"My 22-year-old daughter just came down from Los Angeles," the longtime fanboy said after taking a quick call from his daughter Autumn.
"She's trying to connect with me in the midst of this insanity," he chuckled. "Oh, she's totally into it, are you kidding me? That's why she's like, 'Dad, I'm coming this time!' I've done Comic-Con a lot, right? It's always been two days of insanity. She did come for just the party two years ago when I was doing 'American Horror Story.' So she was like, "Ooh, I'm coming now." She's into the whole comic book of it all. She just graduated from college in May, and I was her commencement speaker. Insane, yeah!"
With the beaming acknowledgement that his offspring had come around to seeing the world his way, Chiklis fielded questions about what's ahead for the brusque but honest Captain Barnes in Gotham City.
On what's ahead in Season 3:
What's going to happen this year with my guy is very much the reason I took the role, in all honesty. But the wonderful thing about television series is you get to spend quite a bit of time setting the pick, or a series of picks, that you don't have to play out instantaneously, right? I knew what's coming was going to come in the next season, so it allowed me to really establish that I'm playing a law-and-order zealot, the antithesis of Vic Mackey [his role on "The Shield"], absolutely strident, unreeling, unyielding with regard to the law.
And the inherent tension between Ben's character and mine would be that as Ben [McKenzie as Jim Gordon] is being pulled into the Vic Mackey of it all to send him into darkness, and I'm trying to pull him out of it with less and less effectiveness. And then I get terribly injured, and now I'm a depleted, injured, weakened guy watching this happen, still trying to keep up the good fight, and then something crazy happens. That I can't tell you about.
On how soon until the "something crazy" comes along:
The beginning of the craziness is the fourth episode. The very beginning of my craziness ... I cannot tell you what happens, but I can tell you this: It will change my character inexorably. It will completely change his relationship with Gordon and everybody. It's the reason I was like, as an actor, "OK, I'll do that. That's interesting to me."
So I'm excited. Now the payoff is starting to present itself for what we've, the groundwork we've laid. A lot of people have been sort of like, "What's happening here? I know something's going to happen ..." You know what I mean? Yeah, something's going to happen!
On his immediate attraction to appearing in the series:
I think it was the concept, honestly. Just when I heard the concept of this show, I was like, "That's smart. That's cool. Take a sort of secondary character from an existing pantheon of characters, and focus on him 20 years before, so that we can look at all of it ..."
I just thought it was brilliant, really, from a conceptual standpoint. Also gave us the opportunity to look at characters in their conception, and also gives you the latitude to create a number of new characters.
"Gotham" returns Monday, Sept. 19, on Fox.