written by: Jaime Winston
Millennials remember Will Friedle best as Eric Matthews, the cute, yet dumb, older brother on coming-of-age sitcom/drama Boy Meets World. A decade later, kids heard him as cartoons Ron Stoppable on Kim Possible and Terry McGinnis on Batman Beyond.
Now, he’s working his way into future nostalgia for Generation Z. Friedle voices the characters Star-Lord on Guardians of the Galaxy, Bumblebee on Transformers: Robots in Disguise and says you can expect to hear him in Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters, coming to Netflix later this year. In addition, he recently reprised his role as Eric in the now-cancelled Girl Meets World and hosts Geek & Sundry Painter’s Guild, a show for those super geeks who paint their own miniature figures for tabletop gaming.
So, it’s no surprise he’s listed among this year’s Salt Lake Comic Con celebrity guests, also including Elijah Wood, Dick Van Dyke and John Cusack.
Before he greets Salt Lake City fans for the first time ever, we asked Eric… I mean Friedle… some questions about the experience and his career.
Do comic cons like this make you nervous, or are you pretty used to them now?
“Comic cons do make me nervous, but I still absolutely love them. I deal with anxiety, so doing the cons really helps me overcome my fears. Plus, I just love meeting the fans.”
How do you get into character when you’re doing a voice-acting job?
“I really let the material dictate the character. You work with the director to ‘set the voice,’ and then you let the character go. Certain characters like Ron Stoppable can’t be big enough, while others like Terry McGinnis require a more subtle take.”
Out of all the characters you’ve voiced, is there one that you feel a particularly strong connection to?
“This is a tough question. While I love all of the characters that I have played, it is hard to feel a deeper love than I do for Terry McGinnis. Terry was my first animated character ever, and I like being able to tell people that ‘I am Batman!’”
I was really disappointed when Girl Meets World was cancelled. Do you know if fans will get to see Eric Matthews on TV again?
“We were all disappointed when GMW ended, but it was wonderful to be with everyone again. As for seeing Eric on TV… you just never know.”
Is there anything else you want to tell Salt Lake City fans?
“That I can’t wait to meet them. I genuinely love people and really like talking to them. Please come out and say hello. We can talk for a while.”
Salt Lake Comic Con is Sept. 21–23 at the Salt Palace. Buy passes at saltlakecomiccon.com.