With its episode count upped from 16 to 22 yesterday, it’s clear Fox has put a lot of faith in their Jim Gordon origin story, Gotham. However, with so much ground work being done on the show’s foundation, there are lingering questions fans have about the direction of the story and characters. During New York Comic-Con, actors Ben McKenzie and Donal Logue, along with executive producer Danny Cannon, sat down to discuss that foundation and where they hope to take it in the future.
“It wasn’t a conscious decision,” said McKenzie, regarding his jumping straight from one cop show (TNT’s Southland) to another in Gotham. “[Series creator Bruno Heller] and I worked together after Southland ended last year on a pilot for CBS CBS +1.64%. So he sent me this script in January and said ‘I’ve written the part of Jim Gordon with you in mind, and could you take a look?’ It was just such a great opportunity that there was no way of saying no.” “That being said,” Gotham’s Jim Gordon continued, “It’s great to have come off another cop show and bring that skill set and mentality to this show and try to play it honestly and truthfully.”
Before diving into Gotham talk, actor Donal Logue took a moment to once again address the lingering talk of his former series, Terrier. “It’s up to Ted Griffin,” said the actor. “Like if Ted Griffin wrote a film, everyone’s on board with it, and I think people, kickstarter, whatever, it wouldn’t be a problem. I don’t know [the cancelation] broke Ted’s heart enough to want to revisit it.” Following those quick words, however, the actor wasted no time in shifting gears to the Fox drama, and in addressing the matter of being able to take his character of Harvey Bullock “anywhere” because there’s no standing legacy of the corrupt officer in live action. To that fact, Logue stated “to some degree [I can go anywhere],” adding, “I mean, you’re a little bit hemmed in by Gotham Central and even the animated series, [but it’s] less pressure I think for sure. I think no one’s seen him before, so I get to kind of blaze that trail [in live action]. Obviously we’re doing something that’s a little bit different. I think Harvey’s a bit more comedic in our version than maybe in the books, but I always feel pretty free anyway because [if] you’re gonna start something, you might as well make it your own, and then if you’re lucky enough, and it goes for a while, then you become a version that people have to dress themselves to.”
Gotham is finally here.
We’ve seen the posters, the ads and we think we know the world surrounding the city of Gotham. But try to put all those preconceptions on a shelf and dive into the world created by Bruno Hello (who is also the man who brought us The Mentalist).
On Gotham Season 1, we won’t be seeing Batman or Robin… at least in the form we know them. However, we will see a city that’s in despair, overun by crime and villains. And rookie Jim Gordon, played by Ben McKenzie, is making it his mission to clean up the area around him.
And we also happen to meet the people who eventually will become the Penguin and the Joker, along with new villains such as Jada Pinkett Smith’s Fish Mooney.
But, as McKenzie told me in a recent interview this series is not about Batman as much as it is about a journey that will include many things we don’t know about the Gotham from the DC Comics nor the many films in the Batman franchise.
McKenzie also talked about his thoughts in taking on a high profile after years on Southland, as well as the expectations he knows people have and how Jim Gordon’s personal life will be touched by the criminal world of Gordon’s work.
TV Fanatic: How long does it take for you to get a sense of who Jim Gordon is in the series now that you’ve been shooting for a while now?
Ben McKenzie: I’m starting to really understand the character better. I think you’re right and previously I would’ve said like, ‘Oh, no, no. You’ve got to understand him from the jump,” but you can’t. Initially, all you have is that pilot script and you have this really crazy system in pilot season with this nutty, nutty idea to create this incredibly pressurized environment where all these people have to come together for this one time and make this one show really fast in a stressful environment and if anything goes wrong the whole thing could fall apart.
Thank God it all worked out but now that we’ve gone to series and the pilot turned out, in my opinion, really strong it’s allowed me just to take the pressure off and just focus on what it really should be about, which is the words and the other actor or actors in the scene and just acting 101. Just old school as it should be with anything else and not get lost in the kind of, ‘oh, it’s a Batman show,’ which is stressful.
Read the entire interview over at TV Fanatic