Filipino Canadian Voice Actor Lands Role to Voice Bugs Bunny in ‘Space Jam’ Sequel
Filipino Canadian voice actor Eric Bauza grew up watching Bugs Bunny’s crazy antics in the 1996 movie “Space Jam,” and now he’s giving life to the “Looney Tunes” character in the upcoming sequel.
The 41-year-old voice actor will voice the prankster in the upcoming 2021 movie starring NBA star LeBron James, “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” according to CTV News.
Landing this role was a “dream come true” for the Los Angeles-based VA. It took him a couple of tries and a lot of practice to secure the role of Bugs Bunny, CBC reported.
“I just study the classics,” he said. “My equivalent of the gym is watching one hour of Looney Tunes almost every other day.”
To copy Bugs Bunny’s voice, Bauza holds his breath and strains his throat as he delivers a nasally Brooklyn accent, he told The Toronto Star.
“I don’t really think about it,” he said. “It kind of just happens naturally.”
Even as a child, Bauza already had a knack for picking up accents and voices, according to his brother, Alan. He recalled the time he returned home and heard voices coming from his younger brother’s room, thinking he had his friends over. However, it was just Bauza mimicking voices from “The Simpsons” inside his room.
Bauza was known as the funny guy during high school, where he graduated as valedictorian.
“I was the valedictorian — not for my smarts,” he said, “but just because I was entertaining.”
He would sometimes use his talent to pretend to be faculty members to prank call others or call out from the class.
Bauza would go on to study radio, television and film at Centennial College and later land an internship at an animation studio in Los Angeles. He delivered his resume in a large fortune cookie with the help of his brother.
Bauza also voiced other famous Looney Tunes characters, including Marvin the Martian, Tweety and Daffy Duck.
Jorge Gutierrez, the creator of “El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera” compared Bauza’s landing the role of Bugs Bunny to the “Raptors winning the NBA finals.”
“The voice acting world, as you know, historically has been basically Caucasian, even though these characters are rabbits and mice and foxes,” Gutierrez said. “The fact that someone like Eric is getting an opportunity to voice such an iconic, global character is humongous. This allows people who look like us and Eric to go, ‘Maybe I can do that.’”
“I will now be in the history pages of animation as the sixth guy and maybe one of the only Canadians to voice Bugs Bunny,” Bauza said.
In March, Bauza gave a brief glimpse of what he sounds like as Bugs Bunny in a PSA amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
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