinger was really just this shout out to the character. It was Lyla Michaels’ code name at ARGUS, and I think it’s really awesome. I don’t really know at what point they decided, okay, this is what we’re going to do, because I think they did start to plant things in [Arrow season 7], which, they did. There were some scenes, but I don’t know when they decided definitively that they were going to be like, okay, this is what we’re going to do with Lyla Michaels.

But [then] they didn’t tell me. They didn’t tell me about it, so I had no idea until this season. I was [probably] a good, solid two episodes in, before they were like, “We’re going to make this super suit.” I was like, “Wow!” It was a surprise to me.

We’ve yet to see Diggle and Lyla explore her apparent betrayal of Team Arrow. Can you tease anything about the moment when Diggle and Lyla finally confront that?

No, I can’t really tease anything, but I think it’s very much consistent with their overall kind of… They’ve always had this kind of back and forth. I guess the big difference is that, there is a sort of deception. She’s doing things, and she’s not telling him, and she’s keeping secrets. The whole thing is very them.

Audrey Marie Anderson

When did you learn that Lyla was going to have such an instrumental role in “Crisis on Infinite Earths”?

I just feel like the writers kept hinting at it on set. They would be like, “Oh, you’re going to do some really cool stuff, and you’re going to do …” I’d be like, “Okay, what?” Then, whenever Lyla has the first scene with The Monitor, and it revealed that she has contact with him, I didn’t even really know how to play the scene, as an actor.

I was like, “Okay, well, am I bad? Am I doing really bad things? What’s going on?” Because, I think there was some question as to whether The Monitor is good or bad. I really, really had to rely on the writers to help me, because they didn’t want to give too much away, even to me. They just don’t want [things to leak]. It was really hard to make choices as an actor because as I go, I just don’t really know where this is going. At a certain point, I did. I started to understand it, the more they would tell me, but it wasn’t like I got [it] at the beginning of the season, the plan.

Nobody broke it down for me like, “This is what we’re going to do. This is how you got to play it.” It was an interesting process. I felt the same way, like you’re in the dark right now. I was in the dark, too. Like, okay, well, what does this mean? Another thing I said before in another interview, which is true, is the dynamic with The Monitor and Lyla, some of it was really just even revealed in scenes that we would do, acting with the [other] actor.

I think it’s really fun, it’s really interesting to watch, because of what [LaMonica Garrett] does with his character. He did a beautiful job, and so I really enjoyed working on those scenes with him, yeah.

Are you familiar with the comic run the crossover is based on?

You know, I’m aware. I’m not deeply familiar with it. I’ll just be honest, I didn’t go out and cram. I got a lot of my information from LaMonica, actually. He’s a huge comic book buff.

Obviously, I looked it up, and I did a bit of research, but I didn’t read all the comics. I didn’t go back, and read all the comic books, also for a reason, because I didn’t have a lot of time to prep this, but I also did not want to … It’s an interpretation, right? It’s Arrow‘s interpretation, and I also didn’t want to lose my character in it. Whenever they showed me images for the super suit, I thought their interpretation of it, visually, was so good because it’s very true to Lyla Michaels.

It’s like, if they had completely copied what you see in the comic books, you’d just be like, “What? Who is this?” It wouldn’t make any sense. You know what I mean? Lyla Michaels would never wear that! I thought that it was really great how it’s very true to character.

It’s amazing. [Doing the super suit has] been my favorite part of this whole season. Just seeing that process, and how those guys work, it is what making movies is all about. You know what I mean? As an actor, you’re like, “Oh my God.” You really feel like you’re transforming, whenever you finally put the suit on, you know? Then, you just get really sweaty, and it’s uncomfortable, and you just want to take it off.

It’s a milestone that you’ve had.

Yeah, especially on this show because I never expected to have one.

What episode are you most excited for fans to see when the crossover airs?

Oh my God, they all blur together in my mind. I know exactly what my answer is, and I’m trying to remember which episode it is.

Can you tell us what scene it is? Can you tell us who’s in the scene with you?

Everybody? It’s a transformational scene.

Just as Arrow is ending, how has this whole journey been for you? What will you take from this whole journey?

Well, it’s been great. Just from an actor’s perspective, I had a steady gig for seven years, you know? I don’t think any actor really expects… Yeah, there are some shows that go that long, but not all of them do. It’s just been really nice to be a part of it, and to see everybody grow as people. I’ve met so many great people along the way, who I’ve worked with and really enjoyed. They, also too, have been a part of something like this, that spawned all of these shows, and “Crisis on Infinite Earths” [has] never been aired as a television show, so I’ve been told, so that’s pretty cool as a historical thing.

I’m just super grateful. I’m super grateful that I had the experience. I never thought I would have been on the show all eight seasons. I thought, well, I’m just a guest. I’m just visiting. Then, it wrapped up, and I was like, I really felt like I had been part of something all that time, and probably didn’t even dawn on me, until we were all saying goodbye. It’s pretty great, and then it’s also just time to move on, too. These things don’t last forever, and everybody goes on and does other things, and I hope everybody does really great things. It’s great while it lasted, and I hope I cross paths with some of the people I worked with because I worked with some really great people.

Well, it’s been really tremendous to watch you, and to see your character just evolve, and become such a part of things. It was nice … She could have just been the wife, and she became so much more.

That’s the thing, right? Exactly, exactly. That’s so true. She could have just been the wife. That’s the one thing I liked about Lyla in playing Lyla is that, she was a strong character, and she was a wife, but she was a good wife and a strong wife. She got to save her husband sometimes. He didn’t just save her, you know?

Crisis on Infinite Earths

Kevin Conroy appearing as Batman

While the infamous Bat has never appeared in the Arrow-verse prior to this moment, we’ve had a few Easter eggs over the years. Finally, after almost a decade-long wait, Bruce Wayne will be appearing in the Arrow-verse… in a somewhat unexpected way on “Crisis on Infinite Earths” episode 2. It has already been spoiled that this Bruce Wayne is from the future, so naturally, the crew had to reach out to long-time Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy to, for the first time ever, play the role on-screen. Read our interview with him below!

Interview with Kevin Conroy

Hypable: What was it like to finally embody the character of Bruce Wayne on-screen after being what so many consider the “official” voice of Batman for so long? And did you think this moment would ever happen?

Kevin Conroy: I never thought this moment would happen, first of all. Let’s just get that out of the way. What was shocking to me was I know the character so intimately. I’ve played him for 27 years. And when you perform a voice, the sound booth can be sort of like a cocoon. It’s a very safe space, and it’s a very intimate space. And it’s easier to be emotionally exposed in a performance in there because it’s such an intimate space.

Well, suddenly I was on a soundstage with not just the other actors, but dozens of crew members and lighting people and sound people and script people and hair people and makeup people and people running all around. And you’re exposing yourself, embodying this character in three dimensions that you’ve always done just with your voice. And it’s a very emotional performance. And I was shocked at how exposed I felt and what a leap it was. It was a real leap for me to go from the sound booth to a live action performance, which is interesting because I’m a stage actor originally. I did all on-camera, but my career took a left turn into voiceovers about 25 years ago and it just happened by chance that was where my career went. And I’d forgotten how vulnerable you feel and exposed you feel in front of a crew like that on a soundstage like that.

What excited you about “Crisis On Infinite Earths” and made you want to appear? Did you need any sort of persuasion?

Oh God, no. No. They suggested it, and I said yes, I’ll be right there. But to be honest, I didn’t know what I was getting into. I thought they were going to… they were talking about old Bruce Wayne from Batman Beyond. And I said to Marc, the producer, when he called about it, I said, “I’m not that old. I don’t want you to think you’re casting an 80-year-old. I’m not.” And he said, “Oh, no, no. We know what you look like.” And then when I got the script, I realized there are emotional elements of Bruce Wayne from Batman Beyond, but it’s not Bruce Wayne from Batman Beyond. It’s a very different Bruce Wayne.

How much were you told about this version of Bruce and [“Crisis on Infinite Earths”] before you got on set?

Not a lot, to be honest, because they’re creating six hours of film, and there’s a massive number of actors and crew and writers involved. It’s a huge undertaking. So, you’ve got to basically show up and be on your A-game. You know what I mean? There’s no learning on the set. You’ve got to show up and perform. So, I had to do my own homework and know what I was going to do as Bruce Wayne when I got there. And there are similarities to old Bruce in Batman Beyond, but he’s very different. But there are some similarities.

Based on the episode description, it appears that Kate Kane and Kara Danvers track down Bruce in episode 2 of the crossover. Can you tease the relationship between Kate and this Bruce?

Personally, I think it’s kind of a heartbreaking relationship. There’s a strong emotional reaction, and Ruby is such an open, emotional actress, and a generous actress, that she made it very easy for me.

How did working opposite Ruby Rose and Melissa [Benoist] influence your portrayal? What was it like to sort of step into this world with these two characters in particular?

Well, the funny thing was that they’re kind of the next generation of the superheroes. And you know, we all see ourselves differently. I look at the world through the eyes of a 26-year-old, and I scare myself when I pass a mirror. I don’t see myself as my age. I don’t feel my age. So, when I was on the set with these beautiful, young actresses, and I was just, I was one of the gang. I was just the same age as they were. And then when I saw a picture of us all together, I thought, whoa. Who’s that old man? So, when I was interacting with them, I was just interacting with peers. We were all on the set together.

[With] this incarnation of Bruce in particular, [are there] any moments that surprised you or might surprise fans when they finally see the crossover?

Yes. I can not elaborate, but yeah. There will be moments that surprise fans.

Is there anything that you can tease that fans might like?

This Bruce is the result of a life of sacrifice, of giving and giving and giving of himself and never getting anything back. That’s this version of Bruce. So, it’s different than the Bruce Batman that I had performed previously. This is a somewhat dark version.

“Crisis on Infinite Earths” begins Sunday, December 8 at 8 p.m. on Supergirl. Don’t miss one of the most exciting television events in history!

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