Bible role shows Ben's not all talk

Cabaret Crooner David Campbell is providing the signing voice to Ben Affleck's talking voice in Hollywood's latest big-budget animated film.

The Biblical tale of Joseph, which has been in production for several years, is based loosely on the story of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat - the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical which starred, at different times, Australians Jason Donovan and David Dixon.

For Campbell, who jets off to the US next week to record the role, it will catapult him into an elite league of actors who eagerly used their voices for animatated features, including Mel Gibson, Whoopi Goldberg and Elton John.

Campbell, who "grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons", told Thirteen he feels it is "quite a cool thing to do to be Ben Affleck's voice" and "when I have kids they will be able to say 'that's Daddy singing'." Campbell is engaged to musical star Natalie Mendoza who he met when they worked together on stage in Les Miserables.

Thre was a tricky period during the audition process for the Joseph film when producers, while thrilled with Campbell's talents, urged him to change his voice to sound more like Ben Affleck.

"He has a really unusal break in his voice which just isn't musical," Campbell laughed.

"But they changed their minds and came back to me and thankfully, I can sing in my own voice."

When Campbell returns (after recording duets with Jody Benson, who is the voice of the Little Mermaid), he hopes to spend some time in Australia with his fiancee who "also travels too much".

In addition, he is working on a new more comtemporary album and a film.

Thirteen - The Daily Telegraph, Sydney, 2nd August, 1999