HENRY DANGER & DANGER FORCE Exclusive Interview With Captain Man Actor Cooper Barnes

We recently had the chance to chat with actor and voice actor Cooper Barnes in support of the motion comic sci-fi podcast Ride Share, and we learned all about his time playing Captain Man in Henry Danger!

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The Henry Danger franchise has been highly successful on Nickelodeon for the past decade, spinning out into The Adventures of Kid Danger and Danger Force, and there's even a Henry Danger movie in the works. 

We recently spoke with Cooper Barnes in support of his latest project, Ride Share, an audio/video hybrid podcast that utilizes a motion comic animation style inspired by the BET Black Panther series. Since Cooper has played Captain Man in Henry Danger for the past seven years, we were sure to pick his brain about the show.

We learned a lot about the stuntwork that goes into the roles and the difference in the ease of voice acting. To hear our chat with actor and voice actor Cooper Barnes click the podcast player below. We have also included our chats with fellow Ride Share talent Julie Nathanson and James Gavsie alongside the transcript.

8m 53s Literary Joe: How is Danger Force related to Henry Danger?

9m 1s Cooper Barnes: It's a sequel continuing the adventures of the characters from Henry Danger.

9m 11s Literary Joe: Can you talk to me about your history with the character you play and how that's advanced?

9m 21s Cooper Barnes: I've played Captain Man on Henry Danger and now on Danger Force for the last seven years in December. Playing the guy has become easier and easier and also harder and harder. Mentally it's easier to play him. But, physically, it's harder to play him because he's an indestructible man who is in excellent shape, and I'm not indestructible.

I'm a mere mortal, and working out every day for seven years is hard. Everyone loves to give it up to Chris Hemsworth, who shoots one movie every year. Not that the guy doesn't stay in shape, but I've got to do it three days a week, every day. It's exhausting, and a little old after a while, especially during the coronavirus pandemic with the gyms closed. I'm having to get creative and do curls with milk jugs or whatever the hell is around the house. 

That aspect is more demanding, and I'm leaning on my stuntman more than I used to. I used to do most of my stunts. Now I do 50% or less of my stunts. But the guy is indestructible! He gets hit in the head with shovels and stuff. You can't do that for too long before you need to tap out and be like, "Hey, can we get Duffy to do this? Duff you want to get hit in the head with a shovel and stuff?" and stuntmen are always like, "yeah, hell yeah, hit me with the shovel I'm down."

10m 57s Literary Joe: Do you work with a team or just one stuntman?

10m 59s Cooper Barnes: I've had several stuntmen over the years. I've had Eric Linden, Mark R. Miscione, Nick Benseman, and now Duffy McManus, who has been my stuntman for about a year and a half, maybe almost two years now. He's great; they've all been fantastic. Stuntmen and women are made of something else. They have bones made of steel, and they have an impeccable spirit and can't be hurt. It's crazy. Obviously, they can be hurt, but it's amazing how resilient and tough they are and fearless.

I have a whole lot of respect for that entire community. Our stunt coordinator Vince Deadrick Jr. was nominated for an Emmy this year for Henry Danger and lost to Shameless somehow? We have an action-adventure show. I've never seen Shameless, but I don't think there are lots of stunts. Unless the stunts involve William H. Macy getting drunk and falling, that seems to be that show. I don't know I've never seen it. I shouldn't pass judgment since I've never seen it.

But for seven years, Vince Deadrick has been smashing people through skylights and walls, setting people on fire and all sorts of awesome stuff. But not to poo-poo it, the fact that he got nominated was well-deserved and awesome. And he's great. It's been an honor working with that team. 

Now, mentally, it's been easier to play the character because he's getting older, and he has watched a group of kids that he pseudo-raised, move on, and grow up and leave the nest. That's been incredibly emotional, not only for him but also for me. It's hard to watch the little kids that you have had a big part in raising.

Not to discount what their parents are doing, but when they spend 12 hours out of their day with me, I am their parent figure for better or worse. I've become very close to them and would like to think that I had some impact on their lives, and now they're gone. It's sad to see that. But, that's life, the kids grow up.

I have a child of my own now, which I didn't have at the beginning so that emotional element of knowing that these kids grow up and how fast they grow up makes me bond with these new kids and with my child so much more. My kid, she's four, but she's going to be five pretty soon and then she'll be ten and then she'll go to school, and she'll leave us. I hope she becomes an actor for selfish reasons, so she'll stay in LA, who knows?


14m 9s Literary Joe: Having done this for seven years, is this the most extended role you've ever committed to?

14m 13s Cooper Barnes: Yeah, hands down. Everything else I've ever done has been one or two things here or there, one-off projects, one-off characters. This was my golden ticket, and I'm very fortunate for it. He's a great character, and I love playing him. He's fun. He's cathartic because there are many facets to his personality that are ridiculous and out there. I'm able to stay reasonably calm in my own life even though the world's a crazy place.

Every episode, he's losing his mind about something he's a very emotional man. It's easy for me to put the real emotions I'm feeling on screen. Whether its bittersweet feelings come with watching kids grow up before your eyes or the anger and rage associated with the nutso world around us, it's easy to funnel that through this emotionally unstable character.

17m 50s Literary Joe: Before I wrap up, is there anything you would like to mention or plug?

18m 6s Cooper Barnes: We've got new episodes of Danger Force that are coming out soon. We're about three episodes into the latest batch of our order. So new episodes coming your way in the next month. Ride Share is available to listen to now as well as Last Best Hope. You can go to @lastbesthope on Instagram and find out where you can listen to those. Several episodes of that are available.

19m 12s Literary Joe: Also, what is the animated series called? What show is that?

19m 12s Cooper Barnes: It's in the same family. It's called The Adventures of Kid Danger. It's a spinoff, but not really. It's not really what nerds refer to as canon or what I would refer to as canon. I don't know at what point in the story it takes place, but they were fun. For whatever reason, the ratings were excellent, but the executive producer and the network had a falling out of sorts. So for whatever reason, they didn't continue it.

I don't know where that's airing, but it's airing around the world somewhere. Cause they keep paying me for it. I would love to have a future in voice-over. So if anyone's listening to this and likes the sound of my voice, I'm tired of lifting weights, and I want to do this.

20m 9s Literary Joe: Are there any specific fandoms that you'd like to steer into as far as anything in animation, comic characters, or videogame wise that you'd like to be a part of?

20m 21s Cooper Barnes: I don't know anything about video games. I understand that they need voice-over actors, though, and that's always cool. I'm not at all tired of playing Captain Man. I enjoy playing Captain Man, but it's a lot of work, and it's worth it. My old man said, "nothing worth having comes easy," and I'd stand by that. But, I would love to pick up a voice-over gig occasionally. Any genre would be great.

*This interview has been edited for clarity.*

Escape Reality with a thriller fiction podcast to get lost in. Ride Share is the series premier episode of DIGITAL SKY, an anthology podcast series of social and science fiction about the apps that control our lives. Fans of Twilight and Black Mirror will love Ride Share! Trapped in a Car with Strangers!
On his ride share app, Keith decides to choose the carpool option. They all take a drive they never expected. Hang on for an awesome sound experience that will take you on a wild trip, projected like a movie inside your mind. If you’ve ever used a ride share app, it probably crossed your mind that you are getting into the car of a complete stranger. Our hero Keith decides to make it even more interesting by choosing the super-saver carpool option, which adds even more strangers to the ride. Now Keith appears to be trapped in a car with three people, who are very strange indeed.

You can check out Ride Share on Youtube and all other podcast platforms, with new episodes releasing every Tuesday.

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