Peter Cullen: Nerdage’s #16 actor with geek appeal
The longtime voice of Optimus Prime, Peter Cullen, comes in at No. 16 on Nerdage’s top 25 actors with geek appeal.
Cullen will reprise the role of Optimus Prime in the third “Transformers” film, “Dark of the Moon,” set for release on June 29. Cullen can also be heard in the animated series “Transformers Prime” on the Hub network.
Cullen originated the role of the heroic Autobot in the 1980s TV series.
I talked to Cullen in 2006 about voicing the character.
“The character breakdown for Optimus Prime was pretty straightforward,” Cullen said. “The writers were … excellent. I got a sense of Optimus Prime having integrity and honor and courage and conviction.”
That courage and conviction, as evidenced in Cullen’s vocal portrayal, was inspired by Cullen’s brother Larry, a former Marine captain who served in Vietnam.
“I think I got a lot of Optimus Prime from my brother. Certainly, the control and the honor and definitely the spirit of command. Soft-spoken, sensitive but willing to kick a- – like a Marine can do.” Cullen said. “I tried to keep him cool under all conditions, and authoritative and convincingly powerful.”
- Matt Price
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