HAL’s A Hoser

Stanley Kubrick had a lot of trouble getting the right voice for HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey. He initially used the Oscar-winning actor Martin Balsam, but his Bronx accent wound up making HAL sound “a little bit too colloquially American,” as Kubrick later decided.

So Kubrick turned instead to Douglas Rain, a Canadian stage actor who was a veteran of dozens of plays. It worked — Kubrick got the weird, calm, eerie affect that made HAL so unsettling.

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