On Saturday morning, a little bit of “Gotham” showed up in the Big Apple. Robin Lord Taylor (Oswald Cobblepot) and David Mazouz (Bruce Wayne) showed up at New York Comic Con to take fans behind the scenes of the Fox series, which charts the rise of the villains in Gotham as a young Bruce Wayne embarks on his journey to becoming Batman.
Asked if Cobblepot will try to present himself in a different way, Taylor said, “I’m if anyone does some deep cuts and looks at the images that come out, he does have a little bit of a makeover… he tries to represent himself the way he thinks a candidate should look… Our show is like any comic book, in that our stories are written to reflect the times we live… the comic books are written with that idea in mind, the social climate, and our show is reflecting that. When Gotham starts to look the the real world…”
“We were doing a panel and it was either New York or San Diego… and someone came up and asked, ‘Who is the biggest villain in Gotham City?’ And I was like, ‘Donald Trump,'” Taylor recalled. “That was a year ago, before all of this… and then one of the writers said, ‘When you said that, we were somewhat inspired by you saying that.'”
Mazouz also addressed Bruce Wayne’s doppelganger. “He was born in a lab and he comes out and he sees this kid who looks exactly like him and he sees him with all this stuff — he’s never had a human relationship,” he explained. “And [he sees Bruce’s relationship with Alfred and Selena] and says, ‘I want that.”
“You know, Bruce doesn’t have the balls to say it, but he likes Selena! He’s been trying to find a way to make something happen and is just like, ‘If you’re not going to do it, I will’… you’ll definitely see a jealous conflict between the two,” he continued.
As to the partnership between Edward Nigma and Cobblepot, Taylor shared, “I really don’t think so. I think Edward makes Oswald a stronger person. Edward is very intellectual, he’s very pragmatic. We’ve talked about how Edward is in his head; Oswald is in his heart. There’s not much to teach Edward about feelings… Edward is there to help Oswald be confident… I think it is kind of one-sided. Oswald does do some major favors [for Edward].”
Erin Richards, who plays Barbara Kean, then entered the stage to a round of applause, apologizing and explaining that she had been caught in New York traffic.
“She’s got some very high hopes,” Kean said of her character. “I think she’s at a point where she has all this sort of newfound power with this Sirens club… I think that she’s now seeing the rise of herself, and that’s what she’s aiming for.”
“The fun of her is that you don’t [know when she’s going to snap],” she added. “She has so many different parts of her personality that she can play at any one time… when is she going to flirty Barbara? When is she going to be killer Barbara?”
“The story of Oswald is the story of someone who is always cast aside and treated as less than human, never respected. When you saw him come out of Arkham as this changed person, that’s really who is under all that scar tissue and believing all those things people told him,” Taylor explained. “He really wants the adoration of people. After he was brainwashed in Season 2, he snaps after his father’s murder and he does something horrible… I wanted to have it so he remembered what it was like to be kind and generous… I wanted to keep that incorporated into [his character]… I think that’s really who he is… Once he gets it, he doesn’t know what to do with it. He isn’t as well-adjusted. He is ultimately still in love with power.”
As to Barbara’s relationship with Tabitha, Richards said, “Barbara is a very kind of modern woman in that respect, in that she’s not going to try to tie Tabitha to herself. She’s going to let Tabitha be herself… she doesn’t want to hold anyone back from what they want to do.”
“[Barbara] is the face of the Sirens, but Tabitha is the muscle,” she continued. “For her, if she doesn’t have that muscle behind her, she’s in danger… she doesn’t have the skills Tabitha does.”
In response to a fan question, Taylor addressed the way Penguin has evolved over the series, saying, “In terms of Penguin, it’s really the writing. They’ve captured his voice so well, and it’s really the word choice. It’s very, very specific.”
Asked if Penguin actually likes penguins, he shared, “It’s hard because I don’t think he does. That’s what he was taunted with his whole life. I don’t think he has any particular affection for them, [but] he has power in embracing it.”
“When we found the Wayne cave, I got a heads up, but for this, I didn’t,” Mazouz said, recalling how he found out about Bruce’s doppelganger. “It was tough, but with the help with the directors and writers… I did it, and I think it turned out really great.”
“I can’t say yes or no,” Mazouz shared when asked if Bruce’s doppelganger has anything to do with “Hush” or Lincoln March. “What I will say is this Bruce was not completely somebody from the comics, but it’s kind of a mix of ‘Gotham’ originality and a mix of those theories I just mentioned.”
“Paul [Reubens] is a delight… I actually met him before I was cast. He was best friends with Carol Kane, who played my mom. Carol invited me to lunch and said, ‘My friend Paul is coming’… we had a whole joke about how he should play my dad,” Taylor recalled, then added that he sent a photo of them together to an executive producer, who then said they’d been trying to sign him for the show for three weeks.
Another fan asked if the Joker was still a player in the show. “When all the monsters were leaving at the end of the season, I thought I heard a laugh,” Mazouz teased.
“It’s been announced! He’s coming back,” Taylor added. “We are all over the moon about it… we’re so happy to have him back.”
Mazouz then brought his pet dog on stage in order to show off her Robin costume, then let her sit beside him as he continued to answer questions.
Taylor announced that, in an upcoming episode, he and Mazouz would share lines for the first time in the history of the show.
“I love having scenes with [Erin Richards],” Taylor shared. “It’s always fun when we interact.”
“Robin and I never actually talked to each other ever,” Mazouz recounted. “We did this cool thing where Bruce goes into some door and behind him Penguin walked into the same shot, but we never actually talked, so it doesn’t count!”
“Right now I’m shooting some with our new Poison Ivy,” he added. “I always like working with new characters.”
“I think for inspiration for my character… was Christian Bale,” he revealed. “He really brought the intensity and darkness to Batman and Bruce Wayne that we try to do on ‘Gotham.'”
Starring Ben McKenzie as Detective Jim Gordon, “Gotham” airs Mondays at 8 pm ET/PT on Fox. The series also stars David Mazouz as young Bruce Wayne, Camren Bicondova as young Selina Kyle, Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock, Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot, Morena Baccarin as Leslie Thompkins, Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney and more.
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