We finally know who played Barney the dinosaur. David Joyner, a 53-year-old actor, has been unmasked as the Barney actor, who starred in the hit kids TV show that ran from 1991 through 2001.
In a video for Business Insider, Joyner got real about what donning the Barney costume for a 10-year run was really like. And oh boy, did he have a lot to say about it.
“Now, Barney is about 70 pounds and it can get over 120 degrees inside, so inside, you’re sweating profusely,” Joyner dished. “It’s a T. rex, so you’re basically up to your elbows in being able to move, and then also, Barney’s feet were huge.”
Yikes! That does not sound cozy at all. And those weren’t even the only issues Joyner encountered with the outfit.
This man played Barney the dinosaur for 10 years — here's what it was like pic.twitter.com/RbdrQ5UxBD— Business Insider (@businessinsider) June 7, 2017
“The head doesn’t come off; the head doesn’t swivel. There’s no facial expressions that can be made,” he said. “I can only see a certain amount—when Barney’s mouth is closed, I can’t see anything.”
So understandably, Joyner had to do some seriously extensive prep work before he slipped on the Barney costume.
“So what I would do is I would walk around my apartment as if I was blind,” he revealed. “I would close my eyes and I would try to feel energy—and try to feel the energy of anything that was around me, and then try to pick things up.”
On top of that, he also trained himself to coordinate his motions with Bob West’s voice—who said all of Barney’s lines.
“As I had my headphones on, I can literally hear him taking his breath,” Joyner said. “And knowing that as he’s about to speak, I’m almost inside of him, knowing exactly what he’s about to say.”
Wow! We never would’ve guessed all these things going on with the man behind the Barney mask. But clearly, as an actor, that’s a sign he did a great job, being able to hide it. Bravo to him!
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