10 Things You Didn't Realise Inspired Iconic Movie Voices
Some of the most iconic voices were created with baby elephants and greased gloves.
To get into a character's head, an actor doesn't just think of how they move or look but how they sound. For many performers, finding the right voice is pivotal to capturing the soul of the character.
Some performers base their character's voice on someone they know or fuse the vocal mannerisms of several people together. Certain actors like James Earl Jones have crafted mesmerising personas like Darth Vader and Mufasa simply by using their own accent. Entertainers like Mel Blanc devised iconic voices for Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny just by playing around with different sounds.
But sometimes, you can't use your own accent or put on a silly voice. How do you scream as a creature that has mandibles on its face? How do you create a roar for a T-Rex when we don't have a clue what dinosaurs sounded like? Where do you even start when you're portraying an alien parasite?
For characters like this, you have to experiment. For this list, we'll be looking at performers who found the right sound or intonation by researching swans, puking cats, and erm... reptile sex. It may sound weird, even stupid, but some of the craziest sounds imaginable helped create cinema's most iconic voices.
10. Godzilla - A Glove And A Musical Instrument
It's safe to say that Godzilla's high-pitched screech is the most iconic monster roar in cinematic history. Even people who have never seen a single entry in the long-running franchise should instantly be able to recognise it. Who would have guessed the cry of the King of Monsters was created with a glove and a double bass?
This idea was devised by the film's composer, Akira Ifukube, who served as a music teacher in Tokyo for years. Ifukube hated how generic movie monsters sounded and so, vowed to give Godzilla a unique cry to make him stand out.
Rather than using the sound effect of a wild animal like a lion or a tiger, Ifukube used his music experience to experiment with different sounds. In the end, he created the overgrown lizard's iconic roar by rubbing a resin-coated glove along the string of a double bass. This high-pitching noise was then slowed down so it sounded more animalistic.
This roar has been tweaked many times over the last 66 years but a variation of Ifukube's original sound effect has been used in nearly every film in the series.