VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: The Secret History Behind The ‘GI Joe’ TV Show, Revealed By Voice Actor Bill Ratner
He recently sat down with uInterview founder Erik Meers to discuss how he got his most famed role.
“I stood in line of about 150 actors 40 years ago on a sunny day in Studio City, California,” Ratner said. “Each one of us, in our hands, our sweaty little actors hands, had a single sheet of paper with a crude black and white drawing of a character. Mine happened to be Flint. I don’t know how carefully they listened to demos that our agents gave them … We had no idea what this was about – was it a toy commercial? What was it? We waited and waited, and the line slowly brought me up. I walked up the steps and here were 12 Hasbro executives, writers, directors crowded into this booth with no chairs with a great big Rock & Roll mixing console. I gave my toughest read and I think the direction was “Tougher, louder, come on man! Get it on!’ That was it for the words of direction. I did a take two and maybe a take three. That was it. ‘Thank you! Next!’ Behind me, was Mary McDonald-Lewis, who ended up playing Lady Jane. It was interesting because it wasn’t all guys, there were a lot of women there auditioning, too.”
Ratner also divulged the secrets behind G.I. Joe, including a little-known tale about G.I. Joe’s relationship with Barbie.
“Years later Mattel, after hugely successful years with Barbie – every Barbie vehicle, house and television shows – their stock had reached untold heights along with Hasbro’s with G.I. Joe and Transformers action figures,” Ratner revealed. “Then, things started drifting back to normal. During Operation Desert Storm in Kuwait, Barbie Magazine featured Barbie and G.I. Joe. We don’t know who the character was. Was it Duke? Was it Flint? It was a generic G.I. Joe character sunning half-clothed on the beach. Not being a Barbie fan, I don’t own the magazine, so I can’t read the details of the story, but it looked pretty hot!”
Leave a comment
Get the most-revealing celebrity conversations with the uInterview podcast!