The Twisted Metal video game of the 1990s spawned a television series years later with a memorable villain named Sweet Tooth among the main stars.
The villain has undergone many changes through the years, with his imposing size, clown facepaint, unique outfit, and flaming head considered part of his recognizable video game look.
For the television series, Sweet Tooth has most of those as part incorporated into his look but mostly goes without the flaming head.
It also takes two people to make this unique character come to life during the episodes of Twisted Metal.
Nuufolau Joel Seanoa and Will Arnett are behind the menacing clown, one of the streaming series’s main antagonists.
Here are more details about the iconic character and the two actors who bring Sweet Tooth to life.
Who plays Sweet Tooth in Twisted Metal?
Two actors play Sweet Tooth in the streaming series, one to handle the physical acting and another to give him his voice.
Handling the on-screen physical work is Nuufolau Joel Seanoa. Professional wrestling fans know him best as Samoa Joe, a champion in multiple wrestling organizations, including TNA Impact, Ring of Honor, and WWE.
He currently works for one of WWE’s biggest rivals, All Elite Wrestling (AEW), and is a two-time AEW TNT Champion.
Samoa Joe spoke with Entertainment Tonight about landing the acting gig, his first on-screen role. One of his good friends from a while back at Sony contacted him about the part while the show was in pre-production.
“You never know what you’re gonna get with him. One minute he’s your best friend, the next minute, well, it might just be a more bloody affair,” he explained of the character.
To give Sweet Tooth more of his robust and humorous on-screen personality, actor Will Arnett voices the character. Arnett, 53, is a Canadian actor who has appeared in many TV and movie roles.
Arrested Development, 30 Rock, Blades of Glory, and Show Dogs are among them. He’s also done plenty of voice roles before Twisted Metal, including Ratatouille, Despicable Me, and Batman in the Lego movie franchise.
He not only voices Sweet Tooth in the Peacock streaming series but also works on the series as an executive producer.
Supervising Sound Editor and Re-Recording Mixer James Parnell praised Arnett’s abilities as a voice actor in giving life to Sweet Tooth.
“He’s got that range. His voice is super baritone, but it can go up in register — almost to like an alto or something. He can go very high up and very low down … He can change his performance schizophrenically like Sweet Tooth,” Parnell said, per SyFy.
Who is Sweet Tooth in the Twisted Metal series?
Twisted Metal burst onto the scene as a vehicular combat video game from Sony Interactive Entertainment in 1995. It had several sequels in the 1990s and titles like Twisted Metal: Black in 2001 and Twisted Metal: Head On in 2005.
He also made his way into PlayStation’s War of the Monsters in 2003 and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale for PlayStation 3 in 2012.
In the video game, Sweet Tooth is one of the game’s villains, depicted as a murderous clown wielding a machete that drives a weaponized ice cream van. His character was revealed as homeless man Marcus Kane, who had a split personality as the villainous Needles Kane.
Sweet Tooth, also the name on the side of his ice cream van, became the video game’s recognizable mascot as he appeared on the cover of all the Twisted Metal games.
The 2023 Peacock series Twisted Metal mostly deviates from the video game source material. It’s a post-apocalyptic action and comedy starring Anthony Mackie, Stephanie Beatriz, Thomas Haden Church, and the previously mentioned actors, Samoa Joe and Arnett, as Sweet Tooth.
Early in the series, Mackie’s John Doe and Beatriz’s character, Quiet, encounter a psychopathic clown in Las Vegas, whom they flee.
Check out Sweet Tooth in action opposite Twisted Metal protagonist John Doe, played by Mackie.
He doesn’t have the flaming hair like in the video games, but instead sports vivid red clown hair along with his eery facepaint.
The character controls the ruins of Las Vegas in the show and was also given more of an origin story, as Samoa Joe told SyFy.
“I think Sweet Tooth is an interesting character. Though he has a lot of mythology, he doesn’t have a lot of origin mythology. I think in MJ’s [showrunner Michael Jonathan Smith] quest to build out the world of Twisted Metal, giving Sweet Tooth a bit of substance was definitely called for,” he said.
Viewers can see Samoa Joe and hear Will Arnett in action as the iconic character on Peacock, with all 10 episodes of the series now available for streaming.
Twisted Metal is available on Peacock.