Entering “Gotham,” which takes viewers to the world of Batman decades before the dark knight dons his cape, was an interesting challenge for Ben McKenzie. As he reveals in our recent webcam chat (watch below), “it’s fascinating to enter that mythology… it’s an interesting take on a world that we’re all very familiar with. It’s exciting and terrifying at the same time.”
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On taking on the iconic role of Jim Gordon before he becomes commissioner, McKenzie admits, “I don’t think it’s very helpful to try and do an imitation of somebody. I think all you can do is work with your given circumstances, understand exactly who you think this guy is at his core.” And at his core: “Jim is an old fashioned hero, he’s not an anti-hero. In an age of anti-heroes he’s almost the furthest thing from that. He’s just an old-fashioned guy who is going to get things done, and get them done hopefully the right way.”
Another exciting thing about “Gotham” is getting to see origin stories for some of the most famous villains from popular culture. McKenzie reveals: “We’re doing episodes right now that I think are really great which involve the Scarecrow, or should I say, someone who has a lot of influence on who will become the Scarecrow. And we’re getting into the interesting observations about the psychology of this particular villain.” As for his favorite ovearll villain he says, “I love the Riddler. I’ve always loved the Riddler.”
On whether the series will ever show flash-forwards of these villains, Batman or Gordon himself, McKenzie is unsure but has a preference. He says, “I would spend time in the present, our Gotham’s present. Not only would I not jump forward and give flash-forwards, I also wouldn’t jump back and give flashbacks to where Jim was. I prefer to stay in the present; that’s my storytelling narrative taste.”