It’s wabbit season for Canadian voice actor Eric Bauza.
After growing up watching Bugs Bunny’s exploits on Looney Tunes at home in Scarborough, Ont., he’s now charged with bringing the character to life in all his carrot-munching, prank-pulling glory.
“It is a dream come true,” Bauza, who now lives in Los Angeles, told host Ismaila Alfa on CBC Toronto’s Metro Morning.
LISTEN | Scarborough’s Eric Bauza brings Bugs Bunny voice to Metro Morning:
Metro Morning5:58‘What’s Up Doc?’: Scarborough native Eric Bauza brings his own style to an iconic role
It took two auditions to land the part, and plenty of practice.
“I just study the classics,” said Bauza, who also voices the characters of Daffy Duck, Tweety Bird and Marvin the Martian in addition to Bugs. “My equivalent of the gym is watching one hour of Looney Tunes almost every other day.”
So who is Bugs, at his core?
“He’s always been the calm, cool, collected guy and I think that’s why a lot of people who watch Looney Tunes identify with him,” said Bauza.
“He’s just the every-rabbit. Until of course someone tries to rain on his parade … and then all bets are off.”
Bauza is also putting the voice to good use, recording a COVID-19 PSA back in March advising kids to “wash your hands, like you was washing 10 carrots!”
Bauza’s advice to young voice actors is to remember that, at its base, it’s “about the acting, first.”
“You have to instill a performance that’s grounded in reality,” he said.
WATCH | Eric Bauza says it’s ‘a dream come true’ to bring Bugs Bunny to life: