LeBron James might be the star of Space Jam: A New Legacy, but Jeff Bergman has the most important role in the film. The 60-year old voice actor plays Bugs Bunny in Space Jam: A New Legacy, which hit theatres and HBO Max on Friday. PopCulture.com recently caught up with Bergman, who was very surprised when he found out he was going to be voicing the iconic Looney Tunes character.
“I was stunned.” Bergman said to PopCulture. “I mean, I was epically stunned. I was so stoked. I couldn’t even believe it. I mean, my career has been almost 40 years, so to be part of this film and I kind of got the sense from seeing the script early on, I thought, you know what? This is going to be something kind of special, I think, and to be a part of it and to play such a big role as Bugs Bunny. I’m still trying to pinch myself to think, like, did that really happen?
“And then when I saw the trailer, I was freaking out; it was so insane. And then I was geeking out watching other people watch the trailer. And then there’s that Zoom thing where, like all the people on the screen, you get to see everybody react. So, I mean, it just was so much excitement there when I got the news; I just couldn’t believe it.”
Bergman has been voicing Bugs Bunny since 1989, the same year the original Bugs Bunny voice actor Mel Blanc died. Bergman didn’t voice Bugs Bunny in the original Space Jam, and Space Jam: A New Legacy is the first big-budget film for the veteran voice actor.
One of the biggest differences between Space Jam: A New Legacy and Space Jam is the animation. Bergman talked about one of his favorite scenes in the movie, which is when Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes Characters change from 2D to 3D.
“I had to make the sound effect for that,” Bergman said when talking about the transformation. “So we had everything was done, but it’s like his arm it’s going up his arm and I had to make that sound effect. So that was, like, so cool to do that. And so it took us about 10 minutes or so to try to find just the right reaction that Bugs had. So I love that scene.”
Along with voicing Bugs Bunny, Bergman also provides the voices of Sylvester, Yosemite Sam, Fred Flintstone and Yogi Bear. Bergman loves the fact Space Jam: A New Legacy has Fred Flinstone and Yogi Bear despite not being part of the Looney Tunes Family.
“It was very unexpected because when we first got the script, there was, I think there was maybe one or two Fred Flintstone lines, but it wasn’t assured that he was going to be in the film,” Bergman revealed. “So when they said it’s definitely going to happen, I have been doing Fred. I’ve been doing Fred Flintstone; I guess it’s about 20 years now, yabba dabba doo! I was that exuberant. I just couldn’t believe it; oh my God, Fred Flintstone will have a line in Space Jam.
“And then it was maybe a few months after that, or maybe a little bit longer. They said, ‘Jeff, would you, would you do Yogi Bear as well?’ And so I ‘Hey Boo-Boo, I’m smarter than the average bear,’ ‘Oh Yogi, if I were you, I wouldn’t touch that picnic basket, you’ll get in a lot of trouble with the ranger.’ I grew up with Yogi and Huckleberry Hound, and of course the Looney Tunes so their worlds were colliding together. I mean, it was the coolest thing.”